How To Save Time At Walt Disney World In 10 Easy Steps

Cinderella's castle and clock

Visiting the Walt Disney World resort is pure magic, and its no wonder guests want to squeeze in every bit of it on their trips. Time is of the essence and with so much to see and do, it can be difficult to make sure you fit everything into your vacation. Here are 10 easy steps to saving time at Walt Disney World.

10. Resort Reservations

Everyone typically books resort reservations in advance, however, the location of your resort plays a key role in time efficiency. If you know you are going to be spending more time at a particular park, you should look into staying at a resort that is closer to that park. For example, if you stay at a Magic Kingdom Resort, your travel time to the park will be 5-10 minutes, whereas if you are staying at an Animal Kingdom area resort, it may double the time it takes you to get to the parks. Make sure to ask which resorts are around the park you plan on visiting.

9. Take Advantage of the Bus/Boat Systems

Driving into the parks in your own vehicle is time consuming. There is usually a lot of traffic when waiting to pay at the booth and then waiting in line again to park your vehicle. After this, you will need to wait for a monorail or tram to take you to the Magic Kingdom. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort on property, you can avoid this hassle by taking the complimentary busses (or boats at select resorts). You will have to wait a few minutes until it arrives, but you don’t have to wait in lots of traffic and you skip the additional step of having to take a tram or monorail, since the bus drops you off directly at the Magic Kingdom.

8. Make Dining Reservations In Advance

Dining is a huge deal at the parks. There are so many unique dining experiences to indulge in, so reservations are key to being able to experience them, and save time. Since most of the popular restaurants fill up quickly, chances are you will have to wait hours to be seated or may even be rejected at the door. Most guests make reservations way in advance, allowing them to be seated promptly without wasting time. Reservations can be made 180 days prior to your trip, so be sure to take advantage of this for your next trip!

7. Have a Plan On Your Paths Around the Parks

Often times, guests travel in all different directions exploring what everyone in their party wants to do. If you have a plan and travel around the park in a complete circle, chances are, you will waste as little time as possible and eventually see everything you want to because you are going in ‘order’. Having to walk from one end to the other in all different directions can waste a lot of time! When traveling in a complete circle, try to start out towards the back. Guests tend to stay towards the front of the park when it opens, so try to head to the back and work your way around from there.

6. Schedule Your FastPasses As Soon As Possible

Fastpasses are a great way to bypass crazy wait times and go right into your favorite attraction. Unfortunately, this can’t be done for all rides or shows, but you should take advantage of getting them for the popular rides that tend to have longer wait times than others. If you aren’t sure which rides typically have extremely long wait times, monitor the wait times on the My Disney Experience app for a few days. You will see a trend of which rides are popular and this will give you an idea of which fastpasses to get. Another great way to avoid long lines is to take advantage of the single riders option. Whether you’re traveling alone or don’t mind splitting your party up for a ride or two, this can save tons of time on those long wait times. Avoiding the longer lines helps save time!

5. Make a Schedule

Make sure you plan out each day while you’re at Walt Disney World. It can be fun to sometimes just ‘go with the flow’ or make some spontaneous decisions about what to do or where to go when you’re there, but planning a schedule typically helps with making the most use of your time. Make sure to include enough travel time in your itinerary, since the transportation system takes around 15-20 minutes.

4. Take Advantage of Extra Magic Hours

If you’re staying at a resort on Disney World property, you’re in luck! Take advantage of being able to enter the parks an hour prior to the general admission time, or stay an hour or two later after general closing time. Parks are selected for this on various days, so be sure to see which park is offering these extra magic hours on what day during your stay. This helps with alleviating some of the long lines because the only guests allowed to ride before or after hours are those staying at the Walt Disney World Resorts.

Bonus Tip!

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3. Purchase Your Tickets Ahead of Time

Waiting at guest services at the parks can be a real waste of time. Often times, there are extremely long lines and guests that are purchasing tickets at the gate tend to take a while doing so when having to look after the kids, providing documentation or ID, etc. If you have access (and the funds) to purchase your tickets prior to arrival, do so! You can print your ticket from home or have it mailed to you and you can bypass the ticket counter, saving you tons of time!

2. Shop Around At Park Closing

When the rides close and guests have to leave, stick around and shop. The stores in the parks typically close much later than the park itself. Shopping on the way out saves you time that you can spend during the day on other activities. It is also more convenient to shop in the evening after park closing because you wont have to carry around souvenirs (especially breakable ones) all throughout the day.

1. Ride during Parades and Shows

Guests at Disney World go crazy for parades and shows, and who can blame them? Disney does after all put on a spectacular show. Some of these parades and shows are shown twice a day. The first showing is normally the most packed. If you plan to see the second parade/show or just don’t care to see any of them, head on over to the rides that typically have long lines. Chances are, the wait time will decline due to the plethora of guests waiting to watch a show/parade.

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

About Natalie

Natalie is an elementary school teacher and a native Floridian who lives and breathes all things Disney. Her love for Disney started at the age of two during her first visit, and has continued to flourish into her adult life. She loves to share her Disney passion with her students and believes Disney is so special because there is no other place to forget about your worries and be a kid again, which is why she refuses to ‘grow up’.

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