As it becomes harder to find a "slow" time of year at the Walt Disney World Resort, it is important to know how to deal with the crowds and still have a magical vacation.
The first key to dealing with the crowds is figuring out how to be able to enjoy the Disney Theme Parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, & Disney's Animal Kingdom) during these high traffic times.
Park Opening Is The Best Time
For your best chance to ride the attractions that you have been looking forward to without spending your entire day in line, you need to get to the park just prior to opening. You will be treated to a short park opening presentation with your favorite Disney Characters.
At the Magic Kingdom you will see Mickey Mouse and a host of characters arrive by train at the Main St. Station to kick off the day and officially open the park.
By using a combination of FastPasses and hitting your favorite attractions first, you can cover a lot of ground in the first 2 hours that the park is open. As you get closer to noon the parks really start filling up and by early afternoon during the busy seasons, the parks can be near their capacity and the waits for attractions are their longest.
During early afternoon, you are best served by heading out of the park to swim in your Resort pool or take a leisurely lunch, or even a nap. Then head back to the parks in the evening to enjoy the attractions at night.
This approach will allow you to see and do more than you could ever accomplish if you got to the parks at 11:00 AM and stayed until closing. It really is amazing how much you can see and do in the first two hours that the parks are open.
One last tip: To really make the most of your morning avoid the park that has Morning Extra Magic Hours. Although the park does open an hour earlier, it drives a larger number of people to that park and you may actually accomplish less even with the extra hour due to the additional crowds.