Dealing with Crowds at Theme Parks

Most of us are bound to a school schedule, which means that we will be dealing with theme park crowds!

No matter which theme park you choose for your family vacation, it’s going to come with a side of heaving humanity. For those who prefer a bit more space and less time in line, there are some ways to navigate your park days so that you are maximizing every moment and avoiding those theme park crowds!

Get up early! Being at the entrance to the park before it opens is one way to get ahead of the crowds; the first hour or so in the parks usually see the lowest wait times, so it’s best to strategize the attractions with the longest waits for the earliest hours.

Use any available “extra time” you have from being an on-site guest! If you are staying at an on-site resort hotel, often you may get into the parks early or stay a little later. Check those benefits and use them to the fullest–not only will the wait times be lower, but the congestion will be less and moving around the parks will feel more fun!

Stay late, and skip the nighttime show. Whether it is fireworks, lasers, or projection lights, if you skip it in favor of a ride that usually has a long line, you will find a much shorter wait during that time, and if you’re lucky, you might get a quick peek at those spectacular views while on your ride!

Take advantage of paid line-skipping passes. In Walt Disney World, it’s called Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes, at Universal it’s Express Pass, and almost every theme park company has some version of it. If your time is valuable, do the calculations and decide if it’s worth it for you to buy the upgrade!

Avoid mid-day crowd frustration with a break. See a show, have a sit-down meal, or head back to your hotel for a swim and a nap.  Theme parks are at their busiest from about noon to 4 pm, so those are the hours to avoid the prime ride-style attractions. Having a plan to avoid the crush of people will make everyone happier.

You’re bound to catch up with the theme park crowds at some point, so remember to pack your patience and just keep smiling.

Ready to brave those theme park crowds and have a great vacation? Let’s chat!

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