July 2016 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

This is the Free July 2016 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 four major theme parks. Individual theme parks can have smaller or larger crowds than the overall estimation, which is where the theme park recommendations come in.
  • The fifth line shows the theme parks I recommend visiting in green and the theme parks I recommend avoiding in red. There is also a | sign that splits up the recommended and not recommended Parks for the color blind or those printing in black and white (the Parks to the left of the | sign are recommended). I use the usual abbreviations for the Parks; AK is the Animal Kingdom, EP is Epcot, HS is Hollywood Studios, and MK is the Magic Kingdom. In addition to the colors, the Park on the far left is the most recommended Park to visit that day. The Park second to the left is the second most recommended and so on. For example, if the line reads AK EP | HS MK then the Animal Kingdom is the most recommended and Epcot is the second most recommended. On the other side of the | sign, Hollywood Studios is not recommended and the Magic Kingdom is expressly not recommended even more. If possible, I would strongly recommend you visit the Park that is most recommended each day. Please read below the calendar for an overview of how I’ve selected the recommended Parks and also a day-by-day explanation.
  • The sixth line lists which Parks have Extra Magic Hours and at what time they start. Morning Extra Magic Hour lasts one hour and usually starts at 8am. Evening Extra Magic Hours last two hours from the start time. For example, if you see AK:8am EP:9pm, that means the Animal Kingdom has a morning Extra Magic Hour from 8am-9am and Epcot has evening Extra Magic Hours from 9pm-11pm.
  • 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 July 1

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8:30pm-10:30pm

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and there’s nothing specific attracting people today. Tomorrow will be more popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. As always, you’ll have the most success arriving prior to Park opening and using an efficient touring plan that probably starts at Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest. Crowds drop in the afternoon with relatively short waits in DinoLand with two hours to close and in Asia with an hour to close. Consider ending the day with Expedition Everest where waits should be largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off a more popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the resort crowd, which opens up Epcot for an excellent day. Still, with exactly two rides most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to Soarin’ or Test Track immediately after Park open. With two days to tour, you can easily compartmentalize the Park by touring one side each day. With one day, try to tour Future World through 11am, then head up to World Showcase to tour with light crowds until around 5pm. Then return to Future World to finish what you want to do there, keeping in mind that Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Pixar Shorts, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and both Innoventions buildings usually close at 7pm. Visit those attractions through 7pm and then move on to the likes of Mission: SPACE, The Seas with Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Character Spot. Either head back to World Showcase for dinner and IllumiNations or continue touring Future World with dinner at Sunshine Seasons. Waits at Soarin’ or Test Track will be nearly nonexistent if you get in line around 8:55pm or you can still finish the night out with IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests. The vast majority of those staying on property believe the Extra Magic Hours schedule dictates where they belong each day and they tend to flock to the Park with EMH, even if they arrive too late and miss most or all of their extra time. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 10am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 10pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true other days this week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Yesterday or tomorrow would be significantly better.

Magic Kingdom comes tentatively recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting more resort guests than recommended days earlier in the week. But we’re going into three extremely crowded days with the July 4th holiday, so those needing to visit sometime between now and next Monday are best served visiting today. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, do everything you can to arrive no later than 7:25am to take advantage of it, beginning with the priority attractions in Fantasyland or Tomorrowland. If you’re not eligible, you’re best served arriving no later than 8:30am and starting in Frontierland or Adventureland. Neither of those lands are open during the Extra Magic Hours, so you won’t be at a disadvantage. You may also choose to start in Tomorrowland where waits won’t already have taken off. Avoid Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train unless you can ride immediately after the Extra Magic Hour starts. Waits will drop off in the evening. Visit Tomorrowland with two hours to close and Fantasyland in the final hour to find much lower waits than the afternoon. Overall, you can do well if you tour efficiently, but recommended days earlier in the week will see lower waits and an easier overall touring experience. Still, today is better than any of the next three days.

Saturday July 2

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with more going on elsewhere. Still, arrive by 8:20am and you should have no trouble hitting Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ first thing in the morning or whatever else you plan to do. Try to move up to World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds and return to Future World after 5pm after most casual vacationers have moved up for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we come off a busier day with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Tomorrow will also be busier with morning Extra Magic Hour. Today, Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror, Great Movie Ride, and Star Tours. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. Try to visit Star Wars Launch Bay as late in the evening as possible if you’re interested in the character meet and greets. 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 10am, 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.

It’s going to be a very busy day at Magic Kingdom with the Independence Day Holiday coming up on Monday. Still, today will be less crowded than either of the next two days when the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks will be offered. Those that have to choose to visit between today and Sunday or Monday should opt for today. As always, arrive at least 35 minutes prior to Park open with an efficient touring plan in hand and/or take advantage of lower waits in the last two hours of operation.

Sunday July 3

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 10pm, Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended, though tomorrow would be better in most situations. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow, both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also unlikely anyone arriving over the weekend will begin their vacation with Disney’s least popular theme park. You should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows – either Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse in the afternoon and the last hour of operation will only have diminishing waits. End the day in Asia with Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest and waits will be nearly nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park, though it will still be busy with the high overall crowd level for the holiday. Still, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Epcot will be significantly more crowded tomorrow for the July 4th fireworks. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or on the other side of the Park with Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended, though it will be less crowded than tomorrow. Those that are eligible for Extra Magic Hours, certain that they’ll arrive 45 minutes before it starts to take advantage of it, and can’t visit on a recommended day later in the week may want to consider visiting. Tomorrow will be busier with the 4th of July fireworks. If you do visit today, arrive by 7:15am and follow the usual plan of attack, starting with Toy Story Mania or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Magic Kingdom is going to be very crowded with evening Extra Magic Hours and the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks. We can assume Disney has scheduled evening Extra Magic Hours to help pull Disney resort guests away from the incredibly busy Independence Day itself. Unfortunately, July 3rd is not overwhelmingly less crowded than July 4th naturally and will be similarly crowded now that Disney resort guests are more likely to flock to the 3rd rather than the 4th. All official communications from the company will also direct people to the 3rd. You can still have success in the early morning and late evening, but we’re looking at a ton of people from 11a – 11pm. Tonight would be a better night to see Fantasy in the Sky, but just marginally. With the 10pm Main Street Electrical Parade, a lot of people will be intent on setting up in a location where they can see both the Parade and Fireworks. That means they’ll be lining the sidewalks of Main Street and standing/sitting around the outskirts of The Hub area in front of Cinderella Castle. This way, they don’t have to move to be in position for the Parade. You can usually fill in on Main Street or inside the Hub about an hour before the Fireworks start, but people will begin staking out the best spots before 6pm. If at all possible, you’ll want to see the Electrical Parade on another night. Evening Extra Magic Hours will also be a good time to tour if you are eligible and able to stay out late – 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 have left by and Fantasyland will be low on crowds. It’s not uncommon for Peter Pan’s Flight to have a 75 minute wait in the afternoon and a ten minute or less wait at the end of evening Extra Magic Hours. Save Mine Train, Peter Pan, and Winnie the Pooh for the very end of the night. While you can have success today, the afternoon and evening are going to be extremely crowded. Main Street will be packed for the Fantasy in the sky Fireworks and the first Electrical Parade at 10pm. While it’s a better day to visit than tomorrow, it should be avoided unless you’re intent on seeing the Fireworks or must visit on July 3rd or 4th.

