If you ask any Disney World planning expert for help coming up with a daily plan fortouring the parks, they will all probably tell you the same thing: Get up early. Be to the park at rope drop.
But that does not work for everyone. There are endless things to do at Disney, and often times that means late hours at night. If you have little ones, late hours at night do not translate well when it comes to early mornings. Or maybe it’s just that you are on vacation so you just want to SLEEP!
So what should you do? Will you miss all of the good rides? Will you be standing in line for hours on end? How do you sleep in and still get the most out of Disney World?
While rope drop is the best way to maximize the number of rides you get on, it is not the only way to do Disney. Here are some tips doing Disney and sleeping in a little later.
So let’s assume you made a touring plan. You planned on being at the park at rope drop. And then you slept in. What do you do?
Say the park you planned to visit is Magic Kingdom, and that day it opens at 9am. If your touring plan had you rope dropping and heading to Fantasyland for the first hour, and instead you sleep in and you don’t get to the park until 10am do NOT start your day at the beginning of your touring plan.
When I make suggestions like rope drop and going straight to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it is because that line can get crazy. Like 2 hours long crazy. If you get to that ride at opening your wait will be minimal. If you get in line at 10am, I promise you that the line will already be crazy.
Instead, I want you to jump to the second hour of your touring plan. Just jump in wherever you would have been had you gotten to the park earlier. You’ll miss those first few rides, but the rest of your plan wont be changed.
If you know that getting up super early isn’t for you, but you are dying to get on a certain ride, fastpass+ is going to be your best friend.
If one of your bucket list rides is a hard to get fastpass+ (Think Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash) you will want to be ready to grab your fastpass+ selections 60 days before your trip (30 days if you are staying off property) as soon as they open up the bookings for that day. If you grab a fastpass+ for your must ride attractions, you can sleep in and leisurely get to the parks to ride your favorite rides.
And once you use that 3rd fastpass+ of the day, get back on that app and grab yourself another fastpass+. Your selections will probably be more limited on the day of, but you’ll be able to get on rides without wait.
If you are a night owl, you’ll see that the later you stay in the park, the lesser the crowds get. People with small children will head out, and you’ll have a better chance of getting on your favorite rides with a lesser wait.
If you don’t mind missing the parades or the fireworks, you can often get on rides with shorter waits while these events are happening. People will be flocking to Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom, giving you a better chance to get on some rides with a lesser wait.
The same can be said about meal times. Plan your lunch and dinner for off times, and hit some rides while others are taking a break to eat.
While I always suggest rope drop to start your days, I know that isn’t for everyone. You may not be able to get on every ride, but you can certainly have a magical vacation even if you want to sleep in.
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See you at the parks,