Tips Needed:1st Timer @ Crowd Level 10?

What are your best tips for Crowd Level 10 days?

Experienced park goer but have avoided busy times of year like the plague. Staying onsite and will have stroller. Feel confident in G+, LL, etc for rides but need any and all advice on the surviving with kids, including the following:

  • What don’t I know? What are your secrets for CL10? Besides go in Sept or Jan :rofl:

  • Do park doors ever open earlier than advertised anymore? Specifically the 26th-31st?

  • How many hours after rope drop does it get too brutal to walk around with little kids?

  • How early do I need to order a popular QS lunch?

  • Fave quiet spaces in each park to sit?

  • Strategy to not get stuck in the Starbucks line?

  • My only must do is the Mickey Christmas parade, typically watching from the start - does the 12pm start in Frontierland? How early do we have to get a spot so little one can see?

  • My child wants to do Slinky Dog as many times as possible - how do I do that?

  • Is Disney transport or driving best 1st thing in the morning this time of year (we have free standard parking and are staying at a resort hotel)

  • Disney Springs - are crowd levels different on weekdays vs. weekends and lunch vs dinner?

Thank you so much, I would never go this time of year but for a second of temporary insanity when I saw a great DVC rental deal.

We rode SDD 3 times on a 7 day trip by throwing money at it (G+) and going to HS on 3 different occasions. You can ride as many times as you want in one day - you’ll just wait in lines. G+ only allows once per day.


Good luck!

  • Utilize early am entry…and even earlier since they do sometimes open a few mins earlier

  • call it 11am it gets too busy…11am-4pm is the most crowded

  • I would book sit down lunches to cool off, get out of the heat, eat, rest and have a bathroom break

  • parade is best viewed outside of Tonys Town Square at Park entrance

  • SDD can do at rope drop and buy Genie+…otherwise will be over 1 hour+ wait unless you do 1 min before park close

  • Depends where ur staying and what park ur going but I would take Minnie Van to MK unless ur on a monorail resort since you skip the TTC…

  • Springs is way busier on weekends

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I wouldn’t do this, but it has occurred to me that instead of staying 5 nights at BLT, my kids might have more fun going to WDW for 1 day, staying off-site, and using all the savings for a VIP tour where they could spend the day riding GotG, SDD, 7DMT and BTMRR over and over and over.


This is all, basically, one question…

I know it’s common advice, but you need to get the family to bed early at night so they can be awake by 6am the next day preparing to go to the parks. To not be overwhelmed at the parks by crowds you need to get to the entry one hour before RD.

The dates you are going will see high crowds before Noon. Going that early is going to minimize crowds. It’s still going to be much higher attendance even at RD on your dates.

Leave the parks by lunch to come back after 5pm.

If you have access to a car - USE IT! Disney transportation is unreliable and takes so long compared to a car.

As soon as you can! Mobile Order when it becomes available for a time you need

Weekday & lunch are best. However, as you are aware you will be there at the absolute busiest weeks of the year.

Good luck!!

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Seems like you are decently prepped because you are asking good questions.

We were experience Disney people when we went that week year ago. … My biggest advice is to set low expectations and have patience. You will not be able to do it all. Pick the 2-3 things your group wants to accomplish each day. Everything else is bonus.


I think as an experienced park goer you will do great with CL10. Just having reasonable expectations and knowing the rhythms of a park day and being familiar with the parks is a huge plus.

How many kids will you have? And what are their ages? I tend to RD + go hard for 3-4 hours after RD, sit down for lunch and go back for a resort break or take in some shows or shopping.

I have done a lot of rope dropping with my 4 kids and the greatest advice I can give is to get there and be front of the pack. You will fall behind a bit at taps…especially if the kids are tapping in themselves…but being up front initially means you won’t really be losing too much in position if you can walk with purpose.

If you are truly there front of the pack, you will have a decent amount of time to wait before you can scan in for taps. I’d take that chance to look over QS menus and order your lunch then.

