February 2015 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

by josh on July 29, 2014

This is the Free February 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.

Sunday February 1

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 8pm, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests and complicating morning touring. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and certain that you can arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it, then you can have a tremendous amount of success touring before 10am, but the afternoon is going to be busier than recommended days. Tomorrow is significantly better for those planning to arrive after 8am.

Epcot is recommended. It’s a particularly excellent day to see IllumiNations and have dinner in the World Showcase because Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the nighttime crowd. Despite the recommendation, you will still have the most success if you arrive prior to opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the touring plans. Single Rider at Test Track is also a good option and will often result in a shorter wait than the standby or FastPass+ lines. It’s more important to arrive early and take care of the headliners first thing than it is to pick the “right” day. You’ll run into lines at the headliners in Future World if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else. To stay ahead of the crowds for the longest amount of time, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am. Return to Future World after 5pm to see anything you missed, but make sure you check your Times Guide because some attractions close at 7pm, including Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, Circle of Life, both Innoventions buildings, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure. If you’re interested in re-riding Soarin’ or Test Track, plan to use FastPass+, single rider at Test Track, or get in line around 8:55pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  It was virtually “dead” on Super Bowl Sunday each of the last three years.  The only minor inconvenience is going to be the Dance Team Championships, which take place at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.  The dancers are not particularly disruptive in Park because the venue itself is small, but it does mean Indiana Jones won’t be offered this weekend.  If the Stunt Spectacular is a must see, you’ll want to look to a recommended day during the week.  The dancers are also headed to a private event at the Studios after hours.  This event will not impact crowds negatively.  In fact, the dancers not participating today are more likely to head elsewhere, knowing they’ll visit the Studios after the regular close. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 11am, no matter the recommendation or the overall crowd level, and you’ll be looking at long lines at Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Tuesday and Friday are also recommended if you have other plans today.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended with the extended hours and both nighttime spectaculars. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park will help pull away a few thousand people, but won’t do much to ease Magic Kingdom crowds. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday will be significantly less busy. You can still make today work by arriving no later than 8:20an and touring efficiently in the morning. Take advantage of FastPass+ in the late morning and early afternoon and you’re in great shape. Take a break from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Monday February 2

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 7pm – 9pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios will be attracting the resort guest crowd and it’s early enough in the week that few people will be visiting Disney’s least favorite theme park this early in their vacation. We’re also coming off a morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday that will be more attractive to resort guests.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Friday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Hollywood Studios for the Extra Magic Hours. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. You’ll also be in the best shape if you’ve moved on to World Showcase by 12pm. Should you have more to accomplish in Future World, return after 5pm when most of the crowd has moved on to World Showcase. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests and the likelihood that the close will be extended, which will attract off-site guess as well. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 8:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds

Magic Kingdom is not expressly recommended due to the number of people that will arrive over the weekend and naturally head to the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park in the world on their first full day. With no Electrical Parade and nothing specific pulling people toward the Park, it won’t be overwhelmingly busier than other days this week, but each of the next two days will see lower crowds and shorter waits. You can make today work if you must, but Epcot and Animal Kingdom remain better choices.

Tuesday February 3

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Highly Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park for a number of reasons. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Sunday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. You’ll have no trouble riding both with very low waits before 10am. Once you get through these two attractions, you have little to worry about other than trying to get to the scheduled shows. Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King do get busy during the afternoon shows, so try to see the first or last show of the day. You’ll also want to get to DinoLand USA before 10:30am to ride Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR because those two attractions are popular. Still, they aren’t necessarily your top morning priorities. You should have no trouble experiencing most everything Animal Kingdom has to offer in one day, provided you arrive early in the morning, tour efficiently, use FastPass+ intelligently, and keep an eye on the time in order to see the scheduled stage shows. Finally, crowds disperse around 3pm. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand after 3pm and Asia after 4pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? Skip it unless you can’t get there any other day or are certain you’ll arrive prior to 8am for the morning Extra Magic Hour and plan to either Park Hop elsewhere or take a break in the afternoon.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours/Fantasmic combo will be a much bigger draw and Epcot will be attracting the majority of the Disney resort crowd. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania along with 30+ minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D and Star Tours. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. While it’s a recommended day, it’s still more important to arrive early and tour efficiently than it is to pick the “right” day, even when overall crowds are low.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended with nothing specific attracting visitors and Epcot being more popular with resort guests. To have the most success, arrive by 8:25am and tour efficiently in the morning, whether you begin with a popular character, Mine Train, Space Mountain, or whatever else. You’ll have a tremendous amount of success through 10:30am and can continue breezing through rides in the late morning and afternoon with FastPass+. You may want to take an afternoon break when crowds peak around 1:30pm and return in the evening for dinner, a few more rides, and Wishes. Tomorrow is a little better due to the fact that it’s in the middle of the week and fewer people will be visiting the most popular theme park in the world on their first full day and Thursday will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests.

Wednesday February 4

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

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 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. 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 is not explicitly recommended, though it will be far from “crazy crowded.” Epcot and Magic Kingdom remain better choices. The problem is the morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park pulling relatively few resort guests in that direction and the lack of the Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom along with the earlier close attracting fewer people in that direction. Add to that the number of people that travel over the weekend for a traditional weeklong vacation that naturally spend their first two days at Magic Kingdom and Epcot and are now looking to visit one of Disney’s less popular theme parks in the middle of their trip. You can still make the Studios work by arriving by 8:15am and taking care of Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and potentially a priority character first thing, but the Park will be busier than recommended days from 10am through close.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more popular with resort guests and we don’t have anything specific attracting people today with the earlier close and lack of the Electrical Parade. As always, you’ll have the most success by arriving prior to Park opening and taking care of your priorities first thing, followed by intelligent FastPass+ usage in the late morning and afternoon. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm – 5pm when crowds and waits peak.

Thursday February 5

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We’re coming off a popular day yesterday, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will draw a lot of Disney resort guests. Today, we have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom. As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo and/or Festival of the Lion King because they will be popular in the afternoon. Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times. Rely on FastPass+ for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer. Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4pm onward. After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes, Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants. There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies. A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more attractive to Disney resort guests. We also have morning Extra Magic Hour pulling people towards Magic Kingdom and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios continuing to draw crowds. Plan to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow a more compartmentalized two-day touring plan if you prefer. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ at Soarin or Test Track because they will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10:30am due to popularity and relatively low capacities. Getting in line right before Park close will also result in a short wait if you can’t ride any other time. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World. Return to Future World after 5pm if you have more to accomplish and to ride/re-ride the headliners with FastPass+. It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended, though like yesterday, it will be far from “crazy busy.” The problem remains the lack of attractive forces at the other theme parks. While Magic Kingdom’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be popular, the lack of the Electrical Parade will push people to visit another day and in turn, visit a different theme park today. Tomorrow would be better with Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours pulling resort guests and the Studios’ morning Extra Magic Hour on Saturday proving more popular. You can still do very well if you arrive by 8:15am and tour smart in the morning.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a lot of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than tomorrow or either of the last two days. You can have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

Friday February 6

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 8pm, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended with Epcot attracting resort guests with evening Extra Magic Hours and Magic Kingdom proving more popular with the later close and both nighttime spectaculars. Hollywood Studios is a better choice in most scenarios and some guests may want to take advantage of the best day of the week to see both nighttime spectaculars at Magic Kingdom, but Animal Kingdom works very well too. As always, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing and/or stay through close because waits only decrease as people leave in the afternoon.

