Walt Disney World During Peak Season

People use strollers as battering rams, to make their way through hundreds of thousands of people – all who are trying to get down Main Street U.S.A. at once. Mickey, who is so over signing autographs, just hands out a pre-signed picture, and waves off the rest of the line. Aloha Isle is out of Dole Whip, and instead, is passing out fruit popsicles (SO NOT AS MAGICAL). The line for Space Mountain is 17 hours long, and the whole park sold out of Mickey Shaped food at 9 am. This IS NOT what you find during peak season – but it IS the horror stories that people tell (they’re exaggerating – ALTERNATIVE FACTS), about what you find. In reality, you can have a perfectly lovely trip during peak season at Walt Disney World. Some of our favorite trips are during the busiest times of the year (we love New Years Eve in the park!), and we don’t find it stressful at all!

20160626-LJP_6379If you chose to go to Disney World during a holiday, or when school is out of session, you really don’t need to be afraid of encountering the scene I described above. It’s not going to be that bad. People that try to tell you it will be, are fear mongers, and you shouldn’t listen to them. They can start their own bad news daily blog, and it will make everyone sad. Yes, it will be busy. Yes, you will need a plan and a strategy. THAT’S WHY YOU HAVE US! Today, we’re sharing how to go during the peak season (and keep your sanity and dignity).20160625-LJP_598720161203-LJP_8100

1. Have A Plan
Did you really think we would say anything else? YOU NEED A PLAN. Someone very wise, most likely Jesus, or Churchill, once said, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. They were not SPECIFICALLY referring to the Disney Parks, but the same principle applies. You need to have your Dining Reservations made early, you need to know which parks you’ll be in on what days, and you need to have a basic plan of what you want to accomplish on those days. (We prefer that you have a detailed plan, and consult an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, like our friends at Small World Vacations).20161229-LJP_948720160916-LJP_0819

2. Go Early
We always say this, but it’s even more important during the busiest times of year, for you to show up BEFORE the park opens. You will accomplish more in that first hour, than any other time of day.20161230-LJP_993320160916-LJP_0825

3. Stay Late
This might not be an option for everyone, especially those traveling with small children, but during peak season, parks tend to be open much later. So on days that The Magic Kingdom is open until 3 am – David and I stay until 3 am. We outlast people that need to go to bed earlier, and have the park to (almost) ourselves, to ride all the rides without long lines.20161231-LJP_030020160917-LJP_1157

4. Make The FastPass Your Friend
Get your FastPass+ Reservations early, and use them wisely. Grab one for Frozen Ever After, not Living With The Land, for example – because you would rather wait in a ten minute line, instead of a three hundred minute line.20170101-LJP_051820160917-LJP_1393

5. Be Comfortable Not Doing It All
We’ve found that the reason most people are unhappy with their trips during peak season, is they go into it thinking they can see and do EVERYTHING. It’s not possible. It won’t happen. I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, I just want to brace you for reality. What’s more feasible, is if you make a list of what’s MOST important to you, and then another list of what you would like to do, if you accomplish everything on the first list.LJP_069320160918-LJP_1472

6. Take Advantage Of The Extras
One of the best things about visiting when it’s peak season, is the free extras. If you’re going during Christmas, the parks will be beautifully decorated, with tons of extra entertainment for the Holidays. Spring Break brings Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, while summer has 4th of July Fireworks.20160624-LJP_579120160918-LJP_1543

7. Go Against The Flow
Eat meals at weird times of day. Nap in the middle of the afternoon. Stay up late. DO WHAT EVERYONE ELSE ISN’T. You will encounter less crowds, and be far happier.20160624-LJP_5492LJP_0843

We think a trip during the off season is great – but don’t let anyone discourage you from going during peak time. You can have an AMAZING trip, and you might find that it becomes your favorite time of year to go. Our favorite trips are during some of the peak seasons – and they might be yours too!