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How to Dodge Those Orlando Amusement Park Crowds and Meltdowns!

Written by Suzy Guese

This blog post was updated on July 16, 2019.

Temper tantrums and eventual parent exasperation seem to go hand in hand with Orlando’s amusement park crowds. You grabbed cheap flight deals to head to Disney World or Universal Orlando thinking the crowds won’t be that bad. And then you wait three hours for a 30-second ride. At this point, everyone in your party is cranky, tired and on the verge of an utter meltdown. To help you keep those meltdowns at bay, we have rounded up some of the best ways to avoid the crowds in Orlando, especially at its many amusement parks.

Stay at the Park Hotel to Take Advantage of Extra Hours


Many Orlando amusement parks have on-site hotels. While these can be more expensive than some outside the park accommodations, staying at these properties has its perks if you want to beat the crowds. Many will offer on-site hotel guests or participating hotel guests into the park before it opens to the general public. Staying at the park hotel can also mean you get to spend time in the park for a few hours after closing. You’ll only have to battle other hotel guests, which means significantly fewer crowds.

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Embrace Amusement Park Skip the Line Passes


If you just show up to an Orlando amusement park without a leg up on the crowds, you will spend hours upon hours in line, especially on the popular rides. Many Orlando amusement parks help you avoid this problem by offering to skip the line passes. While usually for an extra fee, you can purchase these passes to skip the line on many popular rides and attractions. Disney offers its FastPass+ while Universal has Express Passes for rides. If you don’t want to spend several hours in line and your time is worth something, reserve these passes in advance to avoid the crowds.

Visit on a Weekday and Avoid  School Holidays

Christmas, Easter, spring break, and summer are all popular times to visit Orlando amusement parks because they are school holidays. While it might be more convenient to not have to pull the kids out of school, you won’t have to deal with bad crowds if you visit outside of school holidays. Rather than the middle of July, try visiting in September. Instead of going in late December, come in early February. It is also best to avoid weekends when crowds are at their peak. Try and snag a weekday to experience fewer crowds and shorter lines.

You may also like: 6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy on a Flight (Without Screen Time)

Arrive in the Early Morning or Late Afternoon


Orlando amusement parks seem to reach their peak capacities by midday. Rather than sleeping in, get up early and hit the park when it opens. You’ll battle fewer crowds, especially if you try to ride the most popular rides first before all the sleepy heads show up. Also, if you do arrive early, head deep into the park. Most people just hit the first ride they see which can create early morning gridlock at the park. You can also try visiting later in the afternoon when many families and visitors have left for their afternoon naps. By visiting in the early morning or late afternoon, you’ll also dodge the overwhelming lunch crowds that assemble by noon.

Orlando amusement parks seem to swell with too many people. Have you found a trick for beating the crowds? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below.

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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