How to Maximize Disney Park Hours

Animal Kingdom Midday Crowds
Animal Kingdom Midday Crowds - Photo by Steps to Magic

When you’re going through your schedule for a day at Walt Disney World, it can seem overwhelming! That’s because you’re trying to fit a lifetime of dreams into a single vacation, and although you can complete a ton of things on your list…there will always be items on your list that you won’t be able to get to.

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get is how to do more without stressing or feeling like you need a vacation AFTER you just got home from vacation. Great topic…so let’s look at it!

How to Maximize Disney Park Hours


Use Extra Magic Hours

When you’re staying at an official Disney World Resort or at a Disney Springs Authorized good neighbour resort (like the Holiday Inn Disney Springs), you’re able to take advantage of time when the parks are open for resort guests. This is a great way to get stuff done, especially with a strategy:

  • Magic Kingdom (Evening Extra Magic Hours)
  • EPCOT (Evening Extra Magic Hours)
  • Animal Kingdom (Both Morning and Evening)
  • Hollywood Studios (Both Morning and Evening)

The big difference between Morning and Evening is that in the evening…more of the attractions and experiences are open.


Rest while Everyone Plays

Leave the parks in the middle of the day because everything is jam-packed.

From attractions being at full-capacity and giant lines to restaurants being busy…there’s really no reason to be stuck in the crowds and the mid-day heat when you can go back to the hotel for a recharge.


Pick your Lines Carefully

Are you wanting to buy something at the Emporium in the Magic Kingdom? Knowing that the store actually goes through multiple locations will allow you to pick one of the smaller cash register lines and not have to stand in a giant crowd.

Also, if there are things that you want to buy in one of the bigger stores (like MouseGear at EPCOT or The Emporium), it’s very likely that the merchandise will also be available at a smaller location in the park. Just ask and it could quite possibly save you time!

Oh, speaking of lines…character lines can be incredibly long! If you know from the Times Guide that Aladdin & Jasmine are meeting on the hours (11am, 12pm, etc), then you should be in line by 15-minutes before because it’s better to wait before and be first in line than be stuck later in a long line!


Give up on Disney Transportation

I’ve talked about this a lot, but if you look at how much your vacation is costing you in total and then break it down to how much a minute of wasted time will actually cost you…why wait 25-40 minutes for a bus trip from park to park OR even worse a Resort to Resort trip.

Just hop on your UBER app and see if the cost is worth it. It usually is:)


FastPass+ Reservations

There are parks that you have the choice to pick times, but then you’re at the beck & call of experiences like Slinky Dog Dash or Flight of Passage.

It’s important for your vacation time maximization strategy to get attractions that you can’t just walk on during specific times. I’m looking at you Navi River Journey….with your 5-minute walk on during evening Extra Magic Hours!


This is such a fun topic to discuss because of my experiences of flat out wasting time so you don’t have to!

  • I’ve waited 45+ minutes for a Disney Springs bus at the Contemporary after Magic Kingdom Fireworks so you can just get an UBER instead
  • I’ve spent 10-minutes in line at Satuli Canteen and not move an inch….just to put through my mobile order like I would at Starbucks and get my food BEFORE those who were in front of me in the regular line.
  • I’ve also bought my t-shirts before my trip in order to save on time in line at a theme park…because I wanted to get rid of that “new shirt smell”;)

Hope this helped!!

How to Maximize Disney Park Hours – #StepstoMagic

Written by Dustin Fuhs

I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality! If you want more Theme Park fun - listen to the We Like Theme Parks Podcast at https://welikethemeparks.podbean.com/

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