June 2014 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

by josh on November 26, 2013

2/24/14 Update: Crowd Calendar updated with the 5th Star Wars Weekend added on the 13th – 15th. Recommendations during that week changed in places. More details here.

2/13/14 Update: Crowd Calendar updated with the changes listed here.

This is the Free June 2014 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 three 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 June 1

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 8am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 12am – 2am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We have evening Extra Magic Hours/Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom luring a lot of Disney resort guests. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow – both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. You should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade and the last 90 minutes of operation will have much shorter waits than the afternoon. You also have an outstanding opportunity to Park Hop after the Park closes. You could head to Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations or Magic Kingdom for evening Extra Magic Hours. Hollywood Studios is going to be busy and it’s not an ideal day to see Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner and a look around the resort or take a trip out to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping.

Epcot is recommended as well. It’s a particularly excellent day to see IllumiNations and have dinner in the World Showcase because Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios 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 with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. 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 continues to be “not recommended” due to the popularity of Star Wars Weekends and the heavier crowds that come with it. If you’d like to experience the event, today is the best day to do so. To get an autograph FASTPASS for the most popular celebrity visiting, you’ll need to arrive at least two hours prior to Park opening (and possibly three or more hours early). If you’re happy getting an autograph from anyone, cutting it closer to an hour early should be sufficient. Like all things, earlier is always better. Worst case scenario – I can just sign any name you want. If you’re planning to have a child participate in Jedi Training Academy or one of the other activities, you’ll want to take care of that immediately after Park opening (and before getting in line for a character). Spaces fill fast. If you’re interested in the Star Wars character meet and greets, you’ll want to head over to one of the most popular characters first thing. In past years, Chewbacca and Darth Vader have had the longest lines, and waits hit 30+ minutes just after the Studios opens and often top 90 minutes in the afternoon. Lines for most characters will be long from 9am through close – there’s no magical time to find shorter lines, but you can expect peak waits from 10:30am – 5pm when the Studios is at its most crowded. You should be able to get to one or two of the most popular characters early in the morning before moving on to some of the less popular characters in the late morning and afternoon. As far as the other Star Wars activities are concerned, I highly recommend the shows that take place in the Premier Theater throughout the day. These shows are hosted by or feature the various “celebrities” attending the event. More importantly perhaps, the Premier Theater is air-conditioned and offers comfortable seating for shows that generally last 30 to 45 minutes. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but have always enjoyed the various shows and it’s a great way to rest up and get off your feet. In recent years, many of the presentations have focused on the Star Wars animated series and often delve into topics like voice acting and animation styles. It’s interesting stuff. It can be difficult to work in the various attractions, while also juggling the various Star Wars activities. Unless you ride in the first hour, you’ll most likely want to rely on FastPass+ at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and/or another priority attraction. You’ll also need to show up for the various “normal” stage shows a bit earlier than usual – particularly for Beauty and the Beast. Indiana Jones and Lights, Motors, Action! usually have the capacity to handle the additional crowds, though afternoon Indiana Jones shows may fill to capacity. Overall, your best plan of attack would be to focus on the Star Wars related activities today and then visit on a second, recommended day to hit most of the attractions. That way, you can take advantage of the lower crowds when you want to ride the major attractions and hit the Star Wars characters, merchandise, and other activities in the morning when lines will be shortest.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended, though the morning from 9am – 11am and the late evening from 11:30pm – 2am will both be good times to tour. However, the afternoon will be busy enough that you won’t want to risk it unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ll take advantage of one or both of the recommended touring times and can’t visit on a “more recommended” day. Most Disney resort guests who will be headed to the Magic Kingdom will sleep in and arrive around 11am, in anticipation of staying until around 10pm. If you arrive prior to 9am, you can have a lot of success visiting the Fantasyland attractions and headlining Mountain rides. However, the Park will be busy from 12pm to 10pm as the bulk of Disney resort guests arrive en masse and stay through the evening entertainment. You’ll either want to take a break, Park Hop elsewhere, or plan to visit some of the less popular attractions for that time slot. The late night Extra Magic Hours are also recommended. If you are staying for Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland because most people will head to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland first. Next, move up through Frontierland and Liberty Square on your way to Tomorrowland. Save Fantasyland for last because most families will be long gone from the Park by 12:30am and Fantasyland will be low on crowds. It’s not uncommon for Peter Pan’s Flight to have a 60 minute wait in the afternoon and a ten minute or less wait at the end of evening Extra Magic Hours. Save Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Journey of the Little Mermaid for the very end of the night. You’ll find lower crowds on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of this coming week, but the morning and late night will both be good times to tour if you need an additional day at Magic Kingdom.

Monday June 2

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom will be moderately more popular than recommended days due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract a decent number of Disney resort guests. Mondays at the Animal Kingdom aren’t wildly popular because of the fact that morning Extra Magic Hours aren’t as popular as evening Extra Magic Hours and because it’s early in the week and many people who travel over the weekend will be heading to the Magic Kingdom regardless of the Extra Magic Hours schedule. Still, there are better days to visit the Animal Kingdom than today, including tomorrow. While the morning Extra Magic Hour is an excellent time to tour, it’s difficult to get out to the Animal Kingdom by 7:45am to take full advantage of it. If you’re staying at a Monorail Deluxe Resort, you’re looking at a 20+ minute drive to the Animal Kingdom, plus time for the bus to arrive – not to mention getting multiple people up and ready early in the morning with just one shower and limited space. At 6:30am. If you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 7:45am, then you can have a lot of success because the crowd level won’t be that high, but it will be busier in the afternoon than other recommended days this week due to a higher number of Disney resort guests than usual. You’re much better served holding off for a recommended day if you’re not going to arrive until 9am or later.

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 or Animal Kingdom for the Extra Magic Hours. Still, it will be crowded with the 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 and there are over 25,000 rooms on property with access to Extra Magic Hours on any given day. Guess where those 75,000+ people are more likely to go? The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. It’s true that today will be less crowded than any of the last three days due to the extremely popular Star Wars Weekend event. If you’re not interested in visiting the Studios for the Star Wars festivities and must visit sometime between last Friday and today, then today would be your best choice. Tomorrow and Thursday 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 11:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30 and again at 11pm, 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. Overall, today is the least crowded day since last Thursday, but that isn’t saying much considering how busy the weekend will be.

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 summer vacation. They travel over the weekend and naturally head to the Magic Kingdom on Monday for their first full day. 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 June 3

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Highly Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended and your best choice if you have other plans for Hollywood Studios. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more popular with Disney resort guests and we have another coming up on Saturday that will also appeal to that crowd. It’s also early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. Magic Kingdom will continue being popular with the long operating hours and both nighttime spectaculars. Overall, today and Friday are the best days of the week to visit. 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 shortly after the 3:45pm Parade. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find much lower crowds than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. We have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and a lot of off-site visitors who will naturally visit Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday. Skip it unless you can’t get there any other day or are certain you’ll arrive by 7:15am for the morning Extra Magic Hour and plan to either Park Hop elsewhere or take a break in the afternoon.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we look forward to Star Wars Weekends on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Each of these days will be significantly busier than today because of the popularity of the event with locals and vacationers alike. That isn’t to say today won’t be relatively crowded, but it’s your best opportunity to visit the Studios with lower crowds than this weekend and other non-recommended days. A lot of people will be putting off the Studios for this weekend so that they can experience the event. Others won’t be interested in visiting this early in their vacation and Disney resort guests are more likely to visit yesterday for evening Extra Magic Hours or tomorrow for morning Extra Magic Hour. 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, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon. Expect waits to hit 60 to 120 minutes today, even with the recommendation. 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 if you’re interested in the first show. 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. If you’re not interested in the Package or it’s not available, try to see the second show. It’s far less crowded because so many families leave earlier and there aren’t two sections reserved for Dining Package users. 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’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World. Still, Magic Kingdom won’t be empty with the above average overall crowd level, same operating hours as other days this week, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes. It’s still more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland or the headlining Mountain rides. You may also want to fit other time-sensitive attractions like Tomorrowland Indy Speedway or Astro Orbiter in there as well, along with Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and other quick attractions that will have decent afternoon waits like Astro Orbiter. Consider taking a break from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds are heaviest and wait times are longest to rest up for the evening entertainment. For Main Street Electrical Parade, scout out a spot along the Parade route in Liberty Square or Frontierland for the 11pm Parade. Both areas are significantly less crowded than Main Street and require a shorter wait. The later Parade is much less crowded because so many families leave immediately after Wishes, if they even make it that far. If you’re not planning to see the nighttime entertainment, visit Tomorrowland after 9:30pm and Fantasyland after 10:30pm to find much lower crowds than the afternoon. If you’re trying to decide between today and tomorrow, then I would go with tomorrow because it’s in the middle of the week and even more people will be ready to visit another Park.

Wednesday June 4

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended today, though yesterday would have been better. The only problem today is that it’s later in the week, which means a lot of casual vacationers on a weeklong vacation will be looking to visit Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom after spending the last two days at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Luckily, we have morning Extra Magic Hour and Fantasmic luring Disney resort guests to Hollywood Studios, which will be much more popular. In most scenarios, you’ll want to take advantage of the lower crowds (relatively speaking) at Magic Kingdom and visit Animal Kingdom another day, but today works just fine if it fits into your itinerary better. As always, plan to arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest right off the bat. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ or visit them in the standby line after 5pm when crowds will die down. The “single rider line” at Expedition Everest is also a good choice should your group be willing to split up. Overall, you can have a lot of success today if you tour smart and arrive early, but afternoon crowds will be decent.

