Disney Parks Planning 101 Walt Disney World

How To Deal With Crowds At Walt Disney World

October 20, 2023

You may be wondering, “How do I handle the intense Disney crowds?” It’s no secret that the Walt Disney World Resort attracts millions of visitors each year. And as a result, the Parks get packed full of excited Guests, especially during Peak Season.

Dealing with Disney crowds can be a challenge and can sometimes seem overwhelming But, you don’t have to let it ruin your vacation. We’ve got a few tips to help navigate the crowds and still make your next vacation unforgettable…in a good way.

Pinterest graphic for the title "5 Ways to deal with crowds at Wald Disney World". It features a photo of Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot

Set Realistic Expectations

“Slow” at Walt Disney World simply means fewer people compared to Peak Seasons. It doesn’t mean the park will be empty. Walt Disney World is a year round destination. This means that there will be crowds, no matter when you go.

If you’re used to intense summer crowds, then the middle of January seems like a dream. But, for first-time Guests, hearing the words “slow time” leads many to think that the Parks will be just that…slow.

To avoid disappointment, setting realistic expectations is about understanding there will be crowds and having a plan of how to deal with them…like reading this post!

Entrance to Kilimanjaro Safari in animal Kingdom

Use Disney Genie+ and Virtual Queues

Whether or not you like the Genie+ system or Virtual Queues, you can’t deny that they help you get on more attractions throughout the day.

And although it seems complicated, I assure you that it’s more complicated to explain it than it is to use it. If it’s your first time using Genie+, I recommend not trying to learn all the tips and tricks out there. It only leads to more confusion. Instead, focus on learning these 4 easy-to-remember tips.

Remember…you don’t have to be an expert in Genie+ in order to make it work for you and your family. Even knowing the basics can help you minimize wait times, so the Disney crowds don’t become overwhelming.

Dad taking a break in a lounge chair at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort in Walt Disney World

Leave The Park And Take A Breather

If you find yourself overwhelmed, recognize that it’s okay to take a step back and leave the Park for a while. Many Guests fall into the trap of feeling like they need to spend every waking moment inside the Theme Parks. Despite being hot and miserable, they believe they spent far too much to not be in the Parks all day.

Vacations are supposed to be fun! Enjoying yourself and making memories with your friends and family should be your top priority.

I tell each of my Clients that taking breaks is important. If you’re feeling up to it, you can always revisit the Theme Parks later on in the day. You’ll be much happier once you’ve had a chance to cool down, relax, and give the Parks a chance to empty out a little bit.

Festival of the Lion King Show in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Seek Entertainment

Live entertainment can be a great way to take a break from the crowds while still enjoying the Disney magic.

There are a variety of shows inside the Parks that offer a place to sit in an air conditioned building for 20-30 minutes. And since the theaters can hold many Guests, the wait times are typically no longer than waiting for the previous show to end. There are a few exceptions, which in this case, you may want to use Genie+ to make sure you get a seat.

If you’re looking for entertainment outside of the Parks, there are a variety of options to choose from. Dinner shows, like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, offers you dinner and a show. You’ll also find street performers in places like the Boardwalk and a sing-along show at Fort Wilderness that doesn’t typically draw large crowds.

As special as the big nighttime spectaculars are, there’s something special about doing or seeing something that not a lot of people know about.

Fireworks over Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World

Think Outside The Box

If seeing Happily Ever After, in Magic Kingdom, is a must-do, but you can’t handle the crowds, find ways to see the show, without the crowds.

Consider attending a dessert party. You’ll get a specially reserved area to watch the show with a lot more elbow room than you’d get standing on Main Street USA. And there’s desserts…and lots of them.

You can also book a dining reservation at various restaurants at Monorail Resorts surrounding Magic Kingdom. You’ll likely not be able to see the projections, but you’ll see the fireworks and hear the music.

Dessert Cruises also give you a magical view of the fireworks, from a point of view that not many Guests get to experience.

The point is – if the crowds are affecting your ablity to enjoy yourself to the fullest, look for alternatives. Chances are…there’s something out there that’s right for you.

Got questions? Feeling a bit anxious? Not sure where to begin? We help families, just like yours.

Planning an entire vacation can be overwhelming. But, here’s the good news: we have the answers to the questions that have been stopping you from pulling the plug on your next vacation.

We understand the journey, the ups, and the downs. We’ve been through the training, made our fair share of mistakes, and learned valuable lessons from them. This is what makes us the perfect people to assist you.

From thoughtfully crafted itineraries to having direct access to your dedicated Travel Professional, our mission is to remove the stress from your vacation planning. With our simple 3-step process, we’re here to help you every step of the way, ensuring that your dream destination becomes an unforgettable reality.

ExploreWithCatherine.com is not authorized or endorsed by, or officially connected with The Walt Disney Company, or any of their affiliates. For official Disney information, visit http://www.disney.com.

Hawaii Destination Specialist

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