Walking into a Walt Disney World Park is overwhelming in the best way possible. It can be difficult to know what to do first between the music, magic, smells, and fun attractions that beckon; it can be difficult to know what to do first!
As a proud Disney Fanatic, many of you may plan ahead for your trip and may be wondering how you can do and see it all. I’ll let you in on a secret — there are some experiences that Disney “insiders” rarely do. Yes, for better or worse, there are some experiences we choose to cut in favor of reallocating our time to other attractions or activities. This is not a hard and fast list of what to skip in the Parks as each family has different preferences. Still, consider using this list to inspire your own attraction/experience “pass list” just in case you do not have time to see and do it all.
Pro Park Tip- Do Not Wait Too Long
Some call this spoiled; I call it strategic. You will not find Disney pros waiting too long in line. How long is too long, you ask? That is subjective, but for my family, twenty minutes is our magic number. Time spent in line is missed time enjoying the Park, so Disney Insiders use ride wait time apps in the months leading up to vacation to learn wait trends at attractions and plan accordingly. The Wait Times for Disney World app provides a glance-able list of attraction wait times that are super simple to use while on vacation and leading up to vacation as you plan.
Monitoring wait times will help you know which attractions routinely have very long wait times, allowing you the opportunity to snag a FastPass for those attractions. Next, notice which attractions have long lines that you did not secure a FastPass for, head toward those attractions at Park opening to hop on before the long line forms. Finally, hit other attractions in order of wait time, knowing that some attractions see smaller lines at night.
This ride always has a line, and it’s usually a pretty long one. Due in part to the ride load time and low ride capacity, this attraction is a pass for many Disney fans. When you finally board the attraction, the actual ride time is short. While the ride queue is partially shaded, this is still a hotline to wait in.
Frozen Ever After
This ride is cute and a fun must-see at least once, but many Disney fans who visit often will pass this up unless they snag a FastPass (soon to be Lightning Lane). Little ones are in such a Frozen frenzy that this ride routinely climbs to ninety-minute wait times. We love that this ride queue is mostly inside (except on days when the line extends past the entrance and into the Norway pavilion, or worse, China!) so we can soak up the refreshing air conditioning. Still, this ride is a hard pass for lots of Disney fans — in fact, they might just tell you they miss the classic Maelstrom ride that used to reside in this spot.
Pro Park Tip- Skip Hot Rides
We don’t mean hot as in popular, hot as in flaming Florida heat. Seasoned Disney pros skip attractions that involve waiting in the sun. Think The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Jungle Cruise, and Na’vi River Journey. There are some fun attractions that Disney insiders will pass on during the hottest part of the day. If one of the rides with hotter line queues is on your must-see list, consider riding it early in the day or in the evening, so you can beat the heat and enjoy the attraction.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is classic and beautiful, but you will rarely find a Disney pro waiting in line to ride. The ride is short and almost always has a wait time. While this attraction is a beautiful staple for Fantasyland and does so much for the Park ambiance-wise, the Carrousel does not feel Disney uniquely enough to necessitate the wait.
Na’vi River Journey
Do we love this Avatar-themed boat ride through the bioluminescent forest? Absolutely. Are we standing in sweltering heat for an hour to see it again? No way. This holds true with many of the newer attractions around the parks. Disney fans are excited to experience an attraction for the first time (often visiting on the opening week); however, we prefer to wait for line queues to die down before revisiting newer attractions that have long wait times.
Pro Park Tip- Do Not Order Quick Service Food In-Person
Disney pros routinely used Mobile Ordering in the parks long before health concerns necessitated the switch to exclusively mobile orders at Quick Service restaurants. Some Guests know that time is money, so wasting time in a Quick Service line is a bad idea. Order food on the My Disney Experience app while you are walking toward a restaurant and get notified when your pickup time arrives. This saves time and is a low-stress ordering option for Guests that would rather not squint at the Quick Service menu and rush through a meal decision in line at the register.
Pro Park Tip- Do Not Buy Generic Food
Disney pros are usually not fans of generic food in the Park. By this, I mean we go to Disney World for Mickey-shaped treats and signature snacks we cannot enjoy anywhere else. This means we are passing on a classic ice cream sundae at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies or a chocolate chip cookie at a bakery. We are allocating our Disney dollars toward fun food that we cannot enjoy anywhere else.
Traditional Resort Check-In
Disney Fanatics know the drill, so we often do not take the time for a traditional check-in at our Resort. Virtual check-in is a breeze; Disney texts your room number when your Resort room is ready, and Resort maps are easy to pull up on your phone. There really is no need to hit Guest Services in the Resort lobby to check in an old-fashioned way.
What are your Disney tips?