Walt Disney World Reopening Tips

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Magic Kingdom Tips:

  • Take the first bus/monorail to Magic Kingdom. Plan to be at the bus stop or monorail 1 hour prior to park opening. The park opens to guest at approximately 30 minutes prior to official opening.
  • Go straight to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. With Splash Mountain’s reimagining coming, it will be the longest wait of the day unless you ride first thing. NOTE: Splash Mountain has been opening on a delay (approx. 2 hours after regular park opening). Also, if you plan to purchase Splash Mountain merchandise, you will need to enter a virtual line to access the store, which is now only located at the exit of the ride.
  • The most important tip is to be sure to check the My Disney Experience app frequently. Ride wait times change drastically throughout the day due to the newly enhanced cleaning. If you see an attraction with more than a 10-15 minute wait, it is likely being cleaned. I recommend waiting until the wait goes back down to 10-15 minutes before entering the queue.
  • Take advantage of inside queues during the hottest part of the day (Mickey’s Philharmagic, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, etc). This will give you a nice AC break and also prevent waiting in any lines that are outside. If you don’t get to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Splash Mountain, or Jungle Cruise within the first 1-2 hours of park opening, I recommend waiting until the last 2 hours of park closing to experience little to no wait, and also due to their queues being mostly outside.
  • Be sure to select a Mobile Order return time in advance of your arrival at a quick service restaurant. I typically do this while I am experiencing an attraction, and then as I am walking over to the venue, I will have my order prepared. This prevents in waiting outside at the restaurant, as they do not allow entry until your order is ready for pickup.
  • Take a backup mask for each person in your party! Masks are likely to become damp from water rides, be dropped on the ground, or misplaced.
  • Save souvenir shopping for the end of the day. Since in room delivery and resort package pickup is no longer available, visiting the Emporium at the end of the day will save you from having to carry around your bags all day.
  • Be sure to walk through the castle and take up-close pictures like the ones below. This is typically not possible because of stage show setups and props!
  • If you want to pin trade, take note that there are now only 4 pin boards in all of Magic Kingdom, as opposed to nearly every store and cast member having them prior.
  • With earlier park closing times now at Magic Kingdom and no fireworks, I recommend making a dinner reservation for as close to park closing time as available. Once you finish and are exiting the park, this will allow you to experience the park like never before! It is the best time to take photos of the empty park!

Animal Kingdom Tips:

  • Animal Kingdom opens the earliest of all 4 parks. It is not as important to arrive at that park opening as opposed to Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.
  • I do recommend riding Kilimanjaro Safaris first as the animals are most active in the morning when it is cooler, and the queue is all outdoors. Immediately follow that ride with Expedition Everest!
  • Plan to watch UP! A Great Bird Adventure at either the 10:30 or 11:30 show since it is held outside.
  • Save rides and attractions like Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, It’s Tough to be a Bug, and Dinosaur for the hotter parts of the day, as these queues are cooler.
  • For a quick cool down, ride Kali River Rapids!
  • Indoor seating is hard to find for quick service at Animal Kingdom, and so I recommend Satu’li Canteen in Pandora. Ride Flight of Passage and do a mobile order while walking through the queue. In my experience, walking through the queue is the only wait you will experience, as there typically is no line. Then, REPEAT Flight of Passage………maybe more than once! This attraction on a normal crowd day would average 90-120 minutes so take advantage of being able to walk right on!
  • I haven’t seen any attractions with wait times over 10-15 minutes at Animal Kingdom at any point in the day. So ride everything as much as you like!
  • Just like with Magic Kingdom, schedule a late (park closing) dinner reservation at Tiffins to be able to enjoy great empty park photos and scenes.

Epcot Tips:

  • With Epcot’s heavy construction and lack of shade around World Showcase, I recommend not arriving at Epcot until after late afternoon/evening.
  • Mission Space, Soarin’, The Seas with Nemo, and Living with the Land queues are all inside and wait times are typically 10-15 minutes. Test Track wait times tend to be the longest and because of that, I would recommend riding this at the end of the day.
  • Save Frozen Ever After for when you visit World Showcase.
  • I recommend visiting World Showcase from 6-8, since there is little to no shade and enjoying the modified Food and Wine Festival event. I highly recommend the Lobster Roll from Hops and Barley in the American Adventure section, and the Filet Mignon at Le Cellier in Canada.

Hollywood Studios Tips:

  • Take the first bus/skyliner to Hollywood Studios. Plan to be at the bus stop or skyliner by 1 hour prior to park opening.
  • Go straight to Galaxy’s Edge to experience with no visitors, and get in line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
  • YOU MUST JOIN A VIRTUAL BOARDING GROUP FOR RISE OF THE RESISTANCE. SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.
    • Be sure you have downloaded the My Disney Experience App
    • Turn off Disney WiFi and use cellular data
    • Log out of the app around 9:45 after entering park
    • Log back into the app around 9:55
    • Once inside the app, click “Find Out More” from the main screen under Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Access by Boarding Group, or click the icon on the bottom right and then Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
  • The second the park opens (10:00), click join the boarding group (icon will turn blue).
    • Select everyone in your party that is in the park and wants to join a boarding group.
    • Then confirm and the app will give you your boarding group. 

  • Once your group is ready to board, the app will notify you, or you can check under “Find Out More” from the main screen under Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Access by Boarding Group, or click the icon on the bottom right and then Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. You can also check the boarding groups currently being called from this section of the app.
    • If you are not able to get a boarding group, more boarding groups will open at 2 pm. Repeat steps above at those time to try and get access.
  • After experiencing Galaxy’s Edge, exit the area and go to Toy Story Land. Ride all attraction in this land if waits are under 15-20 minutes.
  • Then move to Hollywood Boulevard and ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.
  • Save Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway for the end of the day when it is the coolest, as almost all of the queue is outside. Posted wait times may appear long but this is usually to keep lines down and typically is half of what is posted!
  • Save Star Tours and Muppet Vision 3D for the hottest part of the day as they are inside queues and attractions.
  • Any waits for attractions (other than Mickey and Minnie’s Railway) over 15-20 minutes save for later in the day. Wait times diminish by 2 hours prior to park closing.
  • I recommend PizzeRizzo for quick service dining with AC!
  • Just like with the other parks, schedule a late (park closing) dinner reservation at The Hollywood Brown Derby to be able to enjoy great empty park photos and scenes.

Contact me at JessicaNix@MickeyWorldTravel.com or 615-691-1271 to book your Walt Disney World vacation today!

Jessica Nix

Jessica Nix

Jessica has been planning Disney vacations with Mickey World Travel since 2015, and is an Annual Passholder, Disney Vacation Club Owner and Platinum Castaway Club Member with Disney Cruise Line. When she's not planning a Disney vacation, she's traveling on one with her husband, Brandon, and daughter, Adalyn.

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