The way to Allocate Time for Walt Disney World Go back and forth – Which park to peer first?
DURING DISNEY WORLD’S FIRST DECADE, a household with every week’s trip may benefit from the Magic Kingdom and the now-closed River Us of a and nonetheless have a few days left for the seaside or different house points of interest. On account that Epcot opened in 1982, then again, Disney World has ceaselessly been enlarging to monopolize the domestic’s complete trip. Lately, with the addition of Blizzard Seaside, Storm Lagoon, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney, you must allocate 6 days for a whirlwind tour (7–10 when you insist on a bit rest all the way through your trip). In case you don’t have that a lot time, be ready to make some arduous selections.
The theme parks and water parks are enormous and require quite a few strolling and, from time to time, a variety of ready in strains. Manner Walt Disney World the identical approach you can an eight-route Italian dinner: with loads of time between classes. Don’t cram an excessive amount of into too little time.
WHICH PARK TO SEE FIRST?
THIS QUESTION IS LESS ACADEMIC than it seems, particularly in case your celebration comprises youngsters or youngsters. Youngsters who see the Magic Kingdom first predict the identical form of leisure on the different parks. At Epcot, they’re regularly dissatisfied by using the academic orientation and critical tone (many adults react the identical manner). Disney’s Hollywood Studios deals some wild motion, however the normal presentation is tutorial and extra grownup. Although most kids experience zoos, animals can’t be programmed to entertain. Accordingly, youngsters would possibly not to find Animal Kingdom as thrilling because the Magic Kingdom or DHS.
First-time guests will have to see Epcot first; you’ll be capable of revel in it without needing been preconditioned to think about Disney leisure as exclusively fable or journey.
See Disney’s Animal Kingdom 2nd. Like Epcot, it’s tutorial, however its are living animals present a transformation of percent.
Subsequent, see Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which helps all a while transition from the academic Epcot and Animal Kingdom to the fanciful Magic Kingdom. Additionally, as a result of DHS is smaller, you received’t stroll as so much or keep as lengthy.
Retailer the Magic Kingdom for ultimate.
The foregoing recommendation no matter, we all know that almost all readers make a beeline for the Magic Kingdom, largely given that this North Carolina reader asserts:
Even supposing you counsel form of a reverse order for park visitation, ending up on the Magic Kingdom closing, I disagree. We went to the Magic Kingdom first, which is Disney World for many people.
DISNEY RUNS A DOZEN OR MORE SCHEDULES each and every yr. Name 407-824-4321 for the precise hours sooner than you arrive. Low season, parks could also be open as few as eight hours (9 a.m.–5 p.m.). At busy instances (in particular vacation trips), they will function from eight a.m. except 2 a.m.
OFFICIAL OPENING VERSUS REAL OPENING
WHEN YOU CALL, you’re given “authentic hours.” From time to time, parks open previous. If the authentic hours are 9 a.m.–9 p.m., for instance, Primary Boulevard within the Magic Kingdom may open at eight:30 a.m., and the rest of the park at 9 a.m.
Disney surveys native lodge reservations, estimates what number of guests to are expecting on a given day, and opens the theme parks early to steer clear of bottlenecks at parking services and ticket home windows and to take in crowds as they arrive.
Rides and points of interest shut down at roughly the legitimate closing time. Major Boulevard within the Magic Kingdom is still open half-hour to an hour after the remainder of the park has closed.
THE VACATION THAT FIGHTS BACK
VISITING DISNEY WORLD REQUIRES ranges of trade and stamina extra steadily related to operating marathons. A mom from Middletown, New York, spells it out:
A trip at WDW just isn’t a trip within the standard feel. Somewhat, it’s a trip that’s frankly laborious, however indisputably value doing. WDW is a magical location, the place the customer feels welcomed from the minute they arrive at their lodging to the ultimate 2d ahead of boarding the shuttle bus again to the airport.
A British gentleman, considering we exaggerated in regards to the strolling required, measured his outings the usage of a pedometer. His discovery:
I determined to put on a pedometer for our latest talk over with to WDW. Our visits to the theme parks have been unfold over 5 days, all through which my spouse and I (a while fifty one and fifty five) walked a complete of sixty eight miles for a typical of thirteen miles per day!
The purpose is, at Walt Disney World much less is extra. Take the World in small doses, with a lot of swimming, drowsing, studying, and stress-free in between. Should you don’t see the whole thing, that you can all the time come again!