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 Hollywood Studios today with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In most scenarios, I recommend heading to Magic Kingdom today to take advantage of the lower crowd level there and holding off on Epcot until tomorrow. However, Epcot works fine today too, provided you follow my broken-record advice – arrive prior to Park opening 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+ for an afternoon ride on Soarin’ or Test Track. 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. If you’re planning just one day in Epcot, try to move up through the World Showcase right at 11am, beginning with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway. These are the only two attractions in World Showcase that will see wait times. Luckily, FastPass+ for Maelstrom are plentiful. 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 recommended, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract a lot of Disney resort guests. We also have a lot of people visiting after heading to Magic Kingdom on Monday and Epcot on Tuesday. Today won’t be as busy as Friday, Saturday, or Sunday for Star Wars Weekends, though. If your choices are today or any day this weekend, you’ll want to go with today, unless you’d like to experience the Star Wars festivities. If you do visit today and are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you’ll want to do whatever you can to arrive by 7:15am. The morning, from 8am – 10am, will be great, but it’s going to be busy from then on. Try to get there early and take care of Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror before 9:30am. Once you get through those attractions, you’re set for the rest of the day. However, you’re going to run into a lot of people and long lines if you don’t arrive until later in the day. With both yesterday and tomorrow recommended, you have better options on either side.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit as we come off two busier days. Tomorrow will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. However, with the standardized operating schedule and plentiful evening entertainment, Magic Kingdom won’t be far and away less busy than other days this week. Still, today means lower waits, fewer people in the Park, and increased FastPass+ availability. Take advantage of the lowest crowds this week 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, 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 major attractions throughout the day. Consider a break from 1pm to 5pm or so to rest up for dinner, a few nighttime attractions, and Wishes. If you’re planning to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes on another night, visit Tomorrowland after 9pm and Fantasyland after 10:30pm to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

A Quick Word About Gay Days

“Gay Days” is an event held in the Orlando area each year in June. It is not an official Disney event and the great majority of the participants do not stay on Disney property, but they do visit one of the Disney Parks over a four day span. In 2014, the published schedule indicates they will be visiting the following Parks:

Thursday June 5: Animal Kingdom

Friday June 6: Hollywood Studios

Saturday June 7: Magic Kingdom

Sunday June 8: Epcot

For the first two days, we’ll plan to avoid the Parks that Gay Days is visiting because the additional crowds will have a more substantial impact. Because Animal Kingdom has a limited number of attractions and is open fewer hours, the Gay Days crowd will make the Park considerably busier and it will be difficult to avoid them. Gay Days participants generally arrive at the Parks around 11am and leave much earlier than the Parks close. However, with the short 9am to 7pm hours at the Animal Kingdom, they’ll plan to arrive earlier and won’t leave early enough that we can get a lot done after they’re gone. On Friday, the Gay Days crowds will just add to an already busy Hollywood Studios because it’s also Star Wars Weekends. Luckily, almost all of the Gay Days participants go to the Park assigned by the schedule, so they do not have much impact at all on the other Parks. If you visit the recommended Parks each day (or avoid the Park designated as the Gay Days Park), it’s unlikely that you’ll even notice they’re there. In fact, they can actually help clear out Magic Kingdom on Saturday and Epcot on Sunday due to all the people who will avoid the Park that Gay Days is visiting solely because there will be a lot of gay people around. Because the Gay Days contingent isn’t that large and the fact that they tend to arrive late and leave early, we can get even more done than usual at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot if we arrive by Park opening and visit the headliners first thing. Since that’s our plan of attack anyway, we don’t need to be concerned about visiting the Magic Kingdom on Saturday or Epcot on Sunday. I still recommend avoiding the Animal Kingdom on Thursday and Hollywood Studios on Friday. Overall, Gay Days is not worth worrying about, no matter what your opinion of gay people happens to be. You can simply visit a Park that Gay Days is not visiting and you probably won’t run into more than a handful of Gay Days participants during your entire visit.

Thursday June 5

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

Gay Days

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

The Animal Kingdom is not a good choice because of the Gay Days schedule that will bring several thousand additional people to the Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is not recommended on Thursdays during Star Wars Weekends because there’s little attracting guests to other Parks, it’s later in the week, and we’re not coming off a morning Extra Magic Hour like usual. Although Gay Days participants generally arrive late and leave early, that doesn’t do us much good at the Animal Kingdom because the hours are shorter than the other Parks. We’re much better off waiting until tomorrow to visit, when the Animal Kingdom will be the only expressly recommended Park.

Epcot is highly recommended. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more attractive to Disney resort guests. We also have morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade pulling people towards Magic. 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 rely on 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. Test Track’s single rider line usually has shorter waits than either standby or FastPass+. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 the most recommended Park. We’re going into an incredibly busy weekend with the Star Wars festivities on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re also coming off a popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting a lot of Disney resort guests. While today will see decent waits with the limited number of rides, it remains a much better choice than the much busier weekend. To have the most success, you’ll still want to arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon and FastPass+ are largely unavailable. Expect waits to hit 60 to 120 minutes today, even with the recommendation. 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. While this is an excellent day to visit, relative to the days around it, the Studios will still “feel” busy with long waits at the major attractions. There’s no way around that when crowd levels are above average and the Studios’ offers a severely limited number of real rides.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than either this past Tuesday or Wednesday. However, with the standardized operating schedule and nightly evening entertainment, today won’t be overwhelmingly busier than recommended days. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can have success provided you take advantage of the extra hour by arriving no later than 7:40am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions. 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 6pm 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 9:30am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

How Star Wars Weekend Affects Touring and Crowds

Star Wars Weekends is an annual event that takes place inside of the Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World during regular theme park hours. The cost to attend is included in your admission to the Park (which is the same as any other day). The festivities only take place in Hollywood Studios and don’t officially change anything at the other three major theme parks. Hollywood Studios will be noticeably more crowded during these weekends because of their popularity with the out-of-town Star Wars community and locals who are interested in participating in the festivities. If you have no interest in Star Wars and don’t want to take part in or see any of the shows or characters, then you will want to avoid Hollywood Studios on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of any Star Wars Weekend, regardless of when they are scheduled. Officially on the Crowd Calendar, Hollywood Studios will not be recommended during Star Wars Weekends because the Studios will be significantly more crowded. If your intention is to see the attractions with the shortest waits possible, Star Wars Weekends are not for you. However, if you enjoy Star Wars or would like to participate in the festivities, you may want to spend at least part of your day at the Studios. Sunday is usually the least crowded day.

Each weekend, there are three Star Wars “celebrities” of varying (mostly low) levels of popularity.

In addition, there will be a lot of character meet and greets with people dressed up like famous Star Wars characters, including Mickey Mouse as a Jedi and Minnie Mouse as Princess Leia. You’ll also see Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, and other classics, including my favorite, Darth Goofy. Luckily, Jar Jar Binks usually skips the event due to the amount of violence commonly directed towards him. Disney is family friendly after all. There will also be a Star Wars motorcade parade, question and answer sessions, autograph opportunities, trivia challenges, dance parties, and limited edition merchandise.

If you want a specific celebrity autograph, you will likely need to arrive at the Studios gate by 6am to get in line for a FastPass+. Autograph sessions are very limited and only those with FastPass+ will be guaranteed access to the celebrity signing. There is usually a “standby” line as well, but you always run the risk of getting left out. The celebrities themselves would most likely want to take the time to meet you and sign an autograph (with the exception of Anthony Daniels, who doesn’t), but their schedules for the event are tight. You will also want to arrive very early for the first Friday of Star Wars Weekends if the limited edition merchandise is of interest. If autographs aren’t important and you just want to be on hand for the other events, I would still recommend arriving an hour early in order to get a FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania or to run over to a character line. FastPass+ will go fast and it won’t take long for the FastPass+ return times to be well into the evening. Consider scheduling a relaxing sit-down lunch in the middle of the day to get off your feet and relax a bit. May and June are hot and almost all of the activities take place outside. If you would like to have a sit-down meal during Star Wars Weekend, you will want to make your dining reservations as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that many of the usual character opportunities will be replaced by Star Wars characters during Star Wars Weekends. If your child is easily frightened, they may also be scared by the number of “bad guys” walking around for the event. There will be plenty of Storm Troopers, Darth Vaders, and other villains milling about and they can be intimidating if you and your kids are not expecting it. During weekdays (Monday – Thursday), everything at Hollywood Studios goes back to “normal.”

Star Wars Weekends are a lot of fun for everyone with even a casual interest in Star Wars. If your time is limited and you care more about the rides, you’ll want to visit the Studios on a weekday – preferably a recommended one without Extra Magic Hours. If you have some time to spare and enjoy Star Wars, consider visiting the Studios during a Weekend.

Friday June 6

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 8am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Gay Days

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Symphony in the Stars: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Highly Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours are always popular and will draw a lot of Disney resort guests and Hollywood Studios’ Star Wars Weekends event will be hugely popular. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing. After that, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or visit the characters and Festival of the Lion King and/or Finding Nemo the Musical. Keep in mind that crowds disperse after the 3:45pm Parade. If you couldn’t get to some of the attraction earlier in the day, stay through until 7pm because waits will only decrease from 5pm through close.

