May 2016 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

5/4/16 Update: Finished updating the verbiage for May 16th – 31st and added some preliminary thoughts on how to deal with Animal Kingdom’s nighttime enhancements coming online on May 27th.

4/22/16 Update: Crowd calendar updated with the changes listed here. Animal Kingdom’s close extended to 11pm daily beginning Friday May 27th.

3/29/16 Update: Crowd calendar updated with the changes listed here. Also the morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom was canceled on May 24th and moved to May 27th.

This is the Free May 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.

Sunday May 1

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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, and Mission: Space or on the other side of the Park. 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. It’s also only one of a handful of days during the month when two Fantasmic shows are scheduled and the Star Wars fireworks will also prove popular. 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. Tuesday would be a better day if you don’t care about seeing the fireworks.

Magic Kingdom is recommended though most people will want to wait until Tuesday or Thursday 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 May 2

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is 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 the most recommended Park with Magic Kingdom proving more popular with those that arrived over the weekend, Animal Kingdom attracting resort guests, and Hollywood Studios seeing an uptick with the Star Wars fireworks and later close. 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, and Mission: Space 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 Test Track, plan to use FastPass+, single rider, or get in line around 8:55pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. 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. Today and Wednesday are the best days of the week to see the fireworks with tomorrow being best if you aren’t planning to see them. Those that skip Fantasmic will have the easiest time finding spots. Consider a viewing location outside 50’s Prime Time if you value plenty of space over a head-on view. It’s also easier to find a spot around here if you see Fantasmic prior to hurrying to find a spot for the fireworks.

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 May 3

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 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 Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we’re in between two days with longer hours and the Star Wars Fireworks. Anyone that wants to see the show will visit on one of these days, opening up today. Epcot will prove popular with resort guests for evening Extra Magic 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 highly recommended. 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. See the second Electrical Parade if you can because it will be far less crowded than the first, particularly in Frontierland and Liberty Square.

Wednesday May 4

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

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

Animal Kingdom is 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 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, and Mission: Space. 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 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 Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider. 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. Yesterday still would have been better for those that don’t care about the Star Wars fireworks as those that do will avoid it. 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 and Wishes are scheduled every night 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 May 5

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (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 and we’re in between two days with later closes and Star Wars fireworks, both of which will be more popular with on-site and off-site guests alike. Still, 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 May 6

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm-12am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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 one ride most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to 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 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 longer hours of operation, and the Star Wars Fireworks. 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 11pm 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 May 7

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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, and Mission: Space 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. And both days will be more crowded with the later closes and Star Wars fireworks. 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 May 8

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re 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, and Mission: Space or on the other side of the Park. 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. Today will also prove more popular with off-site guests with the longer hours and Star Wars fireworks. 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 tomorrow to visit or ideally wait until Thursday. 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 May 9

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 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 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 Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park and this is the first or second best day of the week to see the Star Wars fireworks. 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 and Epcot will be attracting a sizable number of resort guests with the allure of Extra Magic Hours. 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. Those skipping Fantasmic will have the easiest time seeing the Star Wars Fireworks. I like to see the show from in front of 50’s Prime Time Cafe, where there is more space to move around than Hollywood Boulevard, but the view isn’t quite as straight-on. If you’re arriving after Fantasmic, you should also find that area less crowded. 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 tentatively recommended. Mondays are typically busy due to the number of people that arrive on Sunday for a typical weeklong vacation and naturally want to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth and the most popular theme park in the world on their first full day. But with more people arriving other days than in past years and Extra Magic Hours scheduled on each of the next two days pulling resort guests away, Magic Kingdom should see lower crowds today than either of the next two days. Add fewer complications with no Extra Magic Hours and it should be easier touring for most people. As always, you want to arrive by 8:20am with an efficient touring plan and intelligent FastPass+ choices. Consider an afternoon break from around 1pm to around 6pm to rest up for the evening. This is the busiest and hottest part of the day and your time is better spent at the pool than in a 60-minute line for Pirates of the Caribbean. Return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you’re skipping the Electrical Parade and Wishes, consider visiting Tomorrowland with two hours to close and Fantasyland in the last hour to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Tuesday May 10

