'; #1 Piece of Advice... Get to the parks BEFORE opening! - WDW Hints
Tuesday 25 June 2024
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#1 Piece of Advice… Get to the parks BEFORE opening!

I can’t say it enough… for anyone visiting the Walt Disney World resort, get to the parks before park opening! Ten minutes before the Magic Kingdom opens, there is an Opening Show with Pixie Dust, fireworks and lots of Characters – perfect way to start your Disney day! The other 3 parks have done away with their opening show, but usually do some sort of small Welcoming.

Characters arrive on the WDW Railroad to Welcome Guests at the MK.

The biggest reason to get to the parks before opening is the fact that you can accomplish MORE park attractions in that first hour that the park is open, than you can in the following 3 hours that you’re there.  Many people think that if the park opens at 9 AM, they can “make it” if they get to their bus stop by 8:50 AM.  Wrong. They end up waiting until shortly after 9 AM to catch that bus, wait another 5 minutes for the bus to completely load, make any other resort pick-ups, then travel 10 to 20 minutes to the park. Take 5 minutes to unload, another 10 to walk to the park entrance, get your bags checked and enter the turn styles. These people end up entering the park around 9:45 (or later!)…. that’s 45 minutes of a very “empty” park for the wise, early birds to get some great park touring completed with little or no wait times for attractions!

The Walt Disney World transportation department will tell you that WDW buses begin showing up at your resort every 15 minutes 1 hour prior to park opening. But the key words there are “every 15 minutes”… Buses actually start park transportation 2 – 2.5 hours prior to park opening – they just might not pick-up every 15 minutes like they will 1 hour prior to park opening. So, if you’ve got an early morning ADR – you’ll still be fine using Disney Bus transportation, no need to get that taxi. 

It’s 100% true that ‘the early bird gets the worm’ in this case! And if you’re worried about missing out on sleep because you’re waiting up early… leave the park at Noon (the most busiest time) and head back to your resort for lunch and a nap/break. Head back to the parks anytime after 3 PM (many people exit the parks after they’ve watched the 3 PM parade) when it’s beginning to clear out – and enjoy the cooler evening hours.

More touring plan tips to come!

Terri is owner, creator and an author for WDW Hints. She enjoys taking less-traveled paths of WDW and sharing her lesser-known discoveries with you!