Memorial Day Weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for Orlando theme parks. With three days off to play people from all over the country flock to Walt Disney World ®, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and others to unofficially kick off the start of summer. If you’re planning a trip to Orlando this Memorial Day Weekend here are some tips to beat the crowds and make the most out of your visit:

Tip #1 – Arrive early - There really is something to the saying “the early bird gets the worm.” In this case, the early bird gets first dibs on popular rides, shows and attractions. Since it’s a holiday and most people have the entire weekend to relax, people may not get to the theme parks until later, giving you the opportunity to get in a few rides, shows and attractions before the park really gets crowded.

Tip #2 – Utilize ride return options - Once you arrive early at the theme park, go ahead and grab a ride return ticket if the theme park you’re visiting offers one. The Fast Pass at Walt Disney World ® and Plus Pass at Universal Orlando are excellent ways to cut down on wait times and gives you the opportunity to ride your favorite ride more than once. They are also crucial for popular rides like Splash Mountain at Disney’s Magic Kingdom ® and The Incredible Hulk at Islands of Adventure.

Tip #3 – Start at the back of the park –Most people tend to stop at the first ride or attraction they come to. If you do the opposite and start at the back of the park and move towards the front you’re sure to avoid the big crowds and get the most out of your visit.

Tip #4 – Ride in the morning, shows in the afternoon – Typically, as the day goes on theme park guests are trying to get in the most rides before they leave, which usually means rides are busier in the afternoon. To avoid the chaotic afternoon rush, get the majority of your coasters and rides out of the way in the morning and leave the afternoon for shows.

Tip # 5 - Take advantage of single rider lines – If you don’t mind splitting from your group for a ride or two look for single rider lines. Because most people like to stick together these wait times are usually shorter.

Tip #6 – Stay late – Orlando theme parks typically stay open later for Memorial Day Weekend but not everybody knows that or takes advantage. If you can stick around make sure you do, the parks really thin out after regular operating hours so you can get in a few more rides, shows and attractions without the long lines. Also, the new sand castle Cinderella Castle will debut this weekend, it’s pretty cool to see the castle change, but remember when everyone is enjoying the nightly fireworks or parades; lines are shorter for rides.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!