March 2014 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

by josh on August 25, 2013

2/24/14: Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom to run daily beginning March 9th.

2/8/14 Update: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am – 1am for March 7th – 14th.

12/22/13 Update: Animal Kingdom operating hours extended as listed here.

12/4/13 Update: Crowd calendar updated with the changes listed here.

11/7/13 Update: Hollywood Studios’ evening Extra Magic Hours moved from Monday March 24th to Wednesday March 26th. Slight recommendation changes during that week.

This is the Free March 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.

Saturday March 1

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Highly Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 7pm and 8:30pm

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

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract Disney vacationers of any sort.  Magic Kingdom will be attracting significant crowds with its long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Hollywood Studios will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour and two Fantasmic shows.  We also had two morning Extra Magic Hours earlier in the week and another on Monday to appeal to the sizable Disney resort contingent.  To take full advantage of the relatively low crowd level, arrive by 7:30am and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  Get those two attractions out of the way early and the only real concerns are getting to Finding Nemo the Musical.  You would be in the best shape if you could get to the first or last show of the day as well as over to DinoLand USA before 10:30am when lines begin to build at DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl.  You may also want to prioritize characters that have long afternoon waits by arriving about five minutes before the characters appear. With the 8am open, you’ll be able to accomplish a tremendous amount in the first two hours. Finally, keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade. If you don’t arrive early or would like to ride the major attractions again, return to DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits possible.

Epcot is the most recommended Park.  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 two day compartmentalized plans.  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.  Keep in mind that both Innoventions buildings, the Imagination Pavilion, Universe of Energy, Living with the Land, and Circle of Life close at 7pm.  The 5pm to 7pm timeframe is an excellent opportunity to do Journey into Imagination with Figment, Captain EO, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Sum of All Thrills, anything in Innoventions, Circle of Life, Living with the Land, and anything else other than the major headliners.  If you’re interested in re-riding Soarin’ and Test Track, plan to rely on FASTPASS because standby wait times for both will most likely continue to be 45+ minutes from 5pm – 8pm.  Alternatively, you can elect to get in line for a headliner right before Park close and ride with a shorter wait than any other time of the day outside of the first 30 minutes of operation.  As long as you’re in line by 9pm, Disney will let you ride regardless of the posted wait. Test Track also has a single rider line with waits typically shorter than standby or FASTPASS.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will entice on-site visitors and the later close than most other days around it, which will attract off-site visitors as well.  You can have success from 8am – 10am if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:15am, but the afternoon and evening are going to be busier than just about any day this week.  Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or plan to arrive by 7:15am to take advantage of low crowds in the morning.

Saturdays are naturally the busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom.  We have longer hours of operation, visiting locals, and a lot of vacationers who will be visiting the Magic Kingdom for a second time before returning home tomorrow.  On top of that, Main Street Electrical Parade is scheduled on a limited number of nights this week.  Because the Parade is so popular, a lot of people will visit on a day that they can see it, like today.  All of this makes me hesitant about recommending the Magic Kingdom, despite a lack of Extra Magic Hours.  Yesterday and next Tuesday and Wednesday will be much better days to tour, but you can have a moderate amount of success today if you arrive prior by 8:30am and head straight for the headlining or Fantasyland attractions.  You may elect to prioritize another low capacity attraction or character instead.  The afternoon will be busier than any other day this week and you’ll either want to take a break and return for the Electrical Parade and Wishes or visit the less popular attractions from 2pm – 6pm.  While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week.

Sunday March 2

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

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm and 8:30pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract people.  The early morning, from 9am – 10:30am, is always the best time to tour. Standby waits are guaranteed to be short as few people are able to make it out to Animal Kingdom by rope drop.  And once they do, they get bogged down with The Oasis, Tree of Life, and other things.  Ideally, plan to arrive by 8:30am and focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day (or both).  After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or one of the more popular shows.  If you have young children or otherwise have interest, plan to visit the most popular characters by lining up for them about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  People rarely get in lines when characters aren’t present because 99.9% of the people visiting have no idea which characters will be meeting.  If you don’t end up arriving prior or close to Park opening, plan to stay through close because wait times will only ease after the Parade.  With no evening entertainment to keep people around and restaurants that are vastly underrated, few people Park Hop in the afternoon.  Take advantage of one or both of the less crowded times of day, use FASTPASS as much as possible in the late morning and afternoon, and tour efficiently and you should have an excellent day.

Epcot is recommended again today.  We have a lot going on at the other Parks and nothing specific to draw crowds to Epcot.  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 strong 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 a more compartmentalized two-day plan.  Despite the recommendation, you’ll still run into 60+ minute waits at Test Track and Soarin’ in the afternoon.  There’s just no way around that because both attractions are popular and have limited capacities.  Thankfully, you’ll be well on your way to the other Future World attractions and World Showcase before those waits increase.  If you don’t arrive early in the morning, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Soarin’ or Test Track. Soarin’ may be a better choice because Test Track offers a single rider line with typically short waits. Do your best to move up to World Showcase right at 11am to stay ahead of crowds for as long as possible.  Consider returning to Future World after 5pm when crowds decrease there and begin to creep up into World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  We’re sandwiched in between yesterday’s moderately popular morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours. Despite the recommendation, it’s still essential that you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Make Toy Story Mania your priority because it will have 60+ minute afternoon waits.  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.  Because they usually begin appearing at 9:15am, you’ll have time to ride Toy Story and then get in line for the characters around 9:10am.  Sofia in Animation Courtyard also has waits that build quickly and stay long most of the day. Phineas & Ferb usually have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios.  They typically begin appearing at 9:30am, which means you’ll have time to ride Toy Story Mania and potentially meet Buzz and Woody before heading over to visit Phineas & Ferb or Sofia.  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. Plan to visit in the last hour they’re scheduled to appear.  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, Chip, Dale, Goofy, and Pluto are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear.  Overall, you can do well at the Studios if you arrive by 8:15am, but you’re looking at long lines and heavier crowds if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else. Hollywood Studios is the most important Park to arrive for rope drop if you’re interested in the priorities because of the limited number of rides.

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 and Wednesday 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 March 3

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8pm – 10pm

Fantasmic: 7pm and 8:30pm

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

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, 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, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  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 only expressly 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 the Main Street Electrical Parade.  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.  The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  Yesterday, tomorrow, and Friday would all be better days to visit.  Evening Extra Magic Hours at the Studios aren’t usually much of a success for people because 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, especially now that Extra Magic Hours have been reduced to two hours.  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.  You can have a moderate amount of success if you arrive early, but with several recommended days coming up, there’s really no reason to press your luck.

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 spring break 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 March 4

Mardis Gras

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (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 – 7pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Mardis Gras will not have a significant impact on overall crowd levels this year because it falls before the bulk of the spring break season.  While it will result in more people than usual visiting from the state of Louisiana, those crowds aren’t compounded by breaks in other states.

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park.  We’re in between yesterday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours, each of which will be more attractive to Disney resort guests.  It’s also early enough in the week that most people arriving for a weeklong vacation will be saving Animal Kingdom, Disney’s least popular theme park, for later in the week.  There’s simply nothing drawing people to Animal Kingdom with with the lack of Extra Magic Hours and no special events/nighttime entertainment. To have the most success, arrive as early in the morning as possible and head to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing.  After that, head to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or over to one of the major stage shows and you won’t have anything to worry about for the rest of the day. You may also want to prioritize the most popular characters.  With the relatively long day, you should be able to do most of the Animal Kingdom’s attractions if you arrive prior to Park opening, use FASTPASS efficiently, and make good use of your time.  If you don’t arrive until 10am or later, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Use those FASTPASSes during the day and return to the major attractions after 5pm.  A lot of people leave after the 3:45pm Parade, causing lines to be much shorter in the final hour of operation, especially with the 6pm close and very few people Park Hopping in the afternoon and early evening. Hit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits possible.

