Picture this, you are at Walt Disney World, and your days are packed with attractions, shows, parades, dining reservations, and fireworks. Every night you get back to your hotel exhausted from all the fun you managed to cram in during the day. The last thing you want to do is get up early tomorrow and get to the parks before opening, right? Wrong! Getting to the parks early has many great benefits, read on to find out the top 8 reasons you should get to the parks before opening each day!
Editor’s Note: We understand that with the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, some of the advice in this article may not apply if you visit while park hours are reduced, capacity limits and physical distancing are in place, and some of our favorite experiences—fireworks, parades, and character greetings—are temporarily suspended. (You can read everything you need to know about the phased reopening by clicking here). We will continue to share articles that give guidance on a “normal” vacation to Walt Disney World, along with any special changes or instructions you may need to be aware of during the phased reopening to provide the best tips we can regardless of when you are visiting. ~ Chad & Cindy
8 – Easier Transportation
If you are utilizing Disney transportation, you will find the bus stop starts to get crowded between 8:30, and 10:30 am, as many guests will be heading to the park during days with a 9 am opening. Beat this crowd by getting on an earlier bus and planning to get to the park before opening. If you drive, you will also find less traffic on the roads, at the parking plazas, and on the monorail or ferryboat up to 30 minutes prior to park opening. Plus, you can often get a great parking spot, which may not require you to ride the parking tram!
7 – Excitement of Being the First Guests in the Park
There is something extremely exciting about waiting just outside the gates as they announce the park is open for the day, and guests begin rushing in. This also makes for some great photo opportunities with fewer people in the background.
6 – Time to Get Organized
If you arrive after park opening, you may find yourself feeling a little frazzled. Arriving before opening allows you time to adjust your stroller, apply sunscreen, sort through your backpack for your camera, all while waiting for the park to open for the day. Once the gates open, you are ready to go and don’t need to stop once inside the park to do these things.
5 – View “Let the Magic Begin”
While the other parks have phased out their welcome shows, there is still one daily at the Magic Kingdom. “Let the Magic Begin,” opens the park 5 minutes before the posted opening time. A Royal Herald invites you to join Mickey and friends as they open the park in a magical way. This fun show sets the tone for a special day at Magic Kingdom.
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World in 2020, live shows might have adjusted showtimes and reduced capacity or may be temporarily suspended.
4 – Shorter Lines for Big Attractions
Wanting to ride Pandora – The World of Avatar, Soarin’, Slinky Dog Dash, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train without a Fastpass? Better get there early! Park opening is your best opportunity to view these and other popular attractions with minimal wait. As soon as the park opens, you can head straight to the attraction. Why wait 120 minutes later in the day when you can wait 20 minutes at park opening?
3 – Beat the Crowds
Getting to the park at opening will give you a leg up against other guests. Many guests will arrive between 9:30, and 11 am, meaning it won’t start to feel crowded until mid-morning. Use this time to get in as many attractions as possible before their lines begin to get longer. Save attractions that typically have shorter lines such as shows and 3-D movie attractions for later when it starts to get busy.
2 – Beat the Heat and the Rain
Florida weather can be extremely hot and humid, and often features an afternoon thunderstorm. You can avoid these by getting to the park before opening. The weather is cooler in the morning and often features clear skies. Since you will be arriving before the crowds start to get heavy, you will have time to get in a lot of attractions before it gets too hot or starts to rain. Then during the hottest part of the day, you can head back to the hotel or take a leisurely lunch in the air conditioning because you will have already accomplished so much! After your afternoon break, you will feel refreshed and ready to take on the evening as the weather begins to cool down a bit.
1 – Because You’re at Disney!
Yes, you are tired, your feet hurt, and your family is driving you nuts, but you are at Disney! Get out there early and get some of that Disney Magic. You can always sleep once you get home, right?
There you have it, 8 great reasons to get up early and get to those parks before opening! So set your alarm and reap all the benefits of being some of the first guests into the parks!
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