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 not recommended because of the Star Wars Weekend complication. The event will make the Studios significantly busier from open to close today than any day earlier in the week. The Gay Days event will only serve to bring in a few thousand extra people. If you’re looking to visit the Studios one day this weekend to take advantage of the event, I would actually go with Sunday. While it might seem counterintuitive to visit on an actual weekend day, Sundays are typically the least crowded. There are probably a few factors, including the fact that Star Wars fans on vacation want to visit on their first possible opportunity. Sunday is also a popular travel day and fans may want to maximize their time in the Park, rather than cut the day short with travel plans later in the day. Disney may open the Studios early to help counteract the heavy crowds as they did the past three years. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say whether that will actually happen again this year. If you are visiting, I recommend arriving no later than 7am. It’s quite early, which is the reason why Hollywood Studios isn’t recommended. With the expected 8am open, you should be able to meet at least one popular character with a short wait and possibly two before it’s time to move on to the less popular characters. You could also ride Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours relatively easily if that’s the route you take. However, it’s going to be extremely crowded from 10am onward. Avoid it unless you’re willing to put up with the heavier crowds in order to enjoy the event.

Magic Kingdom is highly 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. Hollywood Studios will also be wildly popular with Star Wars Weekends. 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 Fantasyland (Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Ariel’s Grotto, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh), one of the headlining Mountain rides, or a priority character. 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. Visit Tomorrowland after 9pm and Fantasyland after 10:30pm to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Saturday June 7

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 8am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Symphony in the Stars: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Recommended)

Gay Days

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is going to be busier than recommended days due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will be popular with Disney resort guests. A lot of Disney resort guests see the Extra Magic Hours schedule as Disney’s means of telling them where they “belong” each day. While very few Disney resort guests will actually arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of their perk, they will undoubtedly stream in throughout the morning, ultimately making the Park much busier from 11am through close. You’ll want to avoid it unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 7:30am and plan to leave around 1pm. The 8am – 9:30am timeframe will be incredibly quiet with short waits everywhere. Alternatively, you could arrive later and stay through close. Crowds dissipate after the Parade and few people Park Hop over with the relatively early close and lack of scheduled evening entertainment.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours will have been wildly popular with Disney resort guests and they will be nowhere near Epcot today, especially in the morning. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. To stay ahead of the crowds for as long as possible, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. Return to Future World after 5pm to ride anything you skipped earlier in the day. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ for Soarin’ or potentially Test Track. The Test Track single rider line is also a good idea and actual waits are often shorter than standby or FastPass+. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended. It’s going to be extremely crowded for Star Wars Weekends. Both yesterday and tomorrow would be less crowded and any weekday would be significantly less crowded, including Monday with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. I don’t recommend visiting the Studios today unless you’re intent on “taking advantage” of the Star Wars Weekend festivities. If you do go, you can have success if you plan to arrive no later than 7am, but it’s going to be a zoo from 10am through close.

Magic Kingdom is also recommended, despite the fact that it’s scheduled for Gay Days and it’s a Saturday. Most months, Saturdays are the most popular day of the week because it almost always has a Main Street Electrical Parade and the hours are usually significantly longer than other days during the week. In June, because the crowds are above average most every day, we have Main Street Electrical Parades and Wishes scheduled every night, along with 9am-11pm or later hours of operation every day. With Disney canceling Friday’s evening Extra Magic Hours, we can expect more resort guests to be headed in its direction today, but we still have evening Extra Magic Hours tomorrow. The Gay Days crowds also aren’t as big of a deal on Saturday and Sunday for a number of reasons. First, Gay Days participants arrive later in the day and many will leave before the evening Parade and Fireworks. By arriving early, we can easily stay in front of them. Second, a lot of families who didn’t know about Gay Days previously will have picked up on it by today and they will have found out that Gay Days is at the Magic Kingdom today. Some of these people will decide not to visit. A decent amount of people will also be aware of the Gay Days crowds before leaving for Disney World and will also avoid the Magic Kingdom. I’m more concerned about the Gay Days crowds at the Animal Kingdom because of its shorter hours/limited number of attractions and at Hollywood Studios yesterday because we’ll already have larger crowds for Star Wars Weekends. At Magic Kingdom today and Epcot tomorrow, they won’t make much of a dent, especially if you arrive early and visit the headlining attractions immediately after the Magic Kingdom opens. Take a sizable afternoon break when crowds and temperatures peak to rest up for some nighttime rides and the evening entertainment.

Sunday June 8

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Gay Days

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 8am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Symphony in the Sky: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We have evening Extra Magic Hours/Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom luring a lot of Disney resort guests. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow – both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. In relatively low crowds, you should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows – either Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade and the last 90 minutes of operation will have much shorter waits than the afternoon. You also have an outstanding opportunity to Park Hop after the Park closes. You could head to Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations or Magic Kingdom for evening Extra Magic Hours. Hollywood Studios is going to be busy and it’s not an ideal day to see Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner and a look around the resort or take a trip out to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping.

Epcot is recommended as well. It is worth noting that today is the “Gay Days” designated Park, but that event will only bring a few thousand participants to Epcot over the course of the day. Because most of them arrive later in the morning and leave before the evening entertainment, they aren’t much of a concern. We’ll be on our way into World Showcase before most of them even arrive and think about getting in line for Soarin’ or Test Track. In fact, more people will be avoiding Epcot because it’s the Gay Days Park than will be visiting because it’s the Gay Days Park. In other words, the event displaces more people than it attracts. With so much physical space to maneuver in Epcot, chances are that you won’t run into many Gay Days participants during the day anyway. It’s a particularly excellent day to see IllumiNations and have dinner in the World Showcase because Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios 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 with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. 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 continues to be “not recommended” due to the popularity of Star Wars Weekends and the heavier crowds that come with it. If you’d like to experience the event, today is the best day to do so. To get an autograph FASTPASS for the most popular celebrity visiting, you’ll need to arrive at least two hours prior to Park opening (and possibly three or more hours early). If you’re happy getting an autograph from anyone, cutting it closer to an hour early should be sufficient. Like all things, earlier is always better. Worst case scenario – I can just sign any name you want. If you’re planning to have a child participate in Jedi Training Academy or one of the other activities, you’ll want to take care of that immediately after Park opening (and before getting in line for a character). Spaces fill fast. If you’re interested in the Star Wars character meet and greets, you’ll want to head over to one of the most popular characters first thing. In past years, Chewbacca and Darth Vader have had the longest lines, and waits hit 30+ minutes just after the Studios opens and often top 90 minutes in the afternoon. Lines for most characters will be long from 9am through close – there’s no magical time to find shorter lines, but you can expect peak waits from 10:30am – 5pm when the Studios is at its most crowded. You should be able to get to one or two of the most popular characters early in the morning before moving on to some of the less popular characters in the late morning and afternoon. As far as the other Star Wars activities are concerned, I highly recommend the shows that take place in the Premier Theater throughout the day. These shows are hosted by or feature the various “celebrities” attending the event. More importantly perhaps, the Premier Theater is air-conditioned and offers comfortable seating for shows that generally last 30 to 45 minutes. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but have always enjoyed the various shows and it’s a great way to rest up and get off your feet. In recent years, many of the presentations have focused on the Star Wars animated series and often delve into topics like voice acting and animation styles. It’s interesting stuff. It can be difficult to work in the various attractions, while also juggling the various Star Wars activities. Unless you ride in the first hour, you’ll most likely want to rely on FastPass+ at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and/or another priority attraction. You’ll also need to show up for the various “normal” stage shows a bit earlier than usual – particularly for Beauty and the Beast. Indiana Jones and Lights, Motors, Action! usually have the capacity to handle the additional crowds, though afternoon Indiana Jones shows may fill to capacity. Overall, your best plan of attack would be to focus on the Star Wars related activities today and then visit on a second, recommended day to hit most of the attractions. That way, you can take advantage of the lower crowds when you want to ride the major attractions and hit the Star Wars characters, merchandise, and other activities in the morning when lines will be shortest.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended, though the morning from 9am – 11am and the late evening from 10:30pm – 1am will both be good times to tour. However, the afternoon will be busy enough that you won’t want to risk it unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ll take advantage of one or both of the recommended touring times and can’t visit on a “more recommended” day. Most Disney resort guests who will be headed to the Magic Kingdom will sleep in and arrive around 11am, in anticipation of staying until around 10pm. If you arrive prior to 9am, you can have a lot of success visiting the Fantasyland attractions and headlining Mountain rides. However, the Park will be busy from 12pm to 10pm as the bulk of Disney resort guests arrive en masse and stay through the evening entertainment. You’ll either want to take a break, Park Hop elsewhere, or plan to visit some of the less popular attractions for that time slot. The relatively late night Extra Magic Hours are also recommended. If you are staying for Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland because most people will head to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland first. Next, move up through Frontierland and Liberty Square on your way to Tomorrowland. Save Fantasyland for last because most families will be long gone from the Park by 12am and Fantasyland will be low on crowds. It’s not uncommon for Peter Pan’s Flight to have a 60 minute wait in the afternoon and a ten minute or less wait at the end of evening Extra Magic Hours. Save Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, and the Mine Train for the very end of the night. You’ll find lower crowds on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of this coming week, but the morning and late night will both be good times to tour if you need an additional day at Magic Kingdom.

Monday June 9

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom will be moderately more popular than recommended days due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract a decent number of Disney resort guests. Mondays at the Animal Kingdom aren’t wildly popular because of the fact that morning Extra Magic Hours aren’t as popular as evening Extra Magic Hours and because it’s early in the week and many people who travel over the weekend will be heading to the Magic Kingdom regardless of the Extra Magic Hours schedule. Still, there are better days to visit the Animal Kingdom than today, including tomorrow. While the morning Extra Magic Hour is an excellent time to tour, it’s difficult to get out to the Animal Kingdom by 7:45am to take full advantage of it. If you’re staying at a Monorail Deluxe Resort, you’re looking at a 20+ minute drive to the Animal Kingdom, plus time for the bus to arrive – not to mention getting multiple people up and ready early in the morning with just one shower and limited space. At 6:30am. If you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 7:45am, then you can have a lot of success because the crowd level won’t be that high, but it will be busier in the afternoon than other recommended days this week due to a higher number of Disney resort guests than usual. You’re much better served holding off for a recommended day if you’re not going to arrive until 9am or later.

