How to avoid the crowds in Walt Disney World

The crowds in Walt Disney World can be bad, no matter when you go there are going to be people around but during the summer months, particularly the early part of summer (July - Mid August) it’s very crowded. But just because it's crowded doesn't mean you have to be part of the crowd - with these simple tips you can avoid the crowds!

Pay attention

The key to avoiding crowds and even getting to rides sooner is paying attention. It might sound like a silly thing to say but look around, pay attention to what is going on and act on the information you have. For example, at bag check near the entrance to every park they have lines. The line that moves the quickest is the one you want to be in. Take a minute to scan the area and decide on the right line to join. The quicker you get into the park the quicker you can get to the rides. 

Norway pavilion, almost empty, in World Showcase at Epcot, Walt Disney World.
Getting into World Showcase early is key to avoiding most of the people!

The same goes for the actual entrance to the park, if you’re there at opening time there will always be a Cast Member about to open another queue. Keep your eyes peeled and be ready to swap lines if necessary!

Go in the opposite direction

When you enter the park if you see the majority of the crowd heading in one direction - go the other way. When we go to Magic Kingdom the boys get to ride Space Mountain more than once because they don’t follow the crowd. They know which rides they want to go on and Space Mountain is usually one of them! At Epcot most people tend to head straight to Test Track, whereas we head towards Soarin’. By going in the opposite direction you avoid the crowds and get to ride rides sooner than others!

Italy pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot, Walt Disney World.
Italy pavilion just after opening - almost empty!

See attractions almost empty

By using the tactic above you can get onto rides and attractions before anyone else. The thing I love most about being somewhere the crowds aren’t are the amazing photos I get to take because the place is almost empty. I have had times where I’ve been able to snap a photo of the Italy pavilion with no one else in the photo because we got there early enough. Even in Magic Kingdom, in an area I thought was always busy I’ve been able to get photos without anyone in them! 

Be the first into an area

I’m using World Showcase as an example because I love it and always like being there early. The boys love it when we get there early because they can do their pin trading with Cast Members in the country pavilions and usually get some of the best pins! They get to interact with the cheerful Cast Members and we leave smiling because we’ve avoided the crowds.

The America pavilion in World Showcase, Epcot, Walt Disney World with no crowds
The World Showcase is almost empty when it opens.

Use Fastpass+

Fastpass+ is basically the queue jumping service. You can prebook a time slot for you to return to a particular ride and go on without much of a wait. Sometimes you’ll find that there’s a short queue in the Fastpass line but it’s not usually very long. If you’re staying on property you can book your Fastpasses 60 days before the day you arrive, and for the entire length of your stay (or about 2 weeks). Before our trip this summer we booked lots of Fastpasses and planned our entire trip to Walt Disney World because we knew that was the easiest way of guaranteeing avoiding the crowds.

Why it’s good to avoid the crowds

When you’re an introvert like me avoiding crowds becomes kind of a hobby. I don’t like being around lots of other people. You may wonder why on earth I would choose to go to Walt Disney World during the summer if I don’t like crowds but that’s when it’s best too (in our opinion). We love visiting in the summer and we’ve learned ways to avoid the crowds during our many trips.

A queue of people wait in line to go on Astro Orbiter in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
The queue for Astro Orbiter, growing while we ride the Peoplemover!

More often than not we will walk in the opposite direction to most other people choosing to go further into the parks before heading to a ride queue rather than joining the first queue we come to. This is most obvious when you enter Epcot first thing in a morning. You’ll notice that the first ride you come to, Spaceship Earth, will have a long queue almost immediately. People join the queue as soon as they enter Epcot and the queue ends up long. But if you wait until later in the day, perhaps when you’re heading out of the park towards the afternoon you’ll see that there’s almost NO QUEUE for Spaceship Earth. Many times we’ve gone onto Spaceship Earth as we were leaving the park - with no wait! And the same goes for other parks too. 

Visit later in summer

If you can visit towards the end of the summer - towards the end of August. This is when the American children go back to school and the crowds are a lot smaller. We have noticed queues have shorter wait times and there’s a lot more breathing space towards the end of our holiday. It’s much easier to do the things you like or get on the rides you prefer when there aren’t as many people about.

How to avoid the crowds in Walt Disney World

Seeing crowds, and being part of them, is inevitable in Walt Disney World during the summer months but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a magical time. By avoiding the crowds when you can and booking fast passes to beat the lines you’re sure to have a wonderful time.

Do you try to avoid the crowds when in Walt Disney World?

If you're thinking of booking a holiday to Walt Disney World but haven't done so yet you should read Why you should visit Walt Disney World, and once you've read that check out How to make your trip to Walt Disney World more magical.

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