Additionally, that you may put together. An Ohio reader found out this too late:
I fly a desk for a dwelling and don’t get close to sufficient strolling or standing train to arrange myself for the pains of the World. My spouse and I’ve decided that sooner than we go to Disney World once more, we will stroll as a minimum 5 miles with out a leisure or feeling any ache day after today. After pounding the pavement for hours on finish, we had been so exhausted that we had no possibility however to spend two of our trip days simply improving from yesterday’s strolling.
Hitting the Wall
As you intend your time at Disney World, imagine your bodily boundaries. It’s arduous to upward thrust at crack of dawn and run round a theme park for eight–12 hours daily. At some point (regularly ), you hit the wall. Each Disney World trip itinerary will have to embrace days while you don’t go to a theme park and days whilst you sleep in and take the morning off. Plan these to apply strangely lengthy and exhausting days, in particular these while you keep within the parks to look the night parades or fireworks.
THE PRACTICALITY OF RETURNING TO YOUR HOTEL FOR REST
MANY READERS WRITE ABOUT the practicality of departing the theme park for a nap and swim on the resort. A dad from Sequim, Washington, made the next request:
I want to see nearness to the parks emphasised for your lodging information, taking site visitors and lodge get right of entry to into consideration. We tried going again to the lodge for noon breaks, but it surely used to be too time-ingesting. By the point you bought to the automobile, negotiated visitors, rested, and reversed the method to get again to the park, it took 2–three hours for a brief relaxation and was once no longer value it!
Right here’s the inside track: At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Epcot, which you could get to your automotive within the automobile parking space in about 15–20 minutes. From the Magic Kingdom, it’s going to take you 30–35 minutes. Clearly, for those who’re on the farthest level from the park entrance while you come to a decision to come back to the lodge, otherwise you barely omit a parking-lot tram, it’ll take longer. However from most locations within the parks, the earlier occasions are perfect. As soon as to your automobile, you’ll have the ability to trip to most US 192 motels, all Disney World resorts, all Lake Buena Vista lodges, and most inns alongside the Interstate four hall and south Global Power (“I-Power”) in 20 minutes or much less. It’ll take about the identical time to achieve motels on I-Power north of Sand Lake Highway and within the Common Orlando space.
So, for most of the people, the one-means shuttle will reasonable half-hour. However right here’s what you get to your time: a much less-dear lunch at a restaurant of your selecting; a swim; and a 1½- to 2-hour nap. Should you add up the occasions, you’ll be faraway from the parks about four–5 hours, counting the trip. If you wish to have, devour dinner out of doors the World sooner than returning. Evidently, this gained’t work all the way through occasions of 12 months when the parks shut early, however these aren’t instances when most households go to Disney World. In case you seek advice from when the parks shut early, you’ll see extra points of interest in much less time, because of decreased attendance, and also you’ll be capable to depart the parks prior and take your spoil within the late afternoon or early night. Now not best, however neither are the crowds and warmth of summer season.
A corollary to this dialogue is what you do day after today. Should you’re getting a three- to five-hour wreck on a daily basis and now not conserving late hours, you’ll be tremendous. In case you forgo the wreck, you’ll wish to alternate full days with very straightforward, sleep-late days in an effort to recharge your batteries. When you do neither, you’ll say hiya to the wall by means of your 1/3 day.
A Boston mother shares her expertise:
The tip about taking the smash is an absolute should! The times we didn’t take the damage have been a nightmare. Don’t make that call when the children are doing high quality at midday. Take into accounts that drained, cranky, sweaty youngster in about three hours. Then think about that very same kid at 5 p.m.!
You can also need to forgo a 1/2-day on the Disney parks for different house sights which might be smaller and require much less touring time—or to simply unpack and power up to your first full Disney day.
ARRIVAL- AND DEPARTURE-DAY BLUES: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE ONLY HALF A DAY
ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DAYS, you most likely could have simplest a part of a day for traveling or different leisure hobbies. It’s a typical downside: You roll into the World about 1 p.m., excited and able to go—however the place?
The primary query: Do you’re feeling comfy the usage of a full day’s admission to the parks when you’ve got lower than a full day to tour? The incremental value so as to add any other day of admission is small while you’re traveling for 3 or extra days, however important if you happen to’re there for most effective an extended weekend. Your arrival time and the parks’ closing instances are additionally concerns, however so is the journeying downside you endure by using no longer being available when a park opens. Fastpass, a reservation gadget for in style sights (discussed), provides some relief from long afternoon lines, but it isn’t available for every attraction, nor is there an unlimited supply of passes.