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 or Animal Kingdom 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, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 over the bus summer. 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. It’s true that today will be less crowded than any of the last three days due to the extremely popular Star Wars Weekend event. If you’re not interested in visiting the Studios for the Star Wars festivities and must visit sometime between last Friday and today, then today would be your best choice. Tomorrow  would be better if you can swing it. 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 11:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30 and again at 11pm, 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. Overall, today is the least crowded day since last Thursday, but that isn’t saying much considering how busy the weekend will be.

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 summer vacation. They travel over the weekend and naturally head to the Magic Kingdom on Monday for their first full day. 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 June 10

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Highly Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended and your best choice if you have other plans for Hollywood Studios. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more popular with Disney resort guests and we have another coming up on Saturday that will also appeal to that crowd. It’s also early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. Magic Kingdom will continue being popular with the long operating hours and both nighttime spectaculars. Overall, today and Friday are the best days of the week to visit. 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 does 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 shortly after the 3:45pm Parade. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening, but be sure to check the departure time of the last Kilimanjaro Safari. It may be earlier than the rest of the Park. The last hour is an excellent opportunity to visit DinoLand and Expedition Everest in light crowds.

Epcot is not recommended. We have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and a lot of off-site visitors who will naturally visit Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday. 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 the most recommended Park as we look forward to Star Wars Weekends on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Each of these days will be significantly busier than today because of the popularity of the event with locals and vacationers alike. That isn’t to say today won’t be relatively crowded, but it’s your best opportunity to visit the Studios with lower crowds than this weekend and other non-recommended days. A lot of people will be putting off the Studios for this weekend so that they can experience the event. Others won’t be interested in visiting this early in their vacation and Disney resort guests are more likely to visit yesterday for evening Extra Magic Hours or tomorrow for morning Extra Magic Hour. 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, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon and FastPass+ are unavailable. Expect waits to hit 60 to 90 minutes today. 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 Mania tend to have the longest waits. Visit first thing or right after riding Toy Story Mania because they appear right at 9am. Sofia the First meets beginning at 9:30am in Animation Courtyard and also sees long waits. Visit immediately after or plan to arrive ten minutes before her afternoon set to minimize waits. Phineas & Ferb tend to have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios. They typically begin appearing at 9:30am as well. Head over after or in place of Sofia. They’re 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, Chip, Dale, Stitch, Goofy, and Pluto are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear.

Magic Kingdom is recommended. Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World. Still, Magic Kingdom won’t be empty with the above average overall crowd level, same operating hours as most other days this week, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes. It’s still more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland or the headlining Mountain rides. You may also want to fit other time-sensitive attractions like Tomorrowland Indy Speedway or Astro Orbiter in there as well, along with Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and other quick attractions that will have decent afternoon waits like Astro Orbiter. Consider taking a break from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds are heaviest and wait times are longest to rest up for the evening entertainment. For Main Street Electrical Parade, scout out a spot along the Parade route in Liberty Square or Frontierland for the 11pm Parade. Both areas are significantly less crowded than Main Street and require a shorter wait. If you’re trying to decide between today and tomorrow, then I would go with tomorrow because it’s in the middle of the week and even more people will be ready to visit another Park.

Wednesday June 11

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended today, though yesterday would have been better. The only problem today is that it’s later in the week, which means a lot of casual vacationers on a weeklong vacation will be looking to visit Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom after spending the last two days at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Luckily, we have morning Extra Magic Hour and Fantasmic luring Disney resort guests to Hollywood Studios, which will be much more popular. In most scenarios, you’ll want to take advantage of the lower crowds (relatively speaking) at Magic Kingdom and visit Animal Kingdom another day, but today works just fine if it fits into your itinerary better. As always, plan to arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest right off the bat. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ or visit them in the standby line after 5pm when crowds will die down. The “single rider line” at Expedition Everest is also a good choice should your group be willing to split up. Overall, you can have a lot of success today if you tour smart and arrive early, but afternoon crowds will be decent.

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 Hollywood Studios today with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In most scenarios, I recommend heading to Magic Kingdom today to take advantage of the lower crowd level there and holding off on Epcot until tomorrow. However, Epcot works fine today too, provided you follow my broken-record advice – arrive prior to Park opening 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 FastPass+ throughout the day for Test Track, Soarin’, or Mission Space if you’d like to ride any of them a second time. 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. If you’re planning just one day in Epcot, try to move up through the World Showcase right at 11am, beginning with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 recommended, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract a lot of Disney resort guests. We also have a lot of people visiting after heading to Magic Kingdom on Monday and Epcot on Tuesday. Today won’t be as busy as Friday, Saturday, or Sunday for Star Wars Weekends, though. If your choices are today or any day this weekend, you’ll want to go with today, unless you’d like to experience the Star Wars festivities. If you do visit today and are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you’ll want to do whatever you can to arrive by 7:15am. The morning, from 8am – 10am, will be great, but it’s going to be busy from then on. Try to get there early and take care of Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror before 9:30am. Once you get through those attractions, you’re set for the rest of the day. However, you’re going to run into a lot of people and long lines if you don’t arrive until later in the day. With both yesterday and tomorrow recommended, you have better options on either side.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit as we come off two busier days. Tomorrow will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. However, with the standardized operating schedule and plentiful evening entertainment, Magic Kingdom won’t be far and away less busy than other days this week. Still, today means lower waits, fewer people in the Park, and increased FastPass+ availability. Take advantage of the lowest crowds this week by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Mine Train, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain), or other time sensitive attractions (Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway). 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 major attractions throughout the day. Consider a break from 1pm to 5pm or so to rest up for dinner, a few nighttime attractions, and Wishes. If you’re planning to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes on another night, visit Tomorrowland after 9pm and Fantasyland after 10pm to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Thursday June 12

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

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is not expressly recommended, though it isn’t going to be wildly busier than other recommended days this week. There are a few problems. First, there’s no mid-week morning Extra Magic Hour to lure Disney resort guests. While Monday’s will prove decently popular, Wednesdays are much more popular because casual vacationers tend to arrive on Sunday and visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot first. By Wednesday and Thursday, they’re looking towards Disney’s two less popular theme parks. Second, we don’t have evening Extra Magic Hours scheduled anywhere. Magic Kingdom will be attracting a decent number of people with the morning Extra Magic Hour and the Electrical Parade, but we’d be better off if there was another Park attracting on-site visitors. Finally, Star Wars Weekends are scheduled this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Because a lot of people want to visit the Studios on one or more of those days, they’ll be looking to head somewhere else today. You can still do well at Animal Kingdom by arriving at 8:30am and taking care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing. If you can’t arrive early, stay through close because wait times will only diminish after 4:45pm. Save Safaris and Everest for the end of the day if you elect to arrive late. Both tomorrow and Sunday would be significantly better days to visit and most people will want to take advantage of lower crowds at Epcot or Hollywood Studios.

Epcot is highly recommended. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more attractive to Disney resort guests. We also have morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade pulling people towards Magic Kingdom. 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. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 the most recommended Park. We’re going into an incredibly busy weekend with the Star Wars festivities on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re also coming off a popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting a lot of Disney resort guests. While today will see decent waits with the limited number of rides, it remains a much better choice than the much busier weekend. 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, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon and FastPass+ are unavailable. Expect waits to hit 60 to 90 minutes today. 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 Mania tend to have the longest waits. Visit first thing or right after riding Toy Story Mania because they appear right at 9am. Sofia the First meets beginning at 9:30am in Animation Courtyard and also sees long waits. Visit immediately after or plan to arrive ten minutes before her afternoon set to minimize waits. Phineas & Ferb tend to have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios. They typically begin appearing at 9:30am as well. Head over after or in place of Sofia. They’re 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, 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 if you’re interested in the first show. 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. If you’re not interested in the Package or it’s not available, plan to see the second show because it will be far less crowded and two sections won’t be reserved for Dining Package users. 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.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than either this past Tuesday or Wednesday. However, with the standardized operating schedule and nightly evening entertainment, today won’t be overwhelmingly busier than recommended days. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can have success provided you take advantage of the extra hour by arriving no later than 7:40am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions. 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 6pm 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 9:30am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

How Star Wars Weekend Affects Touring and Crowds

Star Wars Weekends is an annual event that takes place inside of the Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World during regular theme park hours. The cost to attend is included in your admission to the Park (which is the same as any other day). The festivities only take place in Hollywood Studios and don’t officially change anything at the other three major theme parks. Hollywood Studios will be noticeably more crowded during these weekends because of their popularity with the out-of-town Star Wars community and locals who are interested in participating in the festivities. If you have no interest in Star Wars and don’t want to take part in or see any of the shows or characters, then you will want to avoid Hollywood Studios on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of any Star Wars Weekend, regardless of when they are scheduled. Officially on the Crowd Calendar, Hollywood Studios will not be recommended during Star Wars Weekends because the Studios will be significantly more crowded. If your intention is to see the attractions with the shortest waits possible, Star Wars Weekends are not for you. However, if you enjoy Star Wars or would like to participate in the festivities, you may want to spend at least part of your day at the Studios. Sunday is usually the least crowded day.

Each weekend, there are three Star Wars “celebrities” of varying (mostly low) levels of popularity.

