- Downloading the My Disney Experience app allows guests to make FastPass+ plans for attractions and place mobile orders for food.
- Other apps like Play Disney and Heads Up! can make long lines more entertaining.
- The parks offer a variety of interactive and indoor queues to stay entertained and beat the heat.
- Visiting the parks outside of peak times and popular seasons can help reduce wait times.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Disney World can be magical, but it can also be hot, crowded, and a little stressful – especially with so many new attractions opening.
Fortunately, waiting in a few lines doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your trip.
Here are some helpful hacks for maximizing your time at Disney World.
Download the My Disney Experience app.
If you’re planning a visit to Disney World, the My Disney Experience app is a lifesaver. Before and during your trip, you can use it to make FastPass+ and dining reservations, link your tickets to your MagicBand, and connect with family and friends to manage everyone’s trip.
The app will update wait times for attractions and meet and greets as they change, so it’s great to check throughout the day to plan your time efficiently. It will also update when an attraction is down, so you never have to walk all the way across the park only to be disappointed.
If you’re planning on catching a few shows, parades, or nighttime spectaculars, the app also has all those times listed.
Stay at a Disney Resort.
If you’re really trying to make the most of your time at Disney World, it’s helpful to stay on property.
Disney Resorts start at around $US158 per night, and for that price, you get access to the park during Extra Magic Hours and use of the resort monorails, ferries, and buses that bring you right to the parks.
You can check the My Disney Experience app to see the calendar.
Make FastPass+ plans as early as possible.
FastPass+ selections can be reserved for free 30 days before your trip – or 60 days before if you’re staying at a Disney Resort or Disney Springs Area Hotel – and it’s best to choose them as early as possible within that window.
Once your ticket is linked to your My Disney Experience account, you can reserve up to three selections per day as long as they’re at the same park.
The app will prompt you with available attractions and times, so you can plan your day around those three selections. However, if you’re planning on making more as the day goes on, it’s best to plan your first three selections as early in the day as possible.
You won’t be able to make a new reservation until all three of your original FastPass+ plans have been used, but after that, you can reserve them one at a time as long as there are still some available.
To make the most of your day, try and secure FastPass+ plans for the most popular attractions. In Magic Kingdom, that means Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight.
In Animal Kingdom, aim for Avatar Flight of Passage or Expedition Everest. Finally in Epcot, you’ll want to score one for Frozen Ever After or Soarin’.
Make use of the single-rider lines.
The single-rider line allows individuals to skip a chunk of the line in order to fill in all the seats for each train, rocket, or car.
There’s no guarantee that the line will be shorter, but odds are you’ll get to the front pretty quickly, especially for attractions with an odd number of seats like Space Mountain.
There isn’t a single-rider line for every attraction, but rides like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Test Track do a good job of advertising theirs.
You have to know where to look for certain rides, like Expedition Everest and Space Mountain, but the easiest way to check if the single-rider line is open is by asking the cast member at the front of the attraction.
Use Rider Switch if you’re visiting with small children, reluctant riders, or those who are unable to participate in certain attractions.
Rider Switch will be key for any party travelling with small children or hesitant riders.
The service is only available for some attractions, but again, the easiest way to check is to ask a cast member.
If it is available, you’ll need to pick at least one adult to stay back with the individual who won’t or is unable to ride. Once you obtain your Rider Switch pass from the cast member, the initial riders will wait in the normal line.
When the first group comes out of the attraction, the adult who didn’t get to ride the first time can present their Rider Switch pass and go through the FastPass+ line with up to two other people.
Go left instead of right as soon as you enter the park.
It may seem too good to be true, but one of the ways you can beat the lines at Disney World is by always choosing the queue or attraction to the left.
As some Disney cast members will tell you, most people start their park journey by going to the right. So, by going to Adventure Land first thing in the morning at Magic Kingdom or choosing to go left at a split in the queue, you’ll probably spend a little less time waiting.
Find fun ways to pass the time.
Waiting in line is inevitable, no matter how well you plan, but it’s easy to make the time pass quickly. Download an app like Heads Up! that everyone in your group can play – and don’t be surprised if the other people around you join in, too.
Certain rides allow for guests to bring snacks and drinks in line too, so don’t be afraid to grab a cold drink or something yummy to enjoy while you wait.
Download the Play Disney App.
Better yet, download the Play Disney app, and you’ll find interactive games all over the parks. From trivia, to themed missions, to playlists, the app can help keep you entertained even when you’re waiting in line.
Additionally, you can win attraction and entertainment achievements through the app that unlock limited-release trading pins.
Hit the rides when other guests are distracted.
Lines for attractions tend to be a little shorter during parades, fireworks, castle shows, and mealtimes.
If you’ve already seen the nighttime spectaculars or parades, it’s a great time to rush over to the most popular attractions. The same goes for peak mealtimes.
Instead of waiting in line for food, place mobile orders.
The app will update you when your food is ready, so you can maximise your time and make sure no one gets hangry.
Wait in indoor queues to beat the heat.
If you have to wait in line, you might as well make the best use of it.
Make use of the interactive queues.
If you have kids, or kids-at-heart, in your group, Disney World has installed a number of interactive queues.
When you’re picking FastPasses, keep these in mind because you may prefer to wait in these lines over others.
Attractions like Haunted Mansion and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh added interactive games to their queues that are perfect for stir-crazy children.
Newer attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance have completely immersive queues that are sure to capture everyone’s attention.
Plan ahead for shows so you don’t waste time making your way to a show that’s already begun.
In addition to the rides, Disney World also has a variety of shows throughout the parks.
These range from 10-minute 3D movies to 30-minute live productions, and they’re a great way to stay entertained.
Queues for shows tend to be a little shorter because they empty into large theatres, but before you get in line make sure you’re looking up the showtimes.
If a show says it starts at 12:00 p.m., you’ll want to get in line 20 to 30 minutes early to secure your spot. If you arrive at the showtime, the show will have already started, and you’ll have to wait for the next show.
Go early and stay late.
Getting to park at rope drop (when the park opens) is the best way to avoid waiting in line for popular attractions.
If you’re not a morning person, staying late into the night can work the same way – the last hour before closing can often be a great time to hit the rides that have had long lines all day long.
If you’re feeling exhausted, take a midday break to head back to your hotel and take a nap. You’ll be missing out on the hottest, most crowded part of the day to catch up on sleep, and you’ll be refreshed enough to hit the parks around dinnertime when people are starting to leave.
Avoid visiting the parks during peak season.
The parks don’t only have peak times, they also have peak seasons.
If you’re only interested in riding as many rides as possible, it’s best to avoid Disney World from October through New Year’s because those are some of the parks’ busiest times of the year. If you do plan a trip then, be prepared to wait in a few more lines.
The same goes for the festivals at Epcot. The International Festival of the Arts, International Flower and Garden Festival, Food & Wine Festival, and International Festival of the Holidays span across most of the calendar year, however, there are pockets of the year without festivals, dubbed “diet Epcot,” where the park sees significantly fewer guests.
If you’re looking to avoid crowds, it’s also probably best to steer clear of the parks when new attractions open – like Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway this March and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure this summer.