We’ll want to avoid Epcot. Its evening Extra Magic Hours will lure the majority of Disney resort guests, which will lengthen waits times at the attractions for the entire afternoon and evening. Epcot is almost always at its busiest and lines are the longest when it has evening Extra Magic Hours. This is due to the fact that many Disney resort guests head to whichever Park has Extra Magic Hours, even if they don’t plan to take advantage of them. Without Park Hopper, Disney resort guests must stay in the Park with Extra Magic Hours for the entire day. The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. I would urge you to visit a different Park. If you want to head to Epcot today, despite my strong objections, your best chance to ride the headlining rides is from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around lunch in anticipation of staying until 10-11pm. The morning will be a decent time to tour Epcot, but you’ll probably want to Park Hop elsewhere after lunch or you’ll be stuck in significantly larger-than-usual crowds. You might also consider an afternoon break from 2pm-6pm when crowds will be at their largest. You could then return in the early evening for dinner and Extra Magic Hours. Alternatively, you could also Park Hop over in the evening for Extra Magic Hours, provided you’re aware of how busy it will be. With Extra Magic Hours only being two hours now, wait times at Soarin’ and Test Track won’t ease much until after 10:30pm. However, other attractions will see nominal waits and it’s a great time to take in Epcot’s natural ambiance and hit a few of the less popular/high capacity attractions. Skip Illuminations if you’ll be here on another night because it will be more crowded than usual. Overall, there’s no reason to visit Epcot today because crowds will be higher than any other day during the week and waits at Soarin’ and Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10:30pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park with Magic Kingdom drawing more guests with the later close and both nighttime spectaculars and Epcot being attractive to resort guests. To have the most success, you’ll still want to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon, even with some of the lowest crowds of the year. You’ll want to make it your top priority. Your second priority is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which also sees long afternoon waits and limited FastPass+ availability. Tower of Terror and Star Tours should be easier to ride, but also remain priorities. If you can get these attractions done in the early morning, you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. The only other problem most people run into is trying to schedule all of the stage shows that run on a set schedule. You may also want to prioritize characters that will have longer afternoon waits. The Toy Story characters across from Toy Story typically meet beginning at 9am and have the longest afternoon waits. Sofia the First usually has the second longest waits and meets in Animation Courtyard beginning at 9:30am. Phineas & Ferb also see long lines. They typically begin appearing at 9:30am, which means you’ll have time to ride Toy Story Mania before heading over to the Toy Story characters and then over to Sofia or Phineas & Ferb, which are located near Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and across from the exit to Muppet Vision 3D. Check the week’s Times Guide to verify appearance times. Two other popular characters appear in the Animation Building in the Animation Courtyard. Sorcerer Mickey in particular has long afternoon waits and The Incredibles characters also tend to have decent lines. Since both characters meet indoors and their lines aren’t usually over 20 minutes long, you should be able to find them with decent waits later in the day if you have other morning priorities. Finally, you’ll find some characters in the morning near Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat that won’t appear later in the afternoon. Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Chip, Dale, Stitch, Goofy, and Pluto are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear. For Fantasmic, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the theater. You’ll still need to arrive at least 20 minutes early, but it’s better than the 60+ minutes early you’ll need to arrive without the package. The Dining Package makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it only costs one table service credit (except at Hollywood Brown Derby, which still costs two credits as it would otherwise) and includes the appetizer. As far as general seating is concerned, the best seats are about half way up in the center sections. Sit any closer and you run the risk of getting wet and it’s more difficult to see what’s happening on the water.

Magic Kingdom is recommended and this is the best day this week to see both nighttime spectaculars. Either this past Tuesday or Wednesday would be less crowded, but the close is earlier and you won’t have an opportunity to see the Electrical Parade. As always, you’ll have the most success if you arrive prior to Park open and bang out the priorities on your itinerary. Take an afternoon break around 1pm when crowds and waits peak and return around 6pm for dinner, some evening attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you don’t mind skipping the Electrical Parade and/or Wishes, you’ll find short waits at Tomorrowland with two hours to close and Fantasyland in the final hour. It’s a great time to ride the major attractions with shorter waits than the relatively busy afternoon.

Saturday February 7

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special events, evening entertainment, or anything else to attract on-site or off-site visitors. Those leaving tomorrow after a traditional weeklong vacation are unlikely to visit Animal Kingdom on their last full day and most arriving today won’t head out to Animal Kingdom as their first destination. As always, you’ll be best off if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Wait times will only get shorter after 3pm as people begin exiting in droves, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish visiting DinoLand after 3pm and Asia after 4pm to minimize waits.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off of a much busier day yesterday with evening Extra Magic Hours attracting the bulk of the Disney resort crowd. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended. The sizable Disney resort contingent numbers 75,000+ people. Because Disney sells the Extra Magic Hour program so well in its marketing materials, many of these Disney resort guests follow the Extra Magic Hours schedule because they think it’s Disney telling them where they belong each day. While you can have success if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:15am, most people will want to visit another day. Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or are certain you’ll arrive by 7:15am and plan to hit Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours first thing in the morning. Yesterday was a better day to visit with fewer complications touring in the morning.

Saturdays are naturally the busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom. We have longer hours of operation, visiting locals, and a lot of vacationers who will be visiting the Magic Kingdom for a second time before returning home tomorrow. On top of that, Disney added evening Extra Magic Hours, attracting even more resort guests. On top of that, Main Street Electrical Parade is only scheduled on a limited number of nights this week. Because the Parade is so popular, a lot of people will visit on a day that they can see it, like today. Yesterday was a better day to visit and see the Electrical Parade without the Extra Magic Hours/weekend complications and a Tuesday or Wednesday would be significantly less busy. The afternoon will be busier than any other day this week and you’ll either want to take a break and return for the Electrical Parade and Wishes or visit the less popular attractions from 2pm – 6pm. If you’re planning to visit during evening Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland or Frontierland because most people will head straight for Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find shorter waits. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week.

Sunday February 8

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests and complicating morning touring. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and certain that you can arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it, then you can have a tremendous amount of success touring before 10am, but the afternoon is going to be busier than recommended days. Tomorrow is significantly better for those planning to arrive after 8am.