Monday July 4

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 10pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 10pm, Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks: 9pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park with the others proving to be significantly more popular with the July 4th-exclusive fireworks shows. The morning Extra Magic Hour will be ignored by most resort guests in favor of visiting one of “the more exciting” Parks for the holiday. Rivers of Light will almost certainly be up and running nightly by this time, but it seems unlikely that a holiday tag will be added at the end and there are no fireworks to speak of. Expect waits in the last two hours of operation to be short as well. Those eligible for Extra Magic Hours are best served arriving by 7:30am to take advantage of it. You won’t run into long lines anywhere until at least 9:30am. Also consider a late arrival if you’re not Extra Magic Hours eligible as you won’t run into any complications in the morning and you can enjoy the same short waits in the evening as everyone else, in addition to Rivers of Light.

Epcot will be busy because the conventional wisdom is to head there on holidays. In addition, just about everyone who arrives at the Magic Kingdom after it closes to capacity will be told to go to Epcot. Because Epcot has the most physical space to walk around, it’s somewhat true that it absorbs crowds better than the other Parks. However, there are really only two headlining rides– Soarin’ and Test Track. Soarin’ and Test Track will have waits that exceed 120 minutes for most of the day, with peak wait times of 180 or more minutes. You’ll either want to ride them immediately after Epcot opens in the morning or rely on FastPass+. The good news is that Epcot will not close due to overwhelming crowds like the Magic Kingdom may. For July 4th, IllumiNations features a special patriotic ending with an extra six minutes of fireworks. The show is spectacular, with fireworks shooting off from behind each country in the order that they ring in the New Year. During the day, Epcot will feature special performances by Voices of Liberty, Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps, and Disney characters at the United States Pavilion in the World Showcase. I’ve been to Epcot to enjoy the fireworks each of the last five years and it is manageable, particularly if you’re happy to take a few steps away from the railing and enjoy the fireworks above the Lagoon from a slight distance. Trust me, you won’t miss any of the booming tag. Overall, you can have success provided that you arrive early or aren’t interested in the headlining attractions, but it’s going to be very busy from 5pm through close.

Hollywood Studios is not expressly recommended with the nighttime fireworks attracting a lot of people, You can still do similarly well in the first 90 minutes of operation, but expect long lines at the major attractions from 10am through at least 9pm. Epcot is the easier Park to see the fireworks because there’s so much more space around the Lagoon than there is in front of the Great Movie Ride building.

Magic Kingdom features identical Independence Day firework displays on July 3rd and 4th. I recommend attending the July 3rd show because it will be slightly less crowded and you’ll be able to attend a second special Independence Day celebration on July 4th at either Epcot or Hollywood Studios. With that said, Magic Kingdom will still be incredibly crowded for the Fireworks Show on July 3rd. The Magic Kingdom’s Fantasy in the Sky show is one of the best of the year, featuring panoramic fireworks shot from all around the Park. It’s a much more exciting, much more expensive, much more substantial show than you would see on any other night, other than perhaps New Year’s Eve. To guarantee admittance, you’ll want to arrive by 10am and stay in the Park for the entire day. Because it’s so crowded, it will be difficult to get on most attractions without waiting at least 30 minutes and all of the major FastPass+ attractions will likely have waits that exceed 100 minutes in the afternoon. The only time you’ll find reasonably short lines is during the first two hours of operation and potentially after 10pm (after the hours get extended, probably through 1am). Visit the rides and characters that will have longer afternoon waits first thing in the morning and you’ll be in the best shape possible. Use FastPass+ in the late morning and afternoon when lines are longest. Most families will arrive later in the morning and they’ll leave soon after the Fireworks and Parade, leaving Fantasyland relatively uncrowded at the end of the night. Use FastPass+ as much as possible and you can find success, provided you take advantage of the early morning. Lines at the counter services will also be extremely long and it will be difficult to find seating. I recommend making reservations for sit-down meals at both lunch and dinner or eat at off-peak times. For counter service, try to have lunch before 11:30am and eat dinner before 5pm. If you’ll be doing sit-down meals, consider Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch and the Plaza Restaurant for dinner if you’re on a budget. Overall, it’s a lot of heat and a lot of crowds to put up with for the fireworks show. About 100,000 people do it every year, but it’s not pretty in most situations.

Tuesday July 5

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. With that said, you can still do well from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around 10:30am in anticipation of staying through IllumiNations. The morning will be a decent time to tour, 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 10:15pm. 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 just about 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 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Epcot will prove popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and there’s nothing specific attracting people with Fantasmic scheduled every night along with similar operating hours. Keep in mind that what you do is far more important than which day you do it. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania along with 30+ minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz, Darth Vader/Chewbacca, and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. While it’s a recommended day, it’s still more important to arrive early and tour efficiently than it is to pick the “right” day, even when overall crowds are low.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park as we come off two extremely busy days. Tomorrow is also highly recommended if you have other plans today. Like any other day over the busy and hot summer, arriving by 8:20am with an efficient touring plan is the key to a successful day, in addition to intelligent FastPass+ usage beginning as early as around 10am. Either visit the least popular/highest capacity attractions in the afternoon or consider a break back at your resort. Return in the evening for dinner, a few attractions, and the nighttime Spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade/Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find much shorter waits than the afternoon, ending the night at either Peter Pan’s Flight or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Remember that you can get in line for any attraction right up until the stated closing time, regardless of posted waits, which are usually exaggerated at the end of the night. I recommend getting in line for Mine Train just a couple minutes before close to minimize the wait as much as possible.

