OK, so you’re thinking of visiting one of the Disney theme parks this summer while the kids are out of school, but are dreading the crowds and the heat. Here are three tips to help you get the most out of a visit this time of year.
Tip #1: Arrive Early!
I seem to say this a lot, but if you’re trying to beat the crowds — and the heat — there is simply no substitute for arriving early at the park, and this normally means being at the front gate about 30 minutes before the park opens for the day.
By arriving early, you not only get a jump on the crowds, but you also are able to visit attractions during the cool part of the day, leaving you less fatigued and more energized to actually enjoy your day at the park.
Arriving early helps you get a jump on the line build-up for popular attractions, such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, shown above. Compare with the wait just an hour or so later, shown in the picture below:
Tip #2: Take an Afternoon Break
If you use the RideMax planner for Disneyland or Walt Disney World to plan out your day, you’ll often find that the optimization software leaves you with a large block of “free time” during the afternoon hours. You may be tempted to fill up every minute of the day with more attractions, but you may want to reconsider, and use the afternoon hours for a break back at the hotel instead. This is especially the case if you’re visiting with young children. The afternoon hours typically see the highest crowds of the day, and temperatures are at their peak as well. Taking a break will leave you refreshed, rather than hot and tired, for the evening entertainment Disney offers during the summer months.
Tip #3: Watch the Shows!
All of Disney’s theme parks offer indoor attractions or shows where you can take a load off your feet and enjoy a break from the crowds in air-conditioned goodness. Shows that are good for this (and often not crowded) include:
- Magic Kingdom: The Hall of Presidents and Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Epcot: Captain EO (or the movie preview in the same theater), and Ellen’s Energy Adventure
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King
- Disneyland: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
- Disney California Adventure: Aladdin (shown below)
So, there you have it. Of course, planning out your Disney day with RideMax should also help reduce the amount of time you spend in line — and in the heat. But whether you use RideMax to plan out your Disney day or not, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor in terms of beating the crowds this summer by arriving early, taking an afternoon break, and ducking into a show when you find yourself getting hot or tired.
I hope this helps. Enjoy that trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World this summer!