How to deal with Walt Disney World crowds

Wouldn’t it be cool to be at Walt Disney World when there were no crowds? No crowds at Disney World!!! Sign me up.

 

The hub at the Magic Kingdom without any Disney World crowds

An Empty Magic Kingdom. Now that would be Magic – photo by Judd Helms

 

Unfortunately, that’s not reality. The picture above was taken before the park opened.

 

Disney World crowds are stressful. They are aggravating. They will drive you nuts!

 

To deal with them you have to know two things:

  • When to go to avoid them
  • How to deal with them

Let’s start with:

How to Deal with Disney World Crowds – Avoid Them

 

Cinderella Castle and Mickey Balloons on Main Street USA at Disney's Magic Kingdom

Aren’t those balloons beautiful? – Photo by Disney Photo Snapper

 

The best way to deal with the crowds at WDW is to go when the crowds are smaller. That’s why every year Dad creates his Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars.

 

Dad's 2020 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars
This overview shows you all the months combined, but for a more in depth look at crowds and factors that affect how busy WDW will be each month, check out our monthly crowd pages:

Dad’s Calendars are based on crowd levels from previous years and sprinkled heavily with Dad’s famous intuition (I know, men don’t have intuition, but Dad does).

Dad’s Disney World Crowd Calendars page

The Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World

 

The Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree with crowds around it

Christmas time is the Best Time to Visit Disney World – Photo by Judd Helms

 

One of the questions I get asked all the time is “when is the best time to visit Disney World”? It’s a good question. The answer is “anytime you can”.

 

Yes, some times are better than others. That’s why I created a few pages about the best times.

 

Each year I pick the 5 best weeks to visit.

Dad’s Best Weeks to visit WDW in 2020 page

I also have a main page that lists all the factors that go into choosing when to go.

Dad’s Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World page

The Worst Time to Visit Disney World

If you talk about the best, you probably should talk about the worst. OK.

 

There are some times of the year you probably should avoid if you can when you plan a trip to Walt Disney World.

 

Check out Dad’s list of the worst time to visit WDW.

Dad’s Worst Time to Visit Disney World page

OK, we know when to go and not to go to avoid Disney World crowds, now we need to know how to deal with the crowds if we can’t go during the slow times and if (it happens) the slow times aren’t so slow.

How to Deal with Disney World Crowds – Dad’s Top 10 Tips

 

Big Crowds on Main Street

Crowds can get a little crazy at times – photo by Laurie Sapp

 

I’ve gathered my top 10 tips for avoiding and dealing with Walt Disney World Crowds all into one place. There are strategies and secrets that will save you hours of standing in line.

Dad’s Top 10 WDW Crowd Tips

Each park is unique and there are some special methods for avoiding lines that work at each park. Dad has tips for reducing time in line for each park.

 

You want to know what to do in each park? OK, check it out …

You’ll be amazed by what you find in these pages.

 

Trust me…

The Tools for Dealing with the Crowds at WDW

 

The FastPass+ sign for the Fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom

At one time you could even FastPass fireworks – photo by Cliff Wang

Disney has some pretty awesome tools to deal with long lines and avoiding crowds. Let’s take a look.

 

When Disney introduced FastPass, way back in 1999, it immediately became the best tool to avoid lines at the parks. Back then you’d get your paper FastPass, you take it to the ride at the time on it. No wait. YES!

 

In 2013, FastPass went digital and became FastPass+. Now it’s all on your MagicBand or ticket and you can now SCHEDULE FastPass times.

 

See more about FastPass+ on:

Dad’s FastPass+ page

The second tool that really helps avoiding crowds at WDW is Extra Magic Hours. I love Extra Magic Hours (EMH).

 

Extra Magic Hours is a program that lets Disney Hotel guests experience the parks outside of normal operating hours. For example, the Magic Kingdom is scheduled to open at 9:00 (typical) and on this day there are morning Extra Magic Hours at 8:00. Disney hotel guest could get into the park at 8 and get an hour head start.

 

Evening EMH are normally 2 hours after the park officially closes.

 

The crowds during Extra Magic Hours are usually really small. It’s a great way to avoid the crowds at Disney World.

Dad’s Extra Magic Hours Page

You Need a Plan

 

 

The last and best tool you can have at WDW is a plan. Yes, you need a plan when you go to Disney World. No, you can’t just “wing it”. Excuse me, yes, you can just “wing it”, but you’ll be sorry.

 

I so believe in having a PLAN when you go to Disney World, I wrote a whole book about it. When I talk about a PLAN in the book it’s always capitalized. It’s that important.

Dad’s Book on Amazon.com

Everyone Needs Some Help

I am a firm believer in getting some professional help when it comes to a trip to Walt Disney World. It’s way too big of an investment to not get all the help you can.

 

For years, I have been using Destinations To Travel to help me plan my trips. Yes, even I get help with my trips. Sure, I can do it myself, but I’ve learned to turn it over to my friends and let them do the “dirty work” and I just sit back and enjoy.

 

Trust me, get in touch with Destinations to Travel and they’ll take care of you.

Dad’s Destinations to Travel page

 

Dad’s Bottom Line

Walt Disney World Crowds are part of every WDW vacation. How are you going to deal with them? That’s the question. Dad’s a big avoider, so I’m looking for the best times to visit when there are no crowds.

 

But I do know how to handle them if they show up. Hopefully now you do too.

 

Crowds or no crowds, it’s always time to create Magical memories at Walt Disney World.

 

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