Epcot is recommended. It’s a particularly excellent day to see IllumiNations and have dinner in the World Showcase because Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the nighttime crowd. Despite the recommendation, you will still have the most success if you arrive prior to opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the touring plans. Single Rider at Test Track is also a good option and will often result in a shorter wait than the standby or FastPass+ lines. It’s more important to arrive early and take care of the headliners first thing than it is to pick the “right” day. You’ll run into lines at the headliners in Future World if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else. To stay ahead of the crowds for the longest amount of time, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am. Return to Future World after 5pm to see anything you missed, but make sure you check your Times Guide because some attractions close at 7pm, including Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, Circle of Life, both Innoventions buildings, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure. If you’re interested in re-riding Soarin’ or Test Track, plan to use FastPass+, single rider at Test Track, or get in line around 8:55pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 11am, no matter the recommendation or the overall crowd level, and you’ll be looking at long lines at Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Tuesday and Friday are also recommended if you have other plans today.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended with the extended hours and both nighttime spectaculars. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park will help pull away a few thousand people, but won’t do much to ease Magic Kingdom crowds. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday will be significantly less busy. You can still make today work by arriving no later than 8:20an and touring efficiently in the morning. Take advantage of FastPass+ in the late morning and early afternoon and you’re in great shape. Take a break from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Monday February 9

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 7pm – 9pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios will be attracting the resort guest crowd and it’s early enough in the week that few people will be visiting Disney’s least favorite theme park this early in their vacation. We’re also coming off a morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday that will be more attractive to resort guests.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Friday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Hollywood Studios for the Extra Magic Hours. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. You’ll also be in the best shape if you’ve moved on to World Showcase by 12pm. Should you have more to accomplish in Future World, return after 5pm when most of the crowd has moved on to World Showcase. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests and the likelihood that the close will be extended, which will attract off-site guess as well. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 8:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds

Magic Kingdom is not expressly recommended due to the number of people that will arrive over the weekend and naturally head to the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park in the world on their first full day. With no Electrical Parade and nothing specific pulling people toward the Park, it won’t be overwhelmingly busier than other days this week, but each of the next two days will see lower crowds and shorter waits. You can make today work if you must, but Epcot and Animal Kingdom remain better choices.

Tuesday February 10

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park for a number of reasons. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Sunday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. You’ll have no trouble riding both with very low waits before 10am. Once you get through these two attractions, you have little to worry about other than trying to get to the scheduled shows. Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King do get busy during the afternoon shows, so try to see the first or last show of the day. You’ll also want to get to DinoLand USA before 10:30am to ride Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR because those two attractions are popular. Still, they aren’t necessarily your top morning priorities. You should have no trouble experiencing most everything Animal Kingdom has to offer in one day, provided you arrive early in the morning, tour efficiently, use FastPass+ intelligently, and keep an eye on the time in order to see the scheduled stage shows. Finally, crowds disperse around 3pm. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand after 3pm and Asia after 4pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? Skip it unless you can’t get there any other day or are certain you’ll arrive prior to 8am for the morning Extra Magic Hour and plan to either Park Hop elsewhere or take a break in the afternoon.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours/Fantasmic combo will be a much bigger draw and Epcot will be attracting the majority of the Disney resort crowd. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania along with 30+ minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D and Star Tours. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. While it’s a recommended day, it’s still more important to arrive early and tour efficiently than it is to pick the “right” day, even when overall crowds are low.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended as we come off four busier days in a row. To have the most success, arrive by 8:25am and tour efficiently in the morning, whether you begin with a popular character, Mine Train, Space Mountain, or whatever else. You’ll have a tremendous amount of success through 10:30am and can continue breezing through rides in the late morning and afternoon with FastPass+. You may want to take an afternoon break when crowds peak around 1:30pm and return in the evening for dinner, a few more rides, and Wishes. Tomorrow is a little better due to the fact that it’s in the middle of the week and fewer people will be visiting the most popular theme park in the world on their first full day and Thursday will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests.

Wednesday February 11

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, 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 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. 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 is not explicitly recommended, though it will be far from “crazy crowded.” Epcot and Magic Kingdom remain better choices. The problem is the morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park pulling relatively few resort guests in that direction and the lack of the Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom along with the earlier close attracting fewer people in that direction. Add to that the number of people that travel over the weekend for a traditional weeklong vacation that naturally spend their first two days at Magic Kingdom and Epcot and are now looking to visit one of Disney’s less popular theme parks in the middle of their trip. You can still make the Studios work by arriving by 8:15am and taking care of Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and potentially a priority character first thing, but the Park will be busier than recommended days from 10am through close.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more popular with resort guests and we don’t have anything specific attracting people today with the earlier close and lack of the Electrical Parade. As always, you’ll have the most success by arriving prior to Park opening and taking care of your priorities first thing, followed by intelligent FastPass+ usage in the late morning and afternoon. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm – 5pm when crowds and waits peak.

Thursday February 12

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We’re coming off a popular day yesterday, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will draw a lot of Disney resort guests. Today, we have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom. As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo and/or Festival of the Lion King because they will be popular in the afternoon. Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times. Rely on FastPass+ for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer. Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4pm onward. After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes, Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants. There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies. A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more attractive to Disney resort guests. We also have morning Extra Magic Hour pulling people towards Magic Kingdom and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios continuing to draw crowds. Plan to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow a more compartmentalized two-day touring plan if you prefer. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ at Soarin or Test Track because they will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10:30am due to popularity and relatively low capacities. Getting in line right before Park close will also result in a short wait if you can’t ride any other time. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World. Return to Future World after 5pm if you have more to accomplish and to ride/re-ride the headliners with FastPass+. It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended. Tomorrow will be far less attractive with the lack of Fantasmic. Anyone that wants to see the show needs to visit on a day it’s offered, like today or Saturday. While the morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park will help pull away Disney resort guests, it won’t have much of an effect on off-site guests and it’s far less popular than evening Extra Magic Hours at a more popular theme park. You can still do well at the Studios by following the usual advice of arriving by 8:15am and touring smart, but afternoon waits will be longer and crowds heavier than recommended days. Tomorrow is the least crowded day of the week to visit if you can go without seeing Fantasmic.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a lot of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than tomorrow or either of the last two days. You can have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

Friday February 13

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: None

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended with Epcot attracting resort guests with evening Extra Magic Hours and Magic Kingdom proving more popular with the later close and both nighttime spectaculars. Hollywood Studios is a better choice in most scenarios and some guests may want to take advantage of being able to see both nighttime spectaculars at Magic Kingdom, but Animal Kingdom works very well too. As always, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing and/or stay through close because waits only decrease as people leave in the afternoon.

