The Holiday season is upon us, and for millions of guests, that means a visit the Orlando theme parks is in order. In 2018 alone, approximately 75 million people visited Orlando, with the largest influx of individuals attending during the summer and holiday seasons. That number is only projected to rise from last year’s record, meaning that the 2019 Holiday season 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 daunting, but rest assured, Tim and Jenn have you covered with simple tips to help you deal with Orlando’s Holiday crowds, while still allowing you to have fun at the theme parks.
1. 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. If the parks are busy enough, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and others will likely have all turnstiles open in order to accommodate as many guests into the parks at once as possible.
2. ESCAPE 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. This location is perfect for getting a spectacular look at Diagon Alley and its many Holiday decorations on display this year. 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 on cooler days – warmth, stop inside of Knockturn Alley for a quick dip out of the crowds and the cool breeze. 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.
3. 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 Holiday 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. If visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, consider checking out Echo Lake, as it is not only a great place to escape the Holiday crowds, but it is also home to the park’s Christmas tree and Holiday decorations galore!
With Orlando’s yearly attendance numbers expected to reach record highs by the end of this year, you can expect the Orlando theme parks to have a busy this Holiday season. Though it’s not easy to avoi the crowded theme parks every second of your trip, we hope that these tips help to provide ou with an improved, yet overall enjoyable theme park experience this Holiday season. Don’t forget to make the most of your Holiday vacation, and to capture incredible memories that last a lifetime. Lastly, we hope that you have fun and stay warm (or cool because Florida) this Holiday season, and that you have fun!