There is plenty to see and do at Walt Disney World. Enough that guests visiting for seven days won’t see it all. That can make planning difficult if you and your family are only visiting for a short trip, like a long weekend. Don’t be discouraged, there is still hope. In fact, some Disney Parks veterans will tell you they enjoy shorter stays.
Get up early. Yes, you’re on vacation, but if you want to fully take advantage of the short amount of time you do have, it is important to be in the theme parks as early as possible. The morning is an opportune time to get in short lines and conquer the attractions that you’d typically have to wait over an hour for. An attraction like Space Mountain, for example, can easily have over an hour wait time, but if you are there for the rope drop (park opening), then you’ll walk right on. On the flip side of things, staying out late is another option in optimizing a short trip to Walt Disney World.
Save the shopping for the end of the night. The stores along Main Street U.S.A., as well as many of the stores near the front of each theme park, stay open an hour past the park closing. This means you don’t have to waste your time shopping during the middle of the day, when you could be riding rides and watching shows.
When eating a quick service meal, try eating at odd times of the day. I know this sounds strange, but hear me out. Trying to grab a quick burger around noon at Cosmic Ray’s in the Magic Kingdom will result in long lines, no seating, and an overall frustrating dining experience. Instead, try going early at 11 a.m., or later around 2:45 p.m. You’ll find eating at these odd times will make your quick service dining experience a lot less exasperating. This suggestion isn’t for everyone, but if you can make this change you can save yourself a lot of time.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do everything. You aren’t going to ride every ride, see every show, and watch every park’s nighttime spectacular, so take it easy and enjoy what you can. Trying to do everything will result in you needing mid-afternoon naps, which on a short trip you just don’t have time for (unless you have small children with you). Additionally, if you do feel the need for a nap but don’t want to waste your precious time heading all the way back to your resort hotel, then try finding a quiet, cool, and dark slow moving attraction to sleep on like Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.