We’ll want to avoid Epcot. Its evening Extra Magic Hours will lure the majority of Disney resort guests, which will lengthen waits times at the attractions for the entire afternoon and evening. Epcot is almost always at its busiest and lines are the longest when it has evening Extra Magic Hours. This is due to the fact that many Disney resort guests head to whichever Park has Extra Magic Hours, even if they don’t plan to take advantage of them. Without Park Hopper, Disney resort guests must stay in the Park with Extra Magic Hours for the entire day. The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. I would urge you to visit a different Park. If you want to head to Epcot today, despite my strong objections, your best chance to ride the headlining rides is from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around lunch in anticipation of staying until 10-11pm. The morning will be a decent time to tour Epcot, but you’ll probably want to Park Hop elsewhere after lunch or you’ll be stuck in significantly larger-than-usual crowds. You might also consider an afternoon break from 2pm-6pm when crowds will be at their largest. You could then return in the early evening for dinner and Extra Magic Hours. Alternatively, you could also Park Hop over in the evening for Extra Magic Hours, provided you’re aware of how busy it will be. With Extra Magic Hours only being two hours now, wait times at Soarin’ and Test Track won’t ease much until after 10:30pm. However, other attractions will see nominal waits and it’s a great time to take in Epcot’s natural ambiance and hit a few of the less popular/high capacity attractions. Skip Illuminations if you’ll be here on another night because it will be more crowded than usual. Overall, there’s no reason to visit Epcot today because crowds will be higher than any other day during the week and waits at Soarin’ and Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10:30pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park with Magic Kingdom drawing more guests with the later close and both nighttime spectaculars and Epcot being attractive to resort guests. While Fantasmic is not currently scheduled, it’s likely that Disney will add it given the elevated crowd level for the holiday on Monday unless the Park is bought out for a private event. Even if Fantasmic is added, the Studios will remain the most recommended Park with Epcot and Magic Kingdom proving more popular. As it stands, this is the best day of the week to visit. With the high overall crowd level and limited number of rides, it’s still imperative to arrive by 8:15am to experience short waits first thing at Toy Story Mania. Crowds will only thin as it gets later and people head elsewhere, particularly without Fantasmic to keep people around.

Magic Kingdom is recommended and this is the best day over the next week to see both nighttime spectaculars. Either this past Tuesday or Wednesday would be less crowded, but the close is earlier and you won’t have an opportunity to see the Electrical Parade. As always, you’ll have the most success if you arrive prior to Park open and bang out the priorities on your itinerary. Take an afternoon break around 1pm when crowds and waits peak and return around 6pm for dinner, some evening attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you don’t mind skipping the Electrical Parade and/or Wishes, you’ll find short waits at Tomorrowland with two hours to close and Fantasyland in the final hour. It’s a great time to ride the major attractions with shorter waits than the relatively busy afternoon.

Saturday February 14

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special events, evening entertainment, or anything else to attract on-site or off-site visitors. Those leaving tomorrow after a traditional weeklong vacation are unlikely to visit Animal Kingdom on their last full day and most arriving today won’t head out to Animal Kingdom as their first destination. As always, you’ll be best off if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Wait times will only get shorter after 3pm as people begin exiting in droves, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish visiting DinoLand after 3pm and Asia after 4pm to minimize waits.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off of a much busier day yesterday with evening Extra Magic Hours attracting the bulk of the Disney resort crowd. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended. The sizable Disney resort contingent numbers 75,000+ people. Because Disney sells the Extra Magic Hour program so well in its marketing materials, many of these Disney resort guests follow the Extra Magic Hours schedule because they think it’s Disney telling them where they belong each day. While you can have success if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:15am, most people will want to visit another day. Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or are certain you’ll arrive by 7:15am and plan to hit Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours first thing in the morning. Yesterday was a better day to visit with fewer complications touring in the morning.

Saturdays are naturally the busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom. We have longer hours of operation, visiting locals, and a lot of vacationers who will be visiting the Magic Kingdom for a second time before returning home tomorrow. On top of that, Disney added evening Extra Magic Hours, attracting even more resort guests. On top of that, Main Street Electrical Parade is only scheduled on a limited number of nights this week. Because the Parade is so popular, a lot of people will visit on a day that they can see it, like today. Yesterday was a better day to visit and see the Electrical Parade without the Extra Magic Hours/weekend complications and a Tuesday or Wednesday would be significantly less busy. The afternoon will be busier than any other day this week and you’ll either want to take a break and return for the Electrical Parade and Wishes or visit the less popular attractions from 2pm – 6pm. If you’re planning to visit during evening Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland or Frontierland because most people will head straight for Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find shorter waits. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week.

Sunday February 15

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests and complicating morning touring. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and certain that you can arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it, then you can have a tremendous amount of success touring before 10am, but the afternoon is going to be busier than recommended days. Tomorrow is significantly better for those planning to arrive after 8am.

Epcot is recommended. It’s a particularly excellent day to see IllumiNations and have dinner in the World Showcase because Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the nighttime crowd. Despite the recommendation, you will still have the most success if you arrive prior to opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the touring plans. Single Rider at Test Track is also a good option and will often result in a shorter wait than the standby or FastPass+ lines. It’s more important to arrive early and take care of the headliners first thing than it is to pick the “right” day. You’ll run into lines at the headliners in Future World if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else. To stay ahead of the crowds for the longest amount of time, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am. Return to Future World after 5pm to see anything you missed, but make sure you check your Times Guide because some attractions close at 7pm, including Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, Circle of Life, both Innoventions buildings, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure. If you’re interested in re-riding Soarin’ or Test Track, plan to use FastPass+, single rider at Test Track, or get in line around 8:55pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 11am, no matter the recommendation or the overall crowd level, and you’ll be looking at long lines at Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended with the extended hours and both nighttime spectaculars. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park will help pull away a few thousand people, but won’t do much to ease Magic Kingdom crowds. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday will be significantly less busy. You can still make today work by arriving no later than 8:20an and touring efficiently in the morning. Take advantage of FastPass+ in the late morning and early afternoon and you’re in great shape. Take a break from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Monday February 16

Presidents Day

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 7pm – 9pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios will be attracting the resort guest crowd with evening Extra Magic Hours and Magic Kingdom will be attracting many of the people that arrived over the weekend for a traditional weeklong vacation and naturally want to visit the most magical place on earth and the world’s most popular theme park on their first full day. Most guests will be saving Animal Kingdom, Disney’s least popular theme park, for later in the week with Wednesday being busiest.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Friday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Hollywood Studios for the Extra Magic Hours. Still, it will be crowded with the above average overall crowd level. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. You’ll also be in the best shape if you’ve moved on to World Showcase by 12pm. Should you have more to accomplish in Future World, return after 5pm when most of the crowd has moved on to World Showcase. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests. Disney sells the Extra Magic Hours program extremely well in its marketing materials and 75,000+ people are staying on property and have access every day. Guess where most of those are headed? The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Tomorrow and Friday would be better if you can swing either of those dates. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 8:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds.

It’s going to be a busy day at Magic Kingdom even without Extra Magic Hours to lure Disney resort guests. First, a lot of people are arriving for a weeklong vacation. They travel over the weekend and naturally head to the Magic Kingdom on Monday for their first full day. It’s also a national holiday, increasing local crowds.  Tomorrow would be less crowded and Wednesday is the best day of the week to visit. If you are headed to Magic Kingdom despite the warning, you can still have a successful and fun day if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Fantasyland, the headlining Mountain rides, or whatever you feel is most important on your itinerary. You may want to take an afternoon break from 1pm to 6pm or so to rest up for the nighttime spectaculars. Still, you’re much better off waiting until Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday to visit because Magic Kingdom will be less crowded.

