11 November 2013 Crowd Calendar

11/10/13 Update: Animal Kingdom close extended to 6pm on November 11th. Animal Kingdom open moved to 8am on Sunday November 24th.

10/16/13 Update: Crowd Calendar updated with the changes listed here.

This is the Free November 2013 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.

Friday November 1

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Epcot: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 10pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7:30pm

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

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: none

Animal Kingdom is not recommended today, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract enough Disney resort guests to make it busier than recommended days and relatively few people headed to Magic Kingdom with the short operating hours.  If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can have a ton of success if you arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it.  However, crowds are going to be heavier than recommended days from 10am through at least 4pm.  You can certainly “beat” these crowds if you tour intelligently in the early morning, but it’s going to be difficult to get out to Animal Kingdom in time to take advantage of it unless you’re coming from the All Star Resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or Coronado Springs Resort.  You’re looking at about a 20 minute drive out from the Monorail Deluxe Resorts and 15 minutes from most others, plus the time it takes for the bus to arrive.  Not to mention getting multiple people bathed and clothed with one shower and limited space.  Most people will want to take advantage of the lowest crowds of the week at Magic Kingdom.

Epcot isn’t recommended, though it will be less busy than either of the next two days.  If you’re trying to decide between today, tomorrow, and Sunday, then today would be best.  However Fridays, particularly in World Showcase in the evening, are crowded.  Most people will want to take advantage of the lower crowds at Magic Kingdom because it’s going to be much, much, much busier there tomorrow.  If you are headed to Epcot today, you’ll want to arrive before Park opening and take care of Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ first thing in the morning.  Plan to move up through World Showcase right at 11am if you have business up there, whether it be the attractions and shopping or the Food and Wine Festival booths.  Crowds in World Showcase are only going to get larger as it gets later in the day.  Plan to return to Future World at or before 5pm to avoid the heavy congestion in World Showcase.  Overall, there are going to be a lot of people in Epcot, but you can “beat” them by arriving early and touring efficiently.  If possible, try to see IllumiNations on another night because crowds will be thick in World Showcase from 5pm through close.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though this past Monday or Wednesday would have been better days to visit.  The problems are the lowly morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park and the short hours of operation at Magic Kingdom.  Nonetheless, the Studios remains your second best choice with Animal Kingdom drawing Disney resort guests and Epcot being much more popular with locals and visitors that want to get a head start on the Food & Wine Festival.  Tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour and what will most likely turn out to be longer hours of operation will also be more popular with off-site visitors.  Like most days, you can do well if you arrive by 8:20am and take care of Toy Story Midway Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster first thing in the morning, but you’ll be looking at long lines at the headliners if you arrive at 10:30am with everyone else.  Tour efficiently and you’ll have plenty of success.

Magic Kingdom is the best Park to visit, despite the truncated operating schedule and lack of both Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is scheduled tonight.  It’s a separately ticketed event that begins at 7pm and runs through 12am.  Because the hours are “so short” and there’s no evening entertainment during the regular day, most Disney vacationers will plan to visit on another day.  Today is an excellent opportunity to visit the Fantasyland and headlining attractions with minimal waits as well as visit the popular characters and whatever else you’d like to experience.  Because waits are shorter and the crowd level is so much lower, you’ll actually be able to accomplish more during the day today than you would on another day when the hours are much longer.  For maximum efficiency, arrive prior to Park opening and use FASTPASS throughout the day.  Consider a second day at the Magic Kingdom to see the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes or ideally Park Hop over in the evening on a night that it’s available.  Wednesday is the best day of the week to see the Main Street Electrical Parade at night, but that isn’t saying a whole lot when your other options are a busy Monday and Saturday.  Finally, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party does feature the special HalloWishes fireworks spectacular at 9:30pm above Cinderella Castle.  This show is viewable from a variety of locations around Disney property.  My favorite is the Polynesian Resort’s beach, which is directly across from the Magic Kingdom.  The 4th floor observatory at the Contemporary Resort is another excellent location.  The boat launch and marina at the Grand Floridian also offer pretty good views, though less direct angles.  The boat dock at the Transportation and Ticket Center also offers an underrated view and it makes for the easiest exit if you’re driving because you’re already at the parking lot.  The soundtrack is easiest to hear at the Contemporary, Transportation and Ticket Center, and Polynesian in that order.  You might consider taking the monorail or boat to one of the Monorail Deluxe resorts for dinner after the Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm and then get into position to enjoy the fireworks around 9:20pm at one of the previously mentioned locations.  You can then transfer back to the Magic Kingdom and take a resort bus back to your resort or hop in your car and head wherever you like.  Each of the Deluxe resorts have pretty good quick service locations too, so you can also eat on the cheap if you prefer and look around the resort(s) for a while until HalloWishes begins.  In a perfect world, I would hit Kona Café for dinner and enjoy HalloWishes from the Polynesian’s beach.

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