Epcot isn’t recommended due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests, lack of long hours and evening entertainment elsewhere, and the natural progression of weeklong Disney vacationers that will naturally head to Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday.  While the morning Extra Magic Hour will be an excellent time to tour, Epcot will get progressively busier as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  You could have success if you arrive by 7:30am, head straight for the headliners, and move up to the World Showcase around 11am, but afternoon crowds will be heavier than recommended days and you’ll likely want to Park Hop elsewhere or take a break around 2pm.  Yesterday and Thursday are the best days to visit this week.  This Friday will be the busiest day of the week.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though this coming Friday would be better.  While it’s true that we’re coming off a busy day yesterday for evening Extra Magic Hours, a decent number of Disney resort guests will ignore it in order to visit Magic Kingdom first on a standard weeklong vacation.  The Extra Magic Hours schedule also doesn’t do much to sway the off-site contingent.  With decent operating hours every day and Fantasmic scheduled every night this week, the Studios won’t be far and away less crowded on “recommended days,” compared to “not recommended days,” like it was when Fantasmic was scheduled less often.  Nonetheless, you can expect peak wait times to be lower, crowds to build slower, FASTPASSes to be more plentiful, and waits to be lower than days that aren’t recommended.  To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Toy Story Midway Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  Toy Story Mania in particular has wait times that almost always hit 60+ minutes in the afternoon and FASTPASSes that are in severely limited supply.  Make it your morning priority.  Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also sees long afternoon waits and limited FASTPASS availability.  Plan to head there right after Toy Story Mania or rely on FASTPASS later in the day.  The other two attractions with decent lines are Tower of Terror and Star Tours.  Luckily, they have higher capacities and aren’t as popular.  You’ll still want to ride before 10:30am or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day.  Expect Star Tours’ waits to peak in the 20 minute range while Tower of Terror usually hits 30 to 60 minutes depending on the number of elevators operating.  Once you get through those four attractions, it’s really just a matter of getting over to the high capacity rides and shows that run on a set schedule.  It’s unlikely you’ll run into much of a line at Backlot Tour or Great Movie Ride, but fitting in the various stage shows can be tricky because they have a tendency to start and end at the same time.  You may also want to make a popular character a morning priority.  Check your Times Guide and plan to arrive at as many characters as possible about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  Overall, you can have a lot of success if you arrive prior to Park opening and take care of the headlining attractions first thing.  For Fantasmic, I recommend the Fantasmic Dining Package, which guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Theater.  It makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  It also includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Dining Plan.  You’ll still need to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it’s better than the 60 minute wait you’re looking at to score decent seats together without the Package.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended and an excellent choice if you don’t want to wait until tomorrow to visit.  Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hours and Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World.  Still, it’s more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain), or other priorities.  You may 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.  Characters that will have long lines in the afternoon and don’t offer FASTPASS are also a priority.  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.  Magic Kingdom will also be the most recommended Park tomorrow, so you may want to hold off until then if you have other plans today.  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.  However, today will be nearly as good if you tour efficiently in the morning, take a restful break, and return in the evening for Wishes and some late night attractions.

Wednesday March 5

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm and 8:30pm

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

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, 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, which will cause a lot of off-site guests to visit as well.  Most people prefer to visit the other Parks when they’re either open longer or have special evening entertainment like Fantasmic (when it’s scheduled less often) or Main Street Electrical Parade.  When none of that is available, they’ll default to the Animal Kingdom.  With both yesterday and tomorrow recommended, there’s no reason to visit today.

It’s an above-average day at Epcot.  Yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour will have been moderately attended by Disney resort guests and they won’t be looking to return today.  Fantasmic and Toy Story Midway Mania will also be more popular at Hollywood Studios.  I’m looking toward tomorrow as having lower crowds and shorter waits, thanks to morning Extra Magic Hour attracting people to Magic Kingdom and the addition of Main Street Electrical Parade.  However, today won’t be terrible by any means.  Plan to arrive by 8:20am and either follow a touring plan or head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’.  You’ll be in good shape if you’ve moved to the World Showcase by 12pm, starting with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway.

With no evening Extra Magic Hours anywhere and a lowly morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park, Hollywood Studios is going to be busier than recommended days during the week.  While the addition of Fantasmic to every night this week makes each specific show less appealing, we still need to be concerned about the lack of attractive forces elsewhere.  Plus, it’s later in the week, which means most people on a weeklong vacation will already have visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot and they’ll be looking to spend a day at one of Disney World’s less popular theme parks.  With nothing specific drawing people to the Studios, it’s not going to be crazy crowded, but it is going to be busier than other recommended days during the week and should be avoided if possible.  With Magic Kingdom being incredibly popular tomorrow with the morning Extra Magic Hour and Electrical Parade, the Studios would be a much better choice tomorrow.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit today for the exact same reasons it was recommended yesterday.  We also have a morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract off-site visitors and an Electrical Parade that will attract off-site visitors tomorrow.  The overall crowd level is also going up beginning tomorrow, resulting in heavier crowds every day until the middle of April, regardless of the recommendation.  Take advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash 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, the Electrical Parade and Wishes. The 11pm Electrical Parade will be much less crowded than the first and the best viewing locations are in Frontierland and outside Hall of Presidents. Both areas offer a view just as good as Main Street and don’t require the excessive waits. If you’re skipping the nighttime spectaculars, wait times at the rides also go down significantly after 9pm. Visit Tomorrowland after 9pm and Fantasyland after 10pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Thursday March 6

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended.  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/Main Street Electrical Parade attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom.  As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo because it will be popular in the afternoon.  Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times.  Rely on FASTPASSes for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer.  After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade, Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic, or Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations.  Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade.  Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4:30pm onward.  Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants.  There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies.  A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park.  We have morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade attracting on-site and off-site visitors alike to Magic Kingdom.  Disney resort guests are much more likely to visit tomorrow for evening Extra Magic Hours.  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 Test Track or Soarin’.  Both will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10am due to their 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.  Keep in mind that Innoventions, Universe of Energy, Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, and Circle of Life usually close at 7pm.  Hit those attractions from 5pm to 7pm to find shorter waits than the 1pm to 4pm timeframe.  Return to Test Track and Soarin’ after 8pm to find the shortest waits outside of 9am – 10am.  It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is highly recommended.  While it’s later in the week, Magic Kingdom will be a much bigger draw with morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade drawing off-site and on-site visitors alike. Tomorrow is also recommended with evening Extra Magic Hours at Epcot on Friday and Saturday’s morning Extra Magic Hour at the Studios proving more popular.  Still, touring efficiently is more important than “picking the right day,” especially at Hollywood Studios.  That means arriving by 8:15am and taking care of Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours first thing in the morning or with FASTPASS throughout the day.  Toy Story Mania will hit 60+ minutes in the afternoon due to its limited capacity.  Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also sees decent afternoon waits, likely in the 40-60 minute range, with FASTPASSes that are harder to obtain.  Plan to head there second or rely on FASTPASS later in the day.  You may also want to prioritize the Toy Story, Phineas and Ferb, Sofia, or Sorcerer Mickey characters by arriving about five minutes before they first appear.  The Toy Story characters, located right across the way from Toy Story Mania, are easy to meet at 9:15am if you head over after riding.  Visiting Sorcerer Mickey in the Animation Building in the last hour he’s scheduled to appear is best.  In addition, characters appear at Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat in the early morning that won’t appear during any other part of the day.  Usually, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Donald, Daisy, Stitch appear, but no specific characters are guaranteed.  Overall, you can do well at the Studios if you arrive early and tour efficiently, but afternoon crowds will be decent.  Arrive at 10:30am with everyone else and you’re looking at long lines at Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  You can still enjoy the various shows, but it’s going to be more difficult to experience those two attractions.  Thankfully, Tower of Terror and Star Tours see shorter waits and additional FASTPASS availability.  Still, Tower of Terror will hit 30-50 minutes in the afternoon and Star Tours should see 20 minute waits.

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. Tomorrow is also recommended with Epcot pulling more guests. 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 March 7

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (Highly Recommended)

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, 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 busy as Disney’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 by 8:30am 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 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 close because waits will only decrease from 4:30pm 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 the most recommended Park.  We have the extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours luring Disney resort guests to Epcot today and Hollywood Studios’ morning Extra Magic Hour tomorrow will prove popular. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Once you get through these attractions in the morning or with FASTPASS, you have little to worry about for the rest of the day, other than trying to get to the Studios’ various high capacity attractions and stage shows that run on a set schedule.  For Fantasmic, you’ll want to arrive about 60 minutes early to guarantee good seats together.  If that sounds like it’s about 30 minutes too long, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Fantasmic theater.  It will still require you to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it saves the stress of having to decide when it’s time to line up and decreases the overall wait.  The Fantasmic Dining Package makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  Plus, it includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Disney Dining Plan. If the Package isn’t available or you’re not interested in swinging the additional cost, see the later Fantasmic. It’s far less crowded because most families with young kids can’t stay out that late there aren’t two large sections reserved for Dining Package users.  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 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 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 1-pm and Fantasyland after 11:30pm to find significantly shorter waits than the afternoon.

Saturday March 8

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (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: 7pm and 8:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (Not Recommended)

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: none, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, Wishes Fireworks: 10pm

Animal Kingdom comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract Disney vacationers of any sort.  Magic Kingdom will be attracting significant crowds with its long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Hollywood Studios will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour, two Fantasmic shows, and a later close than most other days this week.  We also had two morning Extra Magic Hours earlier in the week and another on Monday to appeal to the sizable Disney resort contingent.  To take full advantage, arrive by 7:30am and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  Get those two attractions out of the way early and the only real concerns is getting to Finding Nemo the Musical.  You would be in the best shape if you could get to the first or last show of the day as well as over to DinoLand USA before 10:30am when lines begin to build at DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl.  You may also want to prioritize characters that have long afternoon waits by arriving about five minutes before the characters appear.  Finally, keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade. Stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish. Hit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits possible.

