Amazon is offering 30% off the already discounted price of my award-winning, highly rated, and occasionally best selling Walt Disney World guidebook for Thanksgiving/Black Friday. Just click here to go to the product page and enter code: “HOLIDAY30″ without the quotes at checkout. The cost should come down to around $11 and includes the Kindle version for free with purchase. So you can purchase the print copy for a friend or relative that won’t stop bugging you about how long it’s going to take to ride the monorail to Animal Kingdom and keep the digital version for yourself. Or you can purchase the print copy for your husband to put in your stocking and start reading digitally immediately. I guarantee you won’t find a better organized, comprehensive guidebook for planning your vacation. For more information on what you’ll find in the book, see this post introducing it.


Disney made another round of changes to the December crowd calendar as listed below. The December crowd calendar has been updated for December 1st – 18th. The website does not support the rest of the month.

Tuesday December 1:

  • No changes.

Wednesday December 2:

  • No changes.

Thursday December 3:

  • No changes.

Friday December 4:

  • Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9pm from 8:30pm from 9am-8pm.

Saturday December 5:

  • No changes.

Sunday December 6:

  • Animal Kingdom hours extended to 8am-6:30pm from 9am-6pm.
  • Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am – 8:30pm from 9am-8pm. Second Fantasmic added at 7pm, in addition to 8:30pm show.

Monday December 7:

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

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As I mentioned in Disney World News and November 2015 Wait Time Trends from a couple of days ago, we are embarking on the first legitimately busy week since mid-August. And it is uglier than you probably would have thought as attraction downtime, maximum FastPass+ distribution, (probable) record crowds, and woefully inadequate capacity combine to form some pretty shocking wait times.


Yeah…This is bag check: I didn’t otherwise see a lot of other pictures from around the Park, but if you look at the wait times, it appears most of these people made it in. You’re more than welcome to link pictures that you’ve seen in the comments or post your own. As far as peak waits:

Big Thunder Mountain: 110 minutes.

Buzz Lightyear: 90 minutes.

Dumbo: 75 minutes.

Enchanted Tales: 90 minutes.

Haunted Mansion: 90 minutes.

it’s a small world: 65 minutes

Jungle Cruise: 115 minutes.

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Following up on September’s update, titled, Waits Times During a Sold Out Mickey’s Halloween Party and What The Lowest Crowds of the Year Look Like and October’s update, titled The Reality of Above Average Crowds at Walt Disney World – October 2015 Wait Times, we’ll take a look at November trends as we head into the first legitimately “busy” week since mid-August.

First up though, a few newsworthy notes as I’ve been busy with some “behind the scenes” updates and haven’t had much of an opportunity to be out and about filling you in on what’s going on as I prance around the theme parks. The redesigned site will have more of an emphasis on keeping up to date with what’s going on in terms of changes, openings, refurbishments, etc. I’ll be out early next week for some fresh Pictures in the Parks.

When Jedi Training Academy reopens, the new signup location will be the Indiana Jones Adventurers Outpost store, which is in between 50′s Prime Time Cafe and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show. Remember that the child between the ages of 4 and 12 needs to be present at signup. I always recommend signing up first thing if it’s important that your child participate. People often ask if it’s safe to do Toy Story Mania immediately prior and my advice is always to play it safe. Once Jedi Training spots are full – they’re full, barring a signed up child skipping out on their slot. You never know how many people are headed over there. Toy Story Mania is going to take about 20 minutes plus the time to double back to Jedi Training signups. Unfortunately, the wait at Toy Story will likely be prohibitively long by the time you do signup. Here’s a look at Toy Story waits over the last six weeks or so:

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Just a heads up that Disney updated the operating hours for December. I should have a full look at the changes for December and other months on Monday. For now, you can double check the hours and entertainment at Disney’s site at: and then change the date either in the url or by clicking the arrow or calendar icon at the top of the page. FastPass+ are available for the extended hours, so check to see if there’s any availability or times that will work better in your schedule. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is currently available every day around Christmas, for example.

Reservations for Liberty Tree Tavern have also opened up. The restaurant is set to open November 26th after originally being set to open on the 20th.

I’ll have a separate post looking at wait times and more newsworthy notes.


We arrive at Hollywood Studios just after 5pm on Thursday November 5th before fast forwarding a few days to the afternoon of Sunday the 8th. The earlier sunsets this time of year afford some opportunities to catch some color in the sky, which is particularly pretty over the Studios.

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We’ll take a visit to Magic Kingdom as the sun sets during the early evening on November 4th and then return for some follow-up pictures on November 8th.

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Frozen has taken over the Cinderella Castle lighting at Magic Kingdom for the second straight year. On Party nights, it’s scheduled at 6:15pm for everybody and then again at 8pm for Party goers. On non-Party nights, it’s scheduled at 6:15pm and again at 7:30pm (usually) or 8:20pm (possibly). Shortly after the 6:15pm show, the Dream Lights are turned off in preparation for the second lighting.

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The Osborne (still no ‘u’) Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is one of Disney’s most popular holiday spectaculars. This year will be the last time they are presented at the Streets of America at Hollywood Studios.

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Today we head out for a pretty thorough look at what’s going on around Animal Kingdom. In addition to what’s happening in the title, we’ll also hop on Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest, try the new-ish Teriyaki Beef Slider from Bradley Kiosk, walk Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek, check out Pizzafari’s new color scheme and the expected restaurant expansion in back, and a lot more!

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