Regardless of greater crowds and rising wait instances, there are extra choices for saving time ready in strains at Walt Disney World. This compares one of the best & worst choices: Genie+, Lightning Lanes, further hours & savvy standby to beat excessive wait instances at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. (Up to date July 10, 2022.)
Now that the mud has settled on the entire time-saving choices that debuted, our purpose is to search out the best instances to make use of standby strains and/or Lightning Lanes. Spoiler: there’s no one-size matches all reply for all individuals or all parks. That’s the large factor we’ve discovered whereas extensively visiting the parks extensively for the sake of analysis to check numerous methods.
Even many longtime Walt Disney World followers are overwhelmed by the choices, so we’re right here to supply perception into decreasing friction out of your days within the parks. Because the ole tantalizing teaser goes, “…and the outcomes will shock you!” However severely, they’ll. What we completed (or didn’t) with a few of these approaches really caught us off-guard.
Earlier than getting going, we wish to stress the significance of this technique for Walt Disney World journeys between at the very least now and the tip of July 2022. It’s comparatively lengthy, nevertheless it’s arguably extra priceless proper now than anything on this web site. When you solely learn one submit on this weblog, make it this one. To not set unrealistic expectations, however this technique ought to prevent a number of hours per day at Walt Disney World (and it ought to prevent cash, too!).
The large profit proper now could be longer park hours, that are the earliest printed opening instances Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios have had in over 2 years. At current, these hours have been prolonged by means of (at the very least) July 30, 2022. Walt Disney World provides hours on a rolling foundation, so it’s attainable that August 2022 hours will likely be prolonged in due time. Nevertheless, that’s the standard finish of summer season and starting of the autumn low season, so it’s attainable what we’re seeing for subsequent month and September 2022 are remaining hours. Even after that, this technique ought to stay considerably correct.
Subsequent, let’s do a fast run-through of the varied mainstream methods to avoid wasting time at Walt Disney World. This isn’t complete, leaving out the priciest choices–like doing VIP excursions in the course of your journey or renting out the parks–for what must be apparent causes. Regardless that it’s secure to imagine Kanye West, Oprah, and Carrot High are loyal readers of this weblog, most of you most likely aren’t that large of excessive rollers.
The primary possibility is the controversial paid FastPass. By now, you’re probably acquainted with Genie+ and Particular person Lightning Lanes, which supply one technique to skip standby strains. Sadly, these include a price–not only a financial one, but additionally with frustrations, back-tracking, getting up early, and the steep studying curve of mastering the brand new system. (For that final level, look no additional than our ~4,500 phrase Information to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ, which nonetheless doesn’t reply the entire questions readers have requested.)
Sticking with the pay to play choices (of types), there are two different current additions that debuted for the beginning of Walt Disney World’s fiftieth Anniversary: Early Entry and Prolonged Night Hours. These successfully changed Additional Magic Hours, and have likewise been controversial amongst longtime followers.
These have their very own professionals & cons, from being solely out there to on-site visitors (or a subset thereof) to requiring individuals to rise up early or keep late. When you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of every, study extra in our Information to Early Entry at Walt Disney World and Information to Prolonged Night Hours at Walt Disney World.
Subsequent, there’s tried and true rope drop. A time-honored “custom” for diehard Walt Disney World trip planners since…I’m undecided–actually so long as I’ve been alive. I bear in mind doing this within the Nineties when my mother was our household’s chief strategist, orchestrating our itinerary with navy precision.
For these unfamiliar with this inside baseball-esque time period, rope drop is solely when the lands and sights formally open, which is synonymous with the printed park opening time. (It’s literal–there’s a rope that’s dropped, opening the lands to visitors.) Because the entrance gates often admit visitors earlier than park opening (and since we prefer to overcomplicate every thing), Disney followers have demarcated the 2 instances with this rad time period. In observe, rope drop is just about anytime throughout the first hour of normal operations.
Lastly, there’s the tip of the night, which is often the final couple hours of normal operations. We don’t have a rad time period for this one, however I really feel like that’s an enormous missed alternative for a cryptic moniker. Simply think about how lots of the uninitiated we might confuse by referring to this as “rope rise.” (Get it? As a result of they drop the rope at first of the day, so it stands to cause that they decide it–you understand, nevermind.)
If we did name the tip of the night time “rope rise,” nobody would know what the heck we’re speaking about, so fewer individuals would take benefit. In any case, wait instances are typically shorter in direction of later at night time. When and by how a lot they fall varies by park, and is commonly not totally mirrored in posted wait instances.
