How to Enjoy Disney If You or Someone in Your Crew Hates Crowds
For the vast majority of people, Disney World is an absolutely magical place. In fact, many of us can’t even imagine how a person wouldn’t enjoy this incredible place full of excitement and wonder.
That said, there are some people who just cannot stand crowds. For these people, Disney World is a place that couldbe magical and fun, but the crowds—which are admittedly insane at times—are just too much to handle. These people tend to become anxious around large crowds, something that sucks all the fun out of visiting the parks.
If you or someone in your family can’t stand large crowds, you might just be convinced that Disney World isn’t the place for you. While we can understand where you’re coming from, we also happen to know some tips and tricks for helping you navigate around crowds and prevent the throngs from ruining your family vacation.
Try these out to see what you think.
1. Go During Off-Season
The first and most important thing you can do to ensure the crowd levels are as low as possible is to go during the off-season. This means avoiding school breaks (when kids are more likely to be flooding the parks), as well as holidays (when families will be visiting to celebrate).
Focus on going in mid-January, early February, late-August, and/or the month of September. These times of year tend to see the lowest crowd levels, making your vacation more enjoyable for all.
2. Take Your Time
Because there’s so much to see and do at Disney World, it can be tempting to try to rush from one thing to the next and see it all. Unfortunately, this can make the person who is anxious in crowds even more anxious.
Instead, take your time. Wait for big crowds to pass by rather than jumping into the middle of them, and be willing to take out-of-the-way routes in order to avoid pushing your way through throngs of park goers.
3. Schedule Mid-Day Breaks
The busiest time of day in any Disney park is early to late afternoon. This is also the hottest time of day, as well as the time of day when many kids get tired. For all of these reasons, it just makes sense to take a mid-day break.
By arriving at the park at opening and enjoying the slower morning time, you’ll likely be ready to head back to the hotel for a rest after lunch. Once the afternoon crowds start to thin out and evening hours roll in, you can head back to the park to take advantage of the less crowded evening hours.
4. Use FastPass+
Waiting in a crowded queue with tons of other guests can be a terrible experience for the crowd-averse person. Therefore, it is important to make good use of FastPass+.
Use your allotted FastPasses on popular lines that tend to have long and crowded queues. Be sure to grab your passes early in order to ensure you get what you want, and skip any rides with overly backed-up queues if you’re unable to snag a FastPass for them.
5. Take Advantage of Extra Magic Hours
If you make a point of staying onsite, you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. These are times in the early morning and late evening when the park would normally be closed, but they open the gates only to those who are staying in a Disney Resort Hotel.
Because access is limited, crowds are smaller, making this the ideal time for crowd-haters to visit.
6. Purchase Special Event Tickets
Sometimes Disney hosts special events such as holiday parties and “Disney After Hours”. During these events, only those with special limited-event tickets can enter the park. Obviously, this is an extra cost, but if you want to avoid crowds, the extra cost of these special tickets is well worthwhile.
Believe it or not, there is much more to Disney World than just the parks. The ResortHotels alone offer all kinds of things to see and do, such as campfires, nightly outdoor movies, character dining, and story times. Additionally, there are two miniature golf courses onsite that offer tons of fun without the usual Disney crowds.
The Fort Wildernesscampground gives guests a chance to ride ponies or try their hand at archery, and whichever resort you stay at will have an amazing pool you should make use of. Spending some of your vacation time doing these things will give you a break from the crowds without forcing a break from the fun.
Chris Gonzales is a writer and freelance editor who hails from Oklahoma City but full-time RVs with his wife and son. As a family of WDW Passholders, they spend much of their time in Orlando and have become quite knowledgable about the parks. Though their travels take them away from time to time, they always find their way back.