Wednesday July 6

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is not expressly recommended. Most of those on a holiday week trip will visit Magic Kingdom on Sunday and/or Monday, Epcot on Tuesday, and be looking to visit one of Disney’s less popular theme parks on Wednesday. With no Extra Magic Hours, we don’t have anything pulling resort guests away. You can still do well following the usual advice, but late morning and afternoon waits will be higher than recommended days and crowds will be heavier overall.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We’re in between yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour, both of which will be more popular with resort guests. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and consider using FP+ at Soarin’. Head up through World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds to as many Pavilions as possible. While traditional lines are not much of a concern at the attractions, lower crowds mean an easier touring experience in all other facets. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas usually continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is not recommended, though it isn’t the best day of the week there. Its problems are similar to Animal Kingdom’s above. Tomorrow would be better with Epcot proving more popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour. You can still do well with an 8:15am arrival and an efficient morning touring plan.

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy with both nighttime spectaculars and the incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours pulling a ton of resort guests. On the plus side, Main Street Electrical Parade is scheduled every day this week, which means nobody will be visiting specifically to see the Parade when it isn’t scheduled on other nights. If you do visit today, your best plan of attack is arriving before 8:30am with plans to head to the priority attractions on your itinerary first thing. Take an afternoon break from 1pm to 5pm or so to rest up for the evening. This is the busiest part of the day and you’re better off relaxing at your resort than you are waiting 45 minutes to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. Head back in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, and the nighttime entertainment. The best place to see the Electrical Parade is in Liberty Square or Frontierland because they’re less popular than Main Street. If you’re planning to visit during evening Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland or Frontierland because most people will head straight for Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find shorter waits. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week, including yesterday and tomorrow.

Thursday July 7

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Highly Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is not explicitly recommended, though it isn’t the worst day of the week to visit. There isn’t anything specific attracting anyone, but there isn’t anything unique going on elsewhere, which means more people than usual will default to Disney’s least popular theme park. Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help pull some Disney resort guests, but morning Extra Magic Hours are much less popular than evening Extra Magic Hours and it’s late enough in the week that most people on standard weeklong vacations will be interested in visiting Disney’s less popular Parks. Most people will want to take advantage of one of the two best days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. But you can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan or a late arrival with plans to stay through close to take advantage of short waits in the evening. Average and peak waits will just be a bit longer than recommended days.

Epcot is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting a lot of Disney resort guests and in turn complicating morning touring. While most of the resort guests that do visit will arrive after their extra hour has ended, they will still fill the Park and clog up lines from 10:30am through close. You can do well if you truly arrive by 7:25am and move quickly through the open attractions, but most people will want to sleep in an extra hour and take advantage of one of the better days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. Average and peak waits will be considerably higher than they were yesterday or tomorrow.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be a bigger draw with Disney resort guests. Keep in mind that with the mostly standardized schedule every day, and Fantasmic scheduled every night, that crowds won’t be overwhelmingly lower today compared to other days this week. Because of that, your touring plan is more important than which day you decide to visit. Arrive by 8:15am, head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then visit Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with a 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters may also be a morning priority. You may want to take a break in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds get heavier. Return for dinner, some evening rides, and Fantasmic. Finally, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Hollywood Hills Theater if you’re planning to see the early show. It will still require you to arrive 20 minutes early (or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved sections to the general population), but it’s better than the 60 minute wait that may be required to get decent seats without it. The Dining Package makes the most sense if you’re also on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one-table-service credit at Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and two-table-service credits that you would use otherwise at Hollywood Brown Derby. It also includes the appetizer, which is a nice bonus. The best seats are otherwise at least half way up in the middle sections. You’ll have a great view of the entire stage, what’s happening on the water, and won’t risk getting wet. Overall, it’s a recommended day because it would be better than tomorrow, but what you do is more important than arriving on the “right” day.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park and this is one of the three best days of the week to visit. This past Sunday and Monday will be more crowded for the 4th of July fireworks and tomorrow will be attracting resort guests for morning Extra Magic Hour. As always, plan to arrive no later than 8:20am with an efficient touring plan in hand, whether you want to begin in Frontierland with Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, Fantasyland for Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight, or Tomorrowland for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. You may also want to prioritize a character that doesn’t offer FastPass+. Begin using FP+ as early as around 10am to maximize future selections. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm to around 5pm to rest up for the evening and return for dinner, some late night rides, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade or Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the last hour of operation to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Friday July 8

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8:30pm-10:30pm

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and there’s nothing specific attracting people today. Tomorrow will be more popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. As always, you’ll have the most success arriving prior to Park opening and using an efficient touring plan that probably starts at Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest. Crowds drop in the afternoon with relatively short waits in DinoLand with two hours to close and in Asia with an hour to close. Consider ending the day with Expedition Everest where waits should be largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off a more popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the resort crowd, which opens up Epcot for an excellent day. Still, with exactly two rides most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to Soarin’ or Test Track immediately after Park open. With two days to tour, you can easily compartmentalize the Park by touring one side each day. With one day, try to tour Future World through 11am, then head up to World Showcase to tour with light crowds until around 5pm. Then return to Future World to finish what you want to do there, keeping in mind that Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Pixar Shorts, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and both Innoventions buildings usually close at 7pm. Visit those attractions through 7pm and then move on to the likes of Mission: SPACE, The Seas with Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Character Spot. Either head back to World Showcase for dinner and IllumiNations or continue touring Future World with dinner at Sunshine Seasons. Waits at Soarin’ or Test Track will be nearly nonexistent if you get in line around 8:55pm or you can still finish the night out with IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests and the likelihood that the close will be extended and a second Fantasmic will be added, which will attract off-site guess as well. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 10am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 10pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true other days this week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Yesterday or tomorrow would be significantly better.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than yesterday or this past Tuesday. You can still have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward. If you’re not Extra Magic Hours eligible and plan to visit today, your best plan of attack is starting in Adventureland or Frontierland because those attractions won’t open until 9am and guests already inside the Park won’t have much of an advantage.

Saturday July 9

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with more going on elsewhere. Still, arrive by 8:20am and you should have no trouble hitting Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ first thing in the morning or whatever else you plan to do. Try to move up to World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds and return to Future World after 5pm after most casual vacationers have moved up for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we come off a busier day with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Tomorrow will also be busier with morning Extra Magic Hour. Today, Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror, Great Movie Ride, and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 10am, 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.

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. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park will pull a few thousand people away, but not enough to make up for everything else bringing people in. With that said, you can have a moderate amount of success today if you arrive prior to 9am and head straight for the headlining or Fantasyland attractions. 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. It’s easiest to see Main Street Electrical Parade in Frontierland or Liberty Square because the majority of people flock to Main Street.

Sunday July 10

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow, both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also unlikely anyone arriving over the weekend will begin their vacation with Disney’s least popular theme park. You should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows – either Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse in the afternoon and the last hour of operation will only have diminishing waits. End the day in Asia with Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest and waits will be nearly nonexistent.

