When a friend is headed to Walt Disney World, we often get asked “What attractions are a must-do?” While that question is easy to answer – and the answers may vary depending on who is asked – the better piece of advice I give is to maximize your mornings at the Parks to successfully carry out all of those must-see attractions. Here’s how to maximize your mornings at the parks:
Wake Up Early! Yes, you’re on vacation, and usually that means “sleeping in.” But not at WDW! Set your alarm in order to wake up early and get a head start on the day!
Eat (a quick) Breakfast. Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip it! But do make it something simple and easy. We bring a box of cereal from home (yep, in our packed luggage), and buy milk from the resort gift shop. We’ve got a quick and easy breakfast made in our own room! If you’d rather eat on-the-go, you can grab a muffin and juice at your resorts food court or gift shop and continue to the bus stop.
Arrive at the Park BEFORE Opening. In order to arrive to the Parks before opening, you’ll need to be at your resort’s bus stop 45 minutes to an hour before the Park actually opens. Sometimes you’ll be waiting up to 20 minutes for your bus to pick you up. You may spend another 20 minutes en route to the park. If you drive, plan on arriving to the park’s parking lot 30 minutes before opening so you can catch the monorail, tram or walk to the entrance. You’ll then get your bags checked by security and proceed to the turnstiles. If it’s Magic Kingdom you’re headed to, their fabulous Opening Show begins 10 minutes before the Park officially opens. This is a must-see and so many people miss it because they either don’t know about it or they’re sleeping in.
Have a Plan. If you’ve done everything listed above, you’ve just set yourself up to accomplish a lot! Make sure you truly can accomplish quite a bit and have a plan. Study a park map and check out where your must-do attractions are located. Then map out your route so that you can hit everything you’d like to see. That first hour that the park is open is a great time to do and see many attractions because it’s when the park is the least crowded, and the lines have very little wait. You will likely be able to accomplish more in the first 3 hours after the park opens, than you will be able to do from Noon straight until park closing. Utilize those first 3 hours!!
Reward Yourself. Now that you’ve accomplished likely everything you’ve wanted to see, take a well-deserved break! Go enjoy lunch or leave the park for a mid-day break (and watch the entrance as you leave… A LOT people will be entering as you’re exiting, and you’ll be avoiding the most crowded time of the day).
At WDW, the early bird gets the worm! By maximizing your mornings, you can avoid the major afternoon crowds. And if you choose to avoid the parks during the afternoon, you can catch up on your sleep if you truly missed sleeping in.
Do you maximize your mornings? Tell us your tips in the comments below!
Terri enjoys seeking out the lesser-known things of Walt Disney World and reporting her findings on her own blog, WDW Hints as well as the WDW Hints facebook page. She is also the co-creator of Mousekejournals – your one-stop-shop for Disney-related articles from many great blogs!
- The Benefits of Staying On-site at WDW (wdwhints.com)
- Top 10 Disney World Rides You Must Do Each Visit! (chipandco.com)