How To Never Wait in Line at Walt Disney World

There are Books, Apps and VIP Tours designed to keep you out of lines. What actually works?

Let’s start at the beginning. Walt Disney World is a busy place! There are thousands of guests from all around the globe coming together for one magical day at the resort which is larger than double the size of Manhattan. It’s crazy to think about the sheer volume of folks, so how do you avoid being just another lamb in the herd?

How To Never Wait in Line at Walt Disney World

Ok, so right off the top…that heading is deceiving because even with the best strategies and impeccable luck, you’ll still be forced to stand in a line. It’s unavoidable, so let’s re-write the title a little bit in order to make it more factual.

Here are the Tools to use if you want to wait in a line at Disney World the least amount of time possible

DISNEY GENIE +

By far and away the easiest way to get ahead of the crowds is to use (and abuse) the Genie + system, which gives the best chance to save time by reserving your spot in a future line with a paid membership.

This only works in theme parks with a large amount of attractions that interest you and your party – basically the Magic Kingdom. It could have benefits for EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, if you are park hopping, but it Disney Genie + may not be worth the $15 per day per guest.


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MORNING EARLY ENTRY

Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you’ll be able to take advantage of early entry – a perk that gives you an extra 30-minute head start on the rest of the guests that are at the parks that day. It may be “included” as a perk, but remember that you’re paying for it as part of the expense of staying on property.

Magic Kingdom: You’ll be able to bang out Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and Journey Under the Sea with the Little Mermaid before the park opens to the regular guests. It’s definitely worth it!

EPCOT: We’ve had hit-or-miss mornings at EPCOT, but as every vacation is unique, that’s not shocking at all.

DAK : We usually skip early entry at the Animal Kingdom because an individual Lightning Lane purchase for Flight of Passage may be worth that extra sleep. Plus, it’s usually the day after a Magic Kingdom or EPCOT …so priorities.

DHS: If you want to do two rides on Rise of the Resistance, then this may be your best option. Rope drop the early entry for Rise and then go back in the regular standby line and you should get two before 10am.


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TOURING PLANS

I’ve been a fan of creating a touring plan for my Disney World vacations for years, but here’s the problem…so have others;) The best way to set up a plan with today’s crowd levels is to have a checklist and don’t be afraid to walk away if the lines are crazy long.

The number of times that I’ve actually walked out of a line to meet a character or a standby line would dwarf any estimate, and that’s because things happen that are out of your control and it’s not worth wasting time. Why be frustrated when you can just go and get a dole whip?

AGAINST THE GRAIN

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe – Photo by Steps to Magic

I LOVE this strategy! Imagine walking up to a quick service restaurant and seeing just a crowd of people without a set line. Well, if you know that each cash register has a left & right side, then you’re able to go ‘against the grain’ and get your order quicker. It’s amazing how many people will just stand in a line without actually knowing what it’s there for.

I use this strategy for everything from getting into the turnstiles in the morning, attractions that have an open pre-show room (like Dinosaur) and definitely quick service locations like Cosmic Rays!

PLAYING THE ODDS

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

If you go to the Magic Kingdom on a day that’s scheduled to have a Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party, there’s a strategy that may involve you going to the park between 12-4pm and then going to another park for the evening. This is called “playing the odds”, because with party guests not wanting to burn through a regular day ticket when they have already purchased an extra-ticketed event pass…they won’t be showing up until at least 4pm.

This is also a plan for going to a park that ISN’T hosting an Extra Magic Hour morning, because most of the resort guests will be at another park for their perk…so you’ll be seeing less crowds at the other three parks to start with. I’ve been known to go to an EMH at the Magic Kingdom and then leaving on a bus at like 945am for FastPass+ reservations at another park, but I’m weird lol!


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FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember that Walt Disney World is a huge piece of property and when folks have planned their once-in-a-lifetime vacation, you have to be flexible in order to stay sane!

This article was designed to show you that there are ways to avoid waiting in lines for your entire trip, but it also has examples of things that may not work forever. As Disney starts to monetize operating hours, you’ll be given the opportunity to purchase time in a park with fewer and fewer folks. Always check out the official Disney World calendar to see if there are special events that you can take advantage of.

Thanks for visiting, and I really hope that this was a help in your vacation planning!

How To Never Wait in Line at Walt Disney World

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