Epcot is recommended, though it isn’t necessarily the best day of the week there. A Wednesday or Friday would be better with more attracting casual visitors to other Parks. Still, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or on the other side of the Park with Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

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

Magic Kingdom is recommended though most people will want to wait until Tuesday to visit if they can. Today will see above average crowds with the above average overall crowd level, in addition to an increased number of locals able to visit on the weekend. Saturday is a more common arrival day than it once was and many casual vacationers prefer to start their trip at the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park on the planet. The morning Extra Magic Hour will help lure away some Disney resort guests, but that won’t have a major impact on wait times. You can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan, but the afternoon will see moderate crowds that will only get heavier as it gets later in the day.

Monday July 11

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

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

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

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of people that will arrive over the weekend and naturally want to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth on their first full day. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park will help pull away a few thousand people, but won’t do much to ease Magic Kingdom crowds. Tomorrow will be significantly less busy. You can still make today work by arriving no later than 8:20am and touring efficiently in the morning. Take advantage of FastPass+ in the late morning and early afternoon and you’re in great shape. Take a break from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Tuesday July 12

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. With that said, you can still do well from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around 10:30am in anticipation of staying through IllumiNations. The morning will be a decent time to tour, 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 10:15pm. 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 just about 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 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Epcot will prove popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and there’s nothing specific attracting people with Fantasmic scheduled every night along with similar operating hours. Keep in mind that what you do is far more important than which day you do it. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania along with 30+ minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. While it’s a recommended day, it’s still more important to arrive early and tour efficiently than it is to pick the “right” day, even when overall crowds are low.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow will prove more popular with Disney resort guests with both nighttime spectaculars and evening Extra Magic Hours. With the somewhat standardized operating schedule, today won’t be far and away less crowded than other days, but it presents the best opportunity to enjoy the lowest waits and crowds possible. Like any other day, arriving by 8:20am with an efficient touring plan is the key to a successful day, in addition to intelligent FastPass+ usage beginning as early as around 10am. Either visit the least popular/highest capacity attractions in the afternoon or consider a break back at your resort. Return in the evening for dinner, a few attractions, and the nighttime Spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade/Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find much shorter waits than the afternoon, ending the night at either Peter Pan’s Flight or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Remember that you can get in line for any attraction right up until the stated closing time, regardless of posted waits, which are usually exaggerated at the end of the night. I recommend getting in line for Mine Train just a couple minutes before close to minimize the wait as much as possible.

Wednesday July 13

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended, though it isn’t the best day of the week there. But with Magic Kingdom attracting so many Disney resort guests with the evening Extra Magic Hours, it still works provided you arrive prior to opening and tour efficiently in the morning, followed by intelligent FastPass+ choices in the late morning or afternoon when crowds peak. Stay through close because waits will only drop in the last hour. Consider ending the day in Asia at Expedition Everest to find waits that are largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We’re in between yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour, both of which will be more popular with resort guests. Today, Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and both nighttime spectaculars. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and consider using FP+ at Soarin’. Head up through World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds to as many Pavilions as possible. While traditional lines are not much of a concern at the attractions, lower crowds mean an easier touring experience in all other facets. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas usually continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

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

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy with both nighttime spectaculars and the incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours pulling a ton of resort guests. On the plus side, Main Street Electrical Parade is scheduled every day this week, which means nobody will be visiting specifically to see the Parade when it isn’t scheduled on other nights. If you do visit today, your best plan of attack is arriving before 8:30am with plans to head to the priority attractions on your itinerary first thing. Take an afternoon break from 1pm to 5pm or so to rest up for the evening. This is the busiest part of the day and you’re better off relaxing at your resort than you are waiting 45 minutes to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. Head back in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, and the nighttime entertainment. The best place to see the Electrical Parade is in Liberty Square or Frontierland because they’re less popular than Main Street. If you’re planning to visit during evening Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland or Frontierland because most people will head straight for Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find shorter waits. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week, including yesterday and tomorrow.

Thursday July 14

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is not explicitly recommended, though it isn’t the worst day of the week to visit. There isn’t anything specific attracting anyone, but there isn’t anything unique going on elsewhere, which means more people than usual will default to Disney’s least popular theme park. Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help pull some Disney resort guests, but morning Extra Magic Hours are much less popular than evening Extra Magic Hours and it’s late enough in the week that most people on standard weeklong vacations will be interested in visiting Disney’s less popular Parks. Most people will want to take advantage of one of the two best days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. But you can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan or a late arrival with plans to stay through close to take advantage of short waits in the evening. Average and peak waits will just be a bit longer than recommended days.

Epcot is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting a lot of Disney resort guests and in turn complicating morning touring. While most of the resort guests that do visit will arrive after their extra hour has ended, they will still fill the Park and clog up lines from 10:30am through close. You can do well if you truly arrive by 7:25am and move quickly through the open attractions, but most people will want to sleep in an extra hour and take advantage of one of the better days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. Average and peak waits will be considerably higher than they were yesterday or tomorrow.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be a bigger draw with Disney resort guests. Keep in mind that with the mostly standardized schedule every day, and Fantasmic scheduled every night, that crowds won’t be overwhelmingly lower today compared to other days this week. Because of that, your touring plan is more important than which day you decide to visit. Arrive by 8:15am, head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then visit Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with a 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters may also be a morning priority. You may want to take a break in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds get heavier. Return for dinner, some evening rides, and Fantasmic. Finally, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Hollywood Hills Theater if you’re planning to see the early show. It will still require you to arrive 20 minutes early (or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved sections to the general population), but it’s better than the 60 minute wait that may be required to get decent seats without it. The Dining Package makes the most sense if you’re also on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one-table-service credit at Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and two-table-service credits that you would use otherwise at Hollywood Brown Derby. It also includes the appetizer, which is a nice bonus. The best seats are otherwise at least half way up in the middle sections. You’ll have a great view of the entire stage, what’s happening on the water, and won’t risk getting wet. Overall, it’s a recommended day because it would be better than tomorrow, but what you do is more important than arriving on the “right” day.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park and this is one of the two best days of the week to visit. We’re in between yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour, both of which will be more popular with the 75,000+ Disney resort guests that predictably visit the Park with Extra Magic Hours because they believe it’s Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. With the mostly standardized operating schedule and Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes scheduled every night, today won’t be overwhelmingly less crowded than other days during the week, but we can reliably expect fewer people and considerably lower average and peak waits. As always, plan to arrive no later than 8:20am with an efficient touring plan in hand, whether you want to begin in Frontierland with Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, Fantasyland for Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight, or Tomorrowland for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. You may also want to prioritize a character that doesn’t offer FastPass+. Begin using FP+ as early as around 10am to maximize future selections. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm to around 5pm to rest up for the evening and return for dinner, some late night rides, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade or Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the last hour of operation to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Friday July 15

