Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-13-2011, 05:42 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 12

Suggestions on avoiding the crowds during the bussiest times of year

I know sometimes you have to travel during the bussiest times of year to Disney. And sometimes you run into long waits everywhere. Does anyone have any tricks of secrets to see and do more during these times? I know you can use fast pass, but if anyone has anything else that has worked for them, could you let me know?
texasvol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
disneynan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 475

Because I work in a school, we can only go during the busy season. My best advice is to get to your park of choice 30 min before the scheduled opening of the park. Pick 2-3 popular rides that you will try to get to first thing. The first 30 minutes after opening is the least crowded all day.

4/78 camping off-site; 6/89 honeymoon Big Red Boat + Hilton; 5/95 ASMu; 11/99 ASMo + CB; 2/03 ASMo; 11/03 POR + Wilderness Cabins; 9/04 POP(no kids); 8/05 POP (free dining); 10/06 POP (free dining + MNSSHP); 8/08 camping at Ft Wilderness; 11/09 3 night Wonder (no kids); 8/11 POP (free dining); NASN conference 6/13
disneynan is offline   Reply With Quote
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 06-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,025

Rope drop is key. You can take advantage of the fact that most people sleep in on their vacation
newdeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 05:49 PM   #4
DIS Veteran
lsenquiz's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canton, Ga
Posts: 2,700

As PP said rope drop, rope drop, rope drop. Morning EMH also helps as well as park hoppers. My DH hates getting up early but even he agrees that we need to make rope drop when we travel during peak times. We usually make rope drop for EMH and then are back at the room by lunch for a nap and then some pool time. We then go back to whatever park has evening EMH.
lsenquiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 05:51 PM   #5
DIS Veteran
castmember19's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 789

Rope drop, rope drop, rope drop. We're a rope drop family.

I'd also suggest buying the Unofficial Guide for tips and touring plans.

Also, some people enjoy EMH but we avoid the park that has them like the plague.

Different families have different strategies. It's just what works for us.

The world is a carousel of color.
castmember19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 06:06 PM   #6
Niki in NJ
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 261

Definitely rope drop! The first hour the park is open you can get so much done. Another tip would be to make an early ADR for a place to eat in the park and be scheduled to finish before the park opens. For example, have a 7:30 ADR for Crystal Palace, so when the park opens at 9, you are already in the park ready to tour. You can also get great pictures in the park with barely anyone around. We also go to the back of the park first and do attractions back there because you can get a lot done since it takes longer for guests coming in the gates to make their way to the back. You can grab fastpass for something more popular in the front of the park while heading to the back.
I would also avoid EMH's both early and late. The late EMH's are great for fireworks, etc. .. but the lines for the rides don't die down until late (like after 11). That's just our experience.
June 1993 Grand Floridian, June 1995 Grand Floridian, May 2003 Contemporary, May 2006 Grand Floridian, June 2008 Beach Club, October 2010 Yacht Club, June 2011 Yacht Club
Niki in NJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2011, 11:40 PM   #7
Gonzo82's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 96

1. Rope Drop. Getting to a park 30 minutes or more before opening gets you a good place in the rope drop crowd. In terms of attractions per hour, the first two hours in the morning can not be beat (EMH excluded, of course). Crowds are low and FP return times are quick, allowing you to get more FPes in a shorter amount of time.

2. Abuse the Fast Pass system. This is tied into #'s 1, 3 and 4. Disney allows you to use "expired" fast passes. In other words, as long as you arrive after the start of your scheduled FP window you will be allowed in, regardless of how long ago the window actually was. So save your fast passes for when you really need them, see other attractions in the meantime, and do your best to get another FP as soon as you are able.

3. Know which attractions always have a short wait time. At each park, there are certain attractions that have a short wait time 90% of the time. Obviously if you're there at super peak times (Christmas, New Year's, Easter, 4th of July, or any other time when park closings threaten) lines will be long at everything no matter what, but otherwise certain attractions will always have a relatively short wait time. These can be saved for midday when crowds are the worst. IMO the are:
MK: Stitch, Monsters inc., TTA/Peoplemover, Carousel of Progress, Mickey's Philharmonic, Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree, and the Tiki Room (closed now, but I doubt it will draw significantly more people when it reopens).
Epcot: The Seas, Figment, Captain Eo, Living with the Land (30 min, tops), Universe of Energy, any of the films in World Showcase.
HS: Backlot Tour, Muppet-Vision 3D, Magic of Disney Animation, and the Beauty and the Beast show.
AK: Bug's Life, Flights of Wonder, the walking trails, and the Discovery Island habitats.

