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By: Disney DivaIf you’re a loyal Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos reader you’ve heard me say about 548 times that you need to be at the park EARLY to avoid crazy long lines. Yet some of you still choose to ignore my advice. I’m a Professor and I specifically teach Rhetoric, which is the Art of Persuasion. I understand that I must persuade you both through Credibility (we call that ethos), Emotion (we call that pathos) and with Logic (we call that logos) to get you to do what I want you to do. So if you’ll give me just a few minutes I’ll do my best to persuade you that you MUST be at park opening for your next Walt Disney World vacation. 

Ethos (aka credibility) 
I have been to Walt Disney World approximately 15 times since 2001 and have spent over 100 days on Walt Disney World Property. I went four times in just the past year. We have been to Walt Disney World in February for the Princess Half Marathon, March for Spring Break, the first two weeks of May, throughout June, October for Fall Break/Halloween, mid-November, and during the first three weeks of December, so we know what lines look like throughout the year both in busy times and less crowded times.

I started the Tips from the Disney Diva and Devos website in 2007 and it has grown to be a trusted resource for people all over the world planning Disney trips. We’ve had over 2.5 MILLION page views over 8 years and currently have over 200,000 page views per month. We have over 5,500 Facebook Fans and many loyal Twitter fans. 

My husband and I have two children who have been to Disney pretty much their entire lives. We’ve taken them on trips from toddlers to pre-teens. We have not missed a park opening in over 5 years unless we did it intentionally by planning a breakfast dining reservation during that time AND we often stay until park closing, even if its 1- 2 am. 

And here comes the big one: We have not stood in a line over 30 minutes in length in 5+ years.

Pathos (aka Emotion)
So, how many of you have spent a lot of money for this Walt Disney World vacation? Go ahead and raise your hand because even if you’re doing it “on the cheap” you’ve still dropped at least a grand. How many of you have dreamed of having a vacation as perfect as those you see in the Walt Disney World commercials? You may even tear up a little when you see them.You are looking for magic, you are longing to give your friends and family a temporary escape into a world of fantasy where they have your full attention and they get to meet their favorite characters! You can hardly wait for the first time your loved one meets Mickey, whether they’re an infant or an adult.

How many of you have dreamed of a romantic moment kissing the one you love with fireworks shooting over the castle? You’ve dreamed of the excitement of being on safari in Animal Kingdom or the adventure of “exploring the World” in Epcot. 

And how many of you picture having giant fights with your families, having blisters on your feet from walking all day, and melting down over a child that simply will NOT STOP CRYING? None of you right? 

Well then why you should take my advice and be at park opening and take a break in the middle of the day then return in the evenings. 

We need rest, we need respite from the hottest part of the day, and my method of being there at park opening and breaking mid-day allows us to be happier, more relaxed people and enjoy vacation you’ve  paid so much for. 

Overwhelmingly I’ve found that my family members, as well as people who take my advice, are HAPPIER, enjoy their time in the park more, and believe they get MORE for their money by taking breaks than people who choose to “barrel through” and stay all day or come in late and stand in longer lines. 

Don’t you WANT your family to be happy? Don’t you WANT to be able to stand in less lines and enjoy more rides on your Disney vacation? Don’t you WANT to be your families HERO? Don’t you WANT everyone to remember this trip as an enjoyable time with family as opposed to a giant, expensive, exhaustive, screaming match? My guess is yes. Following Disney Diva’s advice and being at Park Opening is part of that. 

Logos (aka logic)
A) When they open the park there is NOBODY in ANY line. Which means every single ride has a ZERO wait time. So even if it is the third ride you ride, even if you cross the park to get to your second ride, the line will still be SMALL. Why? Because the park has only been open a short time! 

B) When you arrive before park opening THREE major time consuming parts of this process happens PRIOR to you entering the park.

1) You can park if you’re staying off property and ride trams/monorails with more ease OR have time to board your bus and transport to your park which is very time consuming.

          2) You get to go ahead and get your bag checked (which can take a while).

3) You get to go ahead and go through the ticket lines. They then corral you into one location that allows you to get further into the park. At Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom you’re practically in the CENTER of the park before the park is even open. So you are closer to the rides you want to go to. This gets you earlier fast pass times and shorter wait times. Which means more rides in a shorter amount of time.

C) The way you maximize your money at Disney is by doing more rides quicker. The park gets more and more “Full” as the day goes on. Usually by 10:30 am ride lines are getting long. So by coming in later you are actually LOSING ride time because you’re spending more time waiting in lines and less time riding the rides. You are also unlikely to be able to get FastPasses for rides that are typically long because they will have been emptied out by all the people who were there early, which means you will wait in standby lines LONGER. 

D) The experts say that early morning risers are more productive all around.

Renee Bliss at the University of Toronto found in 2012 that “…research has suggested that morning-type people report feeling happier than evening-type people”.

A Men’s Journal 2013 article states that “we’re just better equipped to do anything physically demanding in the morning. Our hormone levels peak early.”

Harvard biologist Christopher Randler discovered in 2010 that early risers are more proactive and that they’re more likely to anticipate problems and minimize them efficiently. This is important when you’re trying to decide which ride you should go to first.

Even Forbes says there are advantages of waking up early! They say in their article that early risers are better planners and are more optimistic.

E) Florida is HOT. In June, July, and August the average high temperature is 91.5 degrees and even in February the average temperature is 71. That’s BEFORE you add the humidity which makes the air feel significantly heavier and causes you to sweat more and exhaust faster. You are more likely to hit cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings than in the middle part of the day.

The hottest part of the day is between the hours of 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, which is when we suggest you take your mid-day break from Disney to take a nap and rest up. It also happens to be the most crowded part of the day at Disney because of the 3:00 parade which people on their first trips are unlikely to miss. 

F) It’s proven. Last November we were able to complete SIX rides at Magic Kingdom in the first hour of park opening. The second hour we were only able to complete THREE, and we weren’t even standing in 30 minute plus lines. That’s a 50% loss of productivity. 

G) Waking up early and taking a nap mid day makes you happier and healthier, both things you will need to ENJOY your Disney vacation. Psychology Today says that naps can:

  • Reduce drowsiness and fatigue
  • Restore alertness
  • Improve cognitive performance
  • Sharpen motor skills
  • Decrease errors and accidents
  • Enhance mood
  • Ease premenstrual symptoms

That article also states that an early afternoon nap time, starting somewhere between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm is optimal. 

I have now attempted to persuade you for the case for being at park opening on your Disney Vacation. I have told you why you should believe me, why it will make your vacation fantastic and more enjoyable, as well as maximize your money. 

I hope you will consider taking my advice and just giving it a try. I believe you will see that I am right and will never again miss a park opening.

Good luck!