In addition, there will be a lot of character meet and greets with people dressed up like famous Star Wars characters, including Mickey Mouse as a Jedi and Minnie Mouse as Princess Leia. You’ll also see Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, and other classics, including my favorite, Darth Goofy. Luckily, Jar Jar Binks usually skips the event due to the amount of violence commonly directed towards him. Disney is family friendly after all. There will also be a Star Wars motorcade parade, question and answer sessions, autograph opportunities, trivia challenges, dance parties, and limited edition merchandise.

If you want a specific celebrity autograph, you will likely need to arrive at the Studios gate by 6am to get in line for a FastPass+. Autograph sessions are very limited and only those with FastPass+ will be guaranteed access to the celebrity signing. There is usually a “standby” line as well, but you always run the risk of getting left out. The celebrities themselves would most likely want to take the time to meet you and sign an autograph (with the exception of Anthony Daniels, who doesn’t), but their schedules for the event are tight. You will also want to arrive very early for the first Friday of Star Wars Weekends if the limited edition merchandise is of interest. If autographs aren’t important and you just want to be on hand for the other events, I would still recommend arriving an hour early in order to get a FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania or to run over to a character line. FastPass+ will go fast and it won’t take long for the FastPass+ return times to be well into the evening. Consider scheduling a relaxing sit-down lunch in the middle of the day to get off your feet and relax a bit. May and June are hot and almost all of the activities take place outside. If you would like to have a sit-down meal during Star Wars Weekend, you will want to make your dining reservations as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that many of the usual character opportunities will be replaced by Star Wars characters during Star Wars Weekends. If your child is easily frightened, they may also be scared by the number of “bad guys” walking around for the event. There will be plenty of Storm Troopers, Darth Vaders, and other villains milling about and they can be intimidating if you and your kids are not expecting it. During weekdays (Monday – Thursday), everything at Hollywood Studios goes back to “normal.”

Star Wars Weekends are a lot of fun for everyone with even a casual interest in Star Wars. If your time is limited and you care more about the rides, you’ll want to visit the Studios on a weekday – preferably a recommended one without Extra Magic Hours. If you have some time to spare and enjoy Star Wars, consider visiting the Studios during a Weekend.

Friday June 13

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 8am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Symphony in the Sky: 9:45pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours are always popular and will draw a lot of Disney resort guests and Hollywood Studios’ Star Wars Weekends event will be hugely popular. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing. After that, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or visit the characters and see Finding Nemo the Musical. Keep in mind that crowds disperse after the 3:45pm Parade. If you couldn’t get to some of the attraction earlier in the day, stay through until 8pm because waits will only decrease from 6pm through close. Visit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits outside of the two hours of operation.

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 not recommended because of the Star Wars Weekend complication. The event will make the Studios significantly busier from open to close today than any weekday earlier in the week. If you’re looking to visit the Studios one day this weekend to take advantage of the event, I would actually go with Sunday. While it might seem counterintuitive to visit on an actual weekend day, the fact is that Sunday is historically the least crowded day of the weekend. This is most likely due to the number of people that want to visit on the first day and the number of people that use Sunday as a travel day. Expect Disney to open the Park no later than 7:30am with the official 8am opening. If you do visit, plan to arrive no later than 6:45am. It’s quite early, which is part of the reason why Hollywood Studios isn’t recommended. You should be able to meet at least one popular character with a short wait and possibly two before it’s time to move on to the less popular characters. You could also ride Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours relatively easily if that’s the route you take. However, it’s going to be extremely crowded from 10am onward. Avoid it unless you’re willing to put up with the heavier crowds in order to enjoy the event.

Magic Kingdom is highly 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. Hollywood Studios will also be wildly popular with Star Wars Weekends. 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 Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Ariel’s Grotto in New Fantasyland along with Peter Pan’s Flight and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  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. Visit Tomorrowland after 9pm and Fantasyland after 10pm to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Saturday June 14

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 8am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Symphony in the Sky: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is going to be busier than recommended days due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will be popular with Disney resort guests. A lot of Disney resort guests see the Extra Magic Hours schedule as Disney’s means of telling them where they “belong” each day. While very few Disney resort guests will actually arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of their perk, they will undoubtedly stream in throughout the morning, ultimately making the Park much busier from 11am through close. You’ll want to avoid it unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 7:30am and plan to leave around 1pm. The 8am – 9:30am timeframe will be incredibly quiet with short waits everywhere. Alternatively, you could arrive later and stay through close.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours will have been wildly popular with Disney resort guests and they will be nowhere near Epcot today, especially in the morning. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. To stay ahead of the crowds for as long as possible, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. Return to Future World after 5pm to ride anything you skipped earlier in the day and to re-ride Soarin’ or Test Track with FastPass+. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ for Soarin’ or Test Track. The Test Track single rider line is also a good idea and actual waits are often shorter than standby or FastPass+. Mission Space is much easier to FastPass+ if necessary and standby waits are also much shorter. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended. It’s going to be extremely crowded for the last Saturday of Star Wars Weekends. Both yesterday and tomorrow would be less crowded and any weekday would be significantly less crowded, including Monday with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. I don’t recommend visiting the Studios today unless you’re intent on “taking advantage” of the Star Wars Weekend festivities. If you do go, plan to arrive no later than 6:45am. It’s going to be a zoo from 10am through close.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of visitors that will visit on their last day before returning home tomorrow, in addition to local visitors that can only visit on weekends. With late closes most nights and nighttime entertainment every night, Magic Kingdom won’t be that much worse than other days during the week and remains your best choice if you’re not planning to visit Epcot.

Sunday June 15

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 8am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Symphony in the Sky: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We have evening Extra Magic Hours/Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom luring a lot of Disney resort guests. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow – both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. You should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or Finding Nemo the Musical and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade and the last 90 minutes of operation will have much shorter waits than the afternoon. Visit DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find the shortest waits of the day outside of the early morning, You also have an outstanding opportunity to Park Hop after the Park closes. You could head to Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations or Magic Kingdom for evening Extra Magic Hours. Hollywood Studios is going to be busy and it’s not an ideal day to see Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner and a look around the resort or take a trip out to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping.

Epcot is recommended as well. It’s a particularly excellent day to see IllumiNations and have dinner in the World Showcase because Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios 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 with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. 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 continues to be “not recommended” due to the popularity of Star Wars Weekends and the heavier crowds that come with it. If you’d like to experience the event, today is the best day to do so. To get an autograph FastPass+ for the most popular celebrity visiting, you’ll need to arrive at least two hours prior to Park opening (and possibly three or more hours early). If you’re happy getting an autograph from anyone, cutting it closer to an hour early should be sufficient. Like all things, earlier is always better. Worst case scenario – I can just sign any name you want. If you’re planning to have a child participate in Jedi Training Academy or one of the other activities, you’ll want to take care of that immediately after Park opening (and before getting in line for a character). Spaces fill fast. If you’re interested in the Star Wars character meet and greets, you’ll want to head over to one of the most popular characters first thing. In past years, Chewbacca and Darth Vader have had the longest lines, and waits hit 30+ minutes just after the Studios opens and often top 90 minutes in the afternoon. Lines for most characters will be long from 9am through close – there’s no magical time to find shorter lines, but you can expect peak waits from 10:30am – 5pm when the Studios is at its most crowded. You should be able to get to one or two of the most popular characters early in the morning before moving on to some of the less popular characters in the late morning and afternoon. As far as the other Star Wars activities are concerned, I highly recommend the shows that take place in the Premier Theater throughout the day. These shows are hosted by or feature the various “celebrities” attending the event. More importantly perhaps, the Premier Theater is air-conditioned and offers comfortable seating for shows that generally last 30 to 45 minutes. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but have always enjoyed the various shows and it’s a great way to rest up and get off your feet. In recent years, many of the presentations have focused on the Star Wars animated series, The Clone Wars, and often delve into topics like voice acting and animation styles. It’s interesting stuff. It can be difficult to work in the various attractions, while also juggling the various Star Wars activities. Unless you ride in the first hour, you’ll most likely want to rely on FastPass+ at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and/or another priority attraction. You’ll also need to show up for the various “normal” stage shows a bit earlier than usual – particularly for Beauty and the Beast. Indiana Jones and Lights, Motors, Action! usually have the capacity to handle the additional crowds, though afternoon Indiana Jones shows may fill to capacity. Overall, your best plan of attack would be to focus on the Star Wars related activities today and then visit on a second, recommended day to hit most of the attractions. That way, you can take advantage of the lower crowds when you want to ride the major attractions and hit the Star Wars characters, merchandise, and other activities in the morning when lines will be shortest.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended, though the morning from 9am – 11am and the late evening from 10:30pm – 1am will both be good times to tour. However, the afternoon will be busy enough that you won’t want to risk it unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ll take advantage of one or both of the recommended touring times and can’t visit on a “more recommended” day. Most Disney resort guests who will be headed to the Magic Kingdom will sleep in and arrive around 11am, in anticipation of staying until around 10pm. If you arrive prior to 9am, you can have a lot of success visiting the Fantasyland attractions and headlining Mountain rides. However, the Park will be busy from 12pm to 10pm as the bulk of Disney resort guests arrive en masse and stay through the evening entertainment. You’ll either want to take a break, Park Hop elsewhere, or plan to visit some of the less popular attractions for that time slot. The relatively late night Extra Magic Hours are also recommended. If you are staying for Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland because most people will head to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland first. Next, move up through Frontierland and Liberty Square on your way to Tomorrowland. Save Fantasyland for last because most families will be long gone from the Park by 11:30pm and Fantasyland will be low on crowds. It’s not uncommon for Peter Pan’s Flight to have a 60 minute wait in the afternoon and a ten minute or less wait at the end of evening Extra Magic Hours. Save Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Journey of the Little Mermaid for the very end of the night. You’ll find lower crowds on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of this coming week, but the morning and late night will both be good times to tour if you need an additional day at Magic Kingdom.

