Hacks and Life Pro Tips For Avoiding Crowds and Getting The Most Out Of A Day At Orlando Theme Parks
Hacks and Life Pro Tips (LPT) for avoiding crowds at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando (thanks to Universal Orlando's official blog and their commentators for the quotes and ideas):
If you are a single family staying in one hotel room, consider staying on property to get free Universal Express Access or Disney Extra Magic Hours
It may seem weird for a family trying to rent their Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home to advise you to stay at a theme park resort; however, there may be times when it makes sense. If this is your first trip to Orlando; you are a family of 4 or less and you plan on visiting Disney or Universal exclusively (ie not going to both parks) then staying at Disney or Universal may make sense. While staying on property, Disney guests have access to either Disney's "Extra Magic Hours" and those staying at Universal's deluxe resorts have access to the "Universal Express". The first offers an extra hour in the day where non-resort guests do not have access to the park (normally between 7:00 am and 8:00 am or 11:00 pm and midnight) For Universal, you get a pass allowing you to skip the regular lines at all participating rides and attractions (sort of like a fastpass). This is available to none resort guests for an additional fee. Once your family group is over 4 people, you enter into the area where you need more than one hotel room. This is where these perks may no longer make economic sense and you are better off renting our Kissimmee villa with water slides , waterpark and a free shuttle to Disney and Universal.
Don’t ride the first thing you see
Most guests will enter through the front gates and head to the nearest attraction. Zig when they zag – head to the back, then work your way forward.
Eat outside of the 11 am – 1 pm lunch window
Most people head to the in-park eateries during this window of time. Because it’s lunch! Plan to snack before or eat a late lunch and you’ll have a bit more of the place to yourself. Better yet, bring food into the park and eat when you want to (saves money too).
Enter the parks through the “secret entrance”
Did you know there’s a second park entrance to Universal Studios Florida near the Blue Man Group theatre? Head in that direction and get to the rides that much faster. At Disney's Animal Kingdom, if you head over to Rainforest Cafe, located just left of the entrance into the park, walk through the gift shop and you will find the secret entrance.
Use child swap
Those with kids who can’t or don’t want to go on specific rides can use child swap to keep from waiting in line twice. One parent stays with the child while the other rides, and then you switch. Ask the greeter at the front of the attraction to get you set up.
Single Rider Line
Many rides have a single rider line which will have a wait time that is far less than the normal wait line. While you won't be able to sit right next to your buddies, you can meet them right after the ride is done and you will likely have saved 30 minutes of your day.
Check out crowd calendars to not only find the best time of year to travel, but also to plan which park to travel to during your stay. Generally speaking, if a park has Extra Magic Hours, you want to avoid that park. It will be full of resort guests who showed up between 7:00am - 8:00am for the Extra Magic Hours, but then they don't leave for the rest of the day because they didn't buy a park hopper. My goto crowd calendar is at www.easywdw.com.
For more tips or help organizing your Orlando trip or for help figuring out how to stay at our Disney World vacation home and staying within your Disney on a budget 2017 plan, drop us an email and we will try to help you out
Our whole family will be contributing to this Blog. We write about our experiences and news related to Walt Disney World as well as post our Encore Resort Blog and Reunion Resort Blog