Skip to Content

Crowded Disney Park Strategies for the Best Experience

Sharing is caring!

You know what is magic to a Disney Park lovers ears? Non peak season in Disney World. My family and I have definitely done our share of visiting the Disney Parks on those ultra crowded days. When you show up in the park on a slow day (slow for Disney at least)… it feels amazing! 

Although over the last few years it’s getting harder to tell what non peak season is anymore. Disney is becoming an expert at packing in the guests year round. If you get caught off guard, here’s how to make the most of a crowded Disney park

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission when you make a purchase at NO additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this site!

Always Expect A Crowded Disney Park

This is so simple, but it really works. Always plan your day expecting that the Disney Parks will be crowded, even during special events and holiday parties, like Mickeys Not So Scary. It tempers your expectations and gets you to plan your day creatively. 

Pick up a park map beforehand or a free printable Disney World rides list, which has all of the rides and attractions within each Disney Park. You will definitely want to look it over before your trip. 

You will most likely be selecting Fastpasses months ahead of time anyway, and this could help you make informed decisions so you are prepared upon arrival.

If you easily sign up for my newsletter (at the bottom of this post), you will be instantly directed to a free “travel cheat sheet” that you can download before your next Disney vacation. 

Show Up Early

If there are long lines at security, that’s actually a good sign. If you show up and waltz past the gate, that means the crowd has already beat you inside. 

Take advantage of Extra Extra Magic Hours or even learn how to miss the crowds at Toy Story Land. If they are in the morning, many people may not be up for it, so you can get a head start. 

You can also get a jump on the crowds by booking a breakfast reservation before the park opens to gain access before other guests. My family and I have had good luck with this.

In the past we have booked early breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace and also Be Our Guest. Then we hopped right onto Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with only about a 15 minute wait!

Park Entry

When it comes to getting inside a crowded Disney World park, you definitely want to get past security and through the gates so you can tap your magic band and enter with as little hassle as possible. It helps to take a moment to see what lines are moving before you step into the fray. 

Some of this is dependent on the guests, but there are definitely lines that are faster and better than others. 

When you get stuck in a slow line, it can potentially set a negative tone for your day, and it’s important to get Disney days started with lots of positive momentum. 

Be aware of side gates and seldom used entrances. Animal Kingdom has one through the Rainforest Cafe gift shop, and Epcot has a side gate to the World Showcase. 

Magic Kingdom has a gate for Cast Members, that most regular guests don’t use, even though it is actually open to everyone (never enter a place that is marked Cast Members Only).

Who knows, you may enter a Disney Park and get a surprise kiss from Pluto like my daughter did when we celebrated her birthday in Disney World a few years ago.

Disney Park crowd and Pluto at Magic Kingdom

Plan A Late Lunch

Early afternoon can be the hottest and most crowded time of day at the Disney Parks. It’s the perfect time to have reservations at a cool indoor restaurant where you can recharge and gear up for round two in the park. 

Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated during these busy days, especially so you can stay healthy while traveling

After about 4pm guests start to leave. Instead, you will be refreshed, energized and ready to keep enjoying the magic.

One of our family’s favorite places to eat is Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. The delicious food there is served family style and they keep it coming.

When it comes to Disney dining, it is one of the best values for your money, especially if you are looking for budget friendly ideas

crowded Disney Park Magic Kingdom

Fastpass+

How you plan your fast passes gives you a tremendous edge. Schedule them early and geographically close, or else you might find yourself on a scavenger hunt throughout the parks.

For example Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean would be a smart use of fast passes.

Or, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Ariel’s Undersea Voyage, and Peter Pan might be another. When your first three are done, you can easily add more fast passes via the free My Disney Experience app so you can keep the magic going!

When all else fails and you truly can’t escape a crowded Disney park, there are some really surprising Disney World activities to explore, or another option would be to plan for a Disney Cruise!

Epcot at night for Disney World fall vacation

 

 

 

GRAB YOUR FREEBIE!

Spring Fashion and Accessories
Previous
18 Fantastic Spring Fashion and Accessories For Women
Loads of Laundry
Next
5 Simple Ways To Ease The Load of Laundry

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

9 Unique Ways To Visit Disney On A Budget | Passports and Parenting

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

[…] when Disney packs the people in pretty much year round, but if familiarize yourself with some crowded Disney Park strategies, you can be well prepared so you can have a better […]

Galaxy's Edge Opening Day Overview: Cuisine, Merchants and More » Passports and Parenting

Saturday 13th of April 2019

[…] which will be happening very soon. The summer and fall opening dates for the Disneyland and Walt Disney World locations are May 31st and August 29th! Although these dates are right around the corner, not […]

2019 Epcot Changes: New and Upcoming Attractions » Passports and Parenting

Saturday 6th of April 2019

[…] Crowded Disney Park Strategies For The Best Experience […]

Here is The Truth About Disney Dreamers Academy » Passports and Parenting

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

[…] and encourage teens to pursue their dreams. Of course they also get to have some fun in the Disney Parks […]

What To Pack When Traveling For A Weekend » Clarissa Explains It All

Monday 1st of April 2019

[…] matter how long a trip is I always carry on my luggage (yes even for a two week long Disney World trip plus cruise). Carrying on saves time and possibly money too depending on the […]