Going to Disney World for the first time will be one of the most exciting trips you’ll ever do. The anticipation and eagerness to arrive and get stuck in will almost be too much.
Of course pre-pandemic, ques were part of the expectation when planning a visit to Walt Disney World and now we find ourselves living in the middle of the pandemic, Disney along with everyone else have had to find ways to ensure visitors’ safety for when they can start to welcome us back. So, now that Walt Disney has announced that they are taking bookings for 2022, we have a few tips about the regulations they are putting in place to help you feel safe when planning for a magical Disney holiday during this time.
- Limited attendance – Walt Disney World have implemented limited attendance in the parks.
- Park Pass reservation system – Guests must now pre-register their parks before departure on the My Disney Experience app.. with the current park pass system in place, you have a real reservation to get into the park.
- Socially distanced ques – The fast pass system has been removed for now and socially distanced ques have been implemented so guests can stay 2 meters apart.
- Disney has instructed clear distancing protocols in the parks, along with routine cleaning and the enforcement of wearing masks around the parks.
Although a few of the favourite past times including the fireworks may be paused at the moment. Disney have outdone themselves to bring in new socially distanced Parades and Character Cavalcades which is a lovely addition to the parks.
A lot of the following tips still stand, however, this year and next year there is no Fastpass system and extra hours due to the pandemic, however, Disney have announced that they will be returning to pre-pandemic systems and regulations in 2023. So if you are planning a trip for 2023 read on and find out what our tips are for beating the ques for when things really do return back ‘normal’.
Before you arrive it is always best to plan your stay and make sure you are getting the most out of the queuing features offered at Disney World. Queuing at Disney World can become frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing, and there is nothing worse than waiting for ages to get on the ride you’ve always want to get on.
Our secrets to avoiding the queues at Disney World:
- Download the My Disney Experience app
- Link your park tickets and hotel reservation to the app
- Book your three FastPasses for the morning
- Go for the hard to get rides first
- Make advanced dining reservations
- Utilise the Extra Magic hours
- Use the resort’s transportation
- Single Rider Lines
- Purchase event tickets
- Go against the flow
Download the My Disney Experience app
Download the My Disney Experience app and plan an itinerary. It’s good to plan a day in each park plus the water parks and those all needed rest days. Use the Walt Disney World Website to look at the park hours on your dates.
Link your park tickets and hotel reservation to the app
Link your park tickets and hotel reservation to the My Disney Experience app. Through the My Disney Experience app, you’ll be able to book FastPasses before your stay. FastPasses are essential for skipping the big queues.
You can choose your park and select three attractions to FastPass. Choose your time – of which you’ll get given an hour slot to go on that ride.
Once in the parks, head straight to the ride in your time slot, scan your tickets and you’ll enter the FastPass line (which usually means you get straight on the ride)!
You can pre-book three fast passes a day (for one park)
For guests staying on resort you can pre-book FastPasses 60 days before your stay.
For guests in all other hotels – you can pre-book FastPasses 30 days before your stay.
Book your three FastPasses for the morning
Book your three FastPasses for the morning – as after you have used these three you can go on the app and book more for the park you are in – or for the next park you are visiting (subject to availability). If you don’t have the app, there are kiosks around the park in which you can also book the passes.
Remember, Walt Disney World offers free WiFi around the parks and the resorts, so your quickest and best bet is to book via the app.
Go for the hard to get rides first
Go for the hard to get rides first such as Flight of Passage, Test Track, Frozen, Space Mountain, Slinky Dog Dash, Star Wars Millennium Falcon Run and soon to open – Rise of the Resistance. These FastPasses go quick, and once they are all gone, they are gone. You can also FastPass the shows such as Illuminations, Reflections and Fantasmic.
Rides such as It’s a Small World, Tower of Terror, The Seas with Nemo and Friends do not usually have long queues (depending on when you are going), so it’s best not to use your FastPass on these rides.
Make advanced dining reservations
Along with your FastPass, you can also make your advanced dining reservations 180 days before you go.
Try booking some restaurant reservations (for restaurants in the park ) before the parks open or just as the parks open. This can sometimes get you into the park early, before the rest of the guests and you may just be able to jump on a ride with no queue.
Utilise the Extra Magic Hours
Resort guests will be able to utilise the Extra Magic Hours. You’ll be able to see the full park schedule and opening hours including the Extra Magic Hours on the app. This gives resort guests additional hours in the park that the general public do not get, and therefore shortened ride wait times.
Daily park hours are also displayed on the TV in your rooms.
Use the resorts transportation
Resort transportation for Disney Resort guests is complimentary around the resort – buses, monorails and boats all start an hour before the parks open and most of these take you straight to the front gates. If you are driving, you can get stuck in traffic getting into the car parks, and even then most of you will have to get a tram or boat to the front gates which can take quite a while.
Utilising the free transport can mean you get that extra hour in the morning before the general public of which there are usually shorted ride queues.
Single rider lines
Some of the larger rides such as Rock N Roller Coaster and Test Track have single rider lines. These lines are usually empty and you can walk straight onto the ride! Single riders are used to fill up the odd gaps on the rides. So if there is a group of three you can jump on with them to make up the numbers.
That’s if you don’t mind not sitting next to your friends/family.
Purchase event tickets
Event tickets such as Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party, The Very Merry Christmas Party and Disney After Hours are exclusive events available for only to those who have the event tickets.
The parks usually close early, around 6pm during the above events. Not only do you get great themed food, specials shows, fireworks and character meet and greets, you’ll also find a lot of the rides have very small wait times.
Go against the flow
Go against the flow, usually when people enter the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, they go left. Go right and do the parks backwards! Also get to the park early in the morning and late in the evening. Ride wait times tend to be higher around midday.
If you can rope drop the parks in the morning, you can usually run to a popular ride and get on with virtually no queue!
The biggest tip we have for first timers to Disney World though is to plan plan plan… have an idea of where you are going to be on every day of your trip. Also, plan those all important rest days, these are essential as a Florida holiday is very fast paced.