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, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will entice on-site visitors and the later close than most other days this week, which will attract off-site visitors as well.  You can have success from 8am – 10am if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, but the afternoon and evening are going to be busier than just about any day this week.  Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or plan to arrive by 7:15am to take advantage of low crowds in the morning.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of visitors that will visit on their last day before returning home tomorrow from a standard weeklong vacation.  We also have visiting locals and a later close than most days earlier in the week, which will attract off-site visitors as well. With late closes most nights and nighttime entertainment every night, Magic Kingdom won’t be overwhelming busier than other days this week because there are fewer forces attracting guests to other days. You can do well in the early morning and last few hours, but the busy afternoon is best avoided.

Sunday March 9

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Highly Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 1am – 3am

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

Animal Kingdom comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract people.  The early morning, from 8am – 10am, is always the best time to tour. Standby waits are guaranteed to be short as few people are able to make it out to Animal Kingdom by rope drop.  And once they do, they get bogged down with The Oasis, Tree of Life, and other things.  Ideally, plan to arrive by 7:30am and focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day (or both).  After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or one of the more popular shows.  If you have young children or otherwise have interest, plan to visit the most popular characters by lining up for them about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  People rarely get in lines when characters aren’t present because 99.9% of the people visiting have no idea which characters will be meeting.  If you don’t end up arriving prior or close to Park opening, plan to stay through close because wait times will only ease after the Parade.  With no evening entertainment to keep people around and restaurants that are vastly underrated, few people Park Hop in the afternoon.  Take advantage of one or both of the less crowded times of day, use FASTPASS as much as possible in the late morning and afternoon, and tour efficiently and you should have an excellent day.

Epcot is recommended again today.  We have a lot going on at the other Parks and nothing specific to draw crowds to Epcot.  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 strong 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 a more compartmentalized two-day plan.  Despite the recommendation, you’ll still run into 60+ minute waits at Test Track and Soarin’ in the afternoon.  There’s just no way around that because both attractions are popular and have limited capacities.  Thankfully, you’ll be well on your way to the other Future World attractions and World Showcase before those waits increase.  If you don’t arrive early in the morning, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Soarin’ or Test Track. Soarin’ may make more sense because Test Track offers a single rider line with waits that are typically shorter than standby or FASTPASS. Do your best to move up to World Showcase right at 11am to stay ahead of crowds for as long as possible.  Consider returning to Future World after 5pm when crowds decrease there and begin to creep up into World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  We’re sandwiched in between yesterday’s moderately popular morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours.  Magic Kingdom will be pulling most resort guests with its incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours. Despite the recommendation, it’s still essential that you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Make Toy Story Mania your priority because it will have 60+ minute afternoon waits.  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.  Because they usually begin appearing at 9:15am, you’ll have time to ride Toy Story and then get in line for the characters around 9:10am.  Sofia the First in Animation Courtyard begins meeting at 9:30am and is also very popular. Phineas & Ferb usually have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios.  They typically begin appearing at 9:30am as well.  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. Plan to visit in the last hour they’re scheduled to appear.  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, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto, and Stitch are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear.  Stay for the second Fantasmic because it will be considerably less crowded and you won’t have to deal with two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. Overall, you can do well at the Studios if you arrive by 8:15am, but you’re looking at long lines and heavier crowds if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended, though the morning from 9am – 11am and the late evening from 10:30pm – 3am 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 1:30am 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, and Journey of the Little Mermaid for the very end of the night.  You’ll find lower crowds on Tuesday and Wednesday 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 March 10

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 7am – 8am

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9:30pm – 11:30pm

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (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, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  While the morning Extra Magic Hour is an excellent time to tour, it’ nearly impossible for most people to get out there by 6:45am 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 5:30am.  If you’re absolutely certain that you’ll arrive by 6:45am, 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 only expressly 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 the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Still, it will be crowded with the high 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.  The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  Yesterday, tomorrow, and Friday would all be better days to visit.  Evening Extra Magic Hours at the Studios aren’t usually much of a success for people because 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, especially now that Extra Magic Hours have been reduced to two hours.  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.  You can have a moderate amount of success if you arrive early, but with several recommended days coming up, there’s really no reason to press your luck.

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 spring break 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 March 11

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (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 – 9:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park.  We’re in between yesterday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours, each of which will be more attractive to Disney resort guests.  It’s also early enough in the week that most people arriving for a weeklong vacation will be saving Animal Kingdom, Disney’s least popular theme park, for later in the week.  There’s simply nothing drawing people to Animal Kingdom with its lack of Extra Magic Hours and no special events/nighttime entertainment. To have the most success, arrive by 8:30am and head to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing.  After that, head to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or over to one of the major stage shows and you won’t have anything to worry about for the rest of the day. You may also want to prioritize the most popular characters.  You’ll be able to accomplish an amazing amount before 9:30am with short lines and low crowds everywhere you go. With the 12-hour day, you should be able to do everything you want if you arrive prior to Park opening, use FASTPASS efficiently, and make good use of your time.  If you don’t arrive until 10am or later, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Use those FASTPASSes during the day and return to the major attractions after 5pm.  A lot of people leave after the 3:45pm Parade and few people Park Hop over with the lack of evening entertainment and underrated restaurants. Hit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits possible.

Epcot isn’t recommended due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests, lack of long hours and evening entertainment elsewhere, and the natural progression of weeklong Disney vacationers that will naturally head to Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday.  While the morning Extra Magic Hour will be an excellent time to tour, Epcot will get progressively busier as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  You could have success if you arrive by 7:30am, head straight for the headliners, and move up to the World Showcase around 11am, but afternoon crowds will be heavier than recommended days and you’ll likely want to Park Hop elsewhere or take a break around 2pm.  Yesterday and Thursday are the best days to visit this week.  This Friday will be the busiest day of the week.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though this coming Friday would be better.  While it’s true that we’re coming off a busy day yesterday for evening Extra Magic Hours, a decent number of Disney resort guests will ignore it in order to visit Magic Kingdom first on a standard weeklong vacation.  The Extra Magic Hours schedule also doesn’t do much to sway the sizable off-site contingent during a busy spring break week.  With decent operating hours every day and Fantasmic scheduled every night this week, the Studios won’t be far and away less crowded on “recommended days,” compared to “not recommended days,” like it was when Fantasmic was scheduled less often.  Nonetheless, you can expect peak wait times to be lower, crowds to build slower, FASTPASSes to be more plentiful, and waits to be lower than days that aren’t recommended.  To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Toy Story Midway Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  Toy Story Mania in particular has wait times that almost always hit 60+ minutes in the afternoon and FASTPASSes that are in severely limited supply.  Make it your morning priority.  Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also sees long afternoon waits and limited FASTPASS availability.  Plan to head there right after Toy Story Mania or rely on FASTPASS later in the day.  The other two attractions with decent lines are Tower of Terror and Star Tours.  Luckily, they have higher capacities and aren’t as popular.  You’ll still want to ride before 10:30am or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day.  Expect Star Tours’ waits to peak in the 30 minute range while Tower of Terror usually hits 45 to 70 minutes depending on the number of elevators operating. There’s no way around those peak waits with the limited number of rides in the Park.  Once you get through those four attractions, it’s really just a matter of getting over to the high capacity rides and shows that run on a set schedule.  It’s unlikely you’ll run into much of a line at Backlot Tour or Great Movie Ride if you visit before 11am or after 5pm, but fitting in the various stage shows can be tricky because they have a tendency to start and end at the same time.  You may also want to make a popular character a morning priority.  Check your Times Guide and plan to arrive at as many characters as possible about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  Overall, you can have a lot of success if you arrive prior to Park opening and take care of the headlining attractions first thing.  For Fantasmic, I recommend the Fantasmic Dining Package, which guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Theater if you’re intent on seeing the first show.  It makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  It also includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Dining Plan.  You’ll still need to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it’s better than the 60 minute wait you’re looking at to score decent seats together without the Package. If you’re not interested in the Package or it’s not available, plan to see the second Fantasmic. It’s far less crowded because most families can’t stay up for it and you won’t need to worry about two large sections reserved for Dining Package guests.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended and an excellent choice if you don’t want to wait until tomorrow to visit.  Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hours and Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World.  Still, it’s more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain), or other priorities.  You may 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.  Characters that will have long lines in the afternoon and don’t offer FASTPASS are also a priority.  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.  Magic Kingdom will also be the most recommended Park tomorrow, so you may want to hold off until then if you have other plans today.  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.  However, today will be nearly as good if you tour efficiently in the morning, take a restful break, and return in the evening for Wishes and some late night attractions. Wait times will be low at all attractions after 11pm. Stay through close if you can and finish the night with Fantasyland if you can.

