We’re sure you’ve heard it over and over again. Walt Disney World can get crowded during the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas season. It can get so crowded in fact that sometimes Walt Disney World parks reach maximum capacity and have to stop letting people in. So just as the most magical time of year approaches, so does the most crowded. If you’re ready to tackle the Holiday Crowds at Disney, here are our Top 5 tips!
The Truth About Holiday Crowds at Disney
Frankly, it’s completely out of your control, the holiday crowds at Disney that is. Everyone wants the perfect Christmas at Walt Disney World, and they all plan on darn well getting it. So just exactly how are you supposed to deal with these crowds? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with five ways to beat the crowds at Walt Disney World this holiday season. And still have some sanity left when you return home.
Get to the Parks Early
When we say, early, we mean really early. As in before the park opens. Why? Because sometimes you may be allowed in before the park opens. Arriving early ensures more time to enjoy the parks before the crowds start to roll in. If you’re not staying on Walt Disney World property be aware of days that offer Extra Magic Hours. While we love Extra Magic Hours, on days where this extra perk is offered to resort guests you can plan on seeing the parks more crowded, earlier. Your best bet is to aim for an early morning arrival on days without Extra Magic Hours. During the holidays we see people lined up at bus stops around 6 am. So be ready for that.
Make an Early Morning Breakfast Reservation
One of our favorite ways to beat the crowds is to make an early morning breakfast reservation. Not only does this get you into the parks before everyone else, but if you time it right, your breakfast can actually be finished before other guests arrive. With this strategy you’ll be closer to your favorite rides, experiences, and shops before the crowds even start arriving! One of the easiest restaurants to use this strategy is Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom.
Eat at Off Peak Times
When planning your meal times consider the benefit of eating off peak times. Tables at Quick Service restaurants will be hard to find during peak meal times, and booking your Disney Table Service reservation may mean crowded restaurants and waiting longer to be seated. An 11am or 2pm lunch will have shorter wait times, just like a 4pm or 8pm dinner. Plus, an earlier or later meal can cut down your wait times for food and get you into the parks when everyone else is eating. This means shorter lines at rides when you’re ready for them and better table availability when you’re ready to eat. Its really a win-win all around.
Skip the Parades and Shows
While we are all for the fireworks shows and the parades (well most of them), if that’s not your thing or you’d rather be exploring the parks this is a sure way to cut down wait times. Ride queues and Character Meet and Greet queues drastically drop during shows and parades. With less people competing for a spot in line you can plan on visiting your favorite rides, with typically longer waits, during this time. While we wouldn’t recommending missing all the parades and fireworks, skipping a few will give you a much less crowded park to enjoy.
Stay out Late
We are always in awe at the mass exodus that occurs after the last show of the night. All four Walt Disney World parks actually intentionally stay open for one extra hour after closing time. So there is no need to rush out of the parks with everyone else. In fact, you’re technically allowed to get in line for any ride one minute before the official park closing time, which means by the time you wait in line and get done with the ride, you’ll be in a practically empty park. And staying out a little later will also help you avoid a crowded line at the Disney bus depot if you’re staying on property.
Tackling the Holiday Crowds at Disney World
Visiting Walt Disney World during the busy season can mean waiting in longer lines at rides, at the bus and at the gift shop. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season ruin your vacation! If you plan accordingly, this time of year can be just as magical as visiting during the not-so-busy season. Remember these 5 tips for for holiday crowds at Disney to make sure the most wonderful time of year is truly the most wonderful. Happy Vacation!