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Disney World Wait Times: Efficient Ways To Beat The Crowds

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No one likes to spend their Disney vacation waiting in long lines. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to avoid crowds and minimize wait times, from utilizing Extra Magic Hours to visiting during off-peak seasons. Read on as I will share insider tips and tricks on how to make the most of your time in the Parks to maximize your Disney experience. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disney pro, you will discover the best ways to avoid the lines and enjoy all the magic Disney World wait times offer.


Walt Disney World Wait Time App

My Disney Experience App

The Disney World Wait Time App is a powerful tool that can help you make the most of your time in the Parks. This app provides real-time information on wait times for all the attractions and show times, park hours, and even dining information. This app lets you easily plan your day, save time, and avoid lines with longer wait times. One of the app’s great features is the ability to set up push notifications for your favorite attractions.

This means you'll get an alert on your phone when the wait time for that attraction is shorter, allowing you to quickly make your way there and enjoy the ride with minimal wait. Although, at times, you may be across the resort when the notification pops up, it is one of the best feelings in the world when your resort is near the attraction, and you get the ping on your phone that the line is short!

In addition, to wait times, the Disney Experience App also provides helpful information on attraction height requirements, park maps, and even a GPS-enabled feature that helps you find your way around the Parks. Although the GPS feature may sound like a needless option, for first-time parkgoers, it allows you to get to more rides and locations faster… which inevitably correlates to a better experience. 

Walt Disney World Digital / Disney Digital

The app is free on iOS and Android devices and is regularly updated to ensure the most accurate information possible. However, it's important to note that the app can drain your battery quickly. Disney recommends bringing an external charger or portable battery pack to keep your phone charged throughout the day. Trust me when I say this, unless you have a portable charger with you, you may be disappointed when your phone is draining by the second.

Overall, the Disney World Wait Time App is an essential tool for any visitor to the Disney Parks. By using this app, you can avoid wasting time in long lines and make the most of your time enjoying all the magic that the magical place of Disney World has to offer. I still use it to this day, and I know the park map like the back of my hand!

How Long Are Wait Times In Disney World?

tower of terror wait times

Long wait times are common at Disney World, especially during peak seasons and for popular attractions. Some wait times can be as long as several hours, making it difficult to fit in everything you want to do during your visit. However, several factors can impact wait times, including time of day, day of the week, and season.

One of the biggest factors in wait times is the time of day. Generally, wait times are shorter in the morning and evening hours when crowds are thinner. Midday tends to be the busiest time, as many visitors take a break from the heat or have lunch. To avoid this, I love to be one of the first in line when the Parks open!

Another factor is the day of the week. Weekends and holidays tend to be busier than weekdays, as more people are off work and have time to visit the Parks. Nevertheless, there can be exceptions to this rule, such as during special events or promotions. If you are worried about wait times, I suggest not even attempting to enter the theme parks during the holiday season, as every piece of the resort is with guests.

Also read Space Mountain In Disney World: A Joyous Ride

Average Wait Time For Rides


The average wait time for a Disney World attraction is 36 minutes, while the average ride is just 8 minutes long. For each ride you want to visit, prepare to spend 82% of your time in line.

The attraction with the longest average wait time is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, with an average wait time of 127 minutes. The attraction with the shortest average wait time is Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, with an average wait time of 5 minutes.

Wait Times At Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, And Animal Kingdom

The queues at Hollywood Studios are the longest (41 minutes), while EPCOT has the shortest lines (26 minutes). The rides in EPCOT also have the longest runtimes (9.2 minutes), while those at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have the shortest runtimes (7.3 minutes).

Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are Disney Parks where you may get the most for your money. In a typical 12-hour day at the parks, visitors can ride 1.7 rides every hour or close to 20 rides. By doing so, visitors who make the most of their time in the park spend about $6.90 for each ride on a $138 ticket.

Since 26% and 20% of the total attraction time is spent riding, EPCOT and Magic Kingdom are the parks where you may spend the least time waiting in lines.

Early Morning Magic, a premium Disney event, gives you early access to a select group of top-tier attractions. You can enter Magic Kingdom at 7:45 am and board any type of the seven selected attractions without having to wait in queue for $70 per person each day.  In other words, if the park opens at 9, you have one hour and fifteen minutes to experience some of the top Magic Kingdom attractions before the regular crowd arrives at 9.

At the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks, there is a unique ticketed evening activity known as Disney After Hours. The ticket holder receives three hours of additional park time after regular operation hours on specific dates throughout the year.

Wait Times Are Often Impacted By The Season

splash mountain wait times

Finally, wait times are often impacted by the season. Summer is typically the busiest time, as families with school-aged children are on a magical vacation. Spring break and Christmas break can also be busy times. On the other hand, fall and winter tend to be quieter and the best time to visit Walt Disney World, with shorter wait times and smaller crowds.

Despite the long wait times, there are several strategies you can use to minimize the time spent waiting in line, including utilizing Genie+, arriving early, and taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours. By planning and being strategic with your time, you can make the most of your Disney World experience and minimize wait times as much as possible. 

It is vital to come inside the Parks with a clear mind as, at times, the lines may be longer than expected. This will put you at ease and not stress about how you will get everything done!

Taking Advantage Of Extra Magic Hours To Avoid Crowds

sunshine flyer

As I previously pointed out, Extra Magic Hours (EMH) is a great way to avoid wait times at Disney World. EMH are special hours exclusively for Disney resort guests, during which select Parks open early or stay open late. During these hours, crowds tend to be lighter, and wait times are often shorter, making it a prime opportunity to ride your favorite attractions with minimal wait. Making touring plans is important to take advantage of this extra time. Check the Park hours for the days you'll be visiting and note any EMH opportunities.

Then, plan to arrive at the park during the EMH period and head straight to the attractions you want to ride to before the crowds arrive. Utilizing the My Disney Experience app to check wait times and plan your strategy is also a good idea. Take advantage of the shorter lines during EMH to ride the sought-after attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Avatar Flight of Passage, which can have wait times upwards of two hours during peak periods.

Keep in mind that EMH can be busy, so it's important to arrive early to beat the crowds. Also, be aware that not all attractions will be open during EMH, so check the schedule ahead of time to avoid disappointment. In conclusion, Extra Magic Hours offer a great way to make the most of your Disney World experience and minimize wait times. With a little planning and strategy, you can enjoy your favorite attractions with shorter lines and more time to explore the Parks. It is a complete win-win in my eyes!

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