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

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

Animal Kingdom 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 highly recommended as we come off of a busier day yesterday with evening Extra Magic Hours. Today, Magic Kingdom will prove popular with morning Extra Magic Hour and both nighttime spectaculars. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, and Mission: Space. 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 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 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 the most recommended Park. Magic Kingdom will prove popular with morning Extra Magic Hour and we’re in between two more popular days with longer hours and the Star Wars fireworks. 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 not explicitly recommended, though overall crowds will be similar to each of the last two days. The morning Extra Magic Hour complicates morning touring and increases the number of Disney resort guests arriving throughout the morning, which in turn pushes up wait times at everything from the major attractions to cash registers and bathrooms. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and certain that you’ll arrive no later than 7:30am to take advantage of it, then you can do very well visiting the priority attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrow first thing. Those that are not eligible or don’t plan to arrive until after 9am are best served visiting yesterday or waiting until Thursday, which should be the best day of the week to visit.

Wednesday May 11

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

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

Animal Kingdom is 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 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. Tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more popular with resort guets. Today, Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with evening Extra Magic Hours and both nighttime spectaculars and Hollywood Studios will be attracting resort guests with the later close and the Star Wars fireworks. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, and Mission: Space. 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 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 Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider. 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. Yesterday still would have been better for those that don’t care about the Star Wars fireworks as those that do will avoid it. 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. Tomorrow will see lower attendance and shorter wait times.

Thursday May 12

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (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 – 11pm (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 and we’re in between two days with later closes and Star Wars fireworks, both of which will be more popular with on-site and off-site guests alike. Still, 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 as we come off two busier day with Extra Magic Hours. Both Tuesday and Wednesday 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. Otherwise, see the second Parade as it will be less crowded than the first, particularly in Frontierland and Liberty Square.

Friday May 13

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm-12am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Hollywood Studios 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 recommended as we come off a more popular day yesterday with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. Hollywood Studios will be attracting most of the resort crowd and you won’t have to deal with heavier weekend traffic, particularly in World Showcase. Still, with exactly one ride most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to 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 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 longer hours of operation, and the Star Wars Fireworks. 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 11pm 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 is the most recommended Park with Hollywood Studios proving more popular with resort guests and attendance pushing higher tomorrow with an increased presence of local Passholders. Still, 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.

Saturday May 14

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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, and Mission: Space 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. And both days will be more crowded with the later closes and Star Wars fireworks. 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 May 15

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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, and Mission: Space or on the other side of the Park. 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. It’s also only one of a handful of days during the month when two Fantasmic shows are scheduled and the Star Wars fireworks will also prove popular. 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. Tuesday would be a better day if you don’t care about seeing the fireworks.

Magic Kingdom is recommended though most people will want to wait until Tuesday or Thursday 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 May 16

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is 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 the most recommended Park with Magic Kingdom proving more popular with those that arrived over the weekend, Animal Kingdom attracting resort guests, and Hollywood Studios pulling people in with longer hours and the Star Wars fireworks. 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, and Mission: Space 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 Test Track, plan to use FastPass+, single rider, or get in line around 8:55pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended though it will be more popular than it would be otherwise with the Star Wars fireworks and the later close that comes with it. 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 May 17

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 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 Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we’re in between two days with longer hours and the Star Wars Fireworks. Anyone that wants to see the show will visit on one of these days, opening up today. Epcot will prove popular with resort guests for evening Extra Magic 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 highly recommended. 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. See the second Electrical Parade if you can because it will be far less crowded than the first, particularly in Frontierland and Liberty Square.