Opting for a Partial Day at the Theme Parks
One option, if you can reach the park before 1 p.m. and stay until closing (5–8 p.m., depending on season), is Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which requires the least time to tour. Because guests who arrive at opening frequently complete their tour by about 3 p.m., crowds thin in late afternoon. As a bonus, Fastpass is offered for the most popular attractions. If you arrive after 1 p.m., however, the daily allocation of Fastpasses, especially for Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest, might be exhausted. And Animal Kingdom closes earlier than the other parks.
Whenever you arrive at a theme park (including Universal parks) after 10 a.m., you should go to higher-capacity attractions where waiting time is relatively brief, even during the most crowded part of the day. In Disney parks, you can also cut your time in line by using Fastpass. Another time-saver at Test Track in Epcot, at Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and at several Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure attractions is the singles line, a separate line for individuals who are alone or don’t mind riding alone. The objective is to fill odd spaces left by groups that don’t quite fill the entire ride vehicle. Because there aren’t many singles and most groups are unwilling to split up, singles lines are usually much shorter than regular lines.
Disney parks are better for partial-day touring than Universal parks because Disney parks generally operate more high-capacity attractions than Universal does. We like the Universal parks and admire their cutting-edge technology, but the best way to see them is to be there at opening and follow our touring plans.
Our clip-out Touring Plan Companions list attractions in each Disney park that require the least waiting during the most crowded part of the day. Although the queues for these attractions may seem humongous, they move quickly. Also check out parades, stage shows, and other live entertainment. Popular attractions generally stay packed until an hour or so before closing; however, they often require little waiting during evening parades, fireworks, or, in the case of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fantasmic!
Alternatives to the Theme Parks on Arrival Day
Before you head out for fun on arrival day, you must check in, unpack, and buy admissions, and you probably will detour to the grocery or convenience store to buy snacks, drinks, and breakfast food. At all Disney resorts and many non-Disney hotels, you cannot occupy your room until after 3 p.m.; however, many properties will check you in, sell you tickets, and store your luggage before that hour.
The least expensive way to spend your arrival day is to check in, unpack, do your chores, and relax at your hotel swimming pool.
Other daytime options include a trip to a local water park. Because the Disney water parks are so crowded (during summer you need to be on hand for opening, just as you do at the other Disney parks), we recommend Wet ’n Wild(wetnwildorlando.com) on International Drive, which is generally less crowded than Disney’s water parks but more expensive. What’s great about Wet ’n Wild is that it stays open late in summer. Any water park that stays open past 5 p.m. is worth a look, because crowds at all parks clear out substantially after 4 p.m. If the park is open late and you get hungry, you’ll find ample fast food. No matter which water park you choose, slather on broad-spectrum sunscreen.
If you want something drier, we heartily recommend Gatorland, a quirky attraction on US 441 near Kissimmee (about 20 minutes from Walt Disney World). Gatorland, a slice of pre-Disney Florida, is exceptionally interesting and well managed. It’s perfect for a half-day outing, provided you like alligators, snakes, and lizards. For information, call 800-393-JAWS or go to gatorland.com.
If not one of the earlier fires your boiler, imagine miniature golf (dear within the World; extra cheap out of doors it) orDisneyQuest, a venue at Downtown Disney West Facet that includes interactive video games and simulator expertise. Regrettably, just like the Disney parks, DisneyQuest is costly and doesn’t deal with crowds specifically neatly. Late mornings and early afternoons are the perfect occasions to move.
Within the Night
Dinner gives an excellent chance to devise the following day’s actions. In the event you’re hungry for leisure too, absorb a convey at or after dinner. In the event you go the exhibit route, we suggest Cirque du Soleil La Nouba at Downtown Disney West Aspect. Cirque is costly, however we predict it’s the only very best factor in all of Walt Disney World. Disney additionally bargains some dinner displays, of which the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is our choose of the litter. Each Cirque and Hoop-Dee-Doo are very fashionable; make reservations some distance prematurely. A dozen or so non-Disney dinner presentations are marketed in customer magazines.
In the event you’re no longer up for Cirque or a dinner exhibit, believe CityWalk, Common’s hour of darkness-leisure advanced. Different choices embody Jellyrolls, a dueling-pianos membership on the BoardWalk, and Raglan Highway, an Irish pub with are living track and just right meals at Downtown Disney. All are absolute best favored via adults—lively adults, at that.
Departure days don’t appear to result in as so much consternation as arrival days. If you wish to talk over with a theme park to your departure day, rise up early and be there when it opens. When you have numerous time, check up on and retailer your baggage with the bell desk or for your automobile. Or, if which you can organize a late checkout, you may need to return to your resort for a bathe and alter of garments sooner than departing. Some accommodations are slightly lenient relating to late checkouts; others investigate a cost.
