Bus at Bus Stop location at resort
  • On Mar 16, 2022
    Mitch from CT Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    When staying at a Disney resort, one can enter the park a half hour earlier. In order to do that, what time do you suggest we arrive at the park? Mitch

    Hi Mitch,

    It's great to see you back at planDisney! I know figuring out how to best use Genie+, purchase Individual Lightning Lanes, and minimize your standby wait times for popular attractions can be a lot to wrap your head around. I think that all of this planning is really going to help you when you actually put everything to use on your vacation!

    As a morning person, I am a huge fan of getting to the parks as early as possible. As a guest at a Disney Resort Hotel, you know you can get into the park 30 minutes early. I usually aim to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier than that, and I promise you there will still be guests there who either have early dining reservations or just want to be FIRST in line to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Avatar Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or Remy's Ratatouille Adventure.

    While that's a great plan, in some parks you may want to avoid getting Genie+ and splurge on an Individual Lightning Lane. This will free you up to hit another popular attraction early and let you schedule a Lightning Lane return time for later in the day when the park will be a bit more crowded. In the case of Disney's Hollywood Studios where there are so many "must do" attractions, purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane to Rise of the Resistance will let you rush to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Slinky Dog Dash, or even knock out The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster bright and early. 

    Regardless, getting to the parks at least 30 minutes before Disney Resort Hotel guests can enter gives you a chance to take in the magic of the parks and get some fun photos in front of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth in EPCOT, the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom, or on Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios as you enter the parks and head toward a holding area with other resort guests. Resort transportation generally begins 45 minutes prior to the early entry time. I typically plan on getting on one of those first buses or try to be in line for the monorail or Disney Skyliner by then. 

    Hope this helps. Have fun planning your magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Diane, Georgia

After spending 25 years in RI, my husband and I relocated to GA with our youngest, who is now in high school. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World when I was 11 and I have traveled many times since then with all different party sizes. From creating our first itinerary as a honeymooner to later creating magical experiences for our multigenerational family gatherings, every aspect of planning a vacation has been pure joy to me.  Learn More About Diane

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