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Top 10 Reasons to Get Up Early on Your Disney Vacation

Many people may shudder at the thought of getting up early on vacation, but here are ten reasons why we think it’s worth being an early riser when on a Disney World vacation.


10 – Book Your Virtual Queue, Genie+, and Lightning Lane Attractions at 7:00 am

If you are going to use the Virtual Queue (when available), use Disney Genie+, or want to book Individual Lightning Lane attractions, you need to be up early to do this at 7:00 a.m. All guests can try to enter the Virtual Queue and book their first Genie+ attraction at 7:00 a.m. Access to purchase Lightning Lane for the individual top-tier attractions will be available to all guests at park opening. Guests staying on Disney World property will receive the benefit of early access to top-tier reservations and can make their purchases at 7:00 a.m. on the day of their visit. Learn more about these services by clicking here. If you don’t get up early to book these selections, you run the risk of missing out completely on the best attractions.

9 – The Heat

The Florida heat and humidity can make guests tired, dehydrated, and cranky. Arriving early allows guests to enjoy the parks before the heat and humidity really set in. You can pack a great deal into the morning when you have more energy, and once the sun starts getting hot around noon, you can duck inside for lunch or take a break at your resort and return to the parks later on in the afternoon or evening.

8 – Not as Crowded as the Afternoon

If you arrive at rope drop, you’ll be ahead of a lot of guests who take their time getting to the park. It’s great to feel like you can just stroll down Main Street USA, and take in the atmosphere and the details without shuffling behind people’s swarms. Even if you rush to get to the park for opening, the lack of people will allow you to start your day at the park a little more leisurely. Note that now that Disney resort guests have the added benefit of Early Theme Park Entry, empty parks in the morning are a thing of the past.

Empty Liberty Square

7 – Picture Opportunities

The photographers are ready and waiting for you when the parks open, so this is the perfect time to have your picture taken in front of Cinderella Castle, The Tree of Life, or Hollywood Boulevard. You’re less likely to have strangers in the background of your photos, and you’ll also be able to get the shots you want without having to maneuver through and around people.

6 – Relaxed Breakfast

Some of the restaurants at the resorts can get quite noisy and busy for breakfast. It’s a good idea to fuel for the day ahead, and the perfect way to do that is with a Mickey Waffle, but that waffle is much more enjoyable if you beat the crowds. Getting up early to have a quiet, relaxed breakfast is excellent, even if you don’t want to rush out to the parks afterward. It allows you to ease into your day.


5 – Breakfast at the Parks

Several restaurants in the parks open for breakfast at 8 a.m., meaning if you make a reservation for breakfast, you gain access to the park before its opening. The attractions don’t open until the park officially does, but you are able to be in the parks, and you beat the lines waiting to get in for rope drop. Some restaurants open for breakfast are Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom, Garden Grill, Akershus at Epcot, and Tusker House at Animal Kingdom.

4 – Lower Wait Times

Getting to the parks early is an excellent strategy for getting on more rides and attractions, especially if you want to ride them more than once. If you head straight for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when Magic Kingdom opens, the line will be shorter than later in the day. Or head over to Peter Pan’s Flight because that queue fills up fast, or Soarin’ at Epcot. Generally, the line-ups are shorter in the first few hours at the parks, so take advantage of that.

Winnie the Pooh-Low Wait

3 – Opening Ceremony – “Let the Magic Begin”

“Let the Magic Begin” opens the park five minutes before the posted opening time. A Royal Herald invites you to join Mickey and friends as they magically open the park. This stage show takes place at the Castle Forecourt Stage. The show sets the tone for a special day at Magic Kingdom.

2 – It’s Your Best Chance to Ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance For Free

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is still an insanely popular attraction and one of the Individual Lightning Lane attractions where guests can choose to pay for access to the Lightning Lane (it’s not included in Genie+).  If you do not want to pay to ride this attraction, you may now simply enter the stand-by queue and wait for the attraction. Wait times run anywhere from 1.5 – 3+ hours, depending on the time of day. It’s still crazy popular, so be prepared to wait a long time for this one. We highly recommend that you get to the park as early and line up as possible. Also, be aware that Disney has and will close the regular stand-by queue in order to let those who paid for Lightning Lane access go through the line. These closures usually happen in the afternoon or evening, which is another reason we recommend lining up as early as possible. If you want to skip the line, consider paying a la carte for this Individual Attraction. Click here to learn more.

1 – More Disney!

Getting up early gives you more hours in the day to fill with everything Disney! More time for attractions, rides, shows, shopping, characters, and park hopping. There is so much to experience at Disney; some of those experiences can only be had earlier in the day. Whether you want a leisurely morning at the parks before the crowds hit or try to jam-pack as much as possible into your day, getting an early start on your day is a great idea. Besides, you can sleep when you get home!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.



Lauren lives in Hamilton Ontario, but dreams of one day moving to Orlando to be closer to the Magic Kingdom. In the meantime, she spends her days working for the family business as a barista and baker, being active in the independent theatre scene in Hamilton and working part-time as a professional personal assistant to a writer. Lauren’s most memorable Disney moment is by far when she became engaged in front of Cinderella’s Castle making it her best Disney vacation to date.
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