With school vacations coming up, Walt Disney World is going to be crowded with lots of families visiting the parks. Last year, we visited Walt Disney World during Thanksgiving, which is one of the busiest weeks, and still had the chance to experience all of the parks and rides – it just took a little more strategic planning. If you are headed on a Walt Disney World family vacation over the next few months, do some planning in advance and you’ll still have the chance to enjoy everything.
Disclosure: Affiliate links within. Purchasing and/or clicking on some of the links may result in a small commission paid to us at no additional cost to you. I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel, and some of my trips to Walt Disney World were complimentary. All opinions are my own.
Save money on your Walt Disney World theme park tickets by booking through Get Away Today. They offer vacation packages as well as individual ticket sales. Disney travel agents don’t charge guests an extra commission and can help you find deals.
Walt Disney World Crowd Tips
Start your days early
Before going on vacation, it’s a good idea to make a list of everything that you want to see. When on vacation, head out to the parks at rope drop (i.e., when they open). You’ll typically be able to get through the turnstiles before the official opening, so arrive well in advance.
Utilize Genie+ extensively
Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes are an added expense when it comes to your Walt Disney World vacation. You’ll have to purchase them as a separate add-on to your theme park ticket, which is already expensive. However, It can be a great way to save time at the parks.
Our guide to Genie+ includes all of the information you’ll need to know. Genie+ allows you to go through the lightning lane for a shorter wait time. When the parks are crowded, it can be essential.
Get the park hopper option
I know that base tickets to Walt Disney World are already expensive, but I do recommend the park hopper option for your tickets. It’ll allow you much more flexibility in your days, and if one park is too busy, you can just head to another one that may not be as busy. Keep in mind that at this time, you’ll need to wait until 2pm before you can move to the next park.
The park hopper option is also great for families that may want to dine in one park while visiting another.
Make your dining reservations early
It can be very difficult to get into popular Walt Disney World restaurants any time of year, but during school vacations, it’s nearly impossible. Make your dining reservations early to be more likely to get your choice of dining locations and times. During busy times, you can’t just walk up to the table-service restaurants hoping to be seated.
Take breaks in the afternoon
We’ve found that the afternoon is generally when the parks are busiest (and often the hottest). Taking a break in the middle of the day – either by napping in your room or checking out your resort pool, is a great way to avoid the crowds and the heat.
Use the My Disney Experience App
The My Disney Experience app is essential in keeping you organized during your Disney vacation. The free Genie (different from the paid Genie+), can provide you with some tips and a basic schedule for experiencing the things you want to do.
In addition, if you plan to go to any quick service restaurants, mobile ordering can be extremely helpful and time-saving. During my summer trip, I used mobile ordering for every quick service meal and saved a lot of time. You can link your payment method and make the purchase quickly.
Here are some Walt Disney World hotels that I recommend – check out prices and reviews at these links. Please note that I experienced some of these resorts as part of press trips, but all opinions are my own.
- Disney’s Beach Club
- Disney Swan and Dolphin
- Disney’s Art of Animation
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Gaylord Palms
- JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
- World Center Marriott
Have you traveled during school vacations to Disney World? What are your Disney World Crowd Tips?