8 Awesome Ways to Avoid Lines at Walt Disney World

Waiting in line is a fact of any Walt Disney World vacation. Fortunately, there are ways to cut down some on how long you and your party will have to wait. Here are eight ways to avoid lines, at least somewhat.


8) Attend a Separate Ticketed Event

Each year at the Magic Kingdom has special events that require a separate ticket. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs on select nights in September, October, and early November. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starts not long after that. These events require a separate ticket, and the number of tickets sold is limited. With a smaller number of people in the park, the lines will be shorter. Disney has also held separate ticketed events at other parks, but the two listed above are permanent. The best part about the separate ticketed events is that they are a lot of fun.

7) Skip the Nighttime Show

Yes, the fireworks and other nighttime shows at Walt Disney World are incredible. Others will be watching the sky light up, but most of the rides are still open. While everyone else is watching the show, sneak into a line before the park closes for the evening and take one last ride.

6) Skip the Parade

You won’t find parades at all four parks year round, but when there is one it will draw a crowd. All of those people waiting for the parade will not be in line for the rides. If riding everything with as short a wait as possible is the most important goal of your trip, consider skipping the parades. During a parade is also a good time to hit a quick service restaurant, which is another line that you don’t want to wait in for too long.

5) Use Extra Magic Hours

If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel you’ll be eligible to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. At least one park will open early or stay open late daily for only resort guests. The parks will have less people in them during that time, so it’s a great way to ride without waiting in long lines.

4) Avoid the Extra Magic Hours Park

Extra Magic Hours are great during those hours if you’re staying at a Disney hotel. The problem is that the EMH park will then usually be packed for the rest of the day. If there is an extra hour in the morning you’ll be waiting all day with the Disney Resort guests and plenty of people who aren’t staying on property. If the hours are in the evening the park will get crowded in the late afternoon/early evening. Sometimes it’s best to avoid the park that has Extra Magic Hours, especially if you’re not taking advantage of them.

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3) Use FastPass+

FastPass+ is designed so that you’ll be able to cut down your wait time for attractions selected. Select your initial three attractions per day in advance. Once you use those three attraction FastPass selections, you can use your My Disney Experience App or go to a FastPass Kiosk to obtain a 4th FastPass. Finished with that FastPass? Repeat this process for a 5th FastPass and so on, until the park closes! Take advantage of the system and use it! If you’re staying on property you can make your reservations up to 60 days in advance, and everyone else has 30 days. You can change the attraction or time later if you need to.

2) Stay Late

The end of the day can be a great time to ride. Many parents will have taken their small children back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep. Other guests will ride everything that they want and then head out. The parks are the most crowded during the middle of the day, you’ll find the lines much more manageable an hour or two before closing.

1) Arrive Early

While the lines entering a park at the beginning of the day might seem long, once you’re inside it’s a different story. Other guests haven’t had a chance to make it to the most popular rides yet, so you’ll find the shortest waits of the day. Make your FastPass+ reservations for the rides that usually have the longest wait times, and then ride as many of the other rides as you can first thing in the morning. Getting to a park before rope drop isn’t easy for everyone, and you’ll be surprised by how much you can get done if you arrive before the crowd grows too large.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.