Home » The 4 Worst Times to Get in Line for an Attraction

    The 4 Worst Times to Get in Line for an Attraction

    Tour Bus

    Timing is everything in a park like Walt Disney World. Getting in line just a few minutes sooner than someone else can result in a massive difference in wait times if you miss the right window. While you’ll inevitably find yourself in a few lengthy queues along the way, there are a few tips you can use to avoid unexpectedly long lines. If at all possible, avoiding getting in line in these situations.

    1. Behind a tour group 

    Tour Bus

    Tour busses translate to long lines from large groups
    Image: Greg Goebel, Flickr (license)

    If you’re a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, you’re probably familiar with tour groups. They’re impossible to miss with their bright matching shirts, colored flags, and sheer mass of humanity. Though exuberant, these tour groups are usually very friendly. The only issue is that they’re also extremely large. So large that they often have no idea how many are in their party.

    If you see a tour group pouring into an attraction, it’s usually best to head elsewhere. Not only will they add a huge number of people to the line in a very short amount of time, they’ll usually slow things down a bit when they hit the grouper as well. Massive groups tend to give heartbreaking answers to the question of “how many,” such as “two and then six and twelve and four,” or “all…of these…” or even the very knowledgeable “fifty-three,” none of which have a simple solution when it comes to grouping properly. For the shortest wait time, try heading to another attraction.

    2. After a show dump 

    Finding Nemo the Musical

    If you calculate the length of a show and add that to the start time of any major attraction, from Fantasmic to Finding Nemo, the Musical, you can figure out when the show dump will occur. A simpler strategy is to simply stay aware of your surroundings and watch for vast floods of people near large shows. Most attractions have a steady stream of guests going in and out. However, those that feature a lengthy show will have a very significant and noticeable show dump that takes place at the end.

    You don’t want to get in line for a nearby attraction during a show dump because everyone else who’s exiting that show will have a similar idea. Attractions and restaurants that are close to shows like these see predictable floods of guests who immediately queue up for the next thing they see, particularly if it has a short posted wait time.


    Keep in mind that posted wait times take awhile to change. Anything that causes a sudden rush of people to head into an attraction will cause that wait to skyrocket faster than the sign can keep up with it. Avoid getting caught in the crowd, and most certainly do not go with the flow.

    3. Post-Parade 

    Disney Parade

    After a parade, you have a large mass of people who are suddenly bored and looking for the next exciting thing to do. Attractions like Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain that are situated along the parade route are an obvious choice. Avoid these and head as far away from the parade route as possible for your next ride. Avoiding major thoroughfares will help you speed up your travel from one point to another as well. Main Street is always packed, so avoid it if possible. If all else fails, grab an ice cream and simply take a breather while the crowd dissipates.

    4. Inclement weather 

    Disney in the rain

    Despite its predictability and fairly harmless nature, guests always rush to get under cover when it starts to rain. If you can handle getting wet, this is hands-down the best time to stroll the streets. You can cross the park in half the time it would usually take you because the open streets empty while guests huddle in the nearest gift shop, restaurant, or attraction that they can find.

    There are several reasons why you may want to avoid attractions during a rainstorm. The first is that this will cause the line and wait time to swell quickly. Just like any other event that causes a lot of people to flood into an attraction at once, rain will create a line that’s much longer than the posted wait time if you’re dealing with any attraction that has a covered or indoor queue.

    You should also note that any attraction operating outside will close if lightning is in the vicinity. While there’s plenty of covered queue for attractions like Jungle Cruise and Kilimanjaro Safaris, these rides will stop running for lightning. You’ll hear an announcement, but the Cast Members won’t officially dump the queue. You’re welcome to stand around and wait for the storm to pass, but you’ll end up waiting much longer than usual for outdoor attractions.

    If you’re flexible with your schedule and aren’t set on a particular attraction, try to avoid these particular situations as you join the queue. Steering clear will help you avoid long lines and see as many attractions as you can during your stay.