READY… SET… Where to GO First at Disney World’s Four Parks

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Do you have an upcoming Disney World trip planned?  Maybe you are wondering if there are any tips you should know before venturing out to each park.  Our family has taken six trips over the past seven years, with another one booked for later this year.  We have spent over forty days at the different parks.  As early risers who want to make the most of our vacation days, we have learned where to start out first.

If Magic Kingdom is our destination, we are at the front of the line when the park opens. We sacrifice a view of the opening show where singers and dancers perform on the train tracks overhead in order to increase our odds of having no wait for that first ride.  Our first selection of the day is Dumbo.  While the flying elephant is not our favorite ride, it is a classic attraction that draws quite a crowd.  Yet few people choose to head to this flight first and instead rush to one of the exciting mountain roller coasters.  Taking advantage of this fact, we put Dumbo first and avoid the need to wait sometimes an hour or more in its long lines later on.  While in Fantasy Land, we scoot on over to Peter Pan’s Flight, another favorite that draws a crowd, as well a lengthy wait, throughout most of the day.

When we begin our day at EPCOT, we rush first to Soarin’.  The lines tend to be longer than many others in the park, perhaps because this popular attraction is inside a building with only one other ride and a restaurant.  One year, my almost seventy year-old father-in-law outran the rest of our family and all other EPCOT guests to be the first in line for Soarin’.  We pushed through crowds to catch up, dragging our children along and even pulling one up to my hips.  When we arrived, we were still about forty people behind Grandpa.  His stamina and drive, however, had impressed not only the cast members, but also the guests who saw his determination and allowed us to advance to the front with him.

Our morning at Animal Kingdom always begins with a race to Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We put it first for two main reasons.  We have been told that the animals are most active in the mornings, so making this destination our first of the day increases our odds for a more exciting journey.  Also, as with all other rides, being one of the first of the day means less time waiting in line to begin our safari.

We are somewhat torn when it comes to Hollywood Studios.  Our boys love the Tower of Terror and have a goal of riding its elevators at least ten times a trip.  If we make it our first stop, they can easily knock off five times in a row as the initial crowd disperses to other attractions.  However, with the addition of Toy Story Midway Mania to this park, it has become a necessity to put Buzz and Woody first.  Lines form quickly for this attraction, as well as for its Fast Pass booths.  We have even debated on making its Fast Pass line our first stop of the day at the Studios.  Ultimately, we choose riding Toy Story Mania to begin the morning.  The wait at that time is certain to be the shortest of the day if we are at the front of the Studios when the park opens and are willing to speed walk to get to the ride. 

Perhaps you have noticed a pattern our family follows to make the most of each day we are at the parks, as well as the most of our favorite attractions.  Arrive early – well before the opening countdown – and be willing to walk with speed to the attraction that will draw the biggest crowds and longest lines as the day progresses.

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