9 Tips On Surviving Disney World On The Busiest Week Of The Year
We spent the week of Thanksgiving in the happiest place on earth, Disney World. Unfortunately, it turns out that Thanksgiving is one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) times of year to go. We survived and we had a great time, but there was definitely some new experiences had with that amount of people.
I would say the average wait time for a ride in the stand by line (not the fast pass line) was about 60-75 minutes for the rides that have been around for a while. For brand new rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine the wait time was 3 hours. Definitely get a fast pass if you can as you'll be waiting only minutes. Unfortunately they aren't easy to get for the new rides.
We were at Magic Kingdom when the park opened and it was manageable to get through the crowd. We ended up waiting only 30-45 minutes for some rides. Those same rides in the afternoon was 2-3 hours. The early bird definitely gets the worm at Disney.
Disney knows what they are doing calculating wait times. With the exception of a waiting to meet a couple of characters, the wait times are pretty spot on.
The Magic Kingdom was basically a giant crop dusting crowd moving it's way around. No joke, I've never smelt so many farts in a place. Maybe there wasn't enough of a breeze, but my wife noticed it too.
Disney isn't cheap. A great way to save money for us was the souvenir popcorn buckets. They sell popcorn all around the parks. If you buy one souvenir bucket for 10 bucks it's only a $1.50 refill and it's good for any of the other Disney Parks. Whenever we saw a stand we got a refill. It was a life saver to keep the kids going and from complaining about being hungry.
We downloaded the Disney smart phone app and it was a real help. Not only is it a built in map but it will tell you wait times around the park. You can also get your photo's linked to your app so when you see a Disney photographer, you can instantly get those photos on your phone. It's pretty slick.
The stroller became the utility vehicle for our long days at Disney. Our 4 year old rode in it quite a bit, but it was also great to help haul stuff around. The ones we rented from Disney were decent. They had drink holders and some pouches. We looked at buying a stroller down there cheap to haul around, but the ones we rented from Disney were pretty reasonably priced.
I could count on one hand how many times I saw an actual spot to sit in any of the Disney Parks. Everyone is tired from being on their feet all day, and if you get a chance to sit on an actual bench it feels like you've won the lottery. We averaged 20,000 steps a day for 4 days. Sitting was a nice luxury when we got a few minutes.
You really need to plan out your day and where you are going and what things you absolutely want to do. Then you need to stick to that plan if you can. There's a lot to try to fit in a busy day, and wasting time back tracking is not the way to go.