10 Tips On How To Navigate Disney Crowds



Main Street USA Disney World

Ever since Disney World has reopened after temporarily being shut down because of Covid-19 protocols, Disney go-ers have seen a huge increase in the crowds. Now more than ever, everyone needs a little magic in their lives! It may seem like Disney’s magic would wear off with so many big crowds, but Disney is more than do-able and magical despite the long lines and big crowds! Here are 10 tips on how to navigate Disney crowds in a waau that will still leave you enjoying your magical day!

Magic Kingdom Crowded
Have you ever been to Disney during peak times? (Photo by Doug Butchy CC BY2.0)

1. Know the Parks Before You Go

You don’t want to waste your time navigating the streets of the parks when trying to also make your way through the crowds. There are maps of each of the parks located at Disney properties and available online before you go. Try to look over the maps and get familiar with the layout. Knowing where certain attractions are can help you move quicker and also eliminates you booking Lightening Lanes on opposite sides of the park wasting your time just walking back and forth all day! Also, on your Disney App you can get directions turn by turn as you walk if you are really turned around.

Disney world Map
Maps are available at the entrance at each park in several languages Photo by Daniel X. O’Neil (CC BY 2.)

2. Make A Plan

Before you go, be sure to have a plan in place. Have an idea of what attractions you want to ride, what shows are a must for you all. Know the parade schedule, show times and more. This can help you map out your day, show up on time and not miss out because of the crowds. You don’t want to walk in without knowing what is happening when, because you will ultimately miss it all and be wondering around.

3. Get There Early!

This is an obvious one; if you want to get in the most attractions despite the crowds, show up early! Try to be at the parks about 1.5-2 hours before the opening. You can then rope drop some of your favorite and most popular rides without the long wait. If you are staying on property, take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours on certain days at the different parks. This is a great time to walk around, get some great photo shots and get in line for those crowded rides that are hard to wait for!

Cinderella Castle
Get your early morning castle shot! Photo by Michael Gray (CC BY 2.0)

4. Get To Know Your Disney Experience App

The My Disney Experience App will be your best friend once you enter the parks! Your Disney Experience App will give you directions, list show times, wait times, you can do mobile ordering, it can hold all your passes even, and way more! But don’t open it up for the first time when you are already there! Get to know how to navigate it so it can be a quick resource to get the information you need once you are there and having fun.

5. Take Breaks

Disney parks can be hot, crowded, and tiring. It is important to know that if you are tired and hot, the crowds will get to you even more. Take breaks, especially in the afternoon when it is at its busiest. There are plenty of shady spots and hidden getaways where you and your crew can sit down and enjoy a cold drink and a meal. Let the lines die down, wait out the long food line and just take some time to people watch and slow down, this will make the crowds manageable once you reenergized and ready to go again!

Disney World taking a break
Always take an ice cream break! Photo by rickpilot_2000 (CC BY 2.0)

6.Use Mobile Ordering

During crowded days, consider skipping sit down dinning experiences, and use your mobile ordering through the Disney App! This will allow you to skip the waiting in line, order your food and show up with it is done. I love this option as well because it allows you to explore the menu without holding up a line!

7. Account For Transportation Time

If you are staying on property it is your goal, along with everyone else to catch the bus early and make it to the parks as soon as possible. When trying to get around account for a long wait for busses. There will be a time when there are too many in front of you and the bus is full. Relax, play some games on your Disney app, and just try not to NEED to be somewhere in a short amount of time.

Disney World Buses
Disney World Buses Photo by elisfkc (CC BY 2.0)

8. Mobile Check-out At Disney Stores

I used this feature for the first time a few months ago, and loved the convenience! You can check out with your purchase via your Disney app! Just scan the items, pay, and then show your code to a cast member before you leave, and never wait in a line. It is that easy!

9. Skip Night Time Entertainment And Ride, Ride, Ride!

When the night time shows begin, this is your chance to get on the popular attractions and ride without a line! This is the best time to run around the parks and enjoy everything there is to offer! If you don’t mind missing the fireworks or shows, this is the perfect time to get everything done you couldn’t when crowds were at their peak.

Slinky Dog Dash
What popular attraction will you run to when the night time shows start and crowds die down? Photo by Jamie Michaels (CC BY 2.0)

10. Special Tickets To Experience Without Crowds

Disney offers some special add-ons to your park ticket that gives you special experiences that are exclusive and away from the crowds. Check out special boat rides to enjoy the fireworks, private tours, even special taste testing and more! It may be an additional cost, but it well worth the price tag when you are away from the crowds and enjoying once in a lifetime experiences!

Family watching Disney Fireworks
Take time to enjoy the fireworks shows offered at Disney (Photo: Disney).

Disney definitely can get crowded which can cause long lines and waits. Being patient and being prepared to wait is the first step to battling crowds. With these 10 tips though, you should be well prepared and ready to zoom through Disney at its busiest without a problem! No matter how many people are there with you at Disney, you still will have a more than magical time.

Featured Photo: Disney.

Written by

Erin Bonsall


Contributing Writer

Erin is a stay at home mom of 4 little boys outside Charlotte, NC. She remembers one magical Disney trip at a young age, but having children made her want to bring her own kids to the happiest place on earth! One trip 7 years ago started a love for everything Disney! Now her family visits Disney World as much as possible and it is their favorite place to make magical memories!

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