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Disney at Capacity: Don't Just Survive, Thrive

They're calling it revenge travel. Many people are ready to get out there again and vacation. Disney has repeatedly been hitting their capacity with park reservations. In case you didn't know, having a ticket does not guarantee you entrance any more, you must also have a park reservation. You can check park reservation availability here. But what does this mean for your family if you want to visit Disney on a sold out day? Can you still ride all the rides and see all the shows and eat all the foods? Probably not, but you can definitely still have a ton of fun. Let me tell you a secret, you probably couldn't do all those things on a light day either.

One of Walt's philosophy's was that there should always be something you weren't able to get to or something new so you wanted to come back to Disneyland. It truly is impossible to do everything that is more true on a day when the the parks are sold out but it's really about mindset and having the right tools at your disposal. Right now Scar's song in the Lion King is playing in my head, be prepared! I am going to drop five tips that will help you have a whole lot of fun on an at capacity day.

1. Taking advantage of early morning access. When the parks are this busy staying on site so you can get early access to the parks (30 mins) will really help you knock out some rides before the general public is allowed in. There are some cavoites to this. One example is that only Tomorrowland and Fantasyland are open during Magic Kingdom's early entrance. Another is that sometimes cast members will let guests in even earlier and you never know when or where they will do this. But generally speaking this is a great strategy to cut back wait times on those big ticket rides. If you're staying at a deluxe resort, you may have the option for late access to a park, but don't count on this they've been a little unreliable.

2. Each park has a different circadian rhythm. Animal Kingdom is usually empty by 5 pm. It's really not a full day park, so when people have ridden all the rides, they leave. Meanwhile over in Magic Kingdom, starting about an hour before the fireworks, ride lines die down while people are trying to get good spots to watch the shows. In EPCOT everyone hits the rides in the morning and the World Showcase in the afternoon/evening. Eat lunch around the world, not dinner, and hit rides after dark when everyone is in line for those festival booths.

3. Prioritize. I could write ten pages on how to do this. In my family we each pick our top three things we want to do/see/eat and that gives us nine priorities. The rest are bonuses. I know you're thinking I didn't spend $4,000 to do only nine things, neither did we. We do many more, but like I said those are bonuses. Our top nice choices are our priorities. For example, if my husband's top choice in Hollywood Studios is Rise of the Resistance and my daughter's top choice is Slinky Dog Dash, we strategize to do those two things and whatever comes after or in-between, which is usually the case, is a bonus. If you're goal is to do everything in Hollywood Studios then yes you will be disappointed on an at capacity day, but if you prioritize you will be revel in your victories.

4. Book dining reservations. You will need to get off your feet, into the AC, and away from the crowds. Quick service locations on at capacity days, may leave you waiting for a table and often out in the sun. I always regret it when I don't have a table service booked. Even if you don't want to spend a lot of money on a meal, you can always book a reservation and have appetizers or desserts and get your main meal from snacks or quick services elsewhere.

5. Get Genie+ and know how to use it. Can you do Disney without it? Yes. Should you? No. I am recommending Genie+ to all of my clients now and while crowds contribute to the need for it, the reality is that Disney has redesigned the system around it and you should really work it into your budget. If Genie+ is the difference between three days or four days. I believe you should do three days with Genie+ over four days without it. Once you have it, you need to know how to use it. I send my clients a video on the basics and then I explain that there are two strategies, stacking and chose as you go. The cornerstone of my business is curating the perfect trip for you. There is no one size fits all when it comes to vacationing. Your priorities will determine how you use Genie+ and you should know what to do in advance.

Some of this is simple and straightforward and some of it I am sure you're going, how am I supposed to know any of that? This is the part of the blog where I say the best way to set yourself up for success is to get a travel agent, like myself, to guide you through all this. Of course I'd like you to hire me, you can email me at but if you don't please be sure you ask the person you're considering hiring about some of these things. If they haven't been to Disney since the park reservation system started or Genie+ was introduced make sure they're staying on top of the latest information. Disney is changing by the minute. It's really hard to keep up so make sure you are hiring someone who does. By the way, the Magic Kingdom was at capacity when I took the picture at the top of the blog. Wouldn't you love to know how I got a picture of myself, alone with the castle, in the middle of the day, when there were who knows how many thousands of people in the park? Hire me and I'll you.

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