Disney released details on a new Frozen Holiday Premium Package at the Studios, which includes reserved viewing for the Osborne Lights and a dessert party, in addition to reserved seating at your choice of Frozen Sing-Along: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/hollywood-studios/frozen-holiday-premium-package/.

At Magic Kingdom, Anna and Elsa take over for Cinderella at the Castle lighting ceremony, scheduled nightly at 6:15pm beginning November 5th. It should continue through January 4th (end date not confirmed).

In unrelated news, the new Haunted Mansion store that replaces Yankee Trader near the attraction is expected to open officially October 6th. A “soft opening” is expected later today.


April 2015 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

by josh on September 30, 2014

This is the Free April 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar that shows the Recommended Parks to Visit, Overall Crowd Level Estimation, Cost, Historic High/Low Temperature, Historic Chance of Precipitation, Extra Magic Hours Schedule, Fantasmic Show Times, Holidays, and Special Events.

Make sure you first read my month-by-month overview of visiting Disney World, located here. The overview will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of cost, crowds, weather, and special events on a broader scale. Once you figure out when you would like to visit, you can move on to this more detailed look.

Here’s a quick explanation of how to read the calendar and what the numbers mean. It may seem like it’s a little long, but you’ll only need to read the explanation once.

  • The first line in each box is the date.
  • The second line shows the cost to book a room at a Disney-owned resort. $ = Value Season, $$ = Regular Season, $$$ = Summer Season, $$$$ = Peak Season, and $$$$$ = Holiday Season. Occasionally there will be a + or – after the $$$ to show that the cost is slightly higher or lower than usual, but not by enough to raise it another $ notch.
  • The third line is the average high and low temperature and the chance of precipitation. All data is based on the last 15 years. I wouldn’t read too much into the precipitation percentages for each day because just one or two additional days of rain in the last 15 years can raise the percentage substantially. I included it so you can look at the precipitation trends throughout the month(s) and take it into consideration when deciding when to book your vacation. For a broader overview of the month, read the month-by-month overview I linked to above.
  • The fourth line is an estimation of the overall crowd level. A “5″ refers to average crowds. Numbers above 5 refer to a larger than average overall crowd level and numbers below 5 refer to lower than average overall crowds. A day with an overall crowd level of “1″ means that the crowds are expected to be the absolute lowest of the year and a “10″ means crowds are expected to be at their largest of the year. In other words, the overall crowd level estimation will give you an idea of how many people are in the entire Disney World complex, including the four major theme parks, water parks, Downtown Disney, golf courses, resorts, etc. Individual theme parks can have smaller or larger crowds than the overall estimation, which is where the theme park recommendations come in.
  • The fifth line shows the theme parks I recommend visiting in green and the theme parks I recommend avoiding in red. There is also a | sign that splits up the recommended and not recommended Parks for the color blind or those printing in black and white (the Parks to the left of the | sign are recommended). I use the usual abbreviations for the Parks; AK is the Animal Kingdom, EP is Epcot, HS is Hollywood Studios, and MK is the Magic Kingdom. In addition to the colors, the Park on the far left is the most recommended Park to visit that day. The Park second to the left is the second most recommended and so on. For example, if the line reads AK EP | HS MK then the Animal Kingdom is the most recommended and Epcot is the second most recommended. On the other side of the | sign, Hollywood Studios is not recommended and the Magic Kingdom is expressly not recommended even more. If possible, I would strongly recommend you visit the Park that is most recommended each day. Please read below the calendar for an overview of how I’ve selected the recommended Parks and also a day-by-day explanation.
  • The sixth line lists which Parks have Extra Magic Hours and at what time they start. Morning Extra Magic Hour lasts one hour and usually starts at 8am. Evening Extra Magic Hours last two hours from the start time. For example, if you see AK:8am EP:9pm, that means the Animal Kingdom has a morning Extra Magic Hour from 8am-9am and Epcot has evening Extra Magic Hours from 9pm-12am.
  • The seventh line lists the Fantasmic show times at the Hollywood Studios.
  • The eighth line lists the start time of Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP:) and Wishes Fireworks at Magic Kingdom(W:). For example, if you see, MSEP: 9pm & 11pm W: 10pm, it would mean that Main Street Electrical Parade begins at 9pm and 11pm and Wishes begins at 10pm.

The Calendar is also available in an easy to view and print PDF file, Here.

Click the image to enlarge it.

Wednesday April 1

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Most Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3:30pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 10:15pm, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

It’s the busiest day of the week at Animal Kingdom. The morning Extra Magic Hour will attract the bulk of the Disney resort crowd and there’s no evening Extra Magic Hours or special evening entertainment going on at the other Parks, which will cause a lot of off-site guests to visit as well. With both yesterday and tomorrow recommended, there’s no reason to visit today. However, if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive by 7:30am, you can have a tremendous amount of success from 8am – 10am. But the afternoon is going to be busier than any other day this week.

