Tips on how to avoid lines at theme park rides

How to avoid long lines at theme park rides like Disney

One of the biggest headaches, if not THE biggest one at theme parks, is waiting in line for the rides. Everyone is different in respect to their tolerance of waiting in line. Some seem to be happy and talk with others through a 2 hour wait, while a 15 minute wait for others is draining. The cruel fact is, your going to be waiting in line for most of your day when you go to a theme park.

In fact sometimes it seems like the whole point of going to a theme park is to stand in lines! Waiting an hour to go on a 2 minute ride does not seem like such a hot deal. But everyone does it, at least if they want to get on the ride. However there are some ways to cut down on ride wait times.

So I’m going to give you some creative tips on how to avoid some of the lines. You may or may not want to take some of these tips, it all depends on how big your family is, your kids ages and how much you dread long lines! So these are just tricks to cut down on some of the waiting throughout the day. The first one is pretty obvious, which is, get to the park as soon as it opens!

You may be surprised to know that almost half of the crowds at theme parks don’t get there until around noon. So if your the morning kind then get there as soon as they let you in. You’ll be able to get on several rides without any waiting time at all, just walk right on. My second tip also goes along with getting to the parks early.

Tip number 2 is, once you get into the park early, head straight to the back of the park. Most hit the first rides they come to and work their way back and around the park, no matter what theme park it is. So if you go right to the back of the park and do all the rides there, you get even more time without long lines before the masses come upon ya!

Tip number 3 is, eat early or late and go on the rides at noon to 2:00 PM and at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Most people even in a park stop to eat at those times as it’s what they do at home. So the lines will be a little bit shorter, maybe saving 10 to 30 minutes depending on the ride.

Let’s see,,, tip number 4, skip the parades and go on the rides. Most of the theme parks, but especially Disney, have a few parades each day. Many people stop to watch them, of course. So if you have already seen it, or your just not the parade type, then it’s a great time to hit the popular rides.

On to tip number 5 to avoid long lines at theme parks. Ride the rides during the fireworks shows. Just about all the parks have a fireworks show or some type of evening show. Most of the people in the park stop and watch them. In fact, this is one of the best times to hit the popular rides. However the down side is, you don’t get to watch the show!

I must say the nighttime fireworks and shows are very good, so you might not want to miss them. But if your there for a week and have already seen it, then hop on the rides, the lines will be at least half full, and maybe you can even walk right on them.

There also are several other ways to make your ride wait time shorter besides missing out on other things. Many rides in different theme parks have “single rider” lines. They try to fill up each ride as full as they can, and often have a single seat left in each row on the rides. So single riders can use the special line and cut a good 3/4 of the time off a ride.

In fact I use that myself a lot when I’m at a park to get more information. Riding all the rides at theme parks is tough work, but I do it all for you, my readers! So look for those if you have just one kid who wants to go on a ride, or maybe split up and let the kids go on different rides, or of course if your by yourself.

Last tip, many theme parks have a “fast pass” lane. For an extra fee you get a special ticket that lets you get into a shorter line and cut a good half or more of the wait time off. However on really busy days even those lines can get long! So there you have it, a few tips on how to cut your wait time at theme park rides. 😉


  1. These are good tips, but they don’t help when you do end up in the inevitable long line, sooner or later. You need to check out the book and iPHone app “Things to Do in Theme Park Queues”. It has some cool stuff to amuse your group in line.