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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 ten things we love doing in the early morning at Disney World.


10 – Plan the Day Ahead at 7:00 am

Waking up and going over your plan for the day ahead is a great way to get excited for a day at the park. At 7:00 am every morning, you’ll need to book selections if you are trying to enter a virtual queue or make Lightning Lane selections with Genie+ and/or Individual A la Carte Attractions if you are a resort guest (non-resort guests make those selections at park opening). If you are trying to make more than one of these types of selections, having another person with you to divide and conquer the process would be helpful. You’ll want to prioritize the order in which you try and do things. If a ride requires you to enter a virtual queue, plan to enter the virtual queue first. Then if you have an Individual Attraction you want to book (especially as a resort guest–get that advantage and especially if you have your heart set on TRON Lightcycle / RunStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind), then book that next. Finally, after that, book your first Genie+ return window for your first Genie+ attraction.

9 – Go on a Tour

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 at 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 Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour, your guide will share the “creation and remarkable growth of one of the most beloved parks at Walt Disney World.”

8 – Have Breakfast in the Parks

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 before the official opening to allow guests to get pictures, shop, and eat breakfast in the park along Main Street U.S.A.

Belle at Cinderella Royal Table
Belle at Cinderella Royal Table

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 shorter wait time than later in the day, 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 be out in plain sight.


5 – Relax

Waking up early allows you to take your time as you prepare for your day at the park, which 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

Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France pavilion is a great destination early in the morning. One of the best pavilions to visit in the morning is 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, especially at Cinderella Castle, is much easier to do first thing in the morning.

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

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 – Enjoy Shorter Wait Times (as a Resort Guest)

The thing we love doing the most during a morning at Disney is to arrive for Early Theme Park Entry and enjoy shorter wait times on our favorite rides. This benefit allows resort guests to enter the theme parks thirty minutes early, and you get a huge jump ahead of the crowds. Since only resort guests have entered, the crowds haven’t quite formed, and it’s a great time to pick your favorite ride and wait in a shorter line. It’s a fantastic feeling to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Avatar Flight of Passage, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, or Slinky Dog Dash with a shorter wait. It also means you can see and do more during your day at the park when you’ve already visited a few attractions in the early morning. Note that all guests can enter and explore the park through to the Hub at Magic Kingdom. Only resort guests will be allowed to head to the attractions. With this new setup, non-resort guests who arrive at park opening will discover that wait times at the most popular attractions will already be anywhere from 1-2 hours long at park opening. This Early Entry benefit makes a big difference!

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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