How to Spend Less Time in Line and More Time on Rides at Walt Disney World [Data Study]

How can you avoid long lines at Disney World? With high ticket costs and limited time, guests can make the most of their next Disney trip by planning in advance.
Updated May 2, 2024
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Euro Disney's Disney Castle at night

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While it’s no secret that a trip to Walt Disney World can be expensive between travel, park tickets, and food, many forget another limiting factor — time. With entry to a single park costing over $100, how can you be sure you’re making the most of it and not spending all your time waiting in lines?

To discover how to make the most of your time and money during your next Disney trip, the FinanceBuzz team analyzed wait times for every attraction at Disney parks over the course of a year. Here's what we found:

The best times to visit to avoid lines

The last week of August, the first week of September, and the first week of October have some of the shortest wait times for popular attractions. The best time to visit all four parks is the month of September, when average wait times for attractions are between 15-28 minutes.

You may want to try to avoid school holidays. The last week of February and third week of March have the longest average wait times for attractions — 51 minutes!

The attractions with the longest wait times

Each park has some fan-favorite attractions which will always have longer wait times. The attractions with the longest average wait times in each park include:

  • Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarves Mine Train (80 minutes)
  • EPCOT: Remy's Ratatouille Adventure (84 minutes)
  • Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage (91 minutes)
  • Hollywood Studios: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (127 minutes)

The attractions with the shortest wait times

If you really hate waiting in line, these are the attractions in each park with the shortest wait times.

  • Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress (5 minutes)
  • EPCOT: Turtle Talk with Crush (11 minutes)
  • Animal Kingdom: TriceraTop Spin (12 minutes)
  • Hollywood Studios: Muppet*Vision 3D (11 minutes)

Based on average wait times and the average ride time of a Disney World attraction, park-goers should expect to spend an average of 82% of their time waiting in line.

Which park gives the most bang for your buck?

According to our findings, visitors get the most magic for their buck at Magic Kingdom. Guests can ride 1.7 rides per hour, equating to nearly 20 rides over a 12-hour day. At that rate, guests who optimize their park time will only spend $7.92 of their $138 ticket per hour to wait in line.

Ways to save money on your next Disney vacation

  • Earn magical rewards on your purchases. Some credit cards can earn rewards that can be used for lodging and travel to Disney, while others can give major bonuses for purchases made in the parks. Using one of the best credit cards for Disney both before and during a Disney vacation can maximize the magic of your vacation.
  • Budget for your big trip. Between travel, hotels, park tickets, and everything else a Disney vacation entails, a trip to Disney World can come with a massive price tag. Looking into how to budget for a Disney family vacation is a great way to minimize the financial stress.
  • Make your vacation magical with unforgettable Disney experiences. For many people, a Disney vacation may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A great way to maximize the fun and memories of a trip like this is to look into adding some Disney bucket list experiences to the trip that can make an already magical vacation truly unforgettable.

>> View more of our Disney findings and our methodology

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Josh Koebert Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.