Walt Disney World Ride Hacks You Need to Know!
Everyone needs an advantage, especially at Walt Disney World. Every minute you save gives you a chance to experience something else.
The MickeyBlog staff legitimately claims centuries of Walt Disney World experience. So, we’ve learned a few things over the years that can help you out.
Here are some Walt Disney World ride hacks to make your next park visit that much better!
When to Go on Safari
Here’s something you may not know about Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Despite what you may think, cast members don’t disrupt the sleeping patterns of the animals for your convenience.
In other words, the zoologists on staff haven’t trained the animals to wake up and play at set intervals. That would be tasteless and insensitive.
Instead, the animals live out their lives at Animal Kingdom just as if they were in their own natural habitats.
For this reason, Kilimanjaro Safaris is a hackable attraction. What I mean is that you can enjoy a vastly different experience depending on when you ride.
Most guests arrive in the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. range. So, let’s call that the average safari.
However, when you show up for the first ride of the day, you’ll catch the early birds and even a few late-night stragglers ready to turn in.
Similarly, when you stay until the final hour that the park is open, you’ll witness entirely different behavior than the average ride.
For this reason, you should plan three different safaris during your vacation.
Aim for the start, the middle, and the end to appreciate the intricacies of animal life at this park!
Where to Sit for Roller Coasters
Thrill ride aficionados know two secrets about roller coasters. The best places to sit are at the very front or the absolute back of the coaster train.
Believe it or not, cast members know this is true and understand some guests will prefer those spots on the ride carts.
In fact, this behavior isn’t unique to Disney parks. I remember when Millennium Force opened at Cedar Point, the wait for a front-row seat was an extra hour.
Thrill riders happily stand in line that long for something they perceive as the best. While you won’t need to wait that long at Disney, the same strategy applies.
The next time you’re at your favorite Disney coaster, ask to sit in the front row of the first cart or the absolute last one in the set of coaster carts. It’ll make a huge difference!
Remember, you’re on vacation! Don’t be afraid to ask for the things you want to add a bit of magic to your trip!
Where to Sit for Soarin’
A few years ago, EPCOT updated Soarin’. It changed from Soarin’ Over California to Soarin’ Around the World.
Unfortunately, this transition wasn’t seamless. Filmmakers miscalculated some of the IMAX shots, which has caused an infamous ride issue.
When you sit on the far right or far left side of Soarin’, some of the landmarks…bend. Here’s a good example from 4K WDW:
Thankfully, the Eiffel Tower doesn’t do that in real life because it would be stealing the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s bit. And it’s distracting when you see it on Soarin’.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to sit in the middle. Your best option is Concourse B.
If you notice you’re being herded in a different direction, make a plea to the cast member. They’ll probably let you wait until then.
Similarly, you need to sit in Row 2. Again, if the cast member points you to a different slow, just ask to wait.
One other note: some people don’t like watching feet hovering in front of them since it ruins the illusion. If you’re like that, also ask to sit on the top row.
Where to Stand in Cosmic Rewind
Here’s the newest hack on the list. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened in May 2022.
Since then, guests have learned the best place to stand to get ahead of the crowd in the final line.
This attraction’s waiting area consists of three rooms. The first one is an empty space, while the second one involves an introduction to the featured players.
In the final room, you’ll watch the Guardians of the Galaxy interact with a Celestial. It’s here that you should use a bit of strategy.
In this third room, you should hang out in the back right of the room. While you’ll notice multiple doors here, cast members will funnel guests through the back ones.
By standing in the back right, you’ll be among the first to enter the last line queue. Since there are 100+ people in the room, it’s a huge timesaver to beat them to the punch!
Where to Stand in the Stretching Room
The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom comes with multiple waiting areas.
First, you’ll stand outside, where you can read hilarious tombstones and interact with various musical walls. You can even solve a murder mystery here!
Eventually, you’ll enter the Haunted Mansion itself, where a spooky cast member will ask you to wait in the chamber. Here, you’ll hear the Ghost Host for the first time.
However, the next room is where you must pay attention. This is the legendary Stretching Room, the place with no windows and no doors.
When you’re in a hurry to hop on a Doom Buggy, you should pay attention to this video:
Note how the camera faces the woman sitting on a tombstone? As the picture reveals itself, we learn this man has an axe in his head.
When you’re facing this image and have your back as close to the wall as you can, you’re in business!
To make this happen, you want to stand under the woman balancing on the tightrope.
Presuming you do, once the Ghost Host stops speaking, you’ll turn around and discover that the wall slides open. You’ll be the first to get in line for a Doom Buggy!
Where to Use Single Rider
A handful of Disney attractions offer something called Single Rider. The gist is that Disney wants to maximize throughput on all its rides.
So, the last thing park officials want is a ride that runs with empty seats. On several attractions, Disney adds a unique line specifically to fill those spots.
When you enter the Single Rider line queue, you’re agreeing not to sit with other members of your traveling party on your ride.
In exchange, you’ll board much faster in most instances. It’s a great way to save time! Here are the current participating attractions:
- Expedition Everest
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Test Track
Soarin’ has used Single Rider on rare occasions, but you shouldn’t expect that during your visit. I think it was a test that didn’t go well.
The Final Hacks
Here are three specific ways to give yourself a better chance of riding a wildly popular E-ticket attraction.
When you stay at an official Disney resort – which you should always do! – you get an amenity called Early Theme Park Entry.
This bonus allows you to enter the park 30 minutes before other guests. I’d recommend that you show up 30 minutes earlier than that to take full advantage.
Still, you can usually ride the most popular attraction at the park before it even officially opens to other guests!
In addition, guests who stay at Deluxe Disney resorts gain an additional incentive.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, you can take advantage of Extended Evening Hours. This amenity grants you two hours of bonus time at a specific Disney park.
The location changes at times, but it’s usually EPCOT on Mondays and Magic Kingdom on Wednesdays.
You would be STUNNED how much you can do during two hours of park time when only a few hundred guests are there!!!
Finally, you should know how to take advantage of Disney’s generosity. According to park policy, cast members won’t kick guests out of line when the park closes.
As long as you’ve entered the line at least a minute before the park officially closes for the night, you can ride the attraction.
Let’s say that Disney’s Hollywood Studios closes at 10 p.m. If you enter the line for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at 9:59 p.m., you’ll still get to ride!
This knowledge is crucial to checking off one more attraction on your to-do list before you leave.
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Feature Photo: Disney