Let’s face it, if you visit the Orlando theme parks during the summer, chances are it will be a long, hot, and crowded day. In 2018 alone, approximately 75 million people visited Orlando, with the largest influx of individuals popping by during the summer and holiday seasons. That number is only projected to go up from last year’s record, meaning that the summer of 2019 is sure to be a busy time for such parks as Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World. For some guests visiting the parks this summer, this fact may be frightening, but rest assured, Tim and Jenn have you covered with simple tips to help you deal with Orlando’s summer crowds, while still allowing you to have fun at the theme parks.
1. Crowded Parking
For guests visiting one of Orlando’s many theme parks, the stress and anxiety of crowds may begin as soon as they exit their car in a parking lot. As you make your way to your parking spot, you may see a large number of guest walking down one row and heading for the escalator, tram, or park entrance. We recommend that upon exiting your vehicle, you and your party make your way over four or 5 rows of parked vehicles before you begin heading towards your destination. This will prevent you from being caught up in an unordinary amount of guests all heading to the same location.
2. Side Entrances
When approaching the entrance to one of Orlando’s many theme parks, guests tend to head towards the center of the park gates, causing many others to naturally follow and form what appears to be long entrance queues. Tim and Jenn recommend you take an extra 30 seconds to look for turnstiles, or entrance points further from the center of the park gate in the event that the park you are visiting opens up additional entry points that guests are unaware of due to an abundance of guests.
3. Eating Through Crowds
If you are visiting a park and you find yourself making your way through an inordinate amount of guests, attempt to distract yourself from the size of the crowds by grabbing a snack at a nearby food cart. For example, if you are visiting Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando Resort, Jenn recommends stopping by Auntie Anne’s Pretzels in New York for a warm and soft treat that’s both affordable and filling.
4. Escaping the Crowds
You may be wondering how you could possibly escape the crowds at the Orlando theme parks? When visiting such popular and constricted lands as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, seclusion seems nearly impossible. Thankfully, Jenn has identified a few locations within The Wizarding World to escape even the busiest of crowds. If you are looking for a place to escape the crowds and still be near Diagon Alley’s signature attraction – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – Jenn recommends grabbing a spot at the top of the stairs near Gringotts Bank. Mostly used as a place to sit and people-watch, this location becomes less crowded by guests the further up you decide to climb. For seclusion, peace, and most importantly – air conditioning, stop inside of Knockturn Alley for a quick dip out of the crowds and the sun. Lastly, if you are in need of a rest area in the Wizarding World, take a quick trip outside of Diagon Alley and stop by the old Amity Island Rest area, located just beyond the gates of London.
5. Look for Water
The areas of the Orlando theme parks with the least amount of guests per square foot tends to be near large bodies of water. This is because theme parks tend to build their paths and attractions on dry land. Even still, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World frequently build walking paths near these bodies of water with the intention of hosting frequent shows based on ponds/lakes. Most bodies of water did host a show or two near the beginning of every park’s inception, but have since been cut due to budget and/or safety concerns. With no reason to visit such sections of the parks, guests often overlook these secluded areas in order to experience as many rides and attractions as possible. This is perfect for those looking to avoid the crowds and still enjoy the overall atmosphere and immersion of the parks themselves. If visiting Universal Studios Florida, we recommend you stop by one of the parks many water-side dining areas such as: Richter’s Burger Company in San Francisco and Duff Brewery in Springfield U.S.A.
With Orlando’s yearly attendance numbers expected to reach record highs, you can expect the Orlando theme parks to have a busy summer. We hope that these tips help those who struggle with high crowds enjoy the theme parks in their own way, and that they are able to make incredible memories that last a lifetime. Furthermore, we hope that you have fun and that you stay cool this summer. Last but not least: Enjoy your vacation!