THE CARDINAL RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL TOURING
MANY VISITORS DON’T HAVE SIX DAYS to commit to Disney. Some are en path to different locations or may just want to pattern extra Relevant Florida sights. For these guests, environment friendly traveling is a should.
Even essentially the most time-efficient visiting plan gained’t will let you comprehensively quilt two or extra main theme parks in someday. Plan to allocate a whole day to every park (an exception to that is when the parks shut at totally different instances, permitting you to tour one park unless closing, then proceed to any other).
A complete one-day tour of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios is imaginable however requires data of the park, just right planning, excellent navigation, and numerous power and persistence. One-day traveling leaves little time for take a seat-down foods, extended searching in stores, or prolonged breaks. One-day visiting will also be enjoyable and lucrative, however allocating two days per park, particularly for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, is prime.
Efficiently journeying the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios hinges on three ideas:
In case your agenda enables most effective sooner or later of travelling, pay attention to one theme park and retailer the others for some other consult with.
1. Resolve in Increase What You In reality Wish to See
Which sights attraction to you most? Which of them would you prefer to expertise if in case you have time left? What are you prepared to forgo?
Eventually, as a result of points of interest vary from halfway-sort rides and horse-drawn trolleys to excessive-tech extravaganzas, we’ve developed a hierarchy of classes to pinpoint an appeal’s magnitude:
SUPER-HEADLINERS The perfect sights the theme park has to provide. Thoughts-boggling in dimension, scope, and creativeness. Characterize the reducing fringe of enchantment expertise and design.
HEADLINERS Multimillion-buck, full-scale, themed adventures and theater displays. Up to date in expertise and design and using a full vary of unique results.
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS Extra modestly themed adventures, however ones that include cutting-edge applied sciences. Or greater-scale points of interest of older design.
MINOR ATTRACTIONS Halfway-sort rides, small “darkish” rides (vehicles on a monitor, zigzagging during the darkish), small theater displays, transportation rides, and difficult stroll-thru sights.
DIVERSIONS Reveals, each passive and interactive. Comprises playgrounds, video arcades, and side road theater.
Although now not each appeal suits neatly into these descriptions, the classes present a comparability of appeal measurement and scope. Keep in mind that greater and extra tricky doesn’t at all times imply higher. Peter Pan’s Flight, a minor appeal within the Magic Kingdom, remains to be one of the most park’s most cherished rides. Likewise, for a lot of babies, no enchantment, despite measurement, surpasses Dumbo.
2. Arrive Early! Arrive Early! Arrive Early!
That is the one most vital key to environment friendly visiting and fending off lengthy strains. Very first thing within the morning, there aren’t any traces and fewer folks. The identical 4 rides you expertise in 1 hour in early morning can take so long as three hours after 10:30 a.m. Devour breakfast sooner than you arrive; don’t waste high traveling time sitting in a cafe.
The sooner a park opens, the larger your benefit. It is because most tourists received’t upward thrust early and get to a park earlier than it opens. Fewer individuals are keen to make an eight a.m. opening than a 9 a.m. opening. On these uncommon events when a park opens at 10 a.m., virtually everybody arrives on the comparable time, so it’s virtually unattainable to beat the gang. For those who discuss with all over midsummer, arrive on the turnstile 30–forty minutes ahead of opening. Right through vacation classes, arrive forty five–60 minutes early.
Many readers share their experiences about attending to the parks ahead of opening. From a thirteen-12 months-outdated woman from Bloomington, Indiana:
Please stress this to your readers: If you wish to experience anything else with a brief wait, you need to rise up within the morning! If this can be a sacrifice you aren’t prepared to make, rethink a Disney World trip. If you take a destroy on the scorching a part of the day, you’ll be high-quality.
An Owasso, Oklahoma, reader adopted our recommendation, with nice outcomes:
Each time we bought to the park earlier than opening time as steered by way of the information, we have been in a position to do each enchantment as repeatedly as we needed to. It additionally allowed us to chill out when it bought sizzling later within the day.
A Pennsylvania mother of two discovered that slacking didn’t pay:
That is emphasised within the information a couple of instances, however I need to say it once more: Be at rope drop. I went all over one of the crucial slowest occasions of the 12 months, and the morning I didn’t get up for rope drop I was once ready to expertise lower than 1/2 of what I did the opposite days.
Likewise, from a Tecumseh, Ontario, reader:
There have been a few days that we didn’t need to be tied to a time table and tried to take it straightforward just a little, beginning out with breakfast at a cafe. Smartly, we certain made a mistake on these days! It made us late for park opening and truly tousled the entire day.