Wednesday March 12

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 7am – 8am

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (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, which will cause a lot of off-site guests to visit as well.  Most people prefer to visit the other Parks when they’re either open longer or have special evening entertainment like Fantasmic (when it’s scheduled less often) or Main Street Electrical Parade.  When none of that is available, they’ll default to the Animal Kingdom.  With both yesterday and tomorrow recommended, there’s no reason to visit today.

It’s an above-average day at Epcot.  Yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour will have been moderately attended by Disney resort guests and they won’t be looking to return today.  Fantasmic and Toy Story Midway Mania will also be more popular at Hollywood Studios.  I’m looking toward tomorrow as having lower crowds and shorter waits, thanks to morning Extra Magic Hour attracting people to Magic Kingdom and the addition of Main Street Electrical Parade.  However, today won’t be terrible by any means.  Plan to arrive by 8:20am and either follow a touring plan or head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’.  You’ll be in good shape if you’ve moved to the World Showcase by 12pm, starting with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway.

With no evening Extra Magic Hours anywhere and a lowly morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park, Hollywood Studios is going to be busier than recommended days during the week.  While the addition of Fantasmic to every night this week makes each specific show less appealing, we still need to be concerned about the lack of attractive forces elsewhere.  Plus, it’s later in the week, which means most people on a weeklong vacation will already have visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot and they’ll be looking to spend a day at one of Disney World’s less popular theme parks.  With nothing specific drawing people to the Studios, it’s not going to be crazy crowded, but it is going to be busier than other recommended days during the week and should be avoided if possible.  With Magic Kingdom being incredibly popular tomorrow with the morning Extra Magic Hour and Electrical Parade, the Studios would be a much better choice tomorrow.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit today for the exact same reasons it was recommended yesterday.  We also have a morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract off-site visitors and an Electrical Parade that will attract off-site visitors tomorrow.  Take advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash 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, the Electrical Parade and Wishes. The 11pm Electrical Parade will be much less crowded than the first and the best viewing locations are in Frontierland and outside Hall of Presidents. Both areas offer a view just as good as Main Street and don’t require the excessive waits. If you’re skipping the nighttime spectaculars, wait times at the rides also go down significantly after 9pm. Visit Tomorrowland after 11pm and Fantasyland after 12am to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Thursday March 13

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (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 recommended.  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/Main Street Electrical Parade attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom.  As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive by 7:30am and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo because it will be popular in the afternoon.  Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times.  Rely on FASTPASSes for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer.  After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade, Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic, or Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations.  Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade.  Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4:30pm onward. You’ll find the lowest crowds possible if you visit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm.  Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants.  There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies.  A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park.  We have morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade attracting on-site and off-site visitors alike to Magic Kingdom.  Disney resort guests are much more likely to visit tomorrow for evening Extra Magic Hours.  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 Test Track or Soarin’.  Both will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10am due to their 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.  Keep in mind that Innoventions, Universe of Energy, Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, and Circle of Life usually close at 7pm.  Hit those attractions from 5pm to 7pm to find shorter waits than the 1pm to 4pm timeframe.  Return to Test Track and Soarin’ after 8pm to find the shortest waits outside of 9am – 10am.  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. Tomorrow is also recommended with Epcot pulling more guests. 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 March 14

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 1am (Highly 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 busy as Disney’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 by 7:30am 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 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 close because waits will only decrease from 4:30pm through close. Visit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits possible.

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 have the extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours luring Disney resort guests to Epcot today and Hollywood Studios’ morning Extra Magic Hour tomorrow will prove popular. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Once you get through these attractions in the morning or with FASTPASS, you have little to worry about for the rest of the day, other than trying to get to the Studios’ various high capacity attractions and stage shows that run on a set schedule.  For Fantasmic, you’ll want to arrive about 60 minutes early to guarantee good seats together.  If that sounds like it’s about 30 minutes too long, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Fantasmic theater.  It will still require you to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it saves the stress of having to decide when it’s time to line up and decreases the overall wait.  The Fantasmic Dining Package makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  Plus, it includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Disney Dining Plan. If the Package isn’t available or you’re not interested in swinging the additional cost, see the later Fantasmic. It’s far less crowded because most families with young kids can’t stay out that late there aren’t two large sections reserved for Dining Package users.  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 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 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 10pm and Fantasyland after 11:30pm to find significantly shorter waits than the afternoon.

Saturday March 15

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

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract Disney vacationers of any sort.  Magic Kingdom will be attracting significant crowds with its long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Hollywood Studios will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour, two Fantasmic shows, and late close.  We also had two morning Extra Magic Hours earlier in the week and another on Monday to appeal to the sizable Disney resort contingent.  To take full advantage, arrive by 8:30am and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  Get those two attractions out of the way early and the only real concerns is getting to Nemo the Musical.  You would be in the best shape if you could get to the first or last show of the day as well as over to DinoLand USA before 10:30am when lines begin to build at DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl.  You may also want to prioritize characters that have long afternoon waits by arriving about five minutes before the characters appear. Check your Times Guide to verify appearance times. Finally, keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade and the major attractions will have short waits after 6:30pm.

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 by 8:20am 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, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will entice on-site visitors. The long hours and two Fantasmic shows will remain popular with the sizable off-site contingent.  You can have success from 8am – 10am if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, but the afternoon and evening are going to be busier than just about any day this week.  Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or plan to arrive by 7:15am to take advantage of low crowds in the morning.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of visitors that will visit on their last day before returning home tomorrow from a standard weeklong vacation.  We also have visiting locals contributing to heavy crowds. With late closes most nights and nighttime entertainment every night, Magic Kingdom won’t be overwhelming busier than other days this week because there are fewer forces attracting guests to other days. You can do well in the early morning and last few hours, but the busy afternoon is best avoided.

Sunday March 16

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

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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 comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract people.  The early morning, from 9am – 10:30am, is always the best time to tour. Standby waits are guaranteed to be short as few people are able to make it out to Animal Kingdom by rope drop.  And once they do, they get bogged down with The Oasis, Tree of Life, and other things.  Ideally, plan to arrive prior to Park opening and focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day (or both).  After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or one of the more popular shows.  If you have young children or otherwise have interest, plan to visit the most popular characters by lining up for them about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  People rarely get in lines when characters aren’t present because 99.9% of the people visiting have no idea which characters will be meeting.  If you don’t end up arriving prior or close to Park opening, plan to stay through close because wait times will only ease after the Parade.  With no evening entertainment to keep people around and restaurants that are vastly underrated, few people Park Hop in the afternoon.  Take advantage of one or both of the less crowded times of day, use FASTPASS as much as possible in the late morning and afternoon, and tour efficiently and you should have an excellent day.

Epcot is recommended again today.  We have a lot going on at the other Parks and nothing specific to draw crowds to Epcot.  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 strong 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 a more compartmentalized two-day plan.  Despite the recommendation, you’ll still run into 60+ minute waits at Test Track and Soarin’ in the afternoon.  There’s just no way around that because both attractions are popular and have limited capacities.  Thankfully, you’ll be well on your way to the other Future World attractions and World Showcase before those waits increase.  If you don’t arrive early in the morning, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Soarin’ or Test Track. Soarin’ may make more sense because Test Track offers a single rider line with waits that are typically shorter than standby or FASTPASS. Do your best to move up to World Showcase right at 11am to stay ahead of crowds for as long as possible.  Consider returning to Future World after 5pm when crowds decrease there and begin to creep up into World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  We’re sandwiched in between yesterday’s moderately popular morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours.  Magic Kingdom will be pulling most resort guests with its incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours. Despite the recommendation, it’s still essential that you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Make Toy Story Mania your priority because it will have 60+ minute afternoon waits.  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.  Because they usually begin appearing at 9:15am, you’ll have time to ride Toy Story and then get in line for the characters around 9:10am.  Sofia the First in Animation Courtyard begins meeting at 9:30am and is also very popular. Phineas & Ferb usually have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios.  They typically begin appearing at 9:30am as well.  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. Plan to visit in the last hour they’re scheduled to appear.  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, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto, and Stitch are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear.  Stay for the second Fantasmic because it will be considerably less crowded and you won’t have to deal with two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. Overall, you can do well at the Studios if you arrive by 8:15am, but you’re looking at long lines and heavier crowds if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended, though the morning from 9am – 11am and the late evening from 10:30pm – 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 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 1am 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 and Wednesday 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 March 17

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (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 – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9:30pm – 11:30pm

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  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 only expressly 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 the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Still, it will be crowded with the high 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.  The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  Yesterday, tomorrow, and Friday would all be better days to visit.  Evening Extra Magic Hours at the Studios aren’t usually much of a success for people because 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, especially now that Extra Magic Hours have been reduced to two hours.  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.  You can have a moderate amount of success if you arrive early, but with several recommended days coming up, there’s really no reason to press your luck.

