Is it possible to spend the day at the Walt Disney World Resort without having to wait in any lines? And still experience some of the best attractions that the resort's theme parks have to offer?
Actually, it is. Based upon our Theme Park Insider reader ratings of the rides and shows at the four Walt Disney World theme parks, compared with wait times available through Disney's official My Disney Experience app, here are 12 well-liked attractions that you can experience without wait on pretty much any day you might visit Disney.
We've listed these rides and shows as an itinerary of what we would consider our perfect, no-wait day at Disney World. Of course, you could expand this plan by adding more-crowded attractions that you booked ride times for in advance using Disney's Fastpass+ ride reservation service. (You can reserve ride times on three attractions up to 60 days before you visit, using Fastpass+.) Or, if you are visiting by yourself, you might be able to get on some otherwise-crowded rides with little or no wait using Disney's single rider queues. So you have some options to expand this plan into an even more active day in the parks, without having to endure any significant waits.
Note that this itinerary will take you to three of Disney World's four theme parks, so you would need to have a Park Hopper ticket to experience it. (Here's where to find discounted theme park tickets.)
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Start the day at Animal Kingdom by walking through the park's top two animal exhibit trails, the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in the park's Africa land and Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia. Many fans say that the animals are most active first thing in the morning, but even without that, it's nice to get the walking attractions done early, before the typical Florida heat and humidity makes being outside, uh, less than comfortable.
After watching and taking pictures of the animals, take your car, a Disney resort bus, a Minnie Van, or a Lyft over to the Magic Kingdom to continue your perfect day of chill at Disney.
Get the lay of the land with a trip on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, which will carry you above Tomorrowland on a easy, breezy aerial tour. After your ride, enjoy a couple of shows that typically have no wait (beyond the wait for the next performance to start): Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress and the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. The Carousel of Progress premiered at the 1964 New York World's Fair and is as retro as a Disney animatronic experience comes. But the Monsters Inc. show uses some of Disney's more-recent interactive tricks to put you in the middle of a comedy show starring some of beloved Pixar characters.
After the shows, walk across the park and continue your Disney history lesson by watching the Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland. This is a copy of the very first Audio Animatronic show from Disneyland, and surrounds you with singing birds, flowers and totems in a musical luau.
If the kids are getting restless, turn 'em loose to run around for a while on Tom Sawyer Island. You'll take a raft ride over to this wooded playground in the middle Frontierland's Rivers of America, where kids of all ages can explore and you can enjoy some great, but often-missed, views of the park.
Once you're taken a raft back to the mainland, head back to the Transportation and Ticket Center to transfer onto the monorail to Epcot. Start in Future World with a visit to The Seas with Nemo and Friends to check out Disney's largest aquarium. Then head next door to Living with the Land for an educational boat ride through the greenhouses where Disney grows some of the food served in the park.
After that, walk over to the park's World Showcase section and its France pavilion for the next showing of Impressions de France, which remains our favorite movie ever made for a theme park. Accompanied by a perfect score of French classical music, the film takes you on a visual tour of some of the country's most famous landmarks.
Explore the underrated Moroccan and Japanese pavilions on your way over to The American Adventure, which remains perhaps the best animatronic show that Disney ever has produced. Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain host this look at America's history, which it does impressively given that the show runs only about 20 minutes.
Wrap your day with the night's performance of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. There are plenty of viewing spots around the World Showcase lagoon, so unless you are visiting on a super-busy day, such as New Year's or the Fourth of July, you should be able t get a decent view without waiting.
Because who wants to wait at Disney World?
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Magic Kingdom: Mickey's PhilharMagic - one of our kids' favorite attractions.
It's Tough to Be a Bug scared one of my kids so bad when they were little, it almost soured them on theme parks for life. He had issues with smells, and the giant stink bug sent him to the exit, and all attractions were done for the day. Apparently, it is a common occurrence, as they had little toys they handed out. Of course, I can only imagine what happened during the Alien ExtraTERRORestrial Encounter, even though I wish it would return (but with a clear warning). But back to the bug show. It truly is an amazing experience, with some surprises that scare me even though I know what is coming.
Swiss Family Robinson is fun. Living with the Land usually has no line.
Standard caveat emptor- depends on the time of year. We went the week before Christmas '17 and all the attractions mentioned had a minimum of a 15 minute wait, with the People Mover clocking in around 45 minutes late morning. That said, at less than peak, all are good options for ducking on if opportunity presents.
Buy a ticket for MNSSHP or MVMCP at MK and go on anything, all night, without a single queue except for, perhaps, Seven Dwarfs and Peter Pan. Easily the best way to fully enjoy all what MK has to offer and you get the bonus of the ticketed special evening thrown in.
Spaceship Earth is usually a safe bet and I love it! Also, Pirates typically has a pretty low wait time in the mornings and evenings and is a nicely shaded queue anyways even if there is a bit of a wait. I'm a big fan of the attractions you mentioned simply because, as a teacher, I can only visit in the summer. That means long lines are inevitable. I still feel like, with the use of Fastpasses, I can have an incredibly enjoyable vacation seeing attractions that I love.
I love Carousel of Progress - always empty, and a great place to get some refreshing sleep. That 20 or so minute nap really gets you refreshed.
the "Pangani Forest" Exploration Trail changed its name to "Gorilla Falls" a few months back
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Definitely do It's Tough to Be a Bug at Animal Kingdom. Waits are rarely long, the show is hilarious, and you get some nice, up-close looks at the animals on the Tree of Life.