Let’s face it, a vacation in Walt Disney World can be pretty exhausting!
With all of the walking most guests do on a daily basis, staying up late at night to see fireworks and parades, and the constant go-go-go atmosphere, I’m sure there’s always a pretty big temptation to sleep in a little bit in the morning.
Here’s my best advice on sleeping in while in Walt Disney World:
There is so much to do and see first thing in the morning that you will truly be missing out if you spend it sleeping. You can sleep on the plane! Here are my 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Sleep In While Visiting WDW!
5. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
Do you have a young Star Wars fan (between 4 and 12 years old) in your family or group who would love to learn about The Force and take on the bad guys like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren? If so, then this experience is perfect for you!
The only problem is, it’s first-come, first-serve, and can be very difficult to sign up for if you’re not at Disney’s Hollywood Studios quite early in the morning. If this is something that you absolutely don’t want your child to miss, I’d actually recommend getting there before the park opens and heading straight to the Indiana Jones Outpost as soon as you walk through the entrance of the park. That way, you’re almost guaranteed to get your child a spot in one of the early shows and won’t have to wait half the day for your time slot.
4. Morning Extra Magic Hours
If you’re staying on Walt Disney World property during your vacation, taking advantage of the Extra Magic Hours is a must! Extra Magic Hours allow all guests who are staying on property admittance to a park either an hour before it is open to all guests or an hour after the park closes to all guests. By utilizing this extra time in the parks, you’ll get to experience quite a few more attractions and shows than those guests who are staying off-site.
My best tip is to plan out your FastPasses for the big ticket attractions for the middle of the day, then use the Morning Extra Magic Hours to experience those middle of the road, classic attractions with a much, much shorter wait than they’ll have in the afternoon and evening.
3. Early Dining Reservations
One of my family’s favorite things to do is to book the earliest breakfast reservation available in the park’s restaurants. Our absolute favorite is the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom normally opens up at 9am, but the Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table actually open earlier, before the actual park “opens.” If you book a reservation between 8am and 9am, you’ll get to experience an almost empty Magic Kingdom. The pictures you’ll be able to take are totally second to none! Imagine making that turn from Town Square onto Main Street, USA, and seeing Cinderella Castle at the end of the empty street! It’s like stepping into a commercial for Walt Disney World! Fair warning though, the only things that will be open will be the restaurants, but that doesn’t mean you can’t walk down Main Street and take as many pictures as you want!
2. Very Low Transportation Crowds
As anyone who has ever been on a Walt Disney World vacation will tell you, sometimes the buses, monorails, and boats used for transportation can be crowded! That’s why my family and I like to get up as early as possible and hop on Disney transportation before a lot of guests are even rolling out of bed! This way, we don’t have to wait in long bus lines or sit (or stand) on overcrowded buses or monorails.
Speaking of transportation, here’s another tip that I always find helpful when leaving the parks at the end of the night: Quite often, the lines for the buses going back to the resorts from Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom will be very long. You’ll often have to wait for a few buses to come by before getting your ride back to your resort. There are always cabs sitting nearby that can take you back to your resort for a fairly low fee. Sure, it’s not free like Disney transportation, but sometimes when your feet are killing you at the end of the night, it’s a great option to have!
1. Main Street Welcome Show
My absolute favorite reason to get up at the crack of dawn while on vacation in Walt Disney World has to be this show! Get there early, as the show begins about ten minutes before the park opens, but guests are allowed through the turnstiles anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes before the official opening of the park to get a better view of the show.
When the show starts, guests are entertained by singers, dancers, the Citizens of Main Street, and a whole bunch of Disney characters that are brought in via the Walt Disney World Railroad. It’s the perfect way to get your day started in the Magic Kingdom! Oh, and after the show, oftentimes the characters will be milling around Town Square for a few moments or wandering down Main Street, USA, so you can have some really unique character interactions to start off your adventure!
So the next time you’re taking a trip to Walt Disney World, do me a big favor and set that alarm for a bright and early wake up call! If you’re on the Dining Plan, you can take your refillable mug over to the main building of your resort and have a couple of cups of coffee to get yourself going, just in case you’re not a morning person! The mornings in WDW can’t be beat and if you get to the parks early you really will get to experience a whole lot more than you would have if you decided to sleep off that giant cinnamon bun from Gaston’s Tavern you ate the night before!
Do you sleep in or hit the parks early on your Disney vacation?