Monday June 16

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom will be moderately more popular than recommended days due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract a decent number of Disney resort guests. Mondays at the Animal Kingdom aren’t wildly popular because of the fact that morning Extra Magic Hours aren’t as popular as evening Extra Magic Hours and because it’s early in the week and many people who travel over the weekend will be heading to the Magic Kingdom regardless of the Extra Magic Hours schedule. Still, there are better days to visit the Animal Kingdom than today, including tomorrow. While the morning Extra Magic Hour is an excellent time to tour, it’s difficult to get out to the Animal Kingdom by 7:45am to take full advantage of it. If you’re staying at a Monorail Deluxe Resort, you’re looking at a 20+ minute drive to the Animal Kingdom, plus time for the bus to arrive – not to mention getting multiple people up and ready early in the morning with just one shower and limited space. At 6:30am. If you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 7:45am, then you can have a lot of success because the crowd level won’t be that high, but it will be busier in the afternoon than other recommended days this week due to a higher number of Disney resort guests than usual. You’re much better served holding off for a recommended day if you’re not going to arrive until 9am or later.

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 or Animal Kingdom 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, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 over the bus summer. 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 11:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30 and again at 11pm, 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 summer vacation. They travel over the weekend and naturally head to the Magic Kingdom on Monday for their first full day. 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 June 17

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

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. Yesterday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with Disney resort guests. We also have Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios attracting a lot of off-site and on-site visitors alike and it’s early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. Magic Kingdom will continue being popular with the long operating hours and both nighttime spectaculars. Overall, today and Saturday are the best days of the week to visit. 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 does 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 shortly after the 3:45pm Parade. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. We have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and a lot of off-site visitors who will naturally visit Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday. While Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios helps, it shouldn’t pull enough people away to make a discernible difference in wait times. 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 bigger draw and the addition of Fantasmic to every day this week spreads crowds out more evenly. Because of that, your touring plan is more important than which day you decide to visit the Studios. Arrive by 8:15am, head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then visit Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Great Movie Ride. 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 a 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania, 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 Backlot Tour and Star Tours. Popular characters may also be a morning priority. You may want to take a break in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds get heavier. Return for dinner, some evening rides, and Fantasmic. Finally, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Hollywood Hills Theater if you’re planning to see the early show. It will still require you to arrive 20 minutes early (or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved sections to the general population), but it’s better than the 60 minute wait that may be required to get decent seats without it. The Dining Package makes the most sense if you’re also on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one-table-service credit at Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and two-table-service credits that you would use otherwise. It also includes the appetizer, which is a nice bonus. If you’d prefer not to spring for the show or it’s not available, plan to see the later show. It’s far less crowded because so many families have to leave early with young kids and there aren’t two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. The best seats are at least half way up in the middle sections. You’ll have a great view of the entire stage, what’s happening on the water, and won’t risk getting wet. Overall, it’s a recommended day because it would be better than yesterday or tomorrow, but what you do is more important than arriving on the “right” day.

Magic Kingdom is recommended. Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World. Still, Magic Kingdom won’t be empty with the high overall crowd level, same operating hours as other days this week, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes. It’s still more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland or the headlining Mountain rides. You may also want to fit other time-sensitive attractions like Tomorrowland Indy Speedway or Astro Orbiter in there as well, along with Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and other quick attractions that will have decent afternoon waits like Astro Orbiter. Consider taking a break from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds are heaviest and wait times are longest to rest up for the evening entertainment. For Main Street Electrical Parade, scout out a spot along the Parade route in Liberty Square or Frontierland for the 11pm Parade. Both areas are significantly less crowded than Main Street and require a shorter wait. If you’re trying to decide between today and tomorrow, then I would go with tomorrow because it’s in the middle of the week and even more people will be ready to visit another Park.

Wednesday June 18

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 (since Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasmic are scheduled most every night this week), 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 7:40am, 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 today and the addition of Fantasmic means a decent number of off-site guests will be headed to Hollywood Studios as well. In most scenarios, I recommend heading to Magic Kingdom today to take advantage of the lower crowd level there and holding off on Epcot until tomorrow. However, Epcot works fine today too, provided you follow my broken-record advice – arrive prior to Park opening 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, beginning with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 recommended. A lot of casual vacationers on a weeklong vacation will arrive on Sunday and naturally visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot on their first two full days. By Wednesday and Thursday, they’ll be ready to try Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. While Animal Kingdom will draw a decent number of Disney resort guests, the morning Extra Magic Hour won’t do much to lure the sizeable off-site contingent. With no special evening entertainment elsewhere and no extended operating hours, many off-site guests will default to Hollywood Studios. Because of that, I can’t recommend it. Keep in mind that the Studios won’t be far and away busier than recommended days because we don’t have anything specific attracting people towards it. You can still have success if you tour efficiently in the morning, take an afternoon break, and return in the evening for dinner, Fantasmic, and some late night rides. However, you will find heavier crowds and longer waits than recommended days – it just won’t be the night and day difference that we saw when Fantasmic was scheduled less often.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit as we come off two busier days. Tomorrow will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. However, with the standardized operating schedule and plentiful evening entertainment, Magic Kingdom won’t be far and away less busy than other days this week. Still, today means lower waits, fewer people in the Park, and increased FastPass+ availability. Take advantage of the lowest crowds this week 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 June 19

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom and Epcot are our best choices. We’re coming off a popular day at Animal Kingdom yesterday, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will draw a lot of Disney resort guests. Today, we have morning Extra Magic Hour attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom and Fantasmic continuing to keep Hollywood Studios crowded. All in all, you can have a lot of success if you arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing in the morning. After getting those two attractions out of the way, head over to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR, over to the popular character greetings, or over to one of the two most popular stage shows. If you arrive later, you may need to rely on FastPass+ at Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Expedition Everest also has a “single rider line” that is usually short if you’re willing to split the group up. You’ll find it to the right of the standby line. Kali River Rapids is also a priority when temperatures are higher because of its limited capacity. Use FastPass+ or visit before 10:30am or after 5pm to get around the 45+ minute afternoon waits. Plan to stay through close if you couldn’t get to the headliners earlier in the day or if you’d like to return to any other attractions because crowds only dissipate after the 3:45pm Parade and more and more people leave. Return to DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find much shorter waits than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day to visit Animal Kingdom if you need a day there. If you’re looking to extend your day, you may want to book a dinner reservation right around Park close. Disney will run buses for at least 90 minutes after Park close to get you back to your Disney resort and most restaurants accept bookings right up until close. You may also want to visit the BoardWalk or Downtown Disney, both of which are popular dining/shopping destinations. Of course, you can also Park Hop over to Magic Kingdom for the nighttime entertainment, Epcot for IllumiNations, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. If you do plan to head elsewhere, you’ll most likely want to take a sizable afternoon break.

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 and Main Street Electrical Parade 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, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than either this past Tuesday or Wednesday. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can have success provided you take advantage of the extra hour by arriving no later than 7:40am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions. 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 6pm 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 9:30am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

Friday June 20

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours are always popular and will draw a lot of Disney resort guests and Magic Kingdom will remain the world’s most popular theme park with long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars. The only problem is that it’s late in the week, which means most people on a weeklong vacation will have made it to the other more popular theme parks. A lot of people naturally save Animal Kingdom for later in the week because they’re more interested in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. But that is a minor concern with the fact that Animal Kingdom remains Disney’s least popular major theme park. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing. After that, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or visit the characters and see Finding Nemo the Musical. Keep in mind that crowds disperse after the 3:45pm Parade. If you couldn’t get to some of the attraction earlier in the day, stay through close because waits will only decrease after 5pm.

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. We’re looking at a morning Extra Magic Hour tomorrow that will be more popular with Disney resort guests. With Fantasmic scheduled every night and the same operating hours offered every day, the Studios won’t be far and away less crowded than other days this week like it was when Fantasmic was scheduled less often. Nonetheless, we’re looking at fewer people in the Park, crowds that grow slower, increased FastPass+ availability, less congestion in common areas, and shorter waits at rides, shows, and restaurants. To have the most success, you’ll still want to arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Great Movie Ride. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon. Expect waits to hit 60 to 120 minutes today with the high overall crowd level, despite the recommendation. 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 Mania typically have the longest lines. Meet them first or right after riding Toy Story Mania to minimize waits as much as possible. Sofia the First in Animation Courtyard also sees long waits. She usually begins meeting at 9:30am, giving you time to take care of other priorities first. Phineas & Ferb tend to have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios. They typically begin appearing at 9:30am, which means you’ll have time to take care of a few other things before heading over to visit 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, 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 if you’re interested in the first show. 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. If the Package isn’t available or you don’t want to swing the extra cost, do whatever you can to see the second show. It will be far less crowded and you won’t need to deal with two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. 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 highly 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, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Ariel’s Grotto, and Journey of the Little Mermaid. 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 June 21

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Highly Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended for a variety of reasons. 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 the 3:45pm Parade, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours will have been wildly popular with Disney resort guests and they will be nowhere near Epcot today, especially in the morning. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. To stay ahead of the crowds for as long as possible, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. Return to Future World after 5pm to ride anything you skipped earlier in the day and to re-ride Soarin’ or Test Track with FastPass+. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ for Soarin’ or Test Track. The Test Track single rider line is also a good idea and actual waits are often shorter than standby or FastPass+. Mission: Space and Character Spot see nominal waits before 11am and after 7pm and are not priorities in the grand scheme of things if you visit during a recommended part of the day. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon.

