When it comes to the major holidays at Walt Disney World there’s one thing I always hear: it’s too crowded to enjoy attractions. The second thing that’s always brought up is the increase in prices for peak seasons. Is there a way to enjoy the holiday fun in the parks without breaking the bank and losing your sanity? You betcha.
Rope Drop Is the Way to Begin the Day
You’ll want to hit the turnstile area well before the park opens, aka rope drop. Not only will you be the first ones into the park that morning, the first hour of each park’s opening is when you’ll score the best chance of visiting all of the attractions you really want to enjoy. On a good day you’ll be able to hit five attractions in the first hour if you plan it right.
And speaking of planning…
Have a Plan and Stick to it!
I know, it takes the whole impulsive fun out of your day, but researching and sticking to a touring plan is the way to go. You’ll want to hit the popular attractions first thing in the morning and then head to the ones that aren’t so popular. Even on low crowd days we stick to this style of visit. I’d much rather get Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom or Toy Story Midway Mania done first and then mosey. This goes for parades, fireworks, and shows, too!
If you’d like to get the scoop on what to do and when, there’s touring plans that you can purchase to give you insight on what to do in a well-studied chronological order to get you the most bang for your buck.
Lock Down Room Reservations Well in Advance
An increase in crowds means an increase in resort room pricing during the major holidays. As soon as you know when you’ll be visiting and have the dates locked down, that’s the time to book your resort – especially if you’re staying on-property.
If you’re planning an off-property visit you’ll definitely save some cash but you’ll run the risk of spending more time than you’d like traveling back and forth -and guests that are not staying on-property run the risk of being turned away at the proverbial door. Yep, WDW can, and will, stop off-property guests from visiting a park when it’s a max capacity.
FastPass+ is Your BFF
As soon as you have your on-property room and ticket reservation mark your calendar at 60 days to jog your memory. Beginning in the morning of you 60th day out you can begin securing FastPass+ reservations for you and your party members with valid admission and room reservation. You’ll be able to select for the entire length of your stay, too. Tip: make a list of the attractions that your family really wants to see and lock those in ASAP. Popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride at Magic Kingdom and Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will go fast!
If you’ve got an off-property stay, with valid park admission you can secure your FP+ ressies at 30 days out.
Plan Meals During Off-Peak Times
I know, you’re probably not going to be hungry at 10:45 in the morning or at 3pm, but by avoiding the popular window times for meals you’ll save a ton of time in line. Plan a late breakfast so you and the fam can go later in the day before eating lunch or try to score an early dinner time. Honestly, we love eating dinner early at WDW so it’s never a problem for my family.
Have you ever visited Walt Disney World on a major holiday? What’s you best tip for staying sane? Please let me know in the comment section below!