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8:30pm-10:30pm

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and there’s nothing specific attracting people today. Tomorrow will be more popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. As always, you’ll have the most success arriving prior to Park opening and using an efficient touring plan that probably starts at Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest. Crowds drop in the afternoon with relatively short waits in DinoLand with two hours to close and in Asia with an hour to close. Consider ending the day with Expedition Everest where waits should be largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off a more popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the resort crowd, which opens up Epcot for an excellent day. Still, with exactly two rides most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to Soarin’ or Test Track immediately after Park open. With two days to tour, you can easily compartmentalize the Park by touring one side each day. With one day, try to tour Future World through 11am, then head up to World Showcase to tour with light crowds until around 5pm. Then return to Future World to finish what you want to do there, keeping in mind that Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Pixar Shorts, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and both Innoventions buildings usually close at 7pm. Visit those attractions through 7pm and then move on to the likes of Mission: SPACE, The Seas with Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Character Spot. Either head back to World Showcase for dinner and IllumiNations or continue touring Future World with dinner at Sunshine Seasons. Waits at Soarin’ or Test Track will be nearly nonexistent if you get in line around 8:55pm or you can still finish the night out with IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests and the likelihood that the close will be extended and a second Fantasmic will be added, which will attract off-site guess as well. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 10am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 10pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true other days this week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Yesterday or tomorrow would be significantly better.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than yesterday or this past Tuesday. You can still have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward. If you’re not Extra Magic Hours eligible and plan to visit today, your best plan of attack is starting in Adventureland or Frontierland because those attractions won’t open until 9am and guests already inside the Park won’t have much of an advantage.

Saturday July 16

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with more going on elsewhere. Still, arrive by 8:20am and you should have no trouble hitting Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ first thing in the morning or whatever else you plan to do. Try to move up to World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds and return to Future World after 5pm after most casual vacationers have moved up for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we come off a busier day with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Tomorrow will also be busier with morning Extra Magic Hour. Today, Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror, Great Movie Ride, and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 10am, 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.

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. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park will pull a few thousand people away, but not enough to make up for everything else bringing people in. With that said, you can have a moderate amount of success today if you arrive prior to 9am and head straight for the headlining or Fantasyland attractions. 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. It’s easiest to see Main Street Electrical Parade in Frontierland or Liberty Square because the majority of people flock to Main Street.

Sunday July 17

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow, both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also unlikely anyone arriving over the weekend will begin their vacation with Disney’s least popular theme park. You should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows – either Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse in the afternoon and the last hour of operation will only have diminishing waits. End the day in Asia with Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest and waits will be nearly nonexistent.

Epcot is recommended, though it isn’t necessarily the best day of the week there. A Wednesday or Friday would be better with more attracting casual visitors to other Parks. Still, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or on the other side of the Park with Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

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

Magic Kingdom is recommended though most people will want to wait until Tuesday to visit if they can. Today will see above average crowds with the above average overall crowd level, in addition to an increased number of locals able to visit on the weekend. Saturday is a more common arrival day than it once was and many casual vacationers prefer to start their trip at the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park on the planet. The morning Extra Magic Hour will help lure away some Disney resort guests, but that won’t have a major impact on wait times. You can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan, but the afternoon will see moderate crowds that will only get heavier as it gets later in the day.

Monday July 18

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

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

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

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of people that will arrive over the weekend and naturally want to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth on their first full day. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park will help pull away a few thousand people, but won’t do much to ease Magic Kingdom crowds. Tomorrow will be significantly less busy. You can still make today work by arriving no later than 8:20am and touring efficiently in the morning. Take advantage of FastPass+ in the late morning and early afternoon and you’re in great shape. Take a break from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Tuesday July 19

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. With that said, you can still do well from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around 10:30am in anticipation of staying through IllumiNations. The morning will be a decent time to tour, 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 10:15pm. 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 just about 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 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Epcot will prove popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and there’s nothing specific attracting people with Fantasmic scheduled every night along with similar operating hours. Keep in mind that what you do is far more important than which day you do it. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania along with 30+ minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. While it’s a recommended day, it’s still more important to arrive early and tour efficiently than it is to pick the “right” day, even when overall crowds are low.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow will prove more popular with Disney resort guests with both nighttime spectaculars and evening Extra Magic Hours. With the somewhat standardized operating schedule, today won’t be far and away less crowded than other days, but it presents the best opportunity to enjoy the lowest waits and crowds possible. Like any other day, arriving by 8:20am with an efficient touring plan is the key to a successful day, in addition to intelligent FastPass+ usage beginning as early as around 10am. Either visit the least popular/highest capacity attractions in the afternoon or consider a break back at your resort. Return in the evening for dinner, a few attractions, and the nighttime Spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade/Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find much shorter waits than the afternoon, ending the night at either Peter Pan’s Flight or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Remember that you can get in line for any attraction right up until the stated closing time, regardless of posted waits, which are usually exaggerated at the end of the night. I recommend getting in line for Mine Train just a couple minutes before close to minimize the wait as much as possible.

Wednesday July 20

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended, though it isn’t the best day of the week there. But with Magic Kingdom attracting so many Disney resort guests with the evening Extra Magic Hours, it still works provided you arrive prior to opening and tour efficiently in the morning, followed by intelligent FastPass+ choices in the late morning or afternoon when crowds peak. Stay through close because waits will only drop in the last hour. Consider ending the day in Asia at Expedition Everest to find waits that are largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We’re in between yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour, both of which will be more popular with resort guests. Today, Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and both nighttime spectaculars. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and consider using FP+ at Soarin’. Head up through World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds to as many Pavilions as possible. While traditional lines are not much of a concern at the attractions, lower crowds mean an easier touring experience in all other facets. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas usually continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

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

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy with both nighttime spectaculars and the incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours pulling a ton of resort guests. On the plus side, Main Street Electrical Parade is scheduled every day this week, which means nobody will be visiting specifically to see the Parade when it isn’t scheduled on other nights. If you do visit today, your best plan of attack is arriving before 8:30am with plans to head to the priority attractions on your itinerary first thing. Take an afternoon break from 1pm to 5pm or so to rest up for the evening. This is the busiest part of the day and you’re better off relaxing at your resort than you are waiting 45 minutes to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. Head back in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, and the nighttime entertainment. The best place to see the Electrical Parade is in Liberty Square or Frontierland because they’re less popular than Main Street. If you’re planning to visit during evening Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland or Frontierland because most people will head straight for Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find shorter waits. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week, including yesterday and tomorrow.

