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17 Walt Disney World Attractions with Short Lines and Low Waits

17 Walt Disney World Attractions with Short Lines and Low Waits

Visiting Walt Disney World doesn’t always mean battling long lines and crowds. In this guide, we’re sharing some of our favorite hidden gems across the parks—attractions that are not only delightful, but also typically have shorter wait times.

Here are our top picks for things to do without spending a ton of time in line:

Which attractions at Disney World have short lines?

The rides below are what we consider “time-fillers”. BUT – don’t let that title fool you. While we consider these time-fillers that doesn’t mean our list of attractions aren’t worthy of your time. They very much are.

But, when we say “time-filler,” we simply mean that when you compare this list to other attractions at each respective park, they aren’t as popular or they don’t operate with a standard queue, and therefore they don’t typically reach high wait times. 

So, if you’re just looking for something to do between headliners or dining reservations, these attractions are usually solid bets:

Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

A 10 minute long laid-back tour of Tomorrowland.

peoplemover sign in tomorrowland
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: 10 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Not a top priority but it is a nice break that most people seem to enjoy
  • When to visit: First 3 or last 3 hours
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: Yes
  • Tip(s): Although the line can sometimes look long (especially after Monsters, Inc., Laugh Floor lets out), the line usually moves quickly

The PeopleMover may not look like much, but it is actually our top pick in all four parks. You read that right. It’s perfect and amazing, and we could ride it all day long. 

This is truly a relaxing ride where you can sit and catch views of Tomorrowland, Cinderella Castle, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. But, probably the biggest highlight is that you get to actually ride through Space Mountain.

Since this section is completely in the dark this part can be kind of scary for little ones. But, if you are prepared with some soft light (that won’t interfere with others on the attraction) smaller kids almost always love it, too.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

A 3D movie featuring the music from various Disney movies. Anybody at any age will enjoy this 11-minute show, but if the 3D effects get to be too much for little ones, removing the 3D glasses usually helps.

mickey's philharmagic magic kingdom
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: About 12 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Yes
  • When to visit: Anytime standby, anytime with Genie+
  • Lightning Lane available: Yes, included with Genie+
  • Eligible for Early Entry: Yes
  • Tip(s): Great to visit in the afternoon to get out of the heat

Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a fun and cute 3D show starring Donald Duck and other beloved Disney characters. This is great for families, anyone seeking air conditioning, and if you need to rest those feet.

If you don’t like 3D, we recommend skipping.

Walt Disney World Railroad

WDW Railroad – Main Street, U.S.A Station

A steam train that takes guests on a loop around all of Magic Kingdom. There are 3 stops – at the end of Main Street, in Fantasyland (back by Storybook Circus), and in Frontierland between Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Main Street Train Station
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: About 20 minutes to do the whole loop
  • Do we recommend? Yes, as both a time filler and as a method to get to the other side of the park
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): This is a great attraction to ride if you have a little one that needs to rest since you can stay on it as long as you like. You can get on and off at any of its 3 stops, so it is also a good way to save some steps if you need to cross the park.

The Walt Disney World Railroad is a classic attraction that embodies everything Walt Disney. After all, he did love trains.

The railroad is not only peaceful and offers unique views of the park, but you can also use it as a form of transportation to get from one part of Magic Kingdom to another.

This is definitely a great choice if you want a break, especially if you have a little one. You can even stay on as long as you like.

In fact, because you can stay on as long as you want, it can be a good spot to let little ones close their eyes for a bit. The train whistle can be noisy, but many a nap has been taken on the train.

Note: Strollers must be able to fold, so WDW rental strollers are not permitted.

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

A show featuring over 300 animatronic birds, flowers, and other things that perform various songs, including some Disney tunes.

walt disney's enchanted tiki room at magic kingdom
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Older kids and adults
  • Attraction length: About 16 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Only for people who like it for nostalgic reasons
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Available for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): It’s dark inside so prepare little ones with that info ahead of time.

This is an original Disney park classic that everyone should experience at least once. It’s a great spot to relax, take in the air conditioning, and enjoy catchy songs. Warning: it can be scary for kids due to some loud noises and a fake storm.

Honorable Mention — Tom Sawyer Island

A giant island that is basically a playground to explore. You board a raft near Big Thunder Mountain which takes you over to where you can venture around the island. FYI: there used to be hidden paintbrushes placed here and people who found them could redeem them for FastPasses. That is no longer the case.

  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody who can handle the rugged terrain
  • Attraction length: N/A
  • Do we recommend? Only as a time filler
  • When to visit: Anytime, generally opens 1 hour after park opening
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): Usually opens later than the rest of the park.

Have you ever hopped over to Tom Sawyer Island? It’s located across the Rivers of America in Frontierland. You can wander and explore a totally different part of the park.

