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Waking Up at Disney: 10 Things We Love Doing in the Early Morning at Disney World

Although waking up early while on vacation at Disney may not be the ideal scenario for everyone, being an early riser has some advantages at Disney World. Here are 10 things we love doing in the early morning at Disney World.


10 – Go on a Tour

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, tours have been temporarily suspended.

Disney has some amazing tours for guests, many of which take you backstage and show you the inner workings of the parks. Some tours start very early in the morning, and although getting up the crack of dawn may not be fun, the tours definitely are! Magic Kingdom has a wonderful tour that begins at 8:00 am. During the Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour, your guide will share many little-known facts about Walt’s upbringing in Marceline, Missouri as well as provide insider info about the design and operation of several classic attractions, including those inspired by Walt’s participation in the 1964 World’s Fair. Over at Epcot, another tour, World Showcase: DesiNations Discovered begins at 8:15 am. During this tour, you’ll learn more about the 11 themed pavilions. Both tours are worth having to get up early!

9 – Have Breakfast in the Parks

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, not all restaurants are operating, including character dining. Chef Mickey’s, Topolino’s Terrace’s Breakfast a la Art, Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine, and Garden Grill offer modified character dining experiences. 

Some restaurants take early morning breakfast reservations, about an hour before the park opens and it’s one of the things we love doing in the early morning at Disney World. It’s a great feeling to be in the parks before rope drop. There isn’t a better place to be at Disney than having breakfast first thing in the morning with Winnie the Pooh, Princesses or Chip and Dale. Magic Kingdom Park opens its gates one hour prior to official opening to allow guests to get pictures, get some shopping done, and eat breakfast in the park along Main Street U.S.A.

Belle at Cinderella Royal Table

Belle at Cinderella Royal Table

8 – Plan the Day Ahead

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, FastPass+ is temporarily suspended.

Waking up and going over your plan for the day ahead is a great way to get excited for a day at the park. Taking a look at your dining reservations and FastPass+ selections help build the anticipation for the day you have planned at the parks. You can discuss where you want to grab lunch, which shows to see, and which attractions you’ll head to first thing upon arriving at the parks.

7 – Have a Mickey Waffle

Mickey waffles are the breakfast of champions when it comes to breakfast at Disney World. Nothing puts you in a magical mood early in the morning like filling the crevices of your waffle with maple syrup and then eating Mickey’s ears first.

6 – Kilimanjaro Safaris

Early in the morning is the best time to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris. Not only is there a short wait time, but many of the animals are out and about first thing in the morning. The heat hasn’t really set in for the day yet, so animals, especially the big cats, tend to out in plain sight.


5 – Relax

Waking up early allows you to take your time as you get ready for your day at the park, and it means you have more hours in your day. Taking some time to relax first thing in the morning is a great way to enjoy the morning at Disney. Whether that means relaxing by the pool in the morning sun, enjoying your morning cup of coffee, or finding a quiet spot to sit and just take it easy as you gear up for the day.

4 – Go to Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Epcot opens at either 11 am or 12 pm. Check the My Disney Experience app for up to date hours. 

Although the World Showcase opens at 11 am, Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France pavilion opens at 9 am. This is a great destination early in the morning. The World Showcase is relatively empty, so you can stroll past the pavilions on your way to France. Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie is a great place for breakfast at Epcot, since they have delicious pastries, and you won’t have to wait in a long line like you might have to later in the day.

Seating Area-Les Halles

Seating Area at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie

3 – Take Photos

Taking photos around the parks early in the morning is one of the best ways to get some of the most sought after photos, without big crowds and strangers in the background. Taking photos along Main Street, and especially at Cinderella Castle, is so much easier to do first thing in the morning.

2 – See the Opening Ceremony – “Let the Magic Begin”

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom does not open an hour early. Cast Members have told us they would like guests to arrive at park opening. However, they will open the gates early to avoid crowding, but it will not be at any set time. The opening show “Let the Magic Begin,” is not operating.

The “Let the Magic Begin,” show opens the Magic Kingdom five 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 stage show takes place at the Castle Forecourt Stage. The short show sets the tone for a special day at Magic Kingdom.

1 – Walk onto Rides

The thing we love doing the most during a morning at Disney is to arrive at rope drop and walk onto our favorite rides. There aren’t as many early risers at Disney, which means the crowds haven’t quite formed when the parks open and it really is possible to waltz right onto the most popular rides. It’s a fantastic feeling to just breeze through the entire standby line and ride Avatar Flight of Passage, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, or Slinky Dog Dash. It also means you can see and do more during your day at the park when you’ve already visited a number of rides and attractions in the early morning.

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.


About Lauren Repei

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.