3. Line jumping
Some of you just went into straight up full-body shudders at the mention of this one.
Line jumping is fortunately not super common, but when it happens, good grief is it frustrating for Disney fans. It’s one thing when a bunch of raucous teenagers hope the barrier into a line. That’s what most of us picture. Most line jumping, however, is far more subtle and awkward in the moment.
I recall standing in line with our family once for Pirates of the Caribbean. We were updating Fastpass+ reservations as the queue slowly eked along. A pair of scowling women behind us complained loudly about people puttering with their phones, even though we were moving. To our surprise, when we stepped to move ahead in a spot where the line wasn’t clearly chained off, they shoved ahead of us. We were a little annoyed, but we didn’t want to cause a scene. Over the next few minutes, we watched as they proceeded to do the same thing every time the line moved, muttering complaints then squirming ahead of the party in front of them. What’s really funny is that they literally only saved themselves about 2 minutes of line time as the line really wasn’t that long. You could tell everyone in the queue was annoyed (and a little amused) though and didn’t know what to do.
A more controversial and common version of line jumping is the issue of parties leaving one person in line then rejoining mid-queue. In some cases, this is understandable and not an issue—let’s say a parent and child couldn’t make it to the queue in time or a child had to use the restroom. In most cases, the practice isn’t too much of a problem if only one or two people are rejoining the party, if a pair of older children are rejoining their family, or if the newcomers can jump in with their party in an outdoor queue area such as the edges of the Splash Mountain or Spaceship Earth lines.
Deep in the bowels of Flight of Passage or Expedition Everest, however? You’re creeping towards an etiquette violation. The practice also gets really frustrating when a large party leaves one person in line then proceed to shove through a long queue to get to the front right before the one person they left is about to reach the front of the line. It’s just not considerate of fellow guests.
For one thing, never outright line jump—it’s just rude. Everyone is having to wait in the same line. Don’t try to circumvent it or attempt weird shenanigans to get to the front.
Try to avoid rejoining a party mid-queue if you can. If it happens, it’s usually okay for like two people or a parent with a couple small kids to jump back in with family, but it creeps into bad behavior when a family of six hop in with dad at the end of a line. Avoid this practice and use other tactics like Fastpass+ and timing ride visits carefully to reduce line waits.
4. When people complain about crowds (but have only visited in the busy season)
This one is similar to #1. Most Disney fans have had more than one conversation that goes a little like this:
Fan: “I can’t wait to go back to Walt Disney World!”
Casual Frenemy: “Ugh, why? All you do is wait in line. The crowds were a nightmare. Bugs, babies, and B.O. as far as the eyes can see.”
Fan: “Oh, wow. Sounds like you had a rough trip. When did you visit?”
Casual Frenemy: “For the holidays. Never going back. LAME.”
This is a trickier one as it is getting harder and harder to pin down a proper “off-season” for visiting Walt Disney World. October and March have quickly turned startlingly busy, and even the goldilocks seasons of September, January, and early December have all swollen in attendance. It is safe to say that timing a Walt Disney World vacation is more about finding a “lighter” season rather than finding a truly serene one.
However, when people gripe about crowds after booking a Walt Disney World vacation during mid-summer, Spring Break, or a holiday week, it can be hard to get across how much the timing of a trip really can make or break a Disney vacation. You just can’t get a full perspective on a fun Walt Disney World experience if you only visit when the parks are packed to the brim. Disney always has some crowds, but they don’t have to be trip-ruining. It can be harder to avoid these times if you’re waiting for kids to be out of school, but it still isn’t impossible.
Research, research, research. Yes, it is harder to find a quiet time to visit Walt Disney World, but that doesn’t mean the whole year looks like New Years Day. Consider timing a trip in such a way that you can take kids out of school for a day or two—this will immediately improve your crowd experience. The best times of year so far continue to be January avoiding holiday weeks and marathons, September after Labor Day (the opening of Galaxy’s Edge will likely change this), and early December and November on weekdays.