It’s also a good spot for kids to burn off some energy and for the adults to relax by sitting in some rocking chairs. Keep in mind that the island typically has different operating hours than the rest of the park.

Epcot

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is an outdoor trail that guests take in at their own pace as they explore and interact with playful water features themed after the popular animated movie. The experience includes lots of water features and fountains to help guests learn how the cycle of water works.

te fiti at journey of water inspired by moana
  • Height requirement: None
  • Suitable for: Everyone
  • Attraction length: Depends — it’s a self-guided outdoor trail
  • Do we recommend? Definitely for fans of Moana
  • When to visit: Anytime when Virtual Queue is in use or when Standby is available
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: Yes
  • Eligible for Extended Evening Hours: Yes
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
  • Tip(s): There are wet and dry paths, the latter for those who want to avoid getting wet. You don’t need to use a MagicBand, a MagicBand+, or a special app to for the interactive water features.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, includes lots of water features and fountains to help guests learn about how the cycle of water works. As you travel through the attraction, trail markers guide you as you interact with the water, which responds to your movements.

This is a self-guided experience, meaning you can take as long as you’d like exploring it. There are spaces where you can choose to get wet, but you can also skip those, if you’d like.

The entire experience is very kid-friendly, but while there are several spots for shade, there entire attraction is outdoors.

Living with the Land

This gentle boat ride takes you on a tour of some of the greenhouses to see how things are grown at Disney World.

Living with the Land
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Everyone
  • Attraction length: 15 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Only as a time filler, not a high priority (but we think everyone should ride it at least once!)
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: Yes
  • Eligible for Early Entry: Not officially, but Living with the Land often opens up during Early Entry

Living with the Land is a relaxing boat ride where guests can learn about the environment in a unique and educational way. You even get to ride through to see where plants and produce are grown that are actually used throughout Epcot.

This attraction sometimes gets a long line, but it’s our top pick for a time-filler in Epcot.

FYI: If you eat at Garden Grill in the Land Pavilion (the character dining spot that rotates), you can see the boats.

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival in the Imagination Pavilion

A Disney and Pixar short film festival? Well, that sounds great, right? You can watch some super cute videos inside Epcot over by the Imagination Pavilion.

It’s nice to be able to watch Disney and Pixar shorts while resting your feet and enjoying some air conditioning. This is definitely an underrated spot and almost never has a long wait.

Honorable Mention — The Seas Pavilion

The Seas Pavilion

The Seas Pavilion at Epcot

The Seas Pavilion isn’t only where you can find The Seas With Nemo & Friends, but it also houses massive aquariums, all kinds of aquatic life, and has much-needed air conditioning.

Kids will also love it here. It’s a rarely busy pavilion, which is a bonus. 

Hollywood Studios

Mickey Shorts Theater

Enjoy Vacation Fun, an original animated short featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the Mickey Shorts Theater.

  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: About 10 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Yes, especially for fans of the Mickey Shorts cartoons
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): This is a great attraction to take a break from the heat.

If you want some more Mickey in your life, then you should give the Mickey Shorts Theater a chance. This is a cute theater that shows an adorable cartoon called Vacation Fun, and you even get to sit in Mickey-themed seats that are the absolute cutest. There’s also a cute cartoon photo-op area at the exit that’s super fun, too.

Plus, it’s air-conditioned and the seats are cushioned, meaning it’s a great place to cool off and rest a bit.

Walt Disney Presents

This museum-style attraction is a chance to see lots of memorabilia from Walt’s life. Items include a model of Main Street, U.S.A., Oscar trophies, plus concept art for upcoming attractions. Character greetings are also frequently available inside as well as sneak peaks of upcoming movies.

  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: N/A
  • Do we recommend? Only as a time filler for those who love knowing more about the history
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): Ask a Cast Member for a trivia quiz. If you answer the trivia questions correctly, you’ll be given a certificate.

On the way to Toy Story Land is Walt Disney Presents. It’s like a mini-museum of Walt Disney history and his dream of building magical and happy theme parks.

Plus, there’s even a short film called One Man’s Dream that tells Disney’s story. You can even sometimes catch extended previews of new movies that are coming out here.

Muppet*Vision 3D

This indoor, 3D show is a fun attraction featuring the Muppets. Things happen in the theater as part of the show, making the show even more fun (especially for little ones).

  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: About 17 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Yes, for little ones (as a time filler for everybody else)
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: Yes
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): The theater holds a lot of people and usually doesn’t have a long wait. It’s a good option to escape hot afternoons. Be sure to check MDE for hours as this attraction sometimes opens after park opening and closes before park closing.

Sure, Muppet*Vision 3D is an older attraction, but it is still a fun and hilarious show thanks to the Muppets. If you love Miss Piggy, Kermit, and the rest of the Jim Henson gang, you’ll enjoy this.

Better yet, it’s a good place to take a break, get some air conditioning, and have a laugh. And, since it is close to Rise of the Resistance it makes it a great spot to hang out if you need to kill a bit of time before your Boarding Group gets called.

Honorable Mention — Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Galaxy's Edge

No, this isn’t an attraction, but there’s no denying Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an impressive and captivating area. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, the land should be explored.

You don’t even feel like you’re inside a Disney park as soon as you step into Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu. There’s so much to see and the shops are so unique that they deserve a look, too.

Animal Kingdom

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail

The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail takes you through lush greenery as you explore different animals who call Africa home — and not just gorillas, either. During your adventure, you’ll also run into zebras, meerkats, and more along the way, while learning about the importance of conservation.

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail at Animal Kingdom
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: Depends, it’s self-guided
  • Do we recommend? Yes, for animal lovers (as a time filler for everybody else)
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): This attraction isn’t always open during regular park hours, so be sure to check when it’s available in the My Disney Experience app.

This is one of the best trails at Animal Kingdom and really is a must-do. From the incredible theming to a range of animals, it’s quite unforgettable.

Obviously, this is where you can see gorillas, but you can also learn about birds, watch zebras, and even swoon over the adorable meerkats. The outdoor trail in Africa can get very hot, so drink lots of water and take a fan when you go.

Maharajah Jungle Trek

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a self-guided, adventurous trail to explore and see animals up close and personal. Though the tigers are definitely the star of the show here, you’ll also see 50 species of birds, along with animals including buffalo, deer, and gibbons as you walk across bridges and see beautiful waterfalls.

Maharahjah Jungle Trek at Animal Kingdom
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: Depends, it’s self-guided
  • Do we recommend? Yes, for animal lovers (as a time filler for everybody else)
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): If you love tigers, visit early in the morning when they’re the most active.

This is another trail not to be missed. Located in Asia, this is the trek to take if you want to see tigers. Admittedly, they are sometimes hard to find and aren’t out a lot, especially during hot days.

But, when you do get to see them, they are beautiful. Maharajah Jungle Trek also has some fantastic areas to take photos of and, in our opinion, some of the best theming in the park.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Conservation Station at Rafiki's Planet Watch

This area is easy to skip, but one spot to definitely put on your list. First, you get to hop on a train, which transports you to the Conservation Station on Rafiki’s Planet Watch. It’s a great family area, too.

From a petting zoo where you can see animals up close, to drawing with a Disney animator at the Animation Experience, this area has a lot to offer.

Lines can get long, so you should plan accordingly. FYI: trains run every five minutes.

Honorable Mention — Discovery Island Trails

At Discovery Island Trails, you can follow the path (and walk through caves) around the Tree of Life for some gorgeous views of the park, along with a few animal sightings. Here, you’ll see exhibits featuring animals like the Galapagos Tortoise, the African Crested Porcupine, and the White Stork.

Tree of Life view on Discovery Island Trail
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody
  • Attraction length: Depends, it’s self-guided
  • Do we recommend? Yes, for animal lovers (as a time filler for everybody else)
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Tip(s): This is a great place to watch the character cavalcade boats pass by without a crowd.

The Discovery Island Trails are easy to miss but something not to forget. The trails offer a fantastic up-close look of the Tree of Life and several spots where you can capture Animal Kingdom views that you don’t get in other areas of the park.

The trails are outdoors, so depending on the weather, they can get very hot.

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There’s no denying that there are many attractions that make for great time-fillers at all four theme parks. What’s your favorite? (PeopleMover is the correct answer — just kidding, well, kind of.)

If you need help planning an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, contact Small World Vacations.

Ron G.

Friday 19th of April 2024

I find the Walt Disney World Railroad fascinating. It’s a trip through time, perfectly encapsulating the essence of Disney’s rich history. A peaceful ride with a dash of nostalgia.

Ella_S

Friday 19th of April 2024

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a true hidden gem. It’s more than just a walk; it’s an immersive experience into the habitats of Asia’s majestic animals. Highly recommend!

Katie_H

Friday 19th of April 2024

Couldn't agree more, Ella. It's such a respectful and educational way to appreciate wildlife.

Max Turner

Friday 19th of April 2024

lol never thought I'd be excited about a farm ride but living with the land sounds kinda cool?

PhilArmonic

Friday 19th of April 2024

The attention to detail in the music selection for Mickey's PhilharMagic is top-notch. Disney never fails to impress with their ability to blend visual and musical art. A must-see for everyone!

Jenny K.

Friday 19th of April 2024

Super excited to try out the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail with the kids! Animal Kingdom is our favorite and we're always looking for new experiences. Thanks for the suggestions!