If you are heading out to Disney World on vacation you are going to LOVE the tips and secrets that we have for you today!
We’re sharing details of the “secret entrances” to the Disney World parks, so that you can get a head start on the rest of the crowds!
Make sure you scroll all the way to the end so you don’t miss any of the tips – and pin this post so you can find it again later!
Secret Entrances to Disney World
All Parks – Bag Check
There’s no way to get around the Bag Check, it is there to keep us all safe. However you can save time by being prepared, and keeping your eyes open.
- As you approach the security check area don’t just follow the people in front of you, look to see if there are any empty tables, or shorter lines to the left and right. Each Security Guard has one table, but guests can pass through using both sides of the table.
- If people are only lining up to the right side of a table you are quite welcome to walk towards the left side. If people shoot you angry looks just keep going, they may well just follow in behind you! All is fair in love and bag checks I say.
- If you have a number of bags with you give one to each member of your party, it’s much quicker to have one bag searched.
- If you have any zips or fastening on the bags undo them as you stand in line. The Security Guard will want to look in EVERY compartment.
- If you have items in the bottom of a stroller they can stay there as long as it is easy for the Guard to rummage through the basket to check the contents.
- Family sized coolers are allowed into the parks so you don’t need to worry about your snacks or lunch being confiscated.
Secret Entrances to Magic Kingdom
The bag check stations for guests visiting the Magic Kingdom are now located at the Transportation & Ticket Centre (TTC) if you arrive by car and at each of the Monorail stations if you are staying at one of the Magic Kingdom hotels.
Once you disembark from the ferry boat or exit the monorail station its time to enter the park.
Look to the far right, and the far left turnstiles until you see one labeled Cast Member Entrance. You may see some people waiting in line there, but it will be a noticeably shorter line. This is the turnstile you want to use to enter the park (well unless on your day there happens to be an empty one right in front of you!)
The entrance is labeled Cast Member because it is the only entrance the employees are allowed to use, but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to use it too.
Secret Entrance to Epcot
As with the Magic Kingdom you want to look for the turnstiles labeled Cast Member Entrance at either end, unless the turnstile in front of you is empty.
There is an additional entrance at the back of the park which not a lot of people know about. If you are staying at one of the Epcot hotels you can walk to this entrance which is located at the International Gateway. It usually takes less than five minutes to have your bags checked and your tickets scanned and you’re ready to have fun in the park!
Secret Entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
When you arrive at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios parking lot most people take the tram, which drops off at the main Bag Check. This always has long lines so you want to try and avoid it. If you are arriving before park opening (which you should be) you will be able to walk from the parking lot to the park in less than five minutes.
Here’s what you do instead of taking the tram:
- Walk towards the bus parking at the front of the parking lot and then you will find a crossing which will take you across the road that the tram drives down. Cross over and then bear right onto the path which will take you towards the park (towards Guest Services).
- At the end of this path you will find another Bag Check point which is rarely used and which will give you a head start over all those people who decided to take the tram!
If you’re arriving by bus you should also be able to walk around to the Smaller Bag Check by walking out towards the parking lot and then doubling back on yourself.
Now it’s time to find the Secret Entrance into the park:
- Once you’ve had your bags checked continue along the path to the park entrance. The first turnstiles you come to are usually reserved for Play and Dine guests (there will be a banner hanging over the entrance). You can only enter though this line while that banner is hanging if you have a Play and Dine reservation. But only while the banner is hanging.
- Get in line at the next turnstile to the right, don’t worry if the line is quite long, you need to pay very close attention to that Play and Dine line.
- As soon as the park opens that banner will be dropped and the turnstile will open up to everyone. So the second you see them taking down that banner hop on over and enter through that turnstile ahead of the pack!
Secret Entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Once you’ve passed through Bag Check look to your left and you’ll see the Rainforest Cafe.
Here’s how to find the Secret Entrance to the park:
- Walk up the path to the Rainforest Cafe restaurant. Once inside take a right through the gift shop and out the side entrance.
- You’ll pass through an outside bar area and then ahead of you is a set of turnstiles into the park.
- Once through just bear right and you’ll join the people coming in through the main entrance, who will have taken much longer than you did to enter the park!
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The Best Disney World Guidebook
Researching your Disney vacation online is a brilliant thing to do, and we are so glad you are here reading our secrets.
But nothing beats a guidebook that you can read over and over before your trip and then throw in your suitcase so you have all of the information you need at your fingertips while you are on vacation.
This is the best paper guidebook whether it's your first trip or your hundredth trip, because it is regularly updated throughout the year so it has the most up to date information in it.