Tuesday February 17

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Sunday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. You’ll have no trouble riding both with very low waits before 10am. Once you get through these two attractions, you have little to worry about other than trying to get to the scheduled shows. Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King do get busy during the afternoon shows, so try to see the first or last show of the day. You’ll also want to get to DinoLand USA before 10:30am to ride Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR because those two attractions are popular. Still, they aren’t necessarily your top morning priorities. You should have no trouble experiencing most everything Animal Kingdom has to offer in one day, provided you arrive early in the morning, tour efficiently, use FastPass+ intelligently, and keep an eye on the time in order to see the scheduled stage shows. Finally, crowds disperse around 3pm. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand after 3pm and Asia after 4pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? Skip it unless you can’t get there any other day or are certain you’ll arrive prior to 8am for the morning Extra Magic Hour and plan to either Park Hop elsewhere or take a break in the afternoon.

Hollywood Studios is not expressly recommended. Tomorrow’s lack of Fantasmic will be a big turnoff for casual vacationers and many of them will be pressed to visit on a day they can see it, like today and Thursday. With nothing specific attracting people to the Studios, you can still do well by arriving no later than 8:15am and taking care of your priorities first thing. Tomorrow is the least crowded day of the week to visit and Sunday would have been a better day to visit and see Fantasmic in the evening.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Epcot will be attracting resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour and we’re coming off a much busier day yesterday with the national holiday. Hollywood Studios will be more popular for those wanting to see Fantasmic. With the high overall crowd level, it’s still imperative that you arrive no later than 8:20am and head straight to the priorities of your choice, whether it be Fantasyland for Mine Train/Peter Pan’s Flight, Tomorrowland for Space Mountain/Buzz Lightyear, or another priority character/attraction. Use FP+ in the late morning and afternoon when wait times increase substantially. Consider an afternoon break when crowds peak from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars.

Wednesday February 18

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: None

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

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 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. These are the only two attractions in World Showcase that will see wait times. 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 is the most recommended Park. Fantasmic is not currently scheduled, which will turn off a lot of casual vacationers that would like to see the show, decreasing crowds and wait times for us. Should Disney add Fantasmic in the future, the Studios would move to “not recommended” status. This past Sunday and this coming Friday are safer bets if you don’t want to have to worry about shuffling your plans around based on schedule changes. But even if the Studios does become “not recommended,” you can still make it work by arriving early and touring efficiently. As it stands, this will be the least busy day of the week to tour the Park. Still plan to arrive by 8:15am because the Studios has a severely limited number of rides, most with limited capacities. With no evening entertainment to keep people around, stay through close because crowds will thin in the evening. Hit Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania in the final 90 minutes of operation to enjoy shorter waits than the afternoon.

Magic Kingdom is recommended. Tomorrow will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. Take advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Ariel’s Grotto, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain), or other time sensitive attractions (Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway). You may also want to prioritize characters that will have 30+ minute standby waits without the ability to FastPass+ them in the afternoon. 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 priority attractions later in the day. Consider a break from 1pm to 5pm or so to rest up for dinner, a few nighttime attractions, and the nighttime entertainment. This is the busiest and hottest part of the day and your time is best spent back at your resort relaxing.

Thursday February 19

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We’re coming off a popular day yesterday, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will draw a lot of Disney resort guests. Today, we have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom. As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo and/or Festival of the Lion King because they will be popular in the afternoon. Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times. Rely on FastPass+ for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer. Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4pm onward. After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes, Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants. There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies. A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more attractive to Disney resort guests. We also have morning Extra Magic Hour pulling people towards Magic Kingdom and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios continuing to draw crowds. Plan to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow a more compartmentalized two-day touring plan if you prefer. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ at Soarin or Test Track because they will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10:30am due to popularity and relatively low capacities. Getting in line right before Park close will also result in a short wait if you can’t ride any other time. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World. Return to Future World after 5pm if you have more to accomplish and to ride/re-ride the headliners with FastPass+. It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended. While the morning Extra Magic Hour will help draw Disney resort guests toward Magic Kingdom, it won’t be as big of a draw as when Magic Kingdom offers Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes less often. With Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes, and similarly long hours most days this week, Magic Kingdom will only be marginally more crowded today. We also don’t have the more popular evening Extra Magic Hours scheduled anywhere. I’m looking towards tomorrow as being less crowded, thanks to the popular evening Extra Magic Hours at Epcot and the fact that the morning Extra Magic Hour on Saturday will be more attractive to Disney resort guests. Like yesterday, there’s nothing specific drawing people towards Hollywood Studios, which means it won’t be far and away busier than non-recommended days during the week. However, you will find higher crowds and longer waits in the afternoon. Most people will want to take advantage of the lower crowds at Epcot and hold off on Hollywood Studios until tomorrow.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a lot of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than tomorrow or either of the last two days. You can have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

Friday February 20

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended with Epcot attracting resort guests with evening Extra Magic Hours and Magic Kingdom proving more popular with both nighttime spectaculars. Hollywood Studios is a better choice in most scenarios and some guests may want to take advantage of being able to see both nighttime spectaculars at Magic Kingdom, but Animal Kingdom works very well too. As always, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing and/or stay through close because waits only decrease as people leave in the afternoon.

