By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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The Most Comfortable Way to Tour the Theme Parks at Walt Disney World: 4. Eliminating Early Mornings, Continued

By Dave Shute

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Use a tour guide—or, at minimum, a good plan. A tour guide, or a good plan crafted for you by your planner or by you, can help make the best of your days.

A tour guide is your best bet, as even the best of plans laid in advance have to deal with the complexities of when you actually show up, and what is happening in the park then (in terms of fastpass distributions and return times, for example). Your guide can provide the best visit by adjusting to the real-time conditions.

See this for more this for more on guides and planners.

If you are designing your trip on your own, there’s a couple of resources that can help. Check this site itself, and in addition, has some afternoon itineraries available.

Send your kids off early with a babysitter/au pair/spouse/tour guide while you sleep in. Your kids may be less interested in sleeping in than you are, perhaps in a noisy and annoying way that keeps you from sleeping in anyway. An option is to split up—to send your kids off early with another adult while you sleep in.

Suck it up and devote one, two, or three mornings. The other option you have is to devote one or more early mornings to help you see the best of Walt Disney World with minimal waits, and use one or more of the strategies above for your other days.

  • If you are willing to do just one early morning, your best bet is to spend it at the Magic Kingdom (see the mornings in the Summer and Autumn-Winter-Spring itineraries for suggestions on how to spend your mornings).
  • If you are willing to add a second early morning, go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see Toy Story Mania first thing.
  • If a third, go to Epcot for Soarin, and then Test Track and Mission Space (fastpassing whichever of these two you don’t do first.)
  • If a fourth, use it at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and see one of Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safari first, fastpassing the other.

One tricky way to see both Soarin and Toy Story Mania in the same early morning is to take advantage of morning Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At least one day each week, each of Disney’s theme parks is open an hour early for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests. This is called Morning Extra Magic Hours–see this for more on Extra Magic Hours. (A similar program in the evenings keeps each park open an extra three hours in the evening.)

Typically, Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens at 8 on its Morning Extra Magic Hours days, and Epcot typically opens at 9 on its regular days. Moreover, you can walk from the Studios to Epcot in 20 minutes.

The tactic here is to be at Studios at least 30 minutes before it opens on its morning Extra Magic Hours day, enter the park, fastpass Toy Story Mania, and then walk to Epcot to be there when Soarin opens. After you see Soarin, you would then walk or take the boat back to the Studios to use your fastpass for Toy Story Mania.

(Note that this will more reliably work if you have a driver to pick you up outside of the Studios once you’ve gotten your fastpass, and to then drop you off at the entrance to Epcot. Driving yourself won’t save you much time compared to walking, because of your need to park at Epcot.)

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