One of the things people think about the most when planning a Disney vacation (besides budget) is crowd size and attraction wait times. Nobody wants to spend all day waiting in lines, that isn’t fun for anyone.
While you can make FastPasses ahead of time, that won’t cover all of the attractions in the parks. So it’s good to know some of the attractions that typically have short wait times year round. Some of these attractions are also indoors and have air conditioning, which is good for the hotter Florida months.
We will start with Magic Kingdom and work our way around all the parks. Magic Kingdom will have the most on the list, because it has the most attractions of all the parks.
This is one of my favorite attractions, because it allows guests to sit back and enjoy a slow moving ride through Tomorrowland. The ride lasts about 10 minutes or so and takes guests through Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Plus, it offers some great photo opportunities.
Swiss Family Treehouse
This is a walkthrough attraction that takes you into the treehouse from the Disney movie (based on the novel). It’s a great way to take a break from the craziness of the park. The climb takes you past different rooms in the treehouse and the details are fun to look at. Since it is a walkthrough attraction, it tends to move along. Even if people in front of you stop to look at something, you can work your way around them. So there isn’t an issue with “backups.”
Walt Disney World Railroad
This is another favorite, because it’s a great way to both get off your feet and see a lot of the park. There are three stops around Magic Kingdom where guests can board the train: Main Street U.S.A., Frontierland, and Fantasyland. The entire loop of the park is 1.5 miles and lasts for 20 minutes, so it’s a good way to take a break and get off your feet. There are four steam trains and they each have names: Walter E. Disney, Lilly Belle, Roy O. Disney, and Roger E. Broggie. Since each train has four cars and there are multiple stops, there is rarely ever a line for the trains.
This is one of Disney’s 3D shows and you can find it in Fantasyland. It’s a 12 minute show that follows Donald as he tries to use Mickey’s sorcerer hat while getting the orchestra ready and ends up taking guests through different well-known scenes from Disney movies. It’s a fun show and a good way to give your feet a rest. With a 50 seat theater the wait isn’t usually very long. Make sure to check out all the decorations in the queue. You can tell Disney had fun making them.
Hall of Presidents
This is one of those attractions that is easily overlooked and passed by in the park. It’s located in Liberty Square and it is modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The show lasts a little over 20 minutes, so if you get there right after the doors close that is the longest you will wait. The theater has 700 seats, which is why there is never a long wait. It’s a great way to get out of the heat, enjoy some air conditioning, and see some impressive animatronics.
A little tip, when watching one of the animatronic Presidents talk take a look at the other Presidents. A lot of them make little movements while another President is talking. Some people say that this is a good attraction for napping, but I honestly enjoy it. If you have to wait for the next show make sure to wander around and look at some of the historic items they have on display from past Presidents.
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
This is a great way to take a break before starting your way around the World Showcase. This attraction is located in the Mexico Pavilion and there is rarely a line for it. It’s a slow moving boat ride, but the line usually moves quickly. The attraction is indoors, so not only is it good for giving your feet a break, but it’s air conditioned too. The ride follows Panchito and Jose Carioca, who are trying to find a missing Donald Duck. Throughout the ride guests will see Donald pop up in different scenes from around Mexico. This is a favorite ride in Epcot for our kids, because it’s fun, it’s a boat ride, and it has Donald Duck. Definitely a good way to take a break.
Living With the Land
This is another ride that never has a line. If you see a wait time for this ride then you know Epcot is packed. Living With the Land is a slow moving boat ride that takes guests through the four greenhouses of the Land Pavilion. There’s a little history about how humans have lived off the land throughout the years before passing through the impressive greenhouses. Keep your eyes open for those Mickey pumpkins!
This ride takes place in the parks icon, loving called by many the “giant golfball.” It’s a slow moving ride and it’s one of the rides that is constantly moving (omnimover ride). So it works like the PeopleMover where there is a moving sidewalk next to the ride and guests have to get in while the ride is moving. Since it is constantly moving and there are a chain of cars linked together, there is rarely a line. During busier months it’s possible to see lines at Spaceship Earth, especially on the weekends, but for the most part the line is short and fast moving. The ride takes guests on a tour of the evolution of communication, passing by scenes throughout history using different forms of communication. Spaceship Earth lasts about 15 minutes, so it’s a decent break for your feet and a decent amount of time in the air conditioning.
This is another one of Disney’s 3D/4D shows and it stars the Muppets. In the pre-show area there is a 12 minute show that guests can watch on the many screens above the theater doors. Once it’s time to enter the theater the doors will open to the 584 seat theater. With so many seats in the theater the wait time isn’t usually long. The theater is modeled after the theater from The Muppet Show. In true Muppet fashion, the show is very funny, but somewhat disastrous. You can’t go wrong taking a break and watching The Muppets. Added bonus for the air conditioning.
It’s Tough to be a Bug
This 3D show is fun from the beginning, because it starts by bringing your through the queue line that winds through the Tree of Life. So keep your eye out for lots of great animal and insect carvings along the roots! It’s a really fun queue line.
The theater holds 430 people, so this is another attraction that won’t have a huge wait time because so many people can fit in at once. Flik (A Bug’s Life) is the host of the show and he invites everyone to be honorary bugs. During the show the bugs show the audience how some bugs use their survival skills. There are 3D effects as well as some 4D effects. Just a note, some of the effects in this show can be scary for little ones.
Hope that helps plan out your days in the parks, especially if you are going during the hotter months. It’s nice to have the “go-to” rides where you know lines will be short and air conditioning will be available.
What’s your favorite “go-to” ride with short lines?
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