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Managing Walt Disney World Crowds

Published March 3, 2014 by Christine Hardenberger


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How can I avoid the crowds at Walt Disney World?  Every day, I am asked this question.  Everyone wants to get the most out of their time at Disney and they want to avoid the Disney World crowds and long lines.  Is it possible?  YES!  These days, there are always some crowds at Disney but there are still times when you might find yourself walking alone for a few hundred yards in the World Showcase.  Here are some tips to help you make the most of your next Disney adventure:

The first think I recommend is traveling just before school lets out for the summer or just after it goes back into session. The week right after Labor Day (when many schools start their sessions) is one of the slowest of the year.  Early May is also a great choice to avoid the crush.

Travel just before or just after school breaks.  The first two weeks in December and January typically have light crowds.

Always check for special events at Disney or the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Disney looks to bring in guests at slower times of year and will often host sports competitions or other special events.  This means packed parks and resorts. You don’t want to get stuck in a resort with several hundred practicing cheerleaders!  Check here to make sure you aren’t traveling at event time:  http://espnwwos.disney.go.com/ and http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-events/

If you have to visit Disney World during a busier time of year, there are some strategies you can employ to visit the parks at the least crowded times:

Take a rest from 11am-2pm, Trust me, you need it!  These are the peak park hours and everything will be at its most crowded.  Go to the park in the morning, take a lunch time break and return in the late afternoon.

Skip Morning Extra Magic Hours These tend to be packed.  However, the Evening Extra Magic hours are much less crowded and a great time to ride the most popular rides.   Many people (especially those with small kids) have spent the day at the parks and are too tired to hang around until midnight or later.

Take a weekend break If you have scheduled a day in your vacation to rest by the pool, do it on a Saturday or Sunday.  The weekends see day-trippers added to the normal vacation crowd and the parks are more crowded.

The truth is that there are no empty times at Walt Disney World.  However, you can avoid the major Disney World crowds and spend your time riding the rides rather than standing in line!

Contact us at 800-272-7739 or christine@magicalmouseplans.com today to book your next Disney adventure!

Christine Hardenberger (The Vacation Architect­­­­­­­TM) can help you navigate the travel maze.  She is an authority on Disney, Universal Studios and cruise vacations.  She has been recently featured on MSNBC’s Today Travel, Trekaroo and the book Ultimate Family Travel Hacks:  How to Have More Fun, Save $$ and Avoid Melt-downs When Your Family Hits the Road.  Contact her at 800-272-7739 or Christine@magicalmouseplans.com and let her create a blueprint for a better vacation! 

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