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. Tomorrow would be significantly better. 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. In past years, we’ve had evening Extra Magic Hours on Fridays and Sundays to help pull Disney resort guests away from Saturday. Disney canceled the Friday set of evening Extra Magic Hours last year. That pushes fewer people away from Saturday, which is the last full day for a lot of people on traditional weeklong vacations that want to visit the world’s most popular theme park before returning him tomorrow. With the standardized operating schedule with similar hours and the same nighttime entertainment scheduled every night, today won’t be overwhelmingly busier like it is most of the year. But yesterday would have been less crowded. As always, you can do well touring efficiently first thing in the morning or late at night, but most people will want to take advantage of better days at Epcot or Animal Kingdom.

Sunday June 22

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We have evening Extra Magic Hours/Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom luring a lot of Disney resort guests. Disney resort guests are more likely to visit Animal Kingdom tomorrow or Wednesday for morning Extra Magic Hour. With the longer than usual operating hours, you should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows. Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade and the last 90 minutes of operation will have much shorter waits than the afternoon. Visit DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon. You also have an outstanding opportunity to Park Hop after the Park closes. You could head to Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations, Magic Kingdom for evening Extra Magic Hours, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner and a look around the resort or take a trip out to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping.

Epcot is recommended as well. 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 with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. 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. Monday’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with the predictable Disney resort guests and we’re coming off a busier day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour. We also have evening Extra Magic Hours, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes at Magic Kingdom, all of which will be incredibly popular with Disney resort guests today. Finally, Sunday is a popular travel day and few people arriving will head out to the Studios for Fantasmic this evening. Those that arrived yesterday are also unlikely to begin their first full day at Hollywood Studios. Thus, today is less crowded than any other day this week. If you have other plans today, Tuesday and Friday are recommended. 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. When crowds are well above average, as they are today, afternoon waits will hit 90 to 120 minutes. 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, though the morning from 9am – 11am and the late evening from 10:30pm – 1am will both be good times to tour. However, the afternoon will be busy enough that you won’t want to risk it unless you’re absolutely certain that you’ll take advantage of one or both of the recommended touring times and can’t visit on a “more recommended” day. Most Disney resort guests who will be headed to the Magic Kingdom will sleep in and arrive around 11am, in anticipation of staying until around 10pm. If you arrive prior to 9am, you can have a lot of success visiting the Fantasyland attractions and headlining Mountain rides. However, the Park will be busy from 12pm to 10pm as the bulk of Disney resort guests arrive en masse and stay through the evening entertainment. You’ll either want to take a break, Park Hop elsewhere, or plan to visit some of the less popular attractions for that time slot. The relatively late night Extra Magic Hours are also recommended. If you are staying for Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland because most people will head to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland first. Next, move up through Frontierland and Liberty Square on your way to Tomorrowland. Save Fantasyland for last because most families will be long gone from the Park by 12am and Fantasyland will be low on crowds. It’s not uncommon for Peter Pan’s Flight to have a 60 minute wait in the afternoon and a ten minute or less wait at the end of evening Extra Magic Hours. Save Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Journey of the Little Mermaid for the very end of the night. You’ll find lower crowds on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of this coming week, but the morning and late night will both be good times to tour if you need an additional day at Magic Kingdom.

Monday June 23

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom will be moderately more popular than recommended days due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract a decent number of Disney resort guests. Mondays at the Animal Kingdom aren’t wildly popular because of the fact that morning Extra Magic Hours aren’t as popular as evening Extra Magic Hours and because it’s early in the week and many people who travel over the weekend will be heading to the Magic Kingdom regardless of the Extra Magic Hours schedule. Still, there are better days to visit the Animal Kingdom than today, including tomorrow. While the morning Extra Magic Hour is an excellent time to tour, it’s difficult to get out to the Animal Kingdom by 7:45am to take full advantage of it. If you’re staying at a Monorail Deluxe Resort, you’re looking at a 20+ minute drive to the Animal Kingdom, plus time for the bus to arrive – not to mention getting multiple people up and ready early in the morning with just one shower and limited space. At 6:30am. If you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 7:45am, then you can have a lot of success because the crowd level won’t be that high, but it will be busier in the afternoon than other recommended days this week due to a higher number of Disney resort guests than usual. You’re much better served holding off for a recommended day if you’re not going to arrive until 9am or later.

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 or Animal Kingdom 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, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 over the bus summer. 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 11:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30 and again at 11pm, 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 summer vacation. They travel over the weekend and naturally head to the Magic Kingdom on Monday for their first full day. 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 June 24

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Most Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

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. Yesterday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with Disney resort guests. We also have Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios attracting a lot of off-site and on-site visitors alike and it’s early enough in the week that many people on weeklong vacations will be saving Animal Kingdom for later in the week. Magic Kingdom will continue being popular with the long operating hours and both nighttime spectaculars. Overall, today and Saturday are the best days of the week to visit. 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 does 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 shortly after the 3:45pm Parade. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. We have the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and a lot of off-site visitors who will naturally visit Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday. While Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios helps, it shouldn’t pull enough people away to make a discernible difference in wait times. 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 bigger draw and the addition of Fantasmic to every day this week spreads crowds out more evenly. Because of that, your touring plan is more important than which day you decide to visit the Studios. Arrive by 8:15am, head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then visit Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Great Movie Ride. 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 a 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania, 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 Backlot Tour and Star Tours. Popular characters may also be a morning priority. You may want to take a break in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds get heavier. Return for dinner, some evening rides, and Fantasmic. Finally, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Hollywood Hills Theater if you’re planning to see the early show. It will still require you to arrive 20 minutes early (or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved sections to the general population), but it’s better than the 60 minute wait that may be required to get decent seats without it. The Dining Package makes the most sense if you’re also on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one-table-service credit at Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and two-table-service credits that you would use otherwise. It also includes the appetizer, which is a nice bonus. If you’d prefer not to spring for the show or it’s not available, plan to see the later show. It’s far less crowded because so many families have to leave early with young kids and there aren’t two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. The best seats are at least half way up in the middle sections. You’ll have a great view of the entire stage, what’s happening on the water, and won’t risk getting wet. Overall, it’s a recommended day because it would be better than yesterday or tomorrow, but what you do is more important than arriving on the “right” day.

Magic Kingdom is recommended. Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World. Still, Magic Kingdom won’t be empty with the high overall crowd level, same operating hours as other days this week, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes. It’s still more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland or the headlining Mountain rides. You may also want to fit other time-sensitive attractions like Tomorrowland Indy Speedway or Astro Orbiter in there as well, along with Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and other quick attractions that will have decent afternoon waits like Astro Orbiter. Consider taking a break from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds are heaviest and wait times are longest to rest up for the evening entertainment. For Main Street Electrical Parade, scout out a spot along the Parade route in Liberty Square or Frontierland for the 11pm Parade. Both areas are significantly less crowded than Main Street and require a shorter wait. If you’re trying to decide between today and tomorrow, then I would go with tomorrow because it’s in the middle of the week and even more people will be ready to visit another Park.

Wednesday June 25

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 (since Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasmic are scheduled most every night this week), 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 7:40am, 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 today and the addition of Fantasmic means a decent number of off-site guests will be headed to Hollywood Studios as well. In most scenarios, I recommend heading to Magic Kingdom today to take advantage of the lower crowd level there and holding off on Epcot until tomorrow. However, Epcot works fine today too, provided you follow my broken-record advice – arrive prior to Park opening 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, beginning with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 recommended. A lot of casual vacationers on a weeklong vacation will arrive on Sunday and naturally visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot on their first two full days. By Wednesday and Thursday, they’ll be ready to try Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. While Animal Kingdom will draw a decent number of Disney resort guests, the morning Extra Magic Hour won’t do much to lure the sizeable off-site contingent. With no special evening entertainment elsewhere and no extended operating hours, many off-site guests will default to Hollywood Studios. Because of that, I can’t recommend it. Keep in mind that the Studios won’t be far and away busier than recommended days because we don’t have anything specific attracting people towards it. You can still have success if you tour efficiently in the morning, take an afternoon break, and return in the evening for dinner, Fantasmic, and some late night rides. However, you will find heavier crowds and longer waits than recommended days – it just won’t be the night and day difference that we saw when Fantasmic was scheduled less often.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit as we come off two busier days. Tomorrow will be busier with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. However, with the standardized operating schedule and plentiful evening entertainment, Magic Kingdom won’t be far and away less busy than other days this week. Still, today means lower waits, fewer people in the Park, and increased FastPass+ availability. Take advantage of the lowest crowds this week 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 June 26

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom and Epcot are our best choices. We’re coming off a popular day at Animal Kingdom yesterday, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will draw a lot of Disney resort guests. Today, we have morning Extra Magic Hour attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom and Fantasmic continuing to keep Hollywood Studios crowded. All in all, you can have a lot of success if you arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing in the morning. After getting those two attractions out of the way, head over to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR, over to the popular character greetings, or over to one of the two most popular stage shows. If you arrive later, you may need to rely on FastPass+ at Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Expedition Everest also has a “single rider line” that is usually short if you’re willing to split the group up. You’ll find it to the right of the standby line. Kali River Rapids is also a priority when temperatures are higher because of its limited capacity. Use FastPass+ or visit before 10:30am or after 5pm to get around the 45+ minute afternoon waits. Plan to stay through close if you couldn’t get to the headliners earlier in the day or if you’d like to return to any other attractions because crowds only dissipate after the 3:45pm Parade and more and more people leave. Return to DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find much shorter waits than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day to visit Animal Kingdom if you need a day there. If you’re looking to extend your day, you may want to book a dinner reservation right around Park close. Disney will run buses for at least 90 minutes after Park close to get you back to your Disney resort and most restaurants accept bookings right up until close. You may also want to visit the BoardWalk or Downtown Disney, both of which are popular dining/shopping destinations. Of course, you can also Park Hop over to Magic Kingdom for the nighttime entertainment, Epcot for IllumiNations, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. If you do plan to head elsewhere, you’ll most likely want to take a sizable afternoon break.