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 spring break 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 March 18

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (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 – 9:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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.  We’re in between yesterday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours, each of which will be more attractive to Disney resort guests.  It’s also early enough in the week that most people arriving for a weeklong vacation will be saving Animal Kingdom, Disney’s least popular theme park, for later in the week.  There’s simply nothing drawing people to Animal Kingdom with its lack of Extra Magic Hours and no special events/nighttime entertainment. To have the most success, arrive by 8:30am and head to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing.  After that, head to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or over to one of the major stage shows and you won’t have anything to worry about for the rest of the day. With the relatively long operating hours, you should be able to accomplish whatever you like if you arrive prior to Park opening, use FASTPASS efficiently, and make good use of your time.  If you don’t arrive until 10am or later, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Use those FASTPASSes during the day and return to the major attractions after 6pm.  A lot of people leave after the 3:45pm Parade, causing lines to be much shorter in the final two hours of operation.

Epcot isn’t recommended due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests, lack of long hours and evening entertainment elsewhere, and the natural progression of weeklong Disney vacationers that will naturally head to Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday.  While the morning Extra Magic Hour will be an excellent time to tour, Epcot will get progressively busier as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  You could have success if you arrive by 7:30am, head straight for the headliners, and move up to the World Showcase around 11am, but afternoon crowds will be heavier than recommended days and you’ll likely want to Park Hop elsewhere or take a break around 2pm.  Yesterday and Thursday are the best days to visit this week.  This Friday will be the busiest day of the week.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though this coming Friday would be better.  While it’s true that we’re coming off a busy day yesterday for evening Extra Magic Hours, a decent number of Disney resort guests will ignore it in order to visit Magic Kingdom first on a standard weeklong vacation.  The Extra Magic Hours schedule also doesn’t do much to sway the sizable off-site contingent during a busy spring break week.  With decent operating hours every day and Fantasmic scheduled every night this week, the Studios won’t be far and away less crowded on “recommended days,” compared to “not recommended days,” like it was when Fantasmic was scheduled less often.  Nonetheless, you can expect peak wait times to be lower, crowds to build slower, FASTPASSes to be more plentiful, and waits to be lower than days that aren’t recommended.  To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Toy Story Midway Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  Toy Story Mania in particular has wait times that almost always hit 60+ minutes in the afternoon and FASTPASSes that are in severely limited supply.  Make it your morning priority.  Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also sees long afternoon waits and limited FASTPASS availability.  Plan to head there right after Toy Story Mania or rely on FASTPASS later in the day.  The other two attractions with decent lines are Tower of Terror and Star Tours.  Luckily, they have higher capacities and aren’t as popular.  You’ll still want to ride before 10:30am or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day.  Expect Star Tours’ waits to peak in the 30 minute range while Tower of Terror usually hits 45 to 70 minutes depending on the number of elevators operating. There’s no way around those peak waits with the limited number of rides in the Park.  Once you get through those four attractions, it’s really just a matter of getting over to the high capacity rides and shows that run on a set schedule.  It’s unlikely you’ll run into much of a line at Backlot Tour or Great Movie Ride if you visit before 11am or after 5pm, but fitting in the various stage shows can be tricky because they have a tendency to start and end at the same time.  You may also want to make a popular character a morning priority.  Check your Times Guide and plan to arrive at as many characters as possible about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  Overall, you can have a lot of success if you arrive prior to Park opening and take care of the headlining attractions first thing.  For Fantasmic, I recommend the Fantasmic Dining Package, which guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Theater if you’re intent on seeing the first show.  It makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  It also includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Dining Plan.  You’ll still need to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it’s better than the 60 minute wait you’re looking at to score decent seats together without the Package. If you’re not interested in the Package or it’s not available, plan to see the second Fantasmic. It’s far less crowded because most families can’t stay up for it and you won’t need to worry about two large sections reserved for Dining Package guests.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended and an excellent choice if you don’t want to wait until tomorrow to visit.  Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hours and Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World.  Still, it’s more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain), or other priorities.  You may 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.  Characters that will have long lines in the afternoon and don’t offer FASTPASS are also a priority.  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.  Magic Kingdom will also be the most recommended Park tomorrow, so you may want to hold off until then if you have other plans today.  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.  However, today will be nearly as good if you tour efficiently in the morning, take a restful break, and return in the evening for Wishes and some late night attractions.

Wednesday March 19

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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, which will cause a lot of off-site guests to visit as well.  Most people prefer to visit the other Parks when they’re either open longer or have special evening entertainment like Fantasmic (when it’s scheduled less often) or Main Street Electrical Parade.  When none of that is available, they’ll default to the Animal Kingdom.  With both yesterday and tomorrow recommended, there’s no reason to visit today.

It’s an above-average day at Epcot.  Yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour will have been moderately attended by Disney resort guests and they won’t be looking to return today.  Fantasmic and Toy Story Midway Mania will also be more popular at Hollywood Studios.  I’m looking toward tomorrow as having lower crowds and shorter waits, thanks to morning Extra Magic Hour attracting people to Magic Kingdom and the addition of Main Street Electrical Parade.  However, today won’t be terrible by any means.  Plan to arrive by 8:20am and either follow a touring plan or head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’.  You’ll be in good shape if you’ve moved to the World Showcase by 12pm, starting with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway.

With no evening Extra Magic Hours anywhere and a lowly morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park, Hollywood Studios is going to be busier than recommended days during the week.  While the addition of Fantasmic to every night this week makes each specific show less appealing, we still need to be concerned about the lack of attractive forces elsewhere.  Plus, it’s later in the week, which means most people on a weeklong vacation will already have visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot and they’ll be looking to spend a day at one of Disney World’s less popular theme parks.  With nothing specific drawing people to the Studios, it’s not going to be crazy crowded, but it is going to be busier than other recommended days during the week and should be avoided if possible.  With Magic Kingdom being incredibly popular tomorrow with the morning Extra Magic Hour and Electrical Parade, the Studios would be a much better choice tomorrow.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit today for the exact same reasons it was recommended yesterday.  We also have a morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract off-site visitors and an Electrical Parade that will attract off-site visitors tomorrow.  Take advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash 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, the Electrical Parade and Wishes. The 11pm Electrical Parade will be much less crowded than the first and the best viewing locations are in Frontierland and outside Hall of Presidents. Both areas offer a view just as good as Main Street and don’t require the excessive waits. If you’re skipping the nighttime spectaculars, wait times at the rides also go down significantly after 9pm. Visit Tomorrowland after 10pm and Fantasyland after 11pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Thursday March 20

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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 recommended.  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/Main Street Electrical Parade attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom.  As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo because it will be popular in the afternoon.  Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times.  Rely on FASTPASSes for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer.  After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade, Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic, or Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations.  Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade.  Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4:30pm onward.  Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants.  There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies.  A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park.  We have morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade attracting on-site and off-site visitors alike to Magic Kingdom.  Disney resort guests are much more likely to visit tomorrow for evening Extra Magic Hours.  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 Test Track or Soarin’.  Both will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10am due to their 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.  Keep in mind that Innoventions, Universe of Energy, Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, and Circle of Life usually close at 7pm.  Hit those attractions from 5pm to 7pm to find shorter waits than the 1pm to 4pm timeframe.  Return to Test Track and Soarin’ after 8pm to find the shortest waits outside of 9am – 10am.  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. Tomorrow is also recommended with Epcot pulling more guests. 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 March 21

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 – 9:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Highly 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 busy as Disney’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 by 8:30am 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 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 close because waits will only decrease from 4:30pm 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 the most recommended Park.  We have the extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours luring Disney resort guests to Epcot today and Hollywood Studios’ morning Extra Magic Hour tomorrow will prove popular. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Once you get through these attractions in the morning or with FASTPASS, you have little to worry about for the rest of the day, other than trying to get to the Studios’ various high capacity attractions and stage shows that run on a set schedule.  For Fantasmic, you’ll want to arrive about 60 minutes early to guarantee good seats together.  If that sounds like it’s about 30 minutes too long, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Fantasmic theater.  It will still require you to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it saves the stress of having to decide when it’s time to line up and decreases the overall wait.  The Fantasmic Dining Package makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  Plus, it includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Disney Dining Plan. If the Package isn’t available or you’re not interested in swinging the additional cost, see the later Fantasmic. It’s far less crowded because most families with young kids can’t stay out that late there aren’t two large sections reserved for Dining Package users.  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 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 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 10:30pm to find significantly shorter waits than the afternoon.