Wednesday May 18

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

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 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, and Mission: Space. 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 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 Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider. 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. Yesterday still would have been better for those that don’t care about the Star Wars fireworks as those that do will avoid it. 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 and Wishes are scheduled every night 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 May 19

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (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 – 11pm (Most Recommended)

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 and we’re in between two days with later closes and Star Wars fireworks, both of which will be more popular with on-site and off-site guests alike. Still, 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 May 20

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Highly Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm-12am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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 one ride most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to 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 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 longer hours of operation, and the Star Wars Fireworks. 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 11pm 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 May 21

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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, and Mission: Space 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. And both days will be more crowded with the later closes and Star Wars fireworks. 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 May 22

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6:30pm (Most Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re 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, and Mission: Space or on the other side of the Park. 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. The Star Wars fireworks will also prove popular. 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. Tuesday would be a better day if you don’t care about seeing the fireworks.

Magic Kingdom is recommended though most people will want to wait until Tuesday or Thursday 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 May 23

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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 the most recommended Park with Magic Kingdom proving more popular with those that arrived over the weekend, Animal Kingdom attracting resort guests, and Hollywood Studios seeing an uptick with the Star Wars fireworks and later close. 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, and Mission: Space 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 Test Track, plan to use FastPass+, single rider, or get in line around 8:55pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended though it will be a little busier with the later close and Star Wars fireworks. 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. Today and Wednesday are the best days of the week to see the fireworks with tomorrow being best if you aren’t planning to see them. Those that skip Fantasmic will have the easiest time finding spots. Consider a viewing location outside 50’s Prime Time if you value plenty of space over a head-on view. It’s also easier to find a spot around here if you see Fantasmic prior to hurrying to find a spot for the fireworks.

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 May 24

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm-11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 9pm and 11pm, 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 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 Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10pm.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we’re in between two days with longer hours and the Star Wars Fireworks. Anyone that wants to see the show will visit on one of these days, opening up today. Epcot will prove popular with resort guests for evening Extra Magic 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 highly recommended. 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. See the second Electrical Parade if you can because it will be far less crowded than the first, particularly in Frontierland and Liberty Square.

Wednesday May 25

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 9pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 11pm – 1am

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

Animal Kingdom is 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 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, and Mission: Space. 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 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 Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider. 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. Yesterday still would have been better for those that don’t care about the Star Wars fireworks as those that do will avoid it. 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 and Wishes are scheduled every night 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 May 26

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (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 – 11pm (Most Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom comes recommended as the nighttime enhancements and the 11pm close that come with it start tomorrow. Anyone that wants to see the interim Rivers of Light show or ride Kilimanjaro Safaris after dark will hold off for the weekend. With the overall crowd level creeping upwards, today will still be “crowded” but it should be more manageable than tomorrow for the most part. Tomorrow during the day should also be fine, though things will get interesting come 5pm. As always, the 9am-10:30am and 4:30pm-6pm timeframes are your best bet touring wise.

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 and we have an earlier close and no Star Wars fireworks to attract anyone. As always, 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 most 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 May 27

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm-12am

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

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

Animal Kingdom is going to be interesting today as it’s the first day of the nighttime Jungle Book show, the first day of operation for Tiffins signature restaurant, the first day of the nighttime safari, the first day of the Tree of Life Awakenings, and the first day of other entertainment offerings. Plus it’s Memorial Day Weekend and the heavy crowds that come with it. If you were already planning to visit and don’t want to change your schedule, then the Park should be relatively chill until 5pm or so and morning touring and FastPass+ usage should be similar to most other days. But come 6pm, you can expect a deluge of people interested in seeing the opening day festivities for themselves. If you do want to see the various enhancements yourself then you may want to brave the crowds and see what happens. But I expect to see some long lines and a lot of people come show time. There isn’t really going to be a good day to visit Animal Kingdom this weekend, so if you want to go one day, today may be a little better than Saturday or Sunday.

