by Dole Whip Diva
Anyone who travels to Disney World often understands that there are some times that you just should not be in the parks. These include March and April (Spring break), the entire summer, the weeks around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the weeks leading up to and right after Christmas. Sometimes, traveling to Disney World during these times is unavoidable. I have personally been to Disney World during Christmas,Spring Break, the middle of June, the end of July, and during race weekends. Lots of pre-planning helped these trips still be just as fun as going in September. You shouldn’t feel intimated by traveling to Disney World during busy times of the year. Here are a few tips to help you survive the crowds during your vacation:
1)Book Fastpasses and book them as soon as possible. If you are staying on-property, fastpasses can be booked up to 60 days in advance. If you are off-property, fastpasses can be booked up to 30 days in advance. This is crucial to being able to ride the most popular attractions, which can have wait times of 2+ hours. If you can’t get a fast pass for a ride you really want to do, try getting there at park opening, or get there right before park closing. Midday is going to be the busiest time for these rides.
2)Get familiar with the layout of the parks. You don’t want to waste precious park time by standing around with a map trying to figure out where to go. Study park maps online to get familiar enough with the layout to know where your must-do rides are. You don’t have to know every single square foot of a park because everything is pretty well marked, but you should know the general design of the parks. Never hesitate to ask a cast member where something is.
3)Make dinner reservations. I cannot stress this enough. If you have any plans whatsoever to eat something other than quick-service food, make reservations. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance, and newer restaurants like Be Our Guest fill up almost immediately.
4)Or eat quick service. If food is not a big deal for you and you want to spend as much time playing as you can, choose quick service dining locations to maximize time in the parks. There are some pretty good quick service options, and they don’t require any pre-planning. The only downside to eating quick service is its a little harder to find healthy options. That’s not to say it can’t be done, you just need to do a little research.
5)Eat at earlier or later times. Most people will hit the restaurants around noon and then again around 6-7 p.m. Those are the times when you should hit the most popular rides you didn’t have fast passes for. Trying eating a late lunch or an early dinner. Eating a late dinner can leave you rushing to get in place for the fireworks.
6)Spend more than one day in each park. If your budget allows, spend at least two days in Magic Kingdom. It is by far the hardest park to accomplish everything you want to do. Epcot can also be a little difficult to do in one day, especially if you want to spend a lot of time in the World Showcase.
7)Take an afternoon break. Midday is insanely busy so go back to your hotel to rest, or find a quiet area in the park to rest. One of my favorite ways to rest is getting a good snack and some ice cold water and sitting on the new hub grass. I spent a good 45 minutes just people watching and just relaxing. I also love Impressions de France in EPCOT because it is a long, air conditioned show with comfortable seats, not to mention the beautiful music and scenery. This is another reason why you should spend multiple days in the parks, because no one will be happy after being at Magic Kingdom from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Take breaks and everyone in your party will be much happier.
8)Have patience. Everyone around you wants to have a magical vacation just as much as you do. Everything is much more enjoyable when every guest makes an effort not to get put out so quickly by long waits or large crowds. Your vacation is not going to be any better by losing your temper to a cast member. Show some patience and you’ll find everyone is a little less grumpy.
Disney World can still be a magical place even during peak season. Doing your research before your vacation is absolutely necessary. Know what rides and attractions you want to do, have your dinner reservations made, and know what your quick service options are. Going to Disney without a plan even during low crowd times can be extremely difficult. There are plenty of ways to keep the crowds from ruining your vacation, it just takes a little extra planning and patience!
Feel free to share some of your Peak Season Survival Tips in the comments below! And if you want any help booking your next Disney vacation, Tips from the Disney Divas & Devos recommends Patricia with All for Dreams Travel. Click here for a free quote.