We all know the sinking feeling of realizing that nearly everything in the theme parks has a long line. You walk from ride to ride, or you are in an endless scroll on My Disney Experience, hoping you’ll find something your family wants to do with little to no wait.
When you find yourself stuck in a situation where everything has a long line, it may be frustrating to decide what to do next.
Let us help you come up with a few ideas, because you may be surprised at how much you can still enjoy on a crowded day!
Keep Checking Wait Times
First, it’s important to continue to check wait times frequently throughout the day. Lines will fluctuate, and a ride that has a 60 minute wait at one time of the day could wind up having a ten minute wait later in the day. In general, you’ll want to try to hit up the biggest rides right at rope drop or the last thing at night when crowds tend to thin out.
Sometimes it’s best to hop in line, even when the posted wait time seems long. Often, the posted wait times are actually longer than the actual wait time. We write up reports often on how accurate the wait times are, and we typically find mixed results, from pretty dang accurate to longer or shorter than expected.
If you’re looking for alternate plans in the middle of the afternoon when all of the rides you want to do have long wait times, we have a few ideas!
Check out an underrated ride or attraction with little to no wait.
There are a number of rides and attractions at all four theme parks that almost never have a long wait. Magic Kingdom has several shows you can check out, including Hall of Presidents, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and Carousel of Progress. At EPCOT, the American Adventure and Living With the Land are two attractions that typically have shorter wait times. The films around World Showcase are also great ideas!
Hollywood Studios has shows as well that you’ll be able to grab a seat for relatively fast, including the Mickey and Minnie shorts at Mickey Shorts Theater and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. And at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are several walking trails that you should be able to access right away, allowing your family to check out some neat animals!
Check out the gift shops.
Sometimes a little retail therapy is just what you need on a crowded Disney World day. Just be sure you don’t blow your spending budget on one trip to the stores! You can also participate in pin trading at many of the retail locations around the park. If you already have pins, this is a great cost-free way to interact with Cast Members and add new pins to your collection!
Take in the small details of the parks.
Perhaps the best way to pass time in the theme parks on a crowded day is to simply sit back and relax. Each of the theme parks have areas where you can grab a snack or a drink and take in the sights and sounds of Disney World. At Magic Kingdom, we love to head down Main Street, U.S.A., to watch the character cavalcades and the Dapper Dans or simply to lounge on the hub grass.
EPCOT is full of great spots for food and beverages across World Showcase. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has BaseLine Tap House, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom has Dawa Bar or Nomad Lounge — these are just a few of the many spot you can pull up a chair and kick back for an hour (trust us, you won’t feel like you’re wasting any time when you’re truly relaxing!).
It’s also a good time to hunt for Hidden Mickeys! Ask Cast Members for some suggestions, or look up the many locations where you can spot them — many are visible without having to get in any long lines!
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you want to spend your vacation time when you encounter a ton of long wait times. Sometimes they’re unavoidable, and you’ll wind up waiting in a few of these extended queues during vacation, but other times there are some clever work-arounds you can try to make the experience easier on your family! We hope this list gave you some unique ideas on how to pass the time during busier seasons at Disney World.
What’s your favorite activity to do in Disney World that often requires little to no wait? Let us know in the comments!
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