Thursday July 21

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is not explicitly recommended, though it isn’t the worst day of the week to visit. There isn’t anything specific attracting anyone, but there isn’t anything unique going on elsewhere, which means more people than usual will default to Disney’s least popular theme park. Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help pull some Disney resort guests, but morning Extra Magic Hours are much less popular than evening Extra Magic Hours and it’s late enough in the week that most people on standard weeklong vacations will be interested in visiting Disney’s less popular Parks. Most people will want to take advantage of one of the two best days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. But you can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan or a late arrival with plans to stay through close to take advantage of short waits in the evening. Average and peak waits will just be a bit longer than recommended days.

Epcot is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting a lot of Disney resort guests and in turn complicating morning touring. While most of the resort guests that do visit will arrive after their extra hour has ended, they will still fill the Park and clog up lines from 10:30am through close. You can do well if you truly arrive by 7:25am and move quickly through the open attractions, but most people will want to sleep in an extra hour and take advantage of one of the better days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. Average and peak waits will be considerably higher than they were yesterday or tomorrow.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be a bigger draw with Disney resort guests. Keep in mind that with the mostly standardized schedule every day, and Fantasmic scheduled every night, that crowds won’t be overwhelmingly lower today compared to other days this week. Because of that, your touring plan is more important than which day you decide to visit. Arrive by 8:15am, head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then visit Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with a 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters may also be a morning priority. You may want to take a break in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds get heavier. Return for dinner, some evening rides, and Fantasmic. Finally, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Hollywood Hills Theater if you’re planning to see the early show. It will still require you to arrive 20 minutes early (or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved sections to the general population), but it’s better than the 60 minute wait that may be required to get decent seats without it. The Dining Package makes the most sense if you’re also on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one-table-service credit at Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and two-table-service credits that you would use otherwise at Hollywood Brown Derby. It also includes the appetizer, which is a nice bonus. The best seats are otherwise at least half way up in the middle sections. You’ll have a great view of the entire stage, what’s happening on the water, and won’t risk getting wet. Overall, it’s a recommended day because it would be better than tomorrow, but what you do is more important than arriving on the “right” day.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park and this is one of the two best days of the week to visit. We’re in between yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour, both of which will be more popular with the 75,000+ Disney resort guests that predictably visit the Park with Extra Magic Hours because they believe it’s Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. With the mostly standardized operating schedule and Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes scheduled every night, today won’t be overwhelmingly less crowded than other days during the week, but we can reliably expect fewer people and considerably lower average and peak waits. As always, plan to arrive no later than 8:20am with an efficient touring plan in hand, whether you want to begin in Frontierland with Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, Fantasyland for Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight, or Tomorrowland for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. You may also want to prioritize a character that doesn’t offer FastPass+. Begin using FP+ as early as around 10am to maximize future selections. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm to around 5pm to rest up for the evening and return for dinner, some late night rides, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade or Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the last hour of operation to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Friday July 22

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8:30pm-10:30pm

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and there’s nothing specific attracting people today. Tomorrow will be more popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. As always, you’ll have the most success arriving prior to Park opening and using an efficient touring plan that probably starts at Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest. Crowds drop in the afternoon with relatively short waits in DinoLand with two hours to close and in Asia with an hour to close. Consider ending the day with Expedition Everest where waits should be largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off a more popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the resort crowd, which opens up Epcot for an excellent day. Still, with exactly two rides most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to Soarin’ or Test Track immediately after Park open. With two days to tour, you can easily compartmentalize the Park by touring one side each day. With one day, try to tour Future World through 11am, then head up to World Showcase to tour with light crowds until around 5pm. Then return to Future World to finish what you want to do there, keeping in mind that Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Pixar Shorts, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and both Innoventions buildings usually close at 7pm. Visit those attractions through 7pm and then move on to the likes of Mission: SPACE, The Seas with Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Character Spot. Either head back to World Showcase for dinner and IllumiNations or continue touring Future World with dinner at Sunshine Seasons. Waits at Soarin’ or Test Track will be nearly nonexistent if you get in line around 8:55pm or you can still finish the night out with IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests and the likelihood that the close will be extended and a second Fantasmic will be added, which will attract off-site guess as well. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 10am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 10pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true other days this week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Yesterday or tomorrow would be significantly better.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than yesterday or this past Tuesday. You can still have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward. If you’re not Extra Magic Hours eligible and plan to visit today, your best plan of attack is starting in Adventureland or Frontierland because those attractions won’t open until 9am and guests already inside the Park won’t have much of an advantage.

Saturday July 23

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with more going on elsewhere. Still, arrive by 8:20am and you should have no trouble hitting Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ first thing in the morning or whatever else you plan to do. Try to move up to World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds and return to Future World after 5pm after most casual vacationers have moved up for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we come off a busier day with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Tomorrow will also be busier with morning Extra Magic Hour. Today, Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror, Great Movie Ride, and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 10am, 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.

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. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park will pull a few thousand people away, but not enough to make up for everything else bringing people in. With that said, you can have a moderate amount of success today if you arrive prior to 9am and head straight for the headlining or Fantasyland attractions. 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. It’s easiest to see Main Street Electrical Parade in Frontierland or Liberty Square because the majority of people flock to Main Street.

Sunday July 24

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow, both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also unlikely anyone arriving over the weekend will begin their vacation with Disney’s least popular theme park. You should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows – either Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse in the afternoon and the last hour of operation will only have diminishing waits. End the day in Asia with Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest and waits will be nearly nonexistent.

Epcot is recommended, though it isn’t necessarily the best day of the week there. A Wednesday or Friday would be better with more attracting casual visitors to other Parks. Still, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or on the other side of the Park with Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

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

Magic Kingdom is recommended though most people will want to wait until Tuesday to visit if they can. Today will see above average crowds with the above average overall crowd level, in addition to an increased number of locals able to visit on the weekend. Saturday is a more common arrival day than it once was and many casual vacationers prefer to start their trip at the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park on the planet. The morning Extra Magic Hour will help lure away some Disney resort guests, but that won’t have a major impact on wait times. You can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan, but the afternoon will see moderate crowds that will only get heavier as it gets later in the day.