Epcot is recommended. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and most Disney resort guests will be waiting to either return or visit for their first time this Friday. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Animal Kingdom. Plan to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and use FastPass+ at Soarin’. You may also want to take a more compartmentalized two-day approach, which gives you the benefit of enjoying the lowest possible crowds in both Future World and World Showcase each day. Plan to use FastPass+ at Soarin’ or Test Track later in the day when waits are longer. The single rider line at Test Track often has an actual wait shorter than standby or FastPass+, so consider that as an option. You may also want to get in line for Soarin’ or Test Track right before Epcot closes to find shorter waits than the afternoon, but only if you’re willing to give up seeing IllumiNations. Mission: SPACE should have nominal waits before 11am or after 7pm and is a lower priority. If you’re planning just one day in Epcot, try to move up through the World Showcase right at 11am, beginning with the boat ride in Mexico. Return to Future World after 5pm to visit any attractions that you skipped in the morning. Keep in mind that some Future World attractions close at 7pm. Expect Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Captain EO, Living with the Land, Circle of Life, and both Innoventions buildings to accept their last guests of the day at 7pm. Overall, it’s a good day to visit Epcot and a fine day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations, provided you tour efficiently in the morning.

Hollywood Studios remains recommended, though it will still be very busy with the high overall crowd level. It’s essential to arrive no later than 45 minutes before regular opening with plans to hit Toy Story Mania or sign the kids up for Jedi Training first thing. You can rock a later arrival with FastPass+ in hand and plans to hit only the high capacity/low priority attractions from 10am-7pm, but standby lines for the rides will be long all day.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit today for the exact same reasons it was recommended yesterday.  Take advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Mine Train, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain), or other time sensitive attractions (Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway).  Because Magic Kingdom opens at 8am to Disney resort guests, that means arriving by 7:25am if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible or 8:15am if you’re not.  Since Disney has scheduled a morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom every day this week to help deal with the heavy overall crowds, there’s no way around the early morning unless you want to arrive later and actually deal with those heavier crowds yourself.  You’ll be able to accomplish a ton of attractions in a short amount of time if you make efficient use of the morning and use FastPass+ at the major attractions throughout the day.  If you’re arriving for Extra Magic Hours, keep in mind that some attractions may not be operating until 8am.  Plan to visit Fantasyland or Tomorrowland first, where most attractions will be operating, and then move on to the Mountain rides right at 9am.  With the staggering overall crowd level, Magic Kingdom won’t be empty.  But we’re looking at more of a “7” at the Magic Kingdom in particular, which is less crowded than other days this week.  Still, the early morning is the best time to tour and you’ll run into trouble if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else.  For Main Street Electrical Parade, I highly recommend staking out a spot along the Parade route in Frontierland or Liberty Square.  Both locations are much less crowded than Main Street and offer a view that is just as good.  Changes are Disney will add a second Electrical Parade in the future. Plan to see it because it is also significantly less crowded than the first, particularly when it’s this late at night.  If you aren’t planning to arrive early, try to stay through close.  Crowd levels will be low after 10pm because so many families leave after Wishes, if they even make it that far.

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Cheat Sheet Update

by josh on September 29, 2014

If you’re looking for color-coded maps, suggested touring plans, FastPass+ priority, information on best viewing locations for nighttime spectaculars, expected wait times based on crowd level, etc. you’ll need to look no further than the website’s Cheat Sheets, which were updated today with recent changes.

At Animal Kingdom, FastPass+ kiosk locations were updated.

At Epcot, Maelstrom is gone.

At Hollywood Studios, the Frozen Sing-Along was added and Backlot Tour and American Idol Experience were removed.

At Magic Kingdom, FastPass+ kiosk locations were changed.

Wait times, FastPass+ priority, and touring plans were adjusted based on the current trends.

As always, the best place for specific question is the forums.



Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports12/mnsshp0926big.jpg

As a follow up to this post, which looked at posted wait times during the first and one of the least crowded Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties, above is a look at posted waits from September 26th, which ended up selling out. Waits for the majority of the attractions remain 10 minutes or less for the majority of the Party. Exceptions include Haunted Mansion, which adds a spooky element during the Party, and Peter Pan’s Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Anna/Elsa.


Continuing from Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4.

Africa returns in the Africa Cool Post vicinity in between Germany and China.

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Continuing from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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Continuing from Part 1 and Part 2.

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Second Fantasmic Added on September 26 and 27

by josh on September 26, 2014

Just in case you’re headed to the Studios today or tomorrow, Disney added a second Fantasmic at 9:30pm on September 26 and 27, in addition to the 8pm show.

Also, this evening’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party sold out.


Victoria Falls is the lounge at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House on the floor in between the main lobby above and Boma and Jiko below.

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Continuing from Part 1.


Familiar Ireland returns in the same location as the past few years near Rose & Crown Pub.

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