Saturday March 22

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

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract Disney vacationers of any sort.  Magic Kingdom will be attracting significant crowds with its long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Hollywood Studios will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour, two Fantasmic shows, and late close.  We also had two morning Extra Magic Hours earlier in the week and another on Monday to appeal to the sizable Disney resort contingent.  To take full advantage, arrive by 8:30am and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  Get those two attractions out of the way early and the only real concerns is getting to Nemo the Musical.  You would be in the best shape if you could get to the first or last show of the day as well as over to DinoLand USA before 10:30am when lines begin to build at DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl.  You may also want to prioritize characters that have long afternoon waits by arriving about five minutes before the characters appear. Check your Times Guide to verify appearance times. Finally, keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade. Visit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits possible.

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 by 8:20am 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, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will entice on-site visitors. The long hours and two Fantasmic shows will remain popular with the sizable off-site contingent.  You can have success from 8am – 10am if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, but the afternoon and evening are going to be busier than just about any day this week.  Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or plan to arrive by 7:15am to take advantage of low crowds in the morning.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of visitors that will visit on their last day before returning home tomorrow from a standard weeklong vacation.  We also have visiting locals contributing to heavy crowds. With late closes most nights and nighttime entertainment every night, Magic Kingdom won’t be overwhelming busier than other days this week because there are fewer forces attracting guests to other days. You can do well in the early morning and last few hours, but the busy afternoon is best avoided.

Sunday March 23

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

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Highly Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (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 don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract people.  The early morning, from 9am – 10:30am, is always the best time to tour. Standby waits are guaranteed to be short as few people are able to make it out to Animal Kingdom by rope drop.  And once they do, they get bogged down with The Oasis, Tree of Life, and other things.  Ideally, plan to arrive prior to Park opening and focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day (or both).  After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or one of the more popular shows.  If you have young children or otherwise have interest, plan to visit the most popular characters by lining up for them about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  People rarely get in lines when characters aren’t present because 99.9% of the people visiting have no idea which characters will be meeting.  If you don’t end up arriving prior or close to Park opening, plan to stay through close because wait times will only ease after the Parade.  With no evening entertainment to keep people around and restaurants that are vastly underrated, few people Park Hop in the afternoon.  Take advantage of one or both of the less crowded times of day, use FASTPASS as much as possible in the late morning and afternoon, and tour efficiently and you should have an excellent day.

Epcot is recommended again today.  We have a lot going on at the other Parks and nothing specific to draw crowds to Epcot.  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 strong 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 a more compartmentalized two-day plan.  Despite the recommendation, you’ll still run into 60+ minute waits at Test Track and Soarin’ in the afternoon.  There’s just no way around that because both attractions are popular and have limited capacities.  Thankfully, you’ll be well on your way to the other Future World attractions and World Showcase before those waits increase.  If you don’t arrive early in the morning, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Soarin’ or Test Track. Soarin’ may make more sense because Test Track offers a single rider line with waits that are typically shorter than standby or FASTPASS. Do your best to move up to World Showcase right at 11am to stay ahead of crowds for as long as possible.  Consider returning to Future World after 5pm when crowds decrease there and begin to creep up into World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is highly recommended and your best choice if you have other plans for Animal Kingdom today.  The only problem is the usual Monday edition of the Studios’ evening Extra Magic Hours won’t be happening until Wednesday. Still, resort guests are more likely to wait until then to visit because they feel like the Extra Magic Hours schedule is Disney’s way of telling its resort guests where they belong each day. Today, Magic Kingdom will be pulling most resort guests with its incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours. Despite the recommendation, it’s still essential that you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Make Toy Story Mania your priority because it will have 60+ minute afternoon waits.  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.  Because they usually begin appearing at 9:15am, you’ll have time to ride Toy Story and then get in line for the characters around 9:10am.  Sofia the First in Animation Courtyard begins meeting at 9:30am and is also very popular. Phineas & Ferb usually have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios.  They typically begin appearing at 9:30am as well.  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. Plan to visit in the last hour they’re scheduled to appear.  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, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto, and Stitch are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear.  Stay for the second Fantasmic because it will be considerably less crowded and you won’t have to deal with two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. Overall, you can do well at the Studios if you arrive by 8:15am, but you’re looking at long lines and heavier crowds if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended, though the morning from 9am – 11am and the late evening from 10:30pm – 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 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 1am 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 and Wednesday 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 March 24

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 8pm (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 – 9:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  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 the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Still, it will be crowded with the high 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 is recommended now that the evening Extra Magic Hours have moved to Wednesday. It’s early in the week and we have more people than usual arriving on Sunday for a traditional week long vacation. The vast majority of those that arrive over the weekend begin their vacation with Magic Kingdom and save Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios for later in the week. We have nothing specific attracting people towards the Studios. Still, it’s more important to arrive prior to Park opening to beat the crowds to Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coasters, and the other attractions.

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 spring break vacation.  They travel over the weekend and naturally head to the Magic Kingdom on Monday for their first full day. Unlike most Mondays, only an unpopular morning Extra Magic Hour at Animal Kingdom will be pulling resort guests away.  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 March 25

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (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 – 9:30pm (Highly Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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.  We’re in between yesterday’s and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hours, each of which will be more attractive to Disney resort guests.  It’s also early enough in the week that most people arriving for a weeklong vacation will be saving Animal Kingdom, Disney’s least popular theme park, for later in the week.  There’s simply nothing drawing people to Animal Kingdom with its lack of Extra Magic Hours and no special events/nighttime entertainment. To have the most success, arrive by 7:30am and head to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest first thing.  After that, head to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or over to one of the major stage shows and you won’t have anything to worry about for the rest of the day. You may also want to prioritize the most popular characters.  With the relatively long day, you should have no problem accomplishing whatever you want if you arrive prior to Park opening, use FASTPASS efficiently, and make good use of your time.  If you don’t arrive until 10am or later, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Use those FASTPASSes during the day and return to the major attractions after 6pm.  A lot of people leave after the 3:45pm Parade, causing lines to be much shorter in the final two hours of operation.

Epcot isn’t recommended due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests, lack of long hours and evening entertainment elsewhere, and the natural progression of weeklong Disney vacationers that will naturally head to Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday.  While the morning Extra Magic Hour will be an excellent time to tour, Epcot will get progressively busier as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  You could have success if you arrive by 7:30am, head straight for the headliners, and move up to the World Showcase around 11am, but afternoon crowds will be heavier than recommended days and you’ll likely want to Park Hop elsewhere or take a break around 2pm.  Yesterday and Thursday are the best days to visit this week.  This Friday will be the busiest day of the week.

Hollywood Studios is highly recommended as we look toward a rare and more popular evening Extra Magic Hours tomorrow.  To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Midway Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  Toy Story Mania in particular has wait times that almost always hit 60+ minutes in the afternoon and FASTPASSes that are in severely limited supply.  Make it your morning priority.  Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also sees long afternoon waits and limited FASTPASS availability.  Plan to head there right after Toy Story Mania or rely on FASTPASS later in the day.  The other two attractions with decent lines are Tower of Terror and Star Tours.  Luckily, they have higher capacities and aren’t as popular.  You’ll still want to ride before 10:30am or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day.  Expect Star Tours’ waits to peak in the 30 minute range while Tower of Terror usually hits 45 to 70 minutes depending on the number of elevators operating. There’s no way around those peak waits with the limited number of rides in the Park.  Once you get through those four attractions, it’s really just a matter of getting over to the high capacity rides and shows that run on a set schedule.  It’s unlikely you’ll run into much of a line at Backlot Tour or Great Movie Ride if you visit before 11am or after 5pm, but fitting in the various stage shows can be tricky because they have a tendency to start and end at the same time.  You may also want to make a popular character a morning priority.  Check your Times Guide and plan to arrive at as many characters as possible about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  Overall, you can have a lot of success if you arrive prior to Park opening and take care of the headlining attractions first thing.  For Fantasmic, I recommend the Fantasmic Dining Package, which guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Theater if you’re intent on seeing the first show.  It makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  It also includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Dining Plan.  You’ll still need to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it’s better than the 60 minute wait you’re looking at to score decent seats together without the Package. If you’re not interested in the Package or it’s not available, plan to see the second Fantasmic. It’s far less crowded because most families can’t stay up for it and you won’t need to worry about two large sections reserved for Dining Package guests.

Magic Kingdom recommended and an excellent choice if you don’t want to wait until tomorrow to visit.  Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hours and Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic will help draw crowds away and a lot of people will have visited yesterday for their first full day at Disney World.  Still, it’s more important to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain), or other priorities.  You may 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.  Characters that will have long lines in the afternoon and don’t offer FASTPASS are also a priority.  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.  Magic Kingdom will also be the most recommended Park tomorrow, so you may want to hold off until then if you have other plans today.  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.  However, today will be nearly as good if you tour efficiently in the morning, take a restful break, and return in the evening for Wishes and some late night attractions.