We’ll want to avoid Epcot. Its evening Extra Magic Hours will lure the majority of Disney resort guests, which will lengthen waits times at the attractions for the entire afternoon and evening. Epcot is almost always at its busiest and lines are the longest when it has evening Extra Magic Hours. This is due to the fact that many Disney resort guests head to whichever Park has Extra Magic Hours, even if they don’t plan to take advantage of them. Without Park Hopper, Disney resort guests must stay in the Park with Extra Magic Hours for the entire day. The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. I would urge you to visit a different Park. If you want to head to Epcot today, despite my strong objections, your best chance to ride the headlining rides is from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around lunch in anticipation of staying until 10-11pm. The morning will be a decent time to tour Epcot, but you’ll probably want to Park Hop elsewhere after lunch or you’ll be stuck in significantly larger-than-usual crowds. You might also consider an afternoon break from 2pm-6pm when crowds will be at their largest. You could then return in the early evening for dinner and Extra Magic Hours. Alternatively, you could also Park Hop over in the evening for Extra Magic Hours, provided you’re aware of how busy it will be. With Extra Magic Hours only being two hours now, wait times at Soarin’ and Test Track won’t ease much until after 10:30pm. However, other attractions will see nominal waits and it’s a great time to take in Epcot’s natural ambiance and hit a few of the less popular/high capacity attractions. Skip Illuminations if you’ll be here on another night because it will be more crowded than usual. Overall, there’s no reason to visit Epcot today because crowds will be higher than any other day during the week and waits at Soarin’ and Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10:30pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park with Magic Kingdom drawing more guests with the later close and both nighttime spectaculars and Epcot being attractive to resort guests. To have the most success, you’ll still want to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon, even with some of the lowest crowds of the year. You’ll want to make it your top priority. Your second priority is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which also sees long afternoon waits and limited FastPass+ availability. Tower of Terror and Star Tours should be easier to ride, but also remain priorities. If you can get these attractions done in the early morning, you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. The only other problem most people run into is trying to schedule all of the stage shows that run on a set schedule. You may also want to prioritize characters that will have longer afternoon waits. The Toy Story characters across from Toy Story typically meet beginning at 9am and have the longest afternoon waits. Sofia the First usually has the second longest waits and meets in Animation Courtyard beginning at 9:30am. Phineas & Ferb also see long lines. They typically begin appearing at 9:30am, which means you’ll have time to ride Toy Story Mania before heading over to the Toy Story characters and then over to Sofia or Phineas & Ferb, which are located near Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and across from the exit to Muppet Vision 3D. Check the week’s Times Guide to verify appearance times. Two other popular characters appear in the Animation Building in the Animation Courtyard. Sorcerer Mickey in particular has long afternoon waits and The Incredibles characters also tend to have decent lines. Since both characters meet indoors and their lines aren’t usually over 20 minutes long, you should be able to find them with decent waits later in the day if you have other morning priorities. Finally, you’ll find some characters in the morning near Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat that won’t appear later in the afternoon. Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Chip, Dale, Stitch, Goofy, and Pluto are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear. For Fantasmic, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the theater. You’ll still need to arrive at least 20 minutes early, but it’s better than the 60+ minutes early you’ll need to arrive without the package. The Dining Package makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it only costs one table service credit (except at Hollywood Brown Derby, which still costs two credits as it would otherwise) and includes the appetizer. As far as general seating is concerned, the best seats are about half way up in the center sections. Sit any closer and you run the risk of getting wet and it’s more difficult to see what’s happening on the water.

Magic Kingdom is recommended. Epcot will be a bigger draw with the sizable on-site contingent with evening Extra Magic Hours and we’re coming off a busier day with the morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom yesterday. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Fantasyland or the headlining Mountain rides. Most people will want to start with the Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh or in Tomorrowland for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. You may have other time sensitive attractions on your itinerary like Astro Orbiter or Tomorrowland Indy Speedway as well. While these aren’t “the most popular” or “headlining” attractions, they are still morning priorities because they have guaranteed uncomfortable waits from 10am onward. Also consider prioritizing the most popular characters that don’t offer FastPass+. The relatively late night hours are also a great time to tour, particularly if you’re skipping the nighttime spectaculars.

Saturday February 21

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Disney Enchanted 10K

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: None

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

Animal Kingdom is the only expressly recommended Park.  Tomorrow is the beginning of the return to the non-peak operating schedule, which means shorter hours of operation at all four major theme parks and a limited number of Main Street Electrical Parades scheduled each week.  Those arriving for a short Princess Marathon Weekend vacation are more likely to visit Magic Kingdom today or Monday, in anticipation of running their race tomorrow.  Hollywood Studios will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour and Magic Kingdom will be attracting people with evening Extra Magic Hours and both nighttime spectaculars. And Epcot has a Marathon event that will attract additional people.  To take full advantage of the relatively low crowd level, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  Get those two attractions out of the way early and the only real concern is getting to Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King.  You would be in the best shape if you could get to the first or last show of the day as well as over to DinoLand USA before 10:30am when lines begin to build at DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl.  You may also want to prioritize the most popular characters by arriving five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  Use FastPass+ in the late morning and afternoon day and you should have no trouble experiencing just about everything Animal Kingdom has to offer in just one day.

Epcot is normally recommended on Saturdays.  However, there are a few mitigating factors contributing to its “not recommended” status.  First, Epcot is hosting the expanded Enchanted 10k race.  Although the race begins and ends outside Epcot and does not include theme park admission, we can still expect a sizable number of participants to stick around for Epcot’s opening.  You may remember that I’m not as concerned about a similar race over Marathon Weekend in January.  This is because February’s Princess races are more female-oriented, with fewer men participating than if it had a more innocuous theme and title.  In recent years, Epcot is much less busy on the Saturday of the Family Run in January than it is during the Saturday run in February and we can expect that trend to continue this coming year.  The fact that it’s a Saturday also allows more locals to take part, even if it does begin early.  Finally, Disney is also hosting a “Princess Half Marathon Breakfast” that runs up until 9am.  Expect a good portion of people enjoying this breakfast to stick around Epcot as well. This coming Monday will be a much better day to visit without any complications from the marathon events.  This past Thursday was also highly recommended.  If you are headed to Epcot today, keep in mind that more people than usual will be at rope drop and it may be difficult parking due to the race course.  Overall, you can still have success if you arrive early and visit Test Track and Soarin’ first thing in the morning or rely on FastPass+, but it’s going to be more difficult than recommended days and crowds will be noticeably heavier, particularly until 3pm. A late arrival is also viable.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests.  The sizable Disney resort contingent numbers 85,000+ people during a popular marathon weekend like this one.  Because Disney sells the Extra Magic Hour program so well in its marketing materials, many of these Disney resort guests follow the Extra Magic Hours schedule because they think it’s Disney telling them where they belong each day.  In addition, FastPass+ will be in shorter supply, peak wait times will be higher, and shows are more likely to fill to capacity, in turn causing you to show up earlier and wait longer.  While you can have success if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:15am, most people will want to visit another day.  Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or are certain you’ll arrive by 7:15am and plan to hit Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours first thing in the morning.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended with the long hours of operation, both nighttime spectaculars, and evening Extra Magic Hours.  While it’s true we’ve enjoyed long hours and both nighttime spectaculars nightly over the last week, we’re headed back to the abbreviated entertainment schedule and non-peak operating hours.  Beginning tomorrow, Main Street Electrical Parade will only be scheduled on a limited number of nights and the operating hours will be shortened.  This makes today’s long hours and Main Street Electrical Parade more appealing to those who are just arriving for the Marathon and others arriving later this week.  We have a big Marathon event tomorrow and a lot of those participants will only be in Disney World for a short time.  Because Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in the world, particularly with Disney World running aficionados, we can expect it to be significantly busier than recommended days. And the evening Extra Magic Hours will only serve to attract resort guests. This coming Tuesday and (particularly) Wednesday will be significantly less crowded and yesterday also would have been a better day to visit.

Sunday February 22

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Tentatively Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Tentatively Recommended)

Princess Half Marathon

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 8pm, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is tentatively recommended, provided you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive in time to take advantage of it. You can have a tremendous amount of success if you arrive by 7:40am and tour efficiently in the morning. You’ll find short waits nearly everywhere through 9:30am and be able to attend the first  and least crowded Festival of the Lion King or Finding Nemo show after moving through the priority attractions like Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, Adventurer’s Outpost Mickey and Minnie Meet, Primeval Whirl, and DINOSAUR. If you’re not eligible for Extra Magic Hours or plan to arrive after 9am, tomorrow and Tuesday would be easier touring experiences because you won’t have to contend with people already inside the Park before you’re even allowed to enter. Wait times decrease beginning around 3pm and the final two hours of the day see short waits.