Fave quiet spaces:

MK - TSI, area near Gaston’s Tavern, side street off of Main Street by Crystal Arts
EP - Dancing Fountains near Pixar Film Festival, Morocco Pavilion, UK gardens if no band performing
HS - area around Echo Lake
AK - lookout at Tree of Life near Kamal’s, amphitheater overlooking discovery river

I’ve been told by CMs before that they often see a lull in crowds during lunchtime. We walked into a completely empty Creature Comforts at noon once! It was great!

You could do Sinky 3x with little to no wait if you bit the bullet and bought G+. Once at RD, once with a LL and a third time by hoping in line 5 minutes before park close.

Can’t speak much to DS crowds that time of year…I’d imagine its chaos most of the week.


I totally agree with tempering your expectations. Plan out 3 Must-Do things and 2 places to eat (one is a back-up)

If you can invest in G+ then you should!

Hope it goes well!!


A few years ago we went to Disney Springs on Christmas evening. Fortunately we took the WDW bus, which had dedicated lanes. Eastbound cars were a solid standstill from DS all the way back to Bonnet Creek Parkway. DS was wall to wall people.


Certain Parks do open earlier for early entry than advertised. So as a general rule, try and get there at least 30-45 minutes before Early Entry time.


Thank you for sharing your experience - definitely going to try to go during the day now. Maybe we will have to rope drop the Lego store, ha!

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Real time look at our house right now, many hours before departure:


Quick Trip Recap, 12/26-1/1. (Did not post realtime - last trip did that and someone followed us, creepy!)

Stayed in highly discounted last minute point rental, 1BR @ BWI. Only opened up week prior from remodel. Very fresh, neutral decor, lots of wasted space with tub bathroom, overall beautiful but seemed a bit like lipstick on pig as walls are still plaster. Nice to have full KT & laundry. Usually stay at Poly on point rental, will probably return due to 2 showers. Great, great, great walking and boat access for busy days to EP/HS. Lots of Skyliner rides for fun, but not fast. Got stuck for 10+ minutes one day. Amazing cast members at BWI. Took MinnieVans 2 mornings to MK EE, went great. Tip - if needing a car seat send in message right away and it goes faster.

Day 1 & 2, mom on phone all the time stressed out finding LL + dinner reservations. 7am barking at kids while trying to get them out door to parks and book everything.

By day 3 settled into rhythm - AM rope drop & touring plan, hotel break for lunch, then back to park for stacked LL, then dinner (or flipped). Mom floats through these days happily.

Day 3 I started using Standby Skipper and it was AMAZING for a parent who wanted to be off phone. Secret, only have it look for 1 at a time. Would wake up to opening slinky dog/safari/navi/peter pan/remy, would find me the next one I wanted while I was riding the ride. We are talking “no remaining” LL. Worked great trying to stay in same vicinity for rides, still did 15k+ steps a day. NYE we did over 10 rides at EP & MK, barely any work from mom. Amazing! Sure this loophole will be closed soon (one GE CM actually deleted them from my friends, ha) MK closed at midnight so every night I would book HM & BTMRR or for 10:30pm-11pm and twice woke up with golden tickets, from Remy and HM, score!

Positive food surprises were Nomad Lounge GF Churros, a skyliner trip to Riviera QS lunch, Giovan the allergy chef at Chef Mickey’s and in a family where everyone has an allergy, having several Epcot booths where we could share items.

Was a very busy time, but felt like there were more cast members, lines, ride lanes, entertainment, characters etc open so we actually moved faster than other times of year?

Prices are outrageous and brutal. I threw $ at LL & MV, due to 3 year old. Saved $ flying on points, eating 2 meals from room on the go, carrying in bottled water & my kids know they get to pick one souvenir each trip (figment & toy skyliner won).

Kid 1 got to ride SDD 8 times due to rider switch & one am giving her all our wristbands. I was thrilled to have LL for parade & cherish those memories. 3 year old loved Olaf, TT & chef Mickey’s. Husband loved no lines (I did not break out separately how much $ that privilege was) and the MinnieVan cast members. We all loved Tron and seeing all the groups of happy friends & families from around the world having fun together. We had big smiles on our faces the whole time, what a magical memory!


I’m thrilled it worked out! I’ve been there on those “day 1 & day 2 frustrations!”

Amazing that son got to do SDD 8 times! I know it was his “must-do”!! :rofl:

Your time is more valuable! Good decision!!