Wednesday March 26

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 7am – 8am

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9:30pm -11:30pm

Fantasmic: 8:30pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract thousands of Disney resort guests. With the fewest number of attractions, it only takes a few thousand extra people to clog up walkways and increase waits. We’ll have far more than just a few thousand extra people descending on Animal Kingdom today. Those people will only add to already sizable spring break numbers. You can still do well if you arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour and leave by 1pm, but the afternoon is going to be busier than any other day this week.

Epcot is highly recommended and your best choice if you have other plans for Magic Kingdom.  Yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour will have been moderately attended by Disney resort guests and they won’t be looking to return today.  Evening Extra Magic Hours, Fantasmic and Toy Story Midway Mania will also be more popular at Hollywood Studios. Epcot is nearly as good tomorrow though and most people will want to take advantage of the lowest crowds of the week at Magic Kingdom.  Plan to arrive by 8:20am and either follow a touring plan or head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’.  You’ll be in good shape if you’ve moved to the World Showcase by 12pm, starting with the boat rides in Mexico and Norway.

This is the busiest day of the week at Hollywood Studios. We have a rare Wednesday edition of evening Extra Magic Hours attracting on-site guests and it’s later in the week, which means most casual vacationers on a standard week long spring break vacation will be interested in visiting Disney World’s less popular theme parks after doing Magic Kingdom on Monday and Epcot on Tuesday. The morning will be relatively tame, but 10am – 10pm is going to be busier than any other day and it’s best avoided.

Magic Kingdom is our best Park to visit today for the exact same reasons it was recommended yesterday.  We also have a morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract off-site visitors and an Electrical Parade that will attract off-site visitors tomorrow.  Take advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight for Fantasyland (Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh), the headlining Mountain rides (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash 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, the Electrical Parade and Wishes. The 11pm Electrical Parade will be much less crowded than the first and the best viewing locations are in Frontierland and outside Hall of Presidents. Both areas offer a view just as good as Main Street and don’t require the excessive waits. If you’re skipping the nighttime spectaculars, wait times at the rides also go down significantly after 9pm. Visit Tomorrowland after 10pm and Fantasyland after 11pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Thursday March 27

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Highly Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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 recommended.  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/Main Street Electrical Parade attracting crowds toward the Magic Kingdom.  As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  If you’re not riding the thrill rides (Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl), you’ll want to attend the first showing of Finding Nemo because those shows will be popular in the afternoon.  Also consider arriving for the popular characters about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear to cut down on wait times.  Rely on FASTPASSes for attractions you either want to ride again or couldn’t make it to in the morning and you should be able to do just about everything the Animal Kingdom has to offer.  After completing your itinerary, you may want to Park Hop to Magic Kingdom for Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade, Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic, or Epcot for dinner and IllumiNations.  Keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm Parade.  Stay through close if there’s more that you want to accomplish because wait times will only decrease from 4:30pm onward.  Without Park Hopper, consider transferring to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of its excellent restaurants.  There’s also a public observatory where you can gaze out at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s private savannas and enjoy the same view many guests are paying a premium to have right outside their balconies.  A trip to Downtown Disney or the BoardWalk for dinner and shopping also makes a lot of sense.

Epcot is the most recommended Park.  We have morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade attracting on-site and off-site visitors alike to Magic Kingdom.  Disney resort guests are much more likely to visit tomorrow for evening Extra Magic Hours.  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 Test Track or Soarin’.  Both will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10am due to their 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.  Keep in mind that Innoventions, Universe of Energy, Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, and Circle of Life usually close at 7pm.  Hit those attractions from 5pm to 7pm to find shorter waits than the 1pm to 4pm timeframe.  Return to Test Track and Soarin’ after 8pm to find the shortest waits outside of 9am – 10am.  It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is highly recommended.  While it’s later in the week, Magic Kingdom will be a much bigger draw with morning Extra Magic Hour and Main Street Electrical Parade drawing off-site and on-site visitors alike and we’re coming off a busier day yesterday with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Tomorrow is also recommended with evening Extra Magic Hours at Epcot on Friday and Saturday’s morning Extra Magic Hour at the Studios proving more popular.  Still, touring efficiently is more important than “picking the right day,” especially at Hollywood Studios.  That means arriving by 8:15am and taking care of Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours first thing in the morning or with FASTPASS throughout the day.  Toy Story Mania will hit 60+ minutes in the afternoon due to its limited capacity.  Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also sees decent afternoon waits, likely in the 40-60 minute range, with FASTPASSes that are harder to obtain.  Plan to head there second or rely on FASTPASS later in the day.  You may also want to prioritize the Toy Story, Phineas and Ferb, Sofia, or Sorcerer Mickey characters by arriving about five minutes before they first appear.  The Toy Story characters, located right across the way from Toy Story Mania, are easy to meet at 9:15am if you head over after riding.  Visiting Sorcerer Mickey in the Animation Building in the last hour he’s scheduled to appear is best.  In addition, characters appear at Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat in the early morning that won’t appear during any other part of the day.  Usually, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Donald, Daisy, Stitch appear, but no specific characters are guaranteed.  Overall, you can do well at the Studios if you arrive early and tour efficiently, but afternoon crowds will be decent.  Arrive at 10:30am with everyone else and you’re looking at long lines at Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  You can still enjoy the various shows, but it’s going to be more difficult to experience those two attractions.  Thankfully, Tower of Terror and Star Tours see shorter waits and additional FASTPASS availability.  Still, Tower of Terror will hit 40-70 minutes in the afternoon and Star Tours should see 20 minute waits.

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. Tomorrow is also recommended with Epcot pulling more guests. 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 March 28

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 – 9:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (Highly 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 busy as Disney’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 by 8:30am 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 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 close because waits will only decrease from 4:30pm 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 the most recommended Park.  We have the extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours luring Disney resort guests to Epcot today and Hollywood Studios’ morning Extra Magic Hour tomorrow will prove popular. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Once you get through these attractions in the morning or with FASTPASS, you have little to worry about for the rest of the day, other than trying to get to the Studios’ various high capacity attractions and stage shows that run on a set schedule.  For Fantasmic, you’ll want to arrive about 60 minutes early to guarantee good seats together.  If that sounds like it’s about 30 minutes too long, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Fantasmic theater.  It will still require you to arrive at least 20 minutes early, or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved section up to the general population, but it saves the stress of having to decide when it’s time to line up and decreases the overall wait.  The Fantasmic Dining Package makes the most sense on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one table service credit at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano or Hollywood & Vine and two table service credits at Hollywood Brown Derby that you would pay otherwise.  Plus, it includes the appetizer, which you normally wouldn’t receive on the Disney Dining Plan. If the Package isn’t available or you’re not interested in swinging the additional cost, see the later Fantasmic. It’s far less crowded because most families with young kids can’t stay out that late there aren’t two large sections reserved for Dining Package users.  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 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 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 10:30pm to find significantly shorter waits than the afternoon.

Saturday March 29

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

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract Disney vacationers of any sort.  Magic Kingdom will be attracting significant crowds with its long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Hollywood Studios will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour, two Fantasmic shows, and late close.  We also had two morning Extra Magic Hours earlier in the week and another on Monday to appeal to the sizable Disney resort contingent.  To take full advantage, arrive by 8:30am and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.  Get those two attractions out of the way early and the only real concerns is getting to Finding Nemo the Musical.  You would be in the best shape if you could get to the first or last show of the day as well as over to DinoLand USA before 10:30am when lines begin to build at DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl.  You may also want to prioritize characters that have long afternoon waits by arriving about five minutes before the characters appear. Check your Times Guide to verify appearance times. Finally, keep in mind that crowds disperse shortly after the 3:45pm. Visit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find shorter waits than the afternoon.

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 by 8:20am 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, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will entice on-site visitors. The long hours and two Fantasmic shows will remain popular with the sizable off-site contingent.  You can have success from 8am – 10am if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, but the afternoon and evening are going to be busier than just about any day this week.  Avoid it unless you can’t visit any other day or plan to arrive by 7:15am to take advantage of low crowds in the morning.

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of visitors that will visit on their last day before returning home tomorrow from a standard weeklong vacation.  We also have visiting locals contributing to heavy crowds. With late closes most nights and nighttime entertainment every night, Magic Kingdom won’t be overwhelming busier than other days this week because there are fewer forces attracting guests to other days. You can do well in the early morning and last few hours, but the busy afternoon is best avoided.