Epcot is tentatively recommended, though waiting until tomorrow to visit would lead to fewer complications.  We have the Princess Half Marathon this morning, which starts and ends at Epcot.  Although the event begins at 5:45am, it won’t end completely until a little after 9am.  Because the runners have the right of way and the race goes through World Showcase and Future World, driving to Epcot, parking, and moving around the Park in the early morning may be difficult.  This will be mitigated somewhat if you ride Disney transportation or walk to Epcot from an Epcot area resort because the bus drivers will be well apprised of alternative routes and you won’t have to deal with any detours.  By 10am, Epcot won’t look much different than any other day.  We don’t need to be too concerned about runners sticking around to tour Epcot immediately after the race and their families won’t be much of an issue either.  Still, you’ll want to visit later in the week if you’re flexible because there won’t be any transportation or logistical problems in arriving at or touring Epcot.  As usual, you’ll have the most success if you arrive by 8:15am and take care of Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ first thing in the morning or follow a more compartmentalized two-day plan.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the longer hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 11am, no matter the recommendation or the overall crowd level, and you’ll be looking at long lines at Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended with the extended hours and both nighttime spectaculars. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park will help pull away a few thousand people, but won’t do much to ease Magic Kingdom crowds. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday will be significantly less busy. You can still make today work by arriving no later than 8:20an and touring efficiently in the morning. Take advantage of FastPass+ in the late morning and early afternoon and you’re in great shape. Take a break from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Monday February 23

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 7pm – 9pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios will be attracting the resort guest crowd and it’s early enough in the week that few people will be visiting Disney’s least favorite theme park this early in their vacation. We’re also coming off a morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday that will be more attractive to resort guests.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Friday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Hollywood Studios for the Extra Magic Hours. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. You’ll also be in the best shape if you’ve moved on to World Showcase by 12pm. Should you have more to accomplish in Future World, return after 5pm when most of the crowd has moved on to World Showcase. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests and the likelihood that the close will be extended, which will attract off-site guess as well. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 8:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds

Magic Kingdom is not expressly recommended due to the number of people that will arrive over the weekend and naturally head to the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park in the world on their first full day. With no Electrical Parade and nothing specific pulling people toward the Park, it won’t be overwhelmingly busier than other days this week, but each of the next two days will see lower crowds and shorter waits. You can make today work if you must, but Epcot and Animal Kingdom remain better choices.

Tuesday February 24

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Highly Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park for a number of reasons. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Sunday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. You’ll have no trouble riding both with very low waits before 10am. Once you get through these two attractions, you have little to worry about other than trying to get to the scheduled shows. Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King do get busy during the afternoon shows, so try to see the first or last show of the day. You’ll also want to get to DinoLand USA before 10:30am to ride Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR because those two attractions are popular. Still, they aren’t necessarily your top morning priorities. You should have no trouble experiencing most everything Animal Kingdom has to offer in one day, provided you arrive early in the morning, tour efficiently, use FastPass+ intelligently, and keep an eye on the time in order to see the scheduled stage shows. Finally, crowds disperse around 3pm. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand after 3pm and Asia after 4pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? Skip it unless you can’t get there any other day or are certain you’ll arrive prior to 8am for the morning Extra Magic Hour and plan to either Park Hop elsewhere or take a break in the afternoon.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours/Fantasmic combo will be a much bigger draw and Epcot will be attracting the majority of the Disney resort crowd. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania along with 30+ minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision and Star Tours. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. While it’s a recommended day, it’s still more important to arrive early and tour efficiently than it is to pick the “right” day, even when overall crowds are low.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended with nothing specific attracting visitors and Epcot being more popular with resort guests. To have the most success, arrive by 8:25am and tour efficiently in the morning, whether you begin with a popular character, Mine Train, Space Mountain, or whatever else. You’ll have a tremendous amount of success through 10:30am and can continue breezing through rides in the late morning and afternoon with FastPass+. You may want to take an afternoon break when crowds peak around 1:30pm and return in the evening for dinner, a few more rides, and Wishes. Tomorrow is a little better due to the fact that it’s in the middle of the week and fewer people will be visiting the most popular theme park in the world on their first full day and Thursday will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests.

Wednesday February 25

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

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 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. These are the only two attractions in World Showcase that will see wait times. 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 is not explicitly recommended, though it will be far from “crazy crowded.” Epcot and Magic Kingdom remain better choices. The problem is the morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park pulling relatively few resort guests in that direction and the lack of the Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom along with the earlier close attracting fewer people in that direction. Add to that the number of people that travel over the weekend for a traditional weeklong vacation that naturally spend their first two days at Magic Kingdom and Epcot and are now looking to visit one of Disney’s less popular theme parks in the middle of their trip. You can still make the Studios work by arriving by 8:15am and taking care of Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and potentially a priority character first thing, but the Park will be busier than recommended days from 10am through close.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more popular with resort guests and we don’t have anything specific attracting people today with the earlier close and lack of the Electrical Parade. As always, you’ll have the most success by arriving prior to Park opening and taking care of your priorities first thing, followed by intelligent FastPass+ usage in the late morning and afternoon. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm – 5pm when crowds and waits peak.

Thursday February 26

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We’re coming off a popular day yesterday, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will draw a lot of Disney resort guests. Today, we have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom. As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo and/or Festival of the Lion King because they will be popular in the afternoon. Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times. Rely on FastPass+ for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer. Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4pm onward. After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes, Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants. There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies. A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more attractive to Disney resort guests. We also have morning Extra Magic Hour pulling people towards Magic Kingdom and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios continuing to draw crowds. Plan to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow a more compartmentalized two-day touring plan if you prefer. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ at Soarin or Test Track because they will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10:30am due to popularity and relatively low capacities. Getting in line right before Park close will also result in a short wait if you can’t ride any other time. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World. Return to Future World after 5pm if you have more to accomplish and to ride/re-ride the headliners with FastPass+. It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended, though like yesterday, it will be far from “crazy busy.” The problem remains the lack of attractive forces at the other theme parks. While Magic Kingdom’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be popular, the lack of the Electrical Parade will push people to visit another day and in turn, visit a different theme park today. Tomorrow would be better with Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours pulling resort guests and the Studios’ morning Extra Magic Hour on Saturday proving more popular. You can still do very well if you arrive by 8:15am and tour smart in the morning.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a lot of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than tomorrow or either of the last two days. You can have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

Friday February 27

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended with Epcot attracting resort guests with evening Extra Magic Hours and Magic Kingdom proving more popular with the later close and both nighttime spectaculars. Hollywood Studios is a better choice in most scenarios and some guests may want to take advantage of the best day of the week to see both nighttime spectaculars at Magic Kingdom, but Animal Kingdom works very well too. As always, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing and/or stay through close because waits only decrease as people leave in the afternoon.