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 and you won’t have to deal with heavier weekend traffic, particularly in World Showcase. Animal Kingdom will also be pulling a ton of people with the late close Still, with exactly one ride most people are interested in, you’ll want to arrive no later than 8:15am with plans to head to 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 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 later close and Star Wars fireworks that are popular with everyone. 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 11pm 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 May 28

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 9pm and 10:30pm

Star Wars Fireworks: 9:45pm

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 12am (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, in addition to the nighttime enhancements drawing a ton of locals. 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. The evening should be particularly busy as well.

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, and Mission: Space 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 and nighttime entertainment. 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. See the Fireworks and then the second Fantasmic if you can. That will allow you to find better spots for the fireworks earlier and enjoy the less crowded Fantasmic. 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 May 29

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Tentatively Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 9pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is tentatively recommended and should be the best day this weekend to see the Jungle Book nighttime show and take advantage of the various enhancements. Watch the blog for updates on how to best experience it.

Epcot is the most recommended Park and the safest choice assuming that Soarin’ doesn’t soft open with the old film and Frozen Ever After isn’t yet operating. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will be attracting the majority of off-site and on-site visitors with long hours and plentiful evening entertainment, in addition to the third day of Animal Kingdom’s new nighttime entertainment. Take full advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, followed by Sum of All Thrills, and Mission: Space or on the other side of the Park. 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. Disney has not yet added a second Fantasmic or added the Star Wars fireworks, but it’s a foregone conclusion that both will be added, which will in turn elevate crowds. 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 not recommended with the very heavy holiday weekend crowds. Those that can hold off on Magic Kingdom until Tuesday will find lower crowds and an overall easier touring experience, though it will still be crowded as we look towards 10+ weeks of summer crowds. You can still make today work if you need to with an arrival at least 30 minutes before Park open armed with an efficient touring plan and intelligent FastPass+ choices.

Monday May 30

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (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 – 12am (Not Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is not explicitly recommended with the morning Extra Magic Hour complicating morning touring and the nighttime entertainment at Animal Kingdom continuing to be popular. You can still make today work if you can arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of the morning, take a break, and then return in the evening for the nighttime additions. The evening should be less crowded than the last three days, pending weather, but peak afternoon waits will be similar.

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, and Mission: Space 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 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. It’s also a national holiday, which will in turn boost local attendance. 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, even if it’s still crowded with the high overall crowd level. 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 May 31

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (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 – 12am (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 and locals will be back at work after the holiday. It remains to be seen what the later close and nighttime enhancements do to wait times and crowd flow.

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 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 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.

 

Comments

  1. Scherri says

    Thanks for the May calendar update Josh! Really appreciate all that you do!! Is Soarin closed the first week of May?

  2. Tom S says

    Does there being no hours for Rivers of Light mean that it’s running late or they’re just holding back until after January to build the hype for it?

  3. Gerryt says

    Saturday 21st has Hollywood Studios as Most Recommended. Is this not a Stars Wars Weekend ? If so is it still recommended to visit HS on this date ? (We are not SW afficionados)

    • Tom S says

      There is a strong possibility of no Star Wars Weekends next year with DHS construction. It hasn’t been announced, but we should hear something in the next couple of months definitely on this.

  4. Chris Blanc says

    I hope that the Rivers of light opening date and times are released soon, I’d like to book one of the restaurants at the Lodge for afterwards, but as yet, have no idea when it should be booked for

  5. Lisa D says

    Hello, arriving at Disney World around noon on the 14th, would you advise going to HS or maybe just Disney Springs and/or the pool at the resort? Love your website,

  6. Tiffany says

    So April is showing the Star Wars fireworks at Hollywood Studios each night but not May? Have you not updated yet or are they not doing it in May?

  7. Michelle says

    Thanks for the crowd calendar. Monday, May 30 is the last day of the Epcot Flower and Garden Show. The calendar states Epcot is Highly Recommended on that day. Is this still a valid prediction? Thanks!

  8. Tricia Capers says

    Will be making FP selections soon. Do you think May calendar reccomendations will change? Do you think there will be another 24 hour