Sunday March 30

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Highly Recommended)

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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 comes highly recommended.  We don’t have Extra Magic Hours or special events to attract people.  The early morning, from 8am – 9:30am, is always the best time to tour. Standby waits are guaranteed to be short as few people are able to make it out to Animal Kingdom by rope drop.  And once they do, they get bogged down with The Oasis, Tree of Life, and other things.  Ideally, plan to arrive by 7:30am and focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or plan to use FASTPASS later in the day (or both).  After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA for Primeval Whirl and DINOSAUR or one of the more popular shows.  If you have young children or otherwise have interest, plan to visit the most popular characters by lining up for them about five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear.  People rarely get in lines when characters aren’t present because 99.9% of the people visiting have no idea which characters will be meeting.  If you don’t end up arriving prior or close to Park opening, plan to stay through close because wait times will only ease after the Parade.  With no evening entertainment to keep people around and restaurants that are vastly underrated, few people Park Hop in the afternoon.  Visit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia after 7pm to find the shortest waits possible. Take advantage of one or both of the less crowded times of day, use FASTPASS as much as possible in the late morning and afternoon, and tour efficiently and you should have an excellent day.

Epcot is recommended again today.  We have a lot going on at the other Parks and nothing specific to draw crowds to Epcot.  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 strong 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 a more compartmentalized two-day plan.  Despite the recommendation, you’ll still run into 60+ minute waits at Test Track and Soarin’ in the afternoon.  There’s just no way around that because both attractions are popular and have limited capacities.  Thankfully, you’ll be well on your way to the other Future World attractions and World Showcase before those waits increase.  If you don’t arrive early in the morning, plan to rely on FASTPASS at Soarin’ or Test Track. Soarin’ may make more sense because Test Track offers a single rider line with waits that are typically shorter than standby or FASTPASS. Do your best to move up to World Showcase right at 11am to stay ahead of crowds for as long as possible.  Consider returning to Future World after 5pm when crowds decrease there and begin to creep up into World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park.  We’re sandwiched in between yesterday’s moderately popular morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s extremely popular evening Extra Magic Hours.  Magic Kingdom will be pulling most resort guests with its incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours. Despite the recommendation, it’s still essential that you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  Make Toy Story Mania your priority because it will have 60+ minute afternoon waits.  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.  Because they usually begin appearing at 9:15am, you’ll have time to ride Toy Story and then get in line for the characters around 9:10am.  Sofia the First in Animation Courtyard begins meeting at 9:30am and is also very popular. Phineas & Ferb usually have the third longest lines in Hollywood Studios.  They typically begin appearing at 9:30am as well.  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. Plan to visit in the last hour they’re scheduled to appear.  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, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto, and Stitch are all common, but no specific character is guaranteed to appear.  Stay for the second Fantasmic because it will be considerably less crowded and you won’t have to deal with two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. Overall, you can do well at the Studios if you arrive by 8:15am, but you’re looking at long lines and heavier crowds if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else.

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 and Wednesday 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 March 31

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 – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9:30pm – 11:30pm

Fantasmic: 8:30pm and 10pm

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, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  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 only expressly 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 the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Still, it will be crowded with the high 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.  The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 11am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive.  Yesterday, tomorrow, and Friday would all be better days to visit.  Evening Extra Magic Hours at the Studios aren’t usually much of a success for people because 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, especially now that Extra Magic Hours have been reduced to two hours.  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.  You can have a moderate amount of success if you arrive early, but with several recommended days coming up, there’s really no reason to press your luck.

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 spring break 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.

 

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

lawanda August 26, 2013 at 7:28 am

information for grandchildren

Maggie September 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Hi, I’m sure I’m just not seeing it…but where are the recommendations for March 30 and 31? Thanks! :-)

Maggie September 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm

….I meant your recommendations for 3/30 and 3/31 on the calendar format…I do see your detailed descriptions above. Thanks.

Rachel November 7, 2013 at 2:08 am

Thank you for all the great info! I’m planning a trip and noticed that on Monday 3/24 you have evening EMH at HS, but the Disney website says that the evening EMH at HS that week is on Wednesday 3/26. Do you have inside info that the Disney site is not showing? Thanks.

Rachel November 8, 2013 at 3:00 am

Thanks for updating the calendar!

William November 9, 2013 at 6:50 am

The PDF version of the calendar appears to be March 2013 rather than 2014.

MG January 5, 2014 at 6:14 am

Pssst Mardi Gras is spelled wrong! (Mardis)

siskaren January 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm

No, it’s not.

Shelly January 22, 2014 at 10:11 am

Why do you have the crowd level at 9 for March 23 and most of that week and only 8 for April 20 which is Easter and 7 for the week of Easter?

Sally January 23, 2014 at 8:32 am

Which day would you recommend more for going first to Epcot until early afternoon and then Magic Kingdom the rest of the day, March 18 or March 19. Thanks.

Len January 26, 2014 at 4:09 am

I know you mention it in your comments but I’m just wondering if you might be underestimating the impact of Mardi Gras and Louisiana vacation week. Mardi Gras bounces around so you can’t go by historical crowds for that week. Also, there is some talk on DIS that MK is crowded on Fat Tuesday but you still have it as recommened.

Annie February 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Hi, the backlot tour in Hollywood Studios will reopen on the 1st of March. We are planning to go to Hollywood Studios on the 2nd. Do you think the reopening of this attraction will change anything on the crowd expectation. Do you think we need to take special arrangement to make sure we are able to do the ride. Thanks again for this wounderfull web site and for your help.

Lydia February 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Just thought y’all might want to be aware that on Sunday, March 23, HS will close by 9 pm to the public due to AmeriCheer and AmeriDance’s annual Victory Party. This is for participants in their competition and those on the company’s package deals only. The competition is always the third full weekend in March, and the victory party is always Sunday night, 9-12. It used to rotate every other year between AK and HS, but lately it’s just HS. This would affect normal park-goer plans like the second Fantasmic showing and hitting top rides just before close.

Donna February 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm

On Thursday, March 20th you have Hollywood Studios listed as (Not Recommended). But then in the paragraph description, the first sentence says Hollywood Studios is Highly Recommended. Can you clarify?

Len February 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

I just noticed that you increased the crowd levels from March 2-March 14. Do you not make a note when you do that? Any particular reason for this change? Thanks for all you do.

Kathy March 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

My family is coming march 22-30 what days are least crowded for
Disneyland
Universal studios
Hollywood hits
Please thanks so much and what place is to get the best price tickets

Jen Wallace March 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

You definitely need to re-evaluate your crowd level projections. This year already has seen much larger crowd levels in the parks than ever, even in late January/early February. And showing MK as highly recommended on Tuesday the 4th was so wrong, as was the crowd level of 5 (for all the parks). You stated Mardi Gras wouldn’t impact the crowd level at MK on the 4th because it was before spring break; well guess what … spring break starts earlier than you think! You’ve been underestimating crowd levels far too long; time to be realistic. Just sayin’.

Jenn March 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Kathy – Disneyland is in California, Universal is not part of Disney, and Hollywood Hits??? Doesn’t exist.

LP March 6, 2014 at 7:52 am

Personally, I am completely confused as to how the last week of March has crowd levels at a 9, while peak spring break week (the week prior) has only a 7!!

I am not quite sure how these crowd levels are estimated, but I am presuming they are based on past years’ crowd levels each day in March.

That said, since March has holidays (Easter, Mardi Gras) that change each year, how can you predict crowds accurately? Here’s what I mean: in 2013, Easter was March 31. So last year, it would have made sense that the last week of March would be crazy busy, since Easter was a part of it. However, this year Easter isn’t until April 21, so that has no impact at all. Therefore, you can’t use 2013 crowd levels to gauge 2014.

Same thing with Mardi Gras – it was Feb. 12 in 2013, so it had no impact on March crowd levels. This year, it was March 4, and as another poster commented, Disney was packed on that day, even though your crowd calendar shows it as being only a 5 crowd level! Obviously wrong!

Lastly, the vast majority of college spring breaks occur between March 3 and March 21 (as you can see here: http://www.tripsmarter.com/panama-city-beach/events/spring-break-college-university-dates). I don’t know of any cities or states (and I searched) that have K-12 public school extended breaks the week of March 23. (I live in the Northeast and every state here has spring break starting April 21, except for N.H. which starts April 28.)

So WHY ON EARTH would March 24-29 be a peak (crowd level 9) week???

Again, you can’t go on crowd levels from the past in a month like March with holidays that don’t have fixed dates.

Jessica March 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Hi – love all this help! The calendar is great for March, but it seems to be missing the 30th and 31st – do we have any info on that? Thanks again, I appreciate any info.

Bob March 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Jessica – the calendar shows the 30th and 31st at the top of the month in order for Josh to fit them on the calendar template.

Mike March 16, 2014 at 7:31 am

@LP March 24-29 is when a majority of Florida k-12 schools have their spring break.

Sarah March 17, 2014 at 11:02 am

Hi ,
I planned a last minute trip for March 28-31. I have a park hopper and plan to spend 28-30 in the parks. How would you recommend I go about touring? ( like which park on which day?)
Thanks!

Sandi March 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

We just returned from our 10 day (3 days on-site + 7 days off-site) and couldn’t be happier. Josh – your daily recommendations, cheat sheets and planners were VERY helpful! My husband commented on how well our days “flowed”. Thanks Josh!

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