A Minneapolis mom of three managed a compromise:
Getting there early supposed lets do the well-liked issues and not using a lengthy wait. That approach I acquired my kind-A “get issues finished” stuff out of the way in which within the morning and my husband bought to indulge his “let’s wander and not using a plan” character the remainder of the day.
Most traveling plans are compromised if you happen to’re now not readily available for park opening, as this dad from Whitehouse, New Jersey, attests:
We have been astonished on the quantity of people that convey up on the parks after eleven a.m. and are stunned to find out how lengthy it takes to do issues. We’ve met individuals who appear to get up one morning and made up our minds to head to Disney World with out realizing anything else concerning the location. It’s as in the event that they had been displaying up at a church truthful.
If getting the children up prior than general makes for tough crusing, don’t despair: You’ll have a good time irrespective of whilst you get to the park. Many households with babies have discovered that it’s higher to simply accept the relative inefficiencies of arriving on the park somewhat late than to jar the kids out of their activities.
three. Steer clear of Bottlenecks
This includes with the ability to predict the place, when, and why they happen. Concentrations of hungry folks create bottlenecks at eating places all over lunch and dinner; concentrations of individuals shifting towards the exit close to closing time result in reward stores en path to clog; concentrations of holiday makers at new and standard rides, and at rides sluggish to load and dump, create logjams and lengthy strains.
Our answer for warding off bottlenecks is travelling plans for the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the 2 Disney water parks. We additionally present specific knowledge on rides and performances, enabling you to estimate how lengthy you will have to attend in line and permitting you to match rides for his or her crowd capability.
WHAT’S A QUEUE?
ALTHOUGH IT’S NOT COMMONLY USED in the USA, queue (reported “cue”) is the common English phrase for a line, corresponding to one during which you wait to money a take a look at on the financial institution or to board a experience at a theme park. Queuing idea, a mathematical space of specialization throughout the box of operations analysis, research and fashions how traces work. Along with the noun, the verb to queue manner to get in line, and a queuing house is a ready space that comprises a line. When visitors decline to enroll in a queue as a result of they understand the wait to be too lengthy, they’re stated to recoil.
OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE: READ THIS!
IN ANALYZING READER SURVEYS, we had been astonished with the aid of the share of readers who don’t use our visiting plans. Scientifically examined and confirmed, these plans can prevent four complete hours or extra of ready in line in a single day—four fewer hours of standing, four hours freed as much as do one thing enjoyable. Our groundbreaking analysis that created the journeying plans has been the topic of entrance-web page articles within the Dallas Morning Information and The New York Occasions and has been mentioned in a lot of scholarly journals. So why would you no longer use them?
We get a ton of reader mail—ninety eight% of it certain—commenting on our journeying plans. First, from an Albany, New York, reader:
I used the One-Day Visiting Plan for Adults for the Magic Kingdom, and I used to be bowled over with the aid of how smartly it labored. I even took a couple of three-hour damage to move to Downtown Disney (by the use of the Recent), and I was once nonetheless ready to do the whole lot on the plan. Unbelievable.
A Danville, Pennsylvania, mother overcame a doubting partner:
My husband idea the travelling plans had been a fabricated from an excessively obsessive-compulsive thoughts. He laughed at me for trying to make use of them, however he ultimately conceded on Christmas Eve on the Magic Kingdom. He wasn’t laughing anymore by means of midday, once we had already ridden all the rides with in reality lengthy strains!
An Ohio household felt the wind of their sails:
The entire time we had been within the Magic Kingdom, following the travelling plan, it gave the impression that we have been touring in entrance of a storm—we’d wait 10 minutes or so for an enchantment (or much less—once in a while we simply walked proper on), however after we obtained out and began transferring on to the subsequent one, lets see the road constructing for what we simply did.
For a Glasgow, Scotland, reader, visiting the Unofficial manner contributed to domestic team spirit:
Looking to make a decision the place to move subsequent wasn’t one thing we needed to concern about. There used to be none of that “No matter you assume”/“I don’t thoughts”–kind dialogue that may hang-out even the most effective of vacation trips.
For 2 readers, our traveling plans had surprising advantages. A 30-one thing mother of two from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, discovered that they fanned the flames of amour:
My husband used to be a little bit uncertain about the use of a journeying plan, however on our first day at Magic Kingdom, after we’d executed all of the Fantasyland sights and ridden Splash Mountain twice ahead of lunch, he checked out me with amazement and mentioned, “I’ve by no means been so interested in you.”