If there’s one thing you’ll always find at the Disney theme parks (besides fun times, great rides, and delicious food), it’s crowds!
Thankfully there are plenty of secret pathways and ways to avoid crowd burnout. Today, we’re talking about 5 places that are ALWAYS stressful in Disney parks and where to go instead!
New Orleans Square (Disneyland)
The Busy Spot: The main pathway going through New Orleans Square in Disneyland that takes you in and out of the area. This spot gets congested easily because of how narrow the walkway is and all of the details to see and absorb. When guests take their time to linger in this atmospheric land, it can get congested quickly!
Where to Go Instead: New Orleans Square is best experienced earlier in the day, making it a good area to rope-drop. If you can’t make it to New Orleans Square early in the day, however, there’s a pathway you can use to avoid most of the crowds. In New Orleans Square, right along the Rivers of America, you’ll find a pathway that stays relatively empty throughout the day.
Also, it is easier to enter New Orleans Square through Frontierland or Critter Country than Adventureland.
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Fantasyland (Disneyland & Magic Kingdom)
The Busy Spot: Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. In Disneyland, the busy spot is the area near the Carousel and all the dark rides like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Enchanted Journey. In Magic Kingdom, the busy spot is the walkway between “it’s a small world” and Peter Pan. This area gets crowded for two main reasons, the popularity of all of the attractions in this vicinity, and the fact that these attractions are favorites for the little ones, which means lots of strollers (which take up lots of walkway space)!
Where to Go Instead in Disneyland: Seeing as the busiest area is located near the Castle entrance to Fantasyland, going around the Castle instead of through it can help you avoid crowds. If you take the pathway that’s to the right of the Castle, the one that heads towards Matterhorn, you can avoid most of the crowds and enter Fantasyland from the side. This can be especially helpful if you’re heading to rides like “it’s a small world” or Storybook Land Canal Boats!
Where to Go Instead in Magic Kingdom A great way to get into Fantasyland, especially New Fantasyland, is to use the pathway at the Hub that goes to the right and takes you to Cheshire Cafe (bordering Tomorrowland), since this is less busy compared to the Castle entrance. If you need to get to the Peter Pan & “it’s a small world” section of Fantasyland and the Castle entrance seems too hectic, you can always cut through Liberty Square to get to these attractions.
The main takeaway here is, get your classic photo in front of the castle, then when you’re ready to visit Fantasyland, be sure to approach it from the sides to avoid those heavy-traffic areas.
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The Busy Spot: Adventureland in Disneyland, especially the area near Indiana Jones Adventure & Tarzan’s Treehouse. There are a lot of popular spots in such close proximity that it’s bound to create some choke points. Indiana Jones Adventure, Jungle Cruise, and Bengal Barbecue are all so tightly tucked in there that when crowds pick up and guests rush to these areas, or those queues back up into the walkways, it can create some claustrophobia, for sure.
Where to Go Instead: Much like New Orleans Square, this land is best experienced in the morning! Keep in mind that the main bottleneck is near the Swiss Family Robinson House, so unless you’re heading over to New Orleans Square, you might want to take a different route to get to your next destination. If you need to get through the crowds in Adventureland, stick to your right-hand side, the traffic in this area (and in most Disney parks) flows similar to a road.
So, best to visit this area first thing in the morning, or avoid it unless you have an attraction to visit during the day if you’re looking to avoid those shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and tense walkways.
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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Disneyland & Hollywood Studios)
The Busy Spot: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland and Hollywood Studios, especially the shops in the center of the land. This marketplace on Batuu has an authentic bazaar atmosphere, which includes intimate walkways, clustered shops and kiosks, and shoppers dashing in and out of vendor spots for those souvenir finds!
Where to Go Instead: If you’re not planning on going into any of the shops, the pathways around the shops on the outer edges of the land are less busy and can get you to any attraction in Galaxy’s Edge. If you’re looking to go to the shops, hit them up in the morning or later in the afternoon because midday is particularly busy. However, going through all the shops in Galaxy’s Edge is manageable as long as you go into this area knowing it’s likely going to be crowded.
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Avengers Campus (Disney California Adventure)
The Busy Spot: Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure, especially the main entryway near WEB SLINGERS and WEB Suppliers. Since WEB SLINGERS is one of the newest and most popular (and easily visible) attractions at the West Coast parks, its popularity pulls in the crowds. The walkway narrows close to the entrance for WEB SLINGERS and WEB Suppliers gift shop, which provides a natural point of congestion.
Where to Go Instead: The main entrance into Avengers Campus gets pretty busy, but it’s easy to get in and out of the land using other entrances! If you enter this land from the back, using either the entrance near Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout or the entrance near Cars Land, you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble avoiding crowds.
The solution here is much like the solution for Fantasyland. Stop and take your iconic picture at the main entrance to Avengers Campus by WEB SLINGERS, but then enter and navigate this area from the other entrances to avoid those intense crowds.
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Bonus: Hub for Fireworks (Disneyland & Disney World)
The Busy Spot: Staking out that perfect spot for views of the fireworks can get anyone’s heart rate up. Some guests start settling into their spot in the Hub or on Main Street an hour (or more!) before the show begins. This creates bottlenecks for any guest looking to cross the area to get from one section of the park to another. And when the lights dim and the show starts, the crowds compress, and suddenly, you’re rubbing elbows (LITERALLY!) with a new friend that you’d never met before!
Where to Go Instead: Try grabbing a spot at the back of Main Street, U.S.A. With the projection shows now covering the full landscape of the Main Street shops, you’ll get a view of the full show, without the compression of the crowds right in front of the castle. Plus, if you’re looking for a quick exit after the show, you’re right by the gates to be one of the first to leave.
If you’re just interested in fireworks, another option is to head to the back of Fantasyland. For both Disneyland and Disney World, you’d want to find a spot behind the Carousel. You’ll miss out on the projections happening on the castle and Main Street, but you’ll still get to see some incredible fireworks without feeling like you’re in a can of sardines.
Those are 5+ places that tend to be crowded & stressful in Disney parks and where to go instead! We’re always keeping up with the latest Disney news, so stay tuned here for more!
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What do you think? What part of Disney parks stresses you out? Let us know in the comments!
Benjamin Pfister says
The pathway between “it’s a small world” and Nemo for Disneyland and anytime there is a parade in MK for Walt Disney World.