4. Know the ebb and flow of crowds. Some attractions have low crowds at certain times of the day and short lines at others (ignoring the pre-noon hours when everything is low).
MK: Pirates and Jungle Cruise: low crowds before lunch and after dinner. Save these for one of those times.
Epcot: Spaceship Earth and Maelstrom. Spaceship Earth is busiese in the afternoons. I'd suggest saving it for later when most guests have entered the park and have already done it. Maelstrom has one of the most under-utilized fast pass machines in the parks, so either do it early/late, or just get a fastpass and spend 40 minutes enjoying the rest of World Showcase.
HS: The Great Movie Ride (and maybe Star Tours). TGMG is like Spaceship Earth: everyone wants to do it when they enter the park, no one wants to do it later. Do the big 3 early, then save this for when you're waiting for your fastpasses. Star Tours right now is up in the air. So far the only data we have is for the Star Wars Weekend crowd, who normally artificially increase the wait time for this attraction anyway. It will take a while before the effects of the refurb are seen, but historically the attraction has been open in the mornings and nights and busy in the afternoons.
AK: The dearth of attractions here generally gives everything a long line, but there are a few tips. Flights of Wonder usually fills up late, and the fast pass machines at Dinosaur and the Safari and under-utilized, so the make good use of fastpasses for those attractions.
Gonzo82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2011, 08:42 PM   #8
Stinkerbell317's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: NW Chicago 'Burbs
Posts: 812

We usually avoid the amEMH parks, but take full advantage of the pmEMHs especially if it's a night MK is open until 2-3am. Not all kids can handle those hours I realize, but if you can swing it, we LOVE being at MK that late.

If you're more of morning people, make an 8am bfast reservation at a non-amEMH park. You'll be inside the park at rope drop, and be ahead of the crowds lined up back at the turnstiles.
Stinkerbell317 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2011, 09:58 PM   #9
Carrie in AZ
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,326

I can suggest two things:

Rope Drop: Plan to arrive at the park 40+ mins prior to park opening during busy times. We did that last week for six rope drops in a row and it made a HUGE difference in our day. We were able to walk on many attractions and others with very little wait.

Tour Guide Mike: I highly recommend subscribing to TGM and participating in the Forums on his site. The detailed itinerary and touring plan help you will receive from the "experts" there will help you more than I can say. Again, we hardly waited at all last week in all four parks. (HS was the exception and is the trickiest park)

And, of course, read read read all you can here on the DISBoards and your trip will be MAGICAL!
Nov 2014 - 25th Anniversary Trip
Oct 2014 Another WONDERful cruise!
Oct 2013 Our first cruise ever! LOVED the Wonder!
July 2013 Aulani
June 2012 - GCH July 2012 - Aulani
June 2011 - CR/BCV
Thanksgiving 2010 - Disneyland
Nov 2009 - CR/Poly Oct 2009 - GCH Nov 2008 - BC
June 2008 - GCH Oct 2007 - DLH
Nov 2006 - POR June 2004 - DLH
Apr 2002 - POR Nov 1999 - Dixie Landings
Carrie in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2011, 10:36 PM   #10
DIS Veteran
Wadecool's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Elizabethtown, KY
Posts: 4,138

Originally Posted by castmember19 View Post
Rope drop, rope drop, rope drop. We're a rope drop family.

I'd also suggest buying the Unofficial Guide for tips and touring plans.

Also, some people enjoy EMH but we avoid the park that has them like the plague.

Different families have different strategies. It's just what works for us.
Wadecool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2011, 06:53 AM   #11
ToddRN's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 161

I'd say avoid EMH- gets really busy! Also, check out a site called Touring Plans- very cool and lots of great hints. They know their Disney!!! For a small subscription fee, you have access to crowd levels, and best/worst days to visit specific parks. They also have an app called, "Lines." CHeck it out, its helped me out a lot!!!!
Disneyland Jun 2007 Pop Century Jan 2008 All Star Sports Oct 2008 DVC member Nov 2008 AKV Saratoga Springs 2009 Old Key West 2010 Old Key West Oct 2011
Animal Kingdom- Kidani Village Jan 2012

ToddRN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2011, 07:27 AM   #12
KrysiaG's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 440

Originally Posted by newdeal View Post
Rope drop is key. You can take advantage of the fact that most people sleep in on their vacation
and are eating at breakfasts & things as well!
Mother to: Evan (6) Aidan (6) Bella (5) Sophie (3)
KrysiaG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2011, 07:45 AM   #13
The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet *****. Why can't you say "f o r u m"?
buffettgirl's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: GreatWoods parking lot.
Posts: 3,131

rope drop and learn how to use FP .

We normally go in July and we rarely wait more than 20 min for anything because we know where to be, on what day, and we know how to use the FP system.
buffettgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2011, 07:46 AM   #14
traveling through life, with the one I love
soulmates's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North of Saratoga Springs
Posts: 2,384

DVC Gold Member
Paid DVC Rent/Trade
Gold Membership

I guess we're going against the flow here. We plan to sleep in late, and lounge by the pool all day. Fun in the sun, renting a boat here and there and going at a slow pace. All our ADR's are for around 5pm and THEN we'll hit the parks. We plan to avoid the major heat this way plus the parks are EXTRA magical in the evenings! This is our first time doing it this way but having been once before in Aug I KNOW the heat & humidity took the energy right out of us. We're looking forward to relaxing on this trip!
soulmates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2011, 07:50 AM   #15
Dayton Flyer
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 167

Originally Posted by Gonzo82 View Post
Maelstrom has one of the most under-utilized fast pass machines in the parks, so either do it early/late, or just get a fastpass and spend 40 minutes enjoying the rest of World Showcase.
It is hard to send a runner to that thing because Epcot is so spread out. It's like "OK, you go get a FP for Maelstrom, we'll ride Soarin'. On standby. Twice. See you then!"
Dayton Flyer is offline   Reply With Quote

avoiding lines, busy, crowds, fastpass

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.