Monday July 25

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

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

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

Magic Kingdom is not recommended due to the number of people that will arrive over the weekend and naturally want to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth on their first full day. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney World’s least popular theme park will help pull away a few thousand people, but won’t do much to ease Magic Kingdom crowds. Tomorrow will be significantly less busy. You can still make today work by arriving no later than 8:20am and touring efficiently in the morning. Take advantage of FastPass+ in the late morning and early afternoon and you’re in great shape. Take a break from 1pm to 6pm or so and return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Tuesday July 26

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely good at selling the Extra Magic Hours program in its marketing materials. Even people that have no idea what “Soaring” is and think they’ll be riding the monorail from Animal Kingdom to Epcot know about Extra Magic Hours. Even when overall crowds are low, Disney still enjoys 85% occupancy over 25,000 rooms resort-wide. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. With that said, you can still do well from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around 10:30am in anticipation of staying through IllumiNations. The morning will be a decent time to tour, 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 10:15pm. 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 just about 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 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Epcot will prove popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and there’s nothing specific attracting people with Fantasmic scheduled every night along with similar operating hours. Keep in mind that what you do is far more important than which day you do it. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania along with 30+ minutes at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. While it’s a recommended day, it’s still more important to arrive early and tour efficiently than it is to pick the “right” day, even when overall crowds are low.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. Tomorrow will prove more popular with Disney resort guests with both nighttime spectaculars and evening Extra Magic Hours. With the somewhat standardized operating schedule, today won’t be far and away less crowded than other days, but it presents the best opportunity to enjoy the lowest waits and crowds possible. Like any other day, arriving by 8:20am with an efficient touring plan is the key to a successful day, in addition to intelligent FastPass+ usage beginning as early as around 10am. Either visit the least popular/highest capacity attractions in the afternoon or consider a break back at your resort. Return in the evening for dinner, a few attractions, and the nighttime Spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade/Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find much shorter waits than the afternoon, ending the night at either Peter Pan’s Flight or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Remember that you can get in line for any attraction right up until the stated closing time, regardless of posted waits, which are usually exaggerated at the end of the night. I recommend getting in line for Mine Train just a couple minutes before close to minimize the wait as much as possible.

Wednesday July 27

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended, though it isn’t the best day of the week there. But with Magic Kingdom attracting so many Disney resort guests with the evening Extra Magic Hours, it still works provided you arrive prior to opening and tour efficiently in the morning, followed by intelligent FastPass+ choices in the late morning or afternoon when crowds peak. Stay through close because waits will only drop in the last hour. Consider ending the day in Asia at Expedition Everest to find waits that are largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We’re in between yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour, both of which will be more popular with resort guests. Today, Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and both nighttime spectaculars. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and consider using FP+ at Soarin’. Head up through World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds to as many Pavilions as possible. While traditional lines are not much of a concern at the attractions, lower crowds mean an easier touring experience in all other facets. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas usually continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

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

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy with both nighttime spectaculars and the incredibly popular evening Extra Magic Hours pulling a ton of resort guests. On the plus side, Main Street Electrical Parade is scheduled every day this week, which means nobody will be visiting specifically to see the Parade when it isn’t scheduled on other nights. If you do visit today, your best plan of attack is arriving before 8:30am with plans to head to the priority attractions on your itinerary first thing. Take an afternoon break from 1pm to 5pm or so to rest up for the evening. This is the busiest part of the day and you’re better off relaxing at your resort than you are waiting 45 minutes to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. Head back in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, and the nighttime entertainment. The best place to see the Electrical Parade is in Liberty Square or Frontierland because they’re less popular than Main Street. If you’re planning to visit during evening Extra Magic Hours, begin in Adventureland or Frontierland because most people will head straight for Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the final hour to find shorter waits. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week, including yesterday and tomorrow.

Thursday July 28

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is not explicitly recommended, though it isn’t the worst day of the week to visit. There isn’t anything specific attracting anyone, but there isn’t anything unique going on elsewhere, which means more people than usual will default to Disney’s least popular theme park. Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hour will help pull some Disney resort guests, but morning Extra Magic Hours are much less popular than evening Extra Magic Hours and it’s late enough in the week that most people on standard weeklong vacations will be interested in visiting Disney’s less popular Parks. Most people will want to take advantage of one of the two best days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. But you can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan or a late arrival with plans to stay through close to take advantage of short waits in the evening. Average and peak waits will just be a bit longer than recommended days.

Epcot is not recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting a lot of Disney resort guests and in turn complicating morning touring. While most of the resort guests that do visit will arrive after their extra hour has ended, they will still fill the Park and clog up lines from 10:30am through close. You can do well if you truly arrive by 7:25am and move quickly through the open attractions, but most people will want to sleep in an extra hour and take advantage of one of the better days of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. Average and peak waits will be considerably higher than they were yesterday or tomorrow.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours will be a bigger draw with Disney resort guests. Keep in mind that with the mostly standardized schedule every day, and Fantasmic scheduled every night, that crowds won’t be overwhelmingly lower today compared to other days this week. Because of that, your touring plan is more important than which day you decide to visit. Arrive by 8:15am, head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then visit Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Do this, and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the day. Don’t arrive until 10am and you’ll end up with a 60+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and potentially Tower of Terror. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision 3D. Popular characters may also be a morning priority. You may want to take a break in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds get heavier. Return for dinner, some evening rides, and Fantasmic. Finally, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Hollywood Hills Theater if you’re planning to see the early show. It will still require you to arrive 20 minutes early (or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved sections to the general population), but it’s better than the 60 minute wait that may be required to get decent seats without it. The Dining Package makes the most sense if you’re also on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one-table-service credit at Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and two-table-service credits that you would use otherwise at Hollywood Brown Derby. It also includes the appetizer, which is a nice bonus. The best seats are otherwise at least half way up in the middle sections. You’ll have a great view of the entire stage, what’s happening on the water, and won’t risk getting wet. Overall, it’s a recommended day because it would be better than tomorrow, but what you do is more important than arriving on the “right” day.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park and this is one of the two best days of the week to visit. We’re in between yesterday’s evening Extra Magic Hours and tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour, both of which will be more popular with the 75,000+ Disney resort guests that predictably visit the Park with Extra Magic Hours because they believe it’s Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. With the mostly standardized operating schedule and Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes scheduled every night, today won’t be overwhelmingly less crowded than other days during the week, but we can reliably expect fewer people and considerably lower average and peak waits. As always, plan to arrive no later than 8:20am with an efficient touring plan in hand, whether you want to begin in Frontierland with Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, Fantasyland for Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight, or Tomorrowland for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. You may also want to prioritize a character that doesn’t offer FastPass+. Begin using FP+ as early as around 10am to maximize future selections. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm to around 5pm to rest up for the evening and return for dinner, some late night rides, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you have no interest in Main Street Electrical Parade or Wishes, visit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland in the last hour of operation to find much lower waits than the afternoon.

