Disney Tips: Avoiding the Lines


Disney World is full of great rides and attractions, with something for everyone to enjoy, from diving into the story of your favorite Disney classics to going on a thrilling adventure. The only problem is – those pesky thousands of other people who visit the Disney World parks every day. These other people are also out to enjoy the hundreds of rides and attractions Disney has to offer. And this means lines. Really long lines. Sometimes, there are lines two hours long - or more! Who wants to waste two hours of their precious Disney time standing around waiting for one attraction? It may seem impossible do everything. It is. But the first step to getting the most out of your Disney World vacation is accepting that you simply CANNOT do everything. If you try, you will only make yourself and your traveling companions miserable.

However, with teamwork, common sense, and good planning, you can do plenty of what you want – without having to dread the lines.

 Disney Tips: Avoiding the Lines

Step 1: Get to the parks EARLY - and early means at least half an hour before opening, not 11am or even at the set opening time. The parks start letting people in before the official opening time, although the attractions will not be open at that point. You may get to the parks right on time – only to find hundreds of other people already there, standing between you and your favorite attraction. And don’t forget to factor in the time it will take to go through bag check and swipe your ticket. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, be sure to check the early opening times and take advantage of them. You should note that late openings are generally more crowded than early openings. If you think you’ll walk on Space Mountain at 10pm, think again.

Peter Pan's Flight

Step 2: Decide what your priorities are before you enter the parks. Once you’re there, make a beeline for any popular attractions you want to do. There are several attractions with long lines in every park, but here are the main ones in each park:

Magic Kingdom – the three Mountains and Peter Pan

EpcotSoarin and Test Track

Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Mania and the Rockin’ Roller Coaster

Animal KingdomExpedition Everest and Kali River Rapids.  

 Disney Tips: Avoiding the Lines

Step 3: Next, do popular attractions that might develop long lines. These include rides like Haunted Mansion, Winnie the Pooh, Star Tours, and Mission: Space.

Disney Tips: Avoiding the Lines

thank you to themissy of flickr creative commons

Step 4: In the afternoon when the park is hot and crowded, head to attractions with short lines. Shows are great for this. And don’t rule out leaving the park and taking a dip in the hotel pool or catching a nap. Better to be rested and able to go back to the parks at night to enjoy more attractions and fun shows than run yourself ragged and be cranky and exhausted by 4pm.

 Disney Tips: Avoiding the Lines! Saratoga Pool. Disney.

Additional Tips to Avoid the Lines:

  • Unless you have reservations, try to eat meals early or late, so you can get in to the good places and don't waste precious time waiting in line for food.
  • Listen to the wishes of everyone in your party. Every person is going to have to compromise in order to make sure everyone gets to at least some of the things they want to do. Sometimes, the best solution is to divide and conquer.

The end of a successful day at Disney


Note: The fastpass system is going through some big changes and this will affect how you plan out your day, especially if you are used to taking advantage of the current fastpass system. While I wrote this article based on the current system, the advice here is basic advice on how to time things so as to avoid much of the lines, and will not change too much with the introduction of the new system.


Read more: How to do Disney without the Endless Lines



Kathryn Blanco is the Disney Editor for Wandering Educators


All photos courtesy and copyright Kathryn Blanco, except where noted