We’ll want to avoid Epcot. Its evening Extra Magic Hours will lure the majority of Disney resort guests, which will lengthen waits times at the attractions for the entire afternoon and evening. Epcot is almost always at its busiest and lines are the longest when it has evening Extra Magic Hours. This is due to the fact that many Disney resort guests head to whichever Park has Extra Magic Hours, even if they don’t plan to take advantage of them. Without Park Hopper, Disney resort guests must stay in the Park with Extra Magic Hours for the entire day. The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. I would urge you to visit a different Park. If you want to head to Epcot today, despite my strong objections, your best chance to ride the headlining rides is from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around lunch in anticipation of staying until 10-11pm. The morning will be a decent time to tour Epcot, but you’ll probably want to Park Hop elsewhere after lunch or you’ll be stuck in significantly larger-than-usual crowds. You might also consider an afternoon break from 2pm-6pm when crowds will be at their largest. You could then return in the early evening for dinner and Extra Magic Hours. Alternatively, you could also Park Hop over in the evening for Extra Magic Hours, provided you’re aware of how busy it will be. With Extra Magic Hours only being two hours now, wait times at Soarin’ and Test Track won’t ease much until after 10:30pm. However, other attractions will see nominal waits and it’s a great time to take in Epcot’s natural ambiance and hit a few of the less popular/high capacity attractions. Skip Illuminations if you’ll be here on another night because it will be more crowded than usual. Overall, there’s no reason to visit Epcot today because crowds will be higher than any other day during the week and waits at Soarin’ and Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10:30pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park with Magic Kingdom drawing more guests with the later close and both nighttime spectaculars and Epcot being attractive to resort guests. To have the most success, you’ll still want to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon, even with some of the lowest crowds of the year. You’ll want to make it your top priority. Your second priority is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which also sees long afternoon waits and limited FastPass+ availability. Tower of Terror and Star Tours should be easier to ride, but also remain priorities. If you can get these attractions done in the early morning, you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. The only other problem most people run into is trying to schedule all of the stage shows that run on a set schedule. You may also want to prioritize characters that will have longer afternoon waits. The Toy Story characters across from Toy Story typically meet beginning at 9am and have the longest afternoon waits. Sofia the First usually has the second longest waits and meets in Animation Courtyard beginning at 9:30am. Phineas & Ferb also see long lines. They typically begin appearing at 9:30am, which means you’ll have time to ride Toy Story Mania before heading over to the Toy Story characters and then over to Sofia or Phineas & Ferb, which are located near Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and across from the exit to Muppet Vision 3D. Check the week’s Times Guide to verify appearance times. Two other popular characters appear in the Animation Building in the Animation Courtyard. Sorcerer Mickey in particular has long afternoon waits and The Incredibles characters also tend to have decent lines. Since both characters meet indoors and their lines aren’t usually over 20 minutes long, you should be able to find them with decent waits later in the day if you have other morning priorities. Finally, you’ll find some characters in the morning near Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat that won’t appear later in the afternoon. Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Chip, Dale, Stitch, Goofy, and Pluto are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear. For Fantasmic, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the theater. You’ll still need to arrive at least 20 minutes early, but it’s better than the 60+ minutes early you’ll need to arrive without the package. The Dining Package makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it only costs one table service credit (except at Hollywood Brown Derby, which still costs two credits as it would otherwise) and includes the appetizer. As far as general seating is concerned, the best seats are about half way up in the center sections. Sit any closer and you run the risk of getting wet and it’s more difficult to see what’s happening on the water.

Magic Kingdom is recommended and this is the best day this week to see both nighttime spectaculars. Either this past Tuesday or Wednesday would be less crowded, but the close is earlier and you won’t have an opportunity to see the Electrical Parade. As always, you’ll have the most success if you arrive prior to Park open and bang out the priorities on your itinerary. Take an afternoon break around 1pm when crowds and waits peak and return around 6pm for dinner, some evening attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you don’t mind skipping the Electrical Parade and/or Wishes, you’ll find short waits at Tomorrowland with two hours to close and Fantasyland in the final hour. It’s a great time to ride the major attractions with shorter waits than the relatively busy afternoon.

Saturday February 28

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special events, evening entertainment, or anything else to attract on-site or off-site visitors. Those leaving tomorrow after a traditional weeklong vacation are unlikely to visit Animal Kingdom on their last full day and most arriving today won’t head out to Animal Kingdom as their first destination. As always, you’ll be best off if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Wait times will only get shorter after 3pm as people begin exiting in droves, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish visiting DinoLand after 3pm and Asia after 4pm to minimize waits.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off of a much busier day yesterday with evening Extra Magic Hours attracting the bulk of the Disney resort crowd. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended. The sizable Disney resort contingent numbers 75,000+ people. Because Disney sells the Extra Magic Hour program so well in its marketing materials, many of these Disney resort guests follow the Extra Magic Hours schedule because they think it’s Disney telling them where they belong each day. While you can have success if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:15am, most people will want to visit another day. Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or are certain you’ll arrive by 7:15am and plan to hit Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours first thing in the morning. Yesterday was a better day to visit with fewer complications touring in the morning.

Saturdays are naturally the busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom. We have longer hours of operation, visiting locals, and a lot of vacationers who will be visiting the Magic Kingdom for a second time before returning home tomorrow. On top of that, Disney added evening Extra Magic Hours, attracting even more resort guests. On top of that, Main Street Electrical Parade is only scheduled on a limited number of nights this week. Because the Parade is so popular, a lot of people will visit on a day that they can see it, like today. Yesterday was a better day to visit and see the Electrical Parade without the Extra Magic Hours/weekend complications and a Tuesday or Wednesday would be significantly less busy. The afternoon will be busier than any other day this week and you’ll either want to take a break and return for the Electrical Parade and Wishes or visit the less popular attractions from 2pm – 6pm. If you’re planning to visit during evening Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland or Frontierland because most people will head straight for Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find shorter waits. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie July 30, 2014 at 11:16 am

How does the Super Bowl affect the rest of the parks?

Reply

Ang July 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm

My trip is booked! Can’t wait to start planning my days!

Reply

IndyND July 31, 2014 at 8:01 am

I’d love to go in February. It’s going to be June again next year though.

Reply

matt August 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Stephanie……I’ve been there the last 6 Super Bowls and it doesn’t have any affect except maybe a smaller crowd that evening. The parade the next day is only a small push in the parade area. Fat Tuesday is where I noticed a big bump that is out of the norm.

Reply

Tim October 19, 2014 at 6:47 am

Hey does anyone know why touringplans.com has the 1st week of February with “6″ and “7″ crowd levels all week??? Not sure if I should go with the easywdw calendar or the touring plans calendar! HELP!!! My Disney Brain is about to explode with all the decision makine!!!! Ha

Reply

Anonymous October 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm

I am wondering the same why touring plans is a 6 or 7 crowd level

Reply

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