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 and Main Street Electrical Parade 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, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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 decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than either this past Tuesday or Wednesday. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can have success provided you take advantage of the extra hour by arriving no later than 7:40am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions. 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 6pm 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 9:30am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward.

Friday June 27

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours are always popular and will draw a lot of Disney resort guests and Magic Kingdom will remain the world’s most popular theme park with long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars. The only problem is that it’s late in the week, which means most people on a weeklong vacation will have made it to the other more popular theme parks. A lot of people naturally save Animal Kingdom for later in the week because they’re more interested in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. But that is a minor concern with the fact that Animal Kingdom remains Disney’s least popular major theme park. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and take care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing. After that, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or visit the characters and see Finding Nemo the Musical. Keep in mind that crowds disperse after the 3:45pm Parade. If you couldn’t get to some of the attraction earlier in the day, stay through close because waits will only decrease after 5pm.

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. We’re looking at a morning Extra Magic Hour tomorrow that will be more popular with Disney resort guests. With Fantasmic scheduled every night and the same operating hours offered every day, the Studios won’t be far and away less crowded than other days this week like it was when Fantasmic was scheduled less often. Nonetheless, we’re looking at fewer people in the Park, crowds that grow slower, increased FastPass+ availability, less congestion in common areas, and shorter waits at rides, shows, and restaurants. To have the most success, you’ll still want to arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Great Movie Ride. Because Toy Story Mania has such a limited capacity, wait times are almost always 60+ minutes in the afternoon. Expect waits to hit 60 to 120 minutes today with the high overall crowd level, despite the recommendation. 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 Mania typically have the longest lines. Meet them first or right after riding Toy Story Mania to minimize waits as much as possible. Sofia the First in Animation Courtyard also sees long waits. She usually begins meeting at 9:30am, giving you time to take care of other priorities first. Phineas & Ferb tend to have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios. They typically begin appearing at 9:30am, which means you’ll have time to take care of a few other things before heading over to visit 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, 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 if you’re interested in the first show. 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. If the Package isn’t available or you don’t want to swing the extra cost, do whatever you can to see the second show. It will be far less crowded and you won’t need to deal with two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. 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 highly 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, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Ariel’s Grotto, and Journey of the Little Mermaid. 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 June 28

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Highly Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended for a variety of reasons. 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 the 3:45pm Parade, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. Yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours will have been wildly popular with Disney resort guests and they will be nowhere near Epcot today, especially in the morning. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. To stay ahead of the crowds for as long as possible, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. Return to Future World after 5pm to ride anything you skipped earlier in the day and to re-ride Soarin’ or Test Track with FastPass+. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ for Soarin’ or Test Track. The Test Track single rider line is also a good idea and actual waits are often shorter than standby or FastPass+. Mission: Space and Character Spot see nominal waits before 11am and after 7pm and are not priorities in the grand scheme of things if you visit during a recommended part of the day. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon.

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. Tomorrow would be significantly better. 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. In past years, we’ve had evening Extra Magic Hours on Fridays and Sundays to help pull Disney resort guests away from Saturday. Disney canceled the Friday set of evening Extra Magic Hours last year. That pushes fewer people away from Saturday, which is the last full day for a lot of people on traditional weeklong vacations that want to visit the world’s most popular theme park before returning him tomorrow. With the standardized operating schedule with similar hours and the same nighttime entertainment scheduled every night, today won’t be overwhelmingly busier like it is most of the year. But yesterday would have been less crowded. As always, you can do well touring efficiently first thing in the morning or late at night, but most people will want to take advantage of better days at Epcot or Animal Kingdom.

Sunday June 29

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Disney resort guests are more likely to visit Animal Kingdom tomorrow or Wednesday for morning Extra Magic Hour. With the longer than usual operating hours, you should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows – either Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade and the last 90 minutes of operation will have much shorter waits than the afternoon. Visit DinoLand after 5pm and Asia after 6pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon. You also have an outstanding opportunity to Park Hop after the Park closes. You could head to Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations, Magic Kingdom for the evening entertainment, or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner and a look around the resort or take a trip out to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping.

Epcot is recommended as well, though tomorrow would be better with more forces pulling people to the other Parks. 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 with the water rides in Norway and Mexico. 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. Monday’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be more popular with the predictable Disney resort guests and we’re coming off a busier day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour. We’d be better off if Magic Kingdom was hosting its usual Sunday edition of evening Extra Magic Hours, but Magic Kingdom will remain busier with so many people arriving for a July 4th holiday over the weekend. Finally, Sunday is a popular travel day and few people arriving will head out to the Studios for Fantasmic this evening. Those that arrived yesterday are also unlikely to begin their first full day at Hollywood Studios. Thus, today is less crowded than any other day this week. 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. When crowds are well above average, as they are today, afternoon waits will hit 90 to 120 minutes. 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 recommended since it isn’t hosting its usual evening edition of Extra Magic Hours. Unfortunately, that fact isn’t as beneficial as it would be ordinarily with the number of people that will arrive yesterday and today for a traditional weeklong vacation for Independence Day and head out to the world’s most popular theme park first thing. Disney usually schedules Extra Magic Hours on Sundays to give resort guests just arriving an extra two hours to experience the Park and it also serves to help distribute the heavier crowds over a longer period of time. We won’t enjoy either of those perks today since Disney has elected to move evening Extra Magic Hours later in the week and canceled tonight’s in order to save money. In past years, they’ve added evening Extra Magic Hours on July 3rd and kept the set on the Sunday prior. Fortunately, we also won’t have the Extra Magic Hours attracting the nearly 100,000 on-site guests today. You can do very well from 9am – 11am, but the afternoon will be busier than more recommended days. With crowd levels only increasing as the holiday nears, today remains a better day to visit than several other days later in the week and is recommended because of that. But most people will want to take advantage of the lower relative crowds at the other Parks.

Monday June 30

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade: 3:45pm

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:3pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Not Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom will be moderately more popular than recommended days due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract a decent number of Disney resort guests. Mondays at the Animal Kingdom aren’t wildly popular because of the fact that morning Extra Magic Hours aren’t as popular as evening Extra Magic Hours and because it’s early in the week and many people who travel over the weekend will be heading to the Magic Kingdom regardless of the Extra Magic Hours schedule. Still, there are better days to visit the Animal Kingdom than today, including tomorrow. While the morning Extra Magic Hour is an excellent time to tour, it’s difficult to get out to the Animal Kingdom by 7:45am to take full advantage of it. If you’re staying at a Monorail Deluxe Resort, you’re looking at a 20+ minute drive to the Animal Kingdom, plus time for the bus to arrive – not to mention getting multiple people up and ready early in the morning with just one shower and limited space. At 6:30am. If you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 7:45am, then you can have a lot of success because the crowd level won’t be that high, but it will be busier in the afternoon than other recommended days this week due to a higher number of Disney resort guests than usual. You’re much better served holding off for a recommended day if you’re not going to arrive until 9am or later.

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 or Animal Kingdom 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, beginning with the water rides in Mexico and Norway. 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. 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 10:30pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30, 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 summer vacation. They travel over the weekend and naturally head to the Magic Kingdom on Monday for their first full day. That is particularly true this week with the Independence Day holiday on the 4th. We also don’t have evening Extra Magic Hours last night as we usually do, which will cause even more people to wait until today to visit. Tomorrow would be less crowded. 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 tomorrow to visit.

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle November 26, 2013 at 10:51 am

Josh,
Thank you so much. I have been waiting in anticipation for your recommendations. I can’t wait to read through it all. I was wondering if you might recommend days more specifically for me? We are going the 8th – 13th. Those days are all 8s and Sunday a 9. We are only going 3 days of those 6. Since the crowds are about equal, would there be any reason to pick one day over another? We are flexible as to which days we are visiting. I do want to make reservations for dining so kind of want to go ahead and pick the days as we will not have hoppers. I would really like to minimize our waits as it’s always so hot! Thanks so much for your help!!

Julie November 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm

So excited to see the calendar for July! I have 36 days to figure out my ADR’s and I was hoping to use your calendar to figure out what days to go where so I can pick my restaurants. Any idea when to expect the July calendar? Thank you!!

jenn December 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I need some advice pretty please!! we will be a late arrival on Friday June 27th since we do not fly in till 12;45. I see you recommend Mk, do you think its still possible to have a ok late arrival plan for there? Or will the crowds be too bad by then? We would be focusing on the New Fantasy Land and Mansion, Pirates. Then maybe Wishes?

Michelle December 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm

@Jenn,
I think it’s doable IF you schedule your 3 FP+ for rides that night at MK. Then plan to do things that do not build lines easily. Then, assuming you have another full day at MK, make a plan for the items you still want to do. It is highly likely that MK will extend their hours until midnight. So, after Wishes, you may be able to experience much shorter waits.

dillydilly January 2, 2014 at 10:23 am

Agree with Michelle!

Matthew godfrey January 12, 2014 at 2:01 am

Australians looking to travel have DVC membership last trip was in 98 any new suggestions would look forward to sharing a day in the park with other families

Matthew godfrey January 12, 2014 at 2:03 am

mattygodfrey1@live.com.au travelling in June – July staying at the boardwalk

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