Friday July 29

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8:30pm-10:30pm

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting the majority of Disney resort guests and there’s nothing specific attracting people today. Tomorrow will be more popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. As always, you’ll have the most success arriving prior to Park opening and using an efficient touring plan that probably starts at Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest. Crowds drop in the afternoon with relatively short waits in DinoLand with two hours to close and in Asia with an hour to close. Consider ending the day with Expedition Everest where waits should be largely nonexistent.

Epcot is the most recommended Park as we come off a more popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom will be attracting most of the resort crowd, which opens up Epcot for an excellent day. Still, with exactly two rides most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to Soarin’ or Test Track immediately after Park open. With two days to tour, you can easily compartmentalize the Park by touring one side each day. With one day, try to tour Future World through 11am, then head up to World Showcase to tour with light crowds until around 5pm. Then return to Future World to finish what you want to do there, keeping in mind that Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Pixar Shorts, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and both Innoventions buildings usually close at 7pm. Visit those attractions through 7pm and then move on to the likes of Mission: SPACE, The Seas with Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Character Spot. Either head back to World Showcase for dinner and IllumiNations or continue touring Future World with dinner at Sunshine Seasons. Waits at Soarin’ or Test Track will be nearly nonexistent if you get in line around 8:55pm or you can still finish the night out with IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests and the likelihood that the close will be extended and a second Fantasmic will be added, which will attract off-site guess as well. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase around 10am as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. Unfortunately, I’m not too fond of evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios. There are only a few attractions open and the waits for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours will likely be just as long as they were during the day, at least until 10pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 9:30pm, right as evening Extra Magic Hours gets underway. The Fantasmic Theater is located right on Sunset Boulevard, across from the entrances to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. While not everyone seeing Fantasmic will be a Disney resort guest, many of them will be, and a ton will be headed to Tower of Tower and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster because they truly believe it’s the best time to get in line. Unfortunately, they’ll find themselves lined up with a few thousand of their new best friends. If you’re staying for evening Extra Magic Hours, your best bet is always to save these headlining attractions for the very end of the night and visit Toy Story Mania last. While you could theoretically have success if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for the headliners, the same will be true other days this week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Yesterday or tomorrow would be significantly better.

The morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom will lure a decent number of Disney resort guests, making the Park busier than yesterday or this past Tuesday. You can still have success provided you take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour by arriving no later than 7:30am and heading straight to Fantasyland or other open attractions in Tomorrowland. Move on to the headlining Mountain rides or character meet and greets when they open and you’ll be in excellent shape. However, you will find that crowds are heavier than recommended days in the afternoon. You’ll probably want to take a break from 1pm to 5pm or so and return in the evening to ride some major attractions with FastPass+, have dinner, see some high capacity attractions, and enjoy the evening spectaculars. Keep in mind that you would be much better off visiting on a recommended day if you aren’t Extra Magic Hours eligible or won’t arrive until 10am or later because it will be busier than recommended days from 11am onward. If you’re not Extra Magic Hours eligible and plan to visit today, your best plan of attack is starting in Adventureland or Frontierland because those attractions won’t open until 9am and guests already inside the Park won’t have much of an advantage.

Saturday July 30

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

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

Epcot is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with more going on elsewhere. Still, arrive by 8:20am and you should have no trouble hitting Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ first thing in the morning or whatever else you plan to do. Try to move up to World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to beat the crowds and return to Future World after 5pm after most casual vacationers have moved up for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we come off a busier day with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Tomorrow will also be busier with morning Extra Magic Hour. Today, Magic Kingdom will be attractive with the long hours of operation and both nighttime spectaculars and Animal Kingdom will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the morning Extra Magic Hour. In order to find the shortest waits, you’ll need to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Toy Story Mania. Because of its popularity and extremely limited capacity, Toy Story Mania almost always has afternoon waits of 60 or more minutes, even when crowds are relatively low and the Studios is recommended. There’s no way around that with its limited capacity and the even more limited number of things to do with kids. It’s always your top priority. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror, Great Movie Ride, and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 10am, 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.

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. The morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s least popular theme park will pull a few thousand people away, but not enough to make up for everything else bringing people in. With that said, you can have a moderate amount of success today if you arrive prior to 9am and head straight for the headlining or Fantasyland attractions. 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. It’s easiest to see Main Street Electrical Parade in Frontierland or Liberty Square because the majority of people flock to Main Street.

Sunday July 31

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re coming off a popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday and have another tomorrow, both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also unlikely anyone arriving over the weekend will begin their vacation with Disney’s least popular theme park. You should be able to do just about everything the Park has to offer if you arrive prior to Park opening. Focus on riding Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest as early as possible or use FastPass+. After getting those out of the way, move on to DinoLand USA or one of the more popular shows – either Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King and you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that crowds disperse in the afternoon and the last hour of operation will only have diminishing waits. End the day in Asia with Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest and waits will be nearly nonexistent.

Epcot is recommended, though it isn’t necessarily the best day of the week there. A Wednesday or Friday would be better with more attracting casual visitors to other Parks. Still, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or on the other side of the Park with Soarin’. If Character Spot is a priority, visit after 7pm when waits will be shorter than the afternoon and you won’t have to waste precious morning time. It’s also an excellent day to stay for IllumiNations and enjoy the World Showcase in the afternoon because a lot of people will have their eyes on the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic.

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

Magic Kingdom is recommended though most people will want to wait until Tuesday to visit if they can. Today will see above average crowds with the above average overall crowd level, in addition to an increased number of locals able to visit on the weekend. Saturday is a more common arrival day than it once was and many casual vacationers prefer to start their trip at the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park on the planet. The morning Extra Magic Hour will help lure away some Disney resort guests, but that won’t have a major impact on wait times. You can still do very well with an arrival prior to Park opening and an efficient touring plan, but the afternoon will see moderate crowds that will only get heavier as it gets later in the day.

 

Comments

  1. Chris says

    Josh – In your narrative for 7/24 Sunday you have MK as a recommended park. On the calendar it is red. Which one should we assume is correct?

    Thanks as always!

  2. Karen says

    Hi Josh,

    Thanks so much for putting together this information! When do you plan on having August 2016’s crowd calendar out?

  3. Cathy says

    Where is July 31st? I see it in your commentary but not on the calendar. I also realized it’s missing from the Travel Agent Calendar. Why no love for July 31st?

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