Top Five Ways to Spend Less Time in Line at Disney World

Okay, so you won’t actually skip the lines, but there are a few ways to make the wait a little shorter.

1. Get there early and stay late

Getting to the parks 30 minutes before rope drop will not only give you a head start in the parking lot if you’re driving, but will also give you a head start in the baggage check line and in getting into the park.

You’ll have time to walk to the attractions and enjoy the park almost empty. This is especially helpful if the attraction you’re looking for is a distance from the park’s entrance.

When you get there, head to the most popular attractions, like Test Track, Soarin’, Expedition Everest, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, etc., first. Especially if you’re taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours, you might be able to “walk on” to these rides with little to no wait.

Even the most popular rides have a shorter wait time right after park opening and just before closing.
Even the most popular rides have a shorter wait time right after park opening and just before closing.

2. Use Single Rider Lines and Rider Switch

Some people don’t want to ride some of the bigger rides like TestTrack, Rock ‘n’ roller coaster, and Expedition Everest. Disney knows this and offers a solution.

Single Rider Lines allow people who are riding alone or parties that don’t mind being split up to wait in a different line, which is often a shorter wait time. If they need to fill a spot, the Cast Member will take someone from the Single Rider Line. Riders in this line sometimes end up in the same ride vehicle, but there is no guarantee.

Rider Switch allows parents to wait with little Princes and Princesses who don’t want to or are too small to ride while the other adult waits in line. After that adult returns to watch the little ones, the other can ride. There is a short wait involved for the second rider, but you won’t have to wait in the whole line again.

3. Use Disney Apps

Disney has spent millions of dollars updating their FastPass+ system and My Disney Experience App.

FastPass+ replaced Disney’s old FastPass system, and the new and improved system enables guests to make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance. Reservations for attractions like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train often book up very quickly, so make your reservations as soon as you are able. Keep in mind that you can always change a reservation if your plans change. FastPass+ lines are much shorter because Disney only releases a certain number of FastPasses for a given time frame.

My Disney Experience is an app for iPhone and Android devices that shows wait times, park maps, closest restaurants and restrooms, and much more. You can even make, change, or cancel FastPass+ reservations.

However you do it, having a plan for what you want to see and do will always save you time. Do not stand around looking at a map trying to calculate your next move.

4. Ride during and right after parades and shows

While many people are scoping out viewing spots for shows and parades like Wishes, Illuminations, and Festival of Fantasy, the lines are noticeably shorter. While the show is going on, lines are even shorter! If you are a Disney veteran and not very concerned with seeing the show, take advantage of this time, and ride during the show.

Wait times during shows and parades can be short and even nonexistent!
Wait times during shows and parades can be short and even nonexistent!

If you really want to watch the show, try to get a viewing spot near the attraction you want to ride or at least one that will allow you a quick escape from the crowds. Once the show is over, get to the attraction quickly. Last time I visited Magic Kingdom, and we got onto Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in about 15 minutes after the Festival of Fantasy Parade. I’ve also gotten onto Peter Pan without even waiting in the queue line.

5. Go during non-peak times

The parks, pools, and hotels are not as crowded during non-peak season. There isn’t really an “off-season” at Disney World, because they’ve worked hard to schedule festivals at these times to keep the park busy, but the crowds are often smaller while kids are in school. If you’re planning to take your kids out of school for a Disney vacation, or if you’re making it an adult’s-only trip, plan to visit between Labor Day and October or between Thanksgiving and mid-December (particularly the week after Thanksgiving and a few weeks before Christmas).

One of my favorite times to visit is in early December. Guests can see the beautiful Holiday decorations and experience the festive parades and shows without the very heavy crowds.

Do you have a tip for skipping the lines at Walt Disney World?
Leave your comments below.