Best Rides To Hit First Thing In the Morning at Each Disney World Park
One of my biggest tips for families looking to get the most out of your Disney getaway is to arrive at the theme parks first thing in the morning. During the first two hours after rope drop, you’ll find some of the shortest lines of the day making it a great opportunity to hit some of those attractions that your WEREN’T able to get FastPasses for. But not all morning lines are created equal. To help you maximze your first few hours of the day here are a few suggests on rides that we recommend you make a beeline for when the parks officially open!
My general rule of thumb is to go against the crowd. When the Magic Kingdom opens first thing in the morning, crowds typically make a mad dash to Fantasyland and more specifically Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. If you already have a FastPass for this attraction and we hope you do, I strongly recommend heading in the other direction!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- My family always heads to Frontierland during our Magic Kingdom early mornings. This area of the theme park is relatively quiet when things first open and you can usually walk onto Big Thunder Mountain. Later in the day lines for this ride can be in the 40- 60-minute range! If you do opt to FastPass for this ride, aim to use your FastPass for later in the day when lines are at their longest!
Splash Mountain – Similarly, this water ride sits adjacent to Big Thunder Mountain and also has short lines first thing in the morning. You will typically see lines below 10 minutes. My family loves to alternate between Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain until we see lines start to fill up! If travelling during the cooler months and the thought of being a tad bit waterlogged at 9am isn’t for you than this attraction is a good use of a FastPass in the afternoon heat.
Pirates of the Caribbean – As a constantly loading ride, Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland will go through the morning crowds quite quickly meaning shorter lines. Head there first thing in the morning and you should be able to walk straight on. The rest of the day, lines usually sit around 25- 40 minutes.
Haunted Mansion – By mid-afternoon, the line of Haunted Mansion can be a little bit deceived and typically ends up being a bit longer than you thought. Head over to Liberty Square when you’re in the Frontierland area and you should be able to stroll right in- saving you the long lines that can build up come afternoon!
The way FastPasses are tiered at Epcot mean that you are bound to be doing some waiting in line. Try and schedule a FastPass for either Soarin’, Frozen Ever After or Test Track for later in the afternoon when crowds are heavier and hit the Category A attractions that you opted not to get a FastPass for as early in the morning as possible!
Soarin’ – The lines for Soarin can get pretty outrageous the later you get in the day and it’s also subject to frequent closures which causes gridlock as the day goes on. If you opt not to get a FastPass for this attraction then you’ll want to head over there early in the AM before the lines get really long.
Test Track – Similarly to Soarin, if you haven’t picked Test Track as your Category A FastPass then its best to head there first thing in the morning. Lines for Test Track can be in excess of 60 minutes and tend to stay that way throughout the day.
Frozen Ever After – Again, if you want to see Anna or Elsa but wanna FastPass Soarin’ or Test Track instead, save your Category A FastPass for later in the afternoon and make a beeline for the Norweigan Pavilion. Most of the World Showcase remains closed until 11:00 am meaning the line for Frozen doesn’t get as gridlocked. Similar to Pirates of the Caribbean it is also a constantly loading ride meaning that it can go through moderate crowds quite quickly!
With the opening of Toy Story Land, Hollywood Studios also introduced a tiered FastPass system meaning you can only get a FastPass for one of the attractions in this themed land on the days you visit. With the longest lines, Slinky Dog Dash is always the best option. We recommend saving this selection for later in the afternoon and heading to one of these other attractions first thing in the morning instead.
1. Tower of Terror- This headlining attraction is a great option if you want some thrills first thing in the morning. With everyone heading to Toy Story Land, head straight for the end of Sunset Boulevard and you should be able to walk right into the hotel! Later in the day, the lines tend to be upwards of 60 minutes making this a great early AM option.
2. Toy Story Mania – If you do opt to use your Toy Story Land Fastpass on Slinky Dog Dash than make this attraction your early AM priority. Lines for this attraction tend to stay pretty consistently at the 60-minute mark throughout the day. With lines a bit shorter in the Early AM, knocking it off your must-do list means you can avoid the slightly longer lines you’ll find later in the day and wait in line for Alien Swirling Saucer instead.
3. Jedi Training Academy – Though this may change with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at the moment, enrollment for Jedi Training Academy happens first thing in the morning and slots fill up at lightning speed. In order to make sure your young padawan has a spot at one of these coveted training sessions be prepared to make a Black Friday-like run from the main gates to the Adventure Outpost next to 50’s Prime Time Cafe. For more information on Jedi Training Academy check out this article.
At Animal Kingdom theme park, Flight of Passage reigns supreme when it comes to the most coveted attraction. You’ll find lines here most anytime you visit the parks including first thing in the morning. For that reason, it’s always good to get a Flight Of Passage FastPass when able. Save it for later in the afternoon so that you’re able to tackle some of these other attractions first.
Expedition Everest – Prior to the opening of Pandora- The World of Avatar this is the one attraction people used to make a beeline for first thing in the morning. However, these days its a bit quieter. Head here when you arrive for an early morning ride up the mountain and enjoy some beautiful views and your fair share of thrills!
DINOSAUR – Just like everyone heads to Fantasyland when Magic Kingdom opens, these days Animal Kingdom crowds will make a mad dash for Pandora. Go against the grain and head right rather than left. You’ll find quieter crowds in Dinoland U.S.A and can usually tackle this ride with the little-to-no wait time.
Na’vi River Journey – This is the other attraction found in Pandora -The World of Avatar. Out of the two, getting a FastPass for Flight of Passage is the better option as it usually has the longer lines. With this in mind, Head to Na’vi River Journey first thing in the morning for a journey through this bioluminescent rain forest. Lines will remain consistently lengthy throughout the day but again, because it is a constantly loading ride it tends to absorb the morning crowds quite quickly.
Kilimanjaro Safaris – With most people heading to Pandora or Expedition Everest, the morning safaris can actually be quite quiet. If you aren’t using a FastPass for this attraction later in the afternoon then heading there when you arrive is a nice morning option. Lines for this will get longer come afternoon and lines at times can be deceiving.
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