How To Maximize Your Time at Walt Disney World If You’re Not a Morning Person

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There is no substitute for the benefits of rope dropping a Walt Disney World theme park. But, not everyone is a morning person. And sometimes with kids and other family members getting out the door an hour before the park opens is not always a possibility. So if you’re not able to get to the parks bright and early, here’s how you can still maximize your time at Walt Disney World.

Be realistic with yourself and your traveling party. Chances are you know whether or not you and your people are going to be able to get up early to get to the parks an hour before they open. Think about this well before your trip actually takes place and plan accordingly.

  • Pack or purchase fixings to have breakfast in your room
  • Lunches should be at quick service locations
  • If you want any table service experiences save them for dinner
  • Secure the last possible dinner reservation, including any that are past the park closing
  • Use our Reservation Finder to help secure any desired reservations
  • Use our Room Finder to request a room near your resort’s transportation
  • Make a Touring Plan in our Lines app, and optimize it as you go

Having a casual, light breakfast in your room before you head out will save you time. Right now the Disney theme parks are rarely open late, so getting a late start not only puts you at a disadvantage for the quietest time at the park (rope drop), it also means you don’t have the ability to be a night owl in the parks. So don’t waste time grabbing breakfast in the park once you get there.

Toy Story Land morning of 12-31-2020
Extended Queue Big Thunder Mountain

To maximize your time further, do not waste valuable park time at a table service (sit down) restaurant in the middle of the day. Instead mobile order your lunch at one of the quick service locations in the park. In fact, if you really want to be smart about it, order your lunch while you are on your way to the park, even if you don’t plan to eat lunch until a few hours later. This will maximize your time, after all you’re just sitting on the transportation waiting to get to the park. Secondly, when you mobile order in advance you have more choices for which time slot you can select.

Mobile Ordering at Flame Tree Barbecue
Mama Melrose’s Calamari – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Many guests do not know that some of the table service restaurants inside the parks have reservation slots a little past the official park closing time. So you can ride all the rides, do all the things, and then when the park closes you can still eat a leisurely dinner, and stroll out of the park getting one last glimpse. Our Reservation Finder can help you secure any hard to get slots. And if that does not work out, each park has at least one Deluxe resort hotel right next to it, so grab a table service dinner there.

Another favorite tool on our site is our Room Finder. Not only does this tool help you look at the actual view of the rooms at your resort, but you can search to see which ones are near the transportation. You can save time by selecting a room near transportation.

Views of Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Hollywood Studios, and Dolphin hotel from Disney’s Riviera Resort

Last, but actually the most important tip of all, is to create a Touring Plan in our Lines app. You can choose from premade Touring Plans or build your own. Either way you select the arrival time and departure time, and our technology will optimize your plan. It will show you which attractions to visit and when, in order to reduce your wait. And if your plans change you can update the plan at any time, and as conditions in the park changes on the day of your visit you can optimize your plan.

Which are you? A morning rope drop kind of person, or a fashionably late kind of person? Let us know and add your own tips in the comments!

Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

One thought on “How To Maximize Your Time at Walt Disney World If You’re Not a Morning Person

  • February 14, 2021 at 1:54 pm
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    This is a great and helpful list, but I feel like it should be marked “in February 2021”. I often visit in August, and when park hours are longer (especially w/ small kids!) the advice to make dinner reservations at or after park closing makes little sense. Here’s one that I would add:

    – Eat lunch before or after the rush; even with mobile order it will be faster at 11:30 AM or 1:30 PM. Aim for earlier if you’ve had a skimpy breakfast, because patience while waiting in line is strongly affected by blood sugar levels — making sure everyone is fed earlier rather than later might or might not add a lot of maximization to your touring, but it can definitely maximize your enjoyment of time spent together.

    Reply

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