Acquired all of that? Good. Now let’s go park by park and talk about which strategy is greatest proper now, as of July 2022. Since first publishing this within the spring, we’ve examined and retested each single technique for the entire parks, and our conclusions have constantly discovered the very same approaches labored greatest and worst. Right here’s the park by park rundown…
The excellent news is that any strategy will work to some extent at Magic Kingdom. Let’s begin with Early Entry, which we’ve discovered much less profitable right here than at some other park. That is most likely attributable to a mixture of greater demand (we haven’t achieved head counts, nevertheless it positive looks like extra visitors present up for Early Entry at Magic Kingdom than some other park) and solely Fantasyland and Tomorrowland being open. Following together with our most up-to-date Magic Kingdom Early Entry Picture Report as in comparison with others, you’ll be able to see we didn’t have fairly as a lot success.
The plus aspect is that common rope drop is extra viable as a result of Frontierland and Adventureland will not be open throughout Early Entry. This makes rope drop alone, or Early Entry plus rope drop a terrific strategy. When you’re solely eligible for rope drop, doing Frontierland and Adventureland first and saving Fantasyland till later within the day is usually a workable strategy. There are additionally sufficient worthwhile secondary sights in Magic Kingdom which you can spherical out the remainder of your day with enjoyable, low wait reveals and extra. Lots of our smartest and sexiest readers take pleasure in filling out the center of their days by watching Nation Bear Jamboree on repeat.
With all of that stated, it’s Genie+ that works greatest at Magic Kingdom and it’s actually no contest. Within the current My Day Utilizing Genie+ Lightning Lanes for Summer season 2022 at Magic Kingdom I detailed simply how a lot I used to be in a position to get achieved–just about every thing.
Due to a excessive worthwhile attraction depend out there through Lightning Lanes, Magic Kingdom is the one (and solely) park the place we extremely advocate shopping for Genie+. Extra importantly, I used to be in a position to accomplish all of that with out getting up at 7 am, setting alarms, or diligently refreshing. It was a laid again and relaxed day utilizing Lightning Lanes at Magic Kingdom.
This may not have been attainable on the different parks, particularly Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not like these, Magic Kingdom is the park the place Genie+ is best to make use of and presents the fewest complications. At Magic Kingdom, you can e-book Lightning Lane trip reservations with a extra leisurely strategy and fewer criss-crossing the park. There’s additionally much less competitors with Genie+ at Magic Kingdom, and the lower-stakes nature results in fewer frustrations than at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Subsequent, there’s the tip of the night time. Like each different park, wait instances at Magic Kingdom do fall off within the night as visitors seize spots for the Disney Enchantment fireworks. You’ll be able to take pleasure in shorter waits when you’re keen to skip these, or watch them from a last-minute location in Fantasyland.
The drop-off isn’t fairly as pronounced as the opposite parks, nevertheless it’s nonetheless important. That plus queueing up for Seven Dwarfs Mine Prepare one minute earlier than park closing is a superb strategy when you don’t purchase Genie+ or Particular person Lightning Lanes.
Lastly, there’s Prolonged Night Hours for many who are eligible. We’ve achieved this a handful of instances, so our pattern dimension remains to be comparatively restricted, however our success fee is 100%. Low waits in all places and blissfully uncrowded parks.
Even when you reap the benefits of one of many aforementioned approaches and “conquer” Magic Kingdom earlier than this late night time perk, do it anyway. It’s a pleasant technique to take pleasure in Magic Kingdom, providing a serene expertise that’s a good way to decompress from the sooner chaos throughout peak season.
When you learn Early Entry at Epcot: Higher Than Genie+, this one has already been “spoiled” for you. At the very least whereas Epcot has moved ahead its official opening time to eight:30 am, Early Entry is one of the best ways to beat the crowds right here. That’s doubly true when you’re arriving through Worldwide Gateway, as you’ll be capable of do Remy’s Ratatouille Journey with a ten minute wait or much less.
From the Rat Trip, it’s fully attainable to do Frozen Ever After as a close to walk-on, Check Observe with minimal wait, Soarin’ Across the World with minimal wait…and every thing else within the new neighborhoods with no waits. It’s plenty of strolling, however that’s par for the course at Epcot, and you could possibly modify this strategy to attenuate steps when you’re staying the total day.
These arriving for normal rope drop will nonetheless take pleasure in success and time financial savings just about in all places besides Remy’s Ratatouille Journey, and that’s simple sufficient to avoid wasting for the tip of the night time. Off-site visitors who aren’t eligible for Early Entry aren’t at too appreciable of a drawback at Epcot.
Talking of which, the entrance of the park empties out at Epcot within the night hours, as a result of visitors eat and drink across the World Showcase, and safe spots for Harmonious. Hitting these rides the final two hours of the day is usually a easy transfer, particularly because it’s not crucial that you simply get a entrance row view for Harmonious.
Prolonged Night Hours at Epcot are as pleasant at Epcot as Magic Kingdom, however the decrease trip depend and extra apparent prime priorities means wait instances for the trio of headliners don’t fall as dramatically. With good technique, you’ll be able to nonetheless accomplish Remy’s Ratatouille Journey, Frozen Ever After, and Check Observe throughout this post-closing perk, nevertheless it does require willpower (and luck).
Then there’s Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. Epcot is our second least favourite park for the line-skipping service, and we don’t advocate it right here except you’re Park Hopping or can not reap the benefits of the aforementioned methods. Nevertheless, with each Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Journey now being included with the Genie+ service, that does transfer the needle considerably.
Then there’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the latest blockbuster attraction at Walt Disney World. This hasn’t actually modified Epcot touring technique within the least, which is as a result of it makes use of a digital queue. Happily, Cosmic Rewind is far more dependable and environment friendly than Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, so that is a lot simpler and fewer irritating.
See Learn how to Trip Guardians of Galaxy Cosmic Rewind & Digital Queue Technique for suggestions & tips to enhance your odds of scoring a spot within the digital queue.
We’ve been saying for the final two-plus years that Hollywood Studios is probably the most irritating park at Walt Disney World. Amongst different issues, that is as a result of top-heavy nature of its attraction lineup, and lack of secondary rides. There was a degree throughout the phased reopening when this was significantly problematic, nevertheless it has gotten a lot better with the return of most stage reveals and leisure.
Nonetheless, crowds crest and wait instances peak earlier at Disney’s Hollywood Studios than some other park at Walt Disney World. Thus far throughout this month, the very best wait instances of the day have occurred round 10:30 am, averaging 69 minutes. Even Animal Kingdom, which opens earlier and is usually derided as a half-day park, doesn’t see its longest wait instances of the day till afternoon.
Towards this backdrop, the most suitable choice for beating the crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Early Entry. Largely, it’s because Early Entry encompasses all essential, high-wait sights at DHS and in addition as a result of it often finally ends up being far more than a 30 minute head-start.
That’s very true when you prioritize Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, with the added upside of doing this primary being that you simply’re much less more likely to encounter a breakdown whilst you’re in line for it. Take a look at our report on Early Entry at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that covers our expertise knocking out the “triple digit trio” at DHS earlier than the park opened to common visitors.
The worst technique for Disney’s Hollywood Studios is counting on conventional rope drop. This must be fairly intuitive for the 2 causes recognized above: wait instances peak early and all headliners are open for Early Entry.
When you can’t enter DHS till common park opening time, you’re going to get possibly 1-2 sights achieved with beneath common waits. Your chance for frustrations–and thus leaving earlier than the tip of the night time–will even be greater.
As an alternative, contemplate a day arrival and staying till park closing. See our Disney’s Hollywood Studios Afternoon Arrival Technique for a step-by-step run-through of how that labored one afternoon this summer season, which pretty displays our success with this strategy during the last year-plus.
One cause that wait instances peak early at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is as a result of there’s (at present) no main nighttime spectacular, which leads to many visitors leaving DHS for Epcot. This dynamic will probably change in a giant method when Fantasmic returns this fall, nevertheless it’s good technique for now.
Posted wait instances are decrease within the final two hours of the day at DHS, however that solely tells a part of the story. Precise wait instances are sometimes dramatically decrease, significantly for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and different headliners. The one caveat we’ll add right here is that this strategy with the unreliable Rise of the Resistance is dangerous–when you solely have one shot at it and the trip goes down within the final two hours of the day, you could be out of luck. Plan accordingly.
Lastly, there’s Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. We’ve lined experiences with this extensively, most just lately in My Day Utilizing Genie+ Lightning Lanes in Peak Crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In a nutshell, Genie+ and Lightning Lanes can prevent a ton of time at DHS, however the system is aggravating for a number of the identical causes recognized above. DHS has a prime heavy lineup, and basically, you’ll want to be Genie+ energy person to attain the most-coveted trip reservations. Even then, unhealthy luck or technical difficulties would possibly bitter the expertise. We’ve heard from many readers who’ve solely been in a position to e-book 1-2 Lightning Lane trip reservations with Genie+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Consider Genie+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as an possibility of final resort. When you can’t do Early Entry or don’t wish to keep late for no matter cause, you should buy Genie+ and possibly an Particular person Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. It may be headache-inducing, however not any extra so than standby strains, that are simply brutal at DHS.
We go from probably the most irritating park to the simplest one. Technique for Animal Kingdom basically quantities to “don’t go throughout the center of the day and stand in lengthy strains,” which appears to be what the overwhelming majority of visitors do for some odd cause.
Going early, staying late, or utilizing Genie+ are all stable methods. Virtually equally so. We’d give the sting to Early Entry, which begins at 7:30 am on most dates. That’s absurdly early, and an enormous barrier for many visitors. When you’re in a position to arrive to Animal Kingdom by 7 am, this offers you an enormous benefit.
Conventional rope drop additionally works, as long as you prioritize one thing aside from Avatar Flight of Passage. Once more, most individuals aren’t up and out the door this early within the morning on trip, and that applies even to common park opening time at Animal Kingdom. (With the height season 8 am official opening, you would possibly be capable of hit Flight of Passage with minimal wait even at conventional rope drop.)
Personally, I’m a fan of doing Animal Kingdom later within the day (see Animal Kingdom Afternoon Arrival Technique). Subjectively, that is good as a result of Animal Kingdom is the most well liked park at Walt Disney World, and hitting it when the solar is decrease knocks 10-20 levels off the appears like temperatures. The ambiance at sundown and night time can also be implausible, and one thing few followers see.
Sadly, wait instances aren’t plummeting in direction of the tip of the day like they had been a few 12 months in the past, which is probably going attributable to extra leisure having returned. Whereas most different rides will likely be walk-ons or near it, you’ll be able to nonetheless count on prolonged strains for the 2 Pandora – World of Avatar sights.
At this level, Genie+ is the objectively higher possibility at Animal Kingdom than staying late. Regardless that the lineup is proscribed, most eligible sights have availability nicely into the afternoon.
Genie+ turns into a good simpler advice when Park Hopping. Avatar Flight of Passage will be value the price of the Particular person Lightning Lane, however we often hit it early, late, or throughout the lunch lull as an alternative.
In the end, there are plenty of methods to beat the crowds at Walt Disney World, and that applies even throughout the peak weeks of summer season and past. Strategizing has positively gotten extra difficult within the final 12 months, and we’ve heard from numerous very long time guests who really feel left behind or overwhelmed. The unhealthy information is that there are extra pay-to-play choices and so they’ll both price further or have much less eligibility.
The excellent news is that there’s really better accessibility to saving time at Walt Disney World. When you learn this ~3,000 phrase submit the night time earlier than visiting Walt Disney World, you could possibly reap the benefits of lots of the following pointers. That merely was not attainable right now two years in the past, when pre-booking FastPass+ as much as 60 days prematurely closed the door for lots of first-timers who, fairly understandably, had no clue trip reservations had been booked months prematurely.
Now, ways are uneven and inconsistent among the many parks, however there’s just about one thing for everybody. Whether or not you wish to pay further, not pay further, rise early, or keep late. As all the time, we extremely advocate our Walt Disney World Park Itineraries for extra granular, step-by-step recommendation for planning out your total day.
About the one factor you’ll be able to’t do is sleep in, go to the parks from 11 am till 4 pm, and depart early. This has all the time been the worst technique to do Walt Disney World, and that continues to be true to today. But, for causes past me, that continues to be the “most well-liked” strategy for thus many visitors. When you merely don’t try this, you’re robotically forward of the pack!
Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about inns on our Walt Disney World Inns Critiques web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Critiques. To save cash on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a novel take a look at intelligent objects to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Trip Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for every thing you’ll want to know!
Ideas on our advised methods for every of the Walt Disney World theme parks? Do you like rope drop, “rope rise,” Early Entry, Prolonged Night Hours, or Genie+ and Lightning Lanes? Or, do you like a miss of approaches when touring the parks? How do you do issues in a different way in every park? Some other suggestions on arriving early or staying late on the Walt Disney World theme parks? Agree or disagree with our recommendation or strategy? Any questions we might help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even once you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!