4/23/14 Update: Each Cheat Sheet has been updated with new maps, touring plans, strategies, and wait times.  Note that Magic Kingdom is VERY preliminary and includes expected wait times and touring plans with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Anna & Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall. The old Magic Kingdom Cheat is also linked for those of you that prefer a tried and true methodology. I will update Magic Kingdom again when we know what wait times at the Mine Train look like. For now, we either plan to visit first thing or use FastPass+ in the afternoon.

Animal Kingdom:

Full Cheat Sheet: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/ak_cheatsheet_easyguide.pdf

Map Only: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/akeasyguidemap.pdf


Full Cheat Sheet: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/ep_cheatsheet_easyguide.pdf

Map Only: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/epeasyguidemap.pdf

Hollywood Studios:

Full Cheat Sheet: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/hs_cheatsheet_easyguide.pdf

Map Only: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/hseasyguidemap.pdf

Magic Kingdom:

Beta Cheat Sheet including Mine Train and Anna and Elsa: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/mk_cheatsheet_easyguide.pdf

Map Only: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/mkeasyguidemap.pdf

Full Cheat Sheet: http://www.easywdw.com/cheatsheets/mk_cheat_sheet_fastpass_plus_v2.pdf

Open up Magic Kingdom and follow along.

The first page is a map that’s been color-coded based on the best time to visit the various attractions.  Red attractions are your top morning priorities or best saved for the very end of the day.  Yellow attractions are best visited in the first/second hour of operation or in the last two hours.  They’re a lower priority than the red attractions because waits build slower and peak lower.  Green attractions are designated “anytime,” which is another way of saying they’re best saved for the afternoon when waits at the higher priority attractions are longer.  Most shows are designated “green” because you want to save them for the afternoon or evening when waits are longer at the major attractions.  Attractions that offer FastPass+ are followed by a +. FastPass+ kiosks are noted with the FP+ symbol. Also included are bathrooms, quick services, restaurants, and the larger stores.

Moving along to the next page…

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This is what we’re looking at for November. Click to enlarge or view as a prettier PDF. And if you don’t know what the numbers/letters mean, read the top of this post. The full operating schedule is available here.

This preliminary calendar is “more preliminary” than usual as I have yet to receive expected attendance numbers for the month (thus the delay…). They should be available by Monday, but I am not expecting any significant changes to the numbers or recommendations.

November is relatively straightforward, though there are two bottlenecks. The first is the weekend of the 7th to 10th with Veterans Day, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, and the culmination of “Jersey Week,” or the weekend where all New Jersey public schools get the Thursday/Friday of that week off. The second is Thanksgiving, which sees crowds similar to much of spring break. Otherwise, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival continues to attract the Tampa crowd through the 10th. After that, things are quiet through the Sunday of Thanksgiving week. The week before Thanksgiving is one of the best weeks of the year to visit with low international visitation, warm temperatures and cool evenings, and low overall crowds.


We’ll head out to Magic Kingdom for a brief update on affairs as the moats around Cinderella Castle are filled. Walls still line much of the area – hopefully as many as possible can come down sooner rather than later.

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The official start of Mickey’s Party season looks to begin about a week earlier than usual with the first Halloween Party scheduled on September 1st. Disney looks to have canceled the late August Party.

Disney also moved the evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios from Monday to Sunday. You may remember that most Sundays originally had no Extra Magic Hours scheduled whatsoever, with Monday seeing a morning Extra Magic Hour at Animal Kingdom, in addition to evening EMH at both Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. This will affect the recommendations around those dates. Expect Hollywood Studios to no longer be recommended on Sundays and be recommended on Mondays instead behind Epcot.

The full September operating schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_september.pdf

The full October operating schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_october.pdf

Sunday September 14:

  • Hollywood Studios Evening Extra Magic Hours added.

Monday September 15:

  • Hollywood Studios Evening Extra Magic Hours canceled.

Sunday September 21:

  • Hollywood Studios Evening Extra Magic Hours added.

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Disney made many changes to the August 2014 operating schedule. The full schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_august.pdf. Click refresh after opening to make sure your browser has loaded the newest version of the document. As always, this is an “official” list of changes that will mirror DisneyWorld.com once they get around to updating.

One thing you’ll notice is that no changes were made to Hollywood Studios. In a future update, Disney should add a second Fantasmic and extend the close to 9:30pm or 10pm every night through August 23rd. The final week in August should see at least two extensions as well.

Disney also looks to have canceled whatever event was expected to close Magic Kingdom at 7pm on August 29th and extended the close from 7pm to 11pm with two Main Street Electrical Parades. Magic Kingdom remains recommended, but it’s going to be busier than it would have been had it kept the early close.

Friday August 1:

  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am – 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade.

Saturday August 2:

  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am – 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade.

Sunday August 3:

  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am – 12am. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade.

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Disney made a few changes to the May 2014 operating schedule. The changes are primarily Magic Kingdom open an hour later than originally scheduled. The full operating schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_may.pdf

Thursday May 1:

Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am – 11pm from 9am – 10pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade.

Friday May 2:

Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am – 11pm from 9am – 10pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade.

Saturday May 3:

Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am – 12am from 9am – 11pm.

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Disney released the initial operating hours for November 2014 at the usual link: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_november.pdf. As always, this is the official schedule that will go live on DisneyWorld.com toward the end of the month. To get an idea about what to expect from the final schedule, see last year’s here.

November is one of the more interesting and varied months of the year with the Food and Wine Festival continuing to draw crowds, culminating in the extremely busy Jersey Week/Veterans Day/Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend of November 7th – 10th. The week of the 16th to 22nd is actually one of the best weeks of the year to visit with relatively low crowds, relatively inexpensive resort pricing, and warm temperatures. Thanksgiving remains one of the busier weeks of the year, though it’s slightly less busy than Easter or Christmas. Otherwise, the schedule looks like what we would expect with the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party date on November 7th.


Edit: This link: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/after-hours/ explains the event.

Just a heads up that a yet-to-be-announced Wind Down event looks to be coming to Epcot beginning April 17th. Expected hours are 9:15pm – 11pm at the also yet-to-be-announced lounges. Word is Disney is looking to muster up the Pleasure Island/New Year’s Eve vibe in the World Showcase during Disney Springs construction. And…you know…continue selling alcohol at a 1000% markup without actually having to operate anything but the bars. There is likely no use in calling as nobody on the phone will have any idea what you’re talking about yet.


Fort Wilderness Trail’s End Lunch Review

by josh on April 10, 2014

We’ll rewind about ten days and take what will turn out to be a very brief trip out to Fort Wilderness due to a range of tornado warnings and general “ur gonna die if u don’t watch wesh weather on channel 2 – WESH Weather” warnings. Sometimes I wonder what the weather report would look like if sunny weather was enough to preempt Whacked-Out Sports.

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Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports11/pretty.jpg

We’ll meander a bit around Epcot on the afternoon of April 5th on a pretty afternoon as temperatures heat up and then cool back down. Monday’s high was an even 90 degrees, while today’s is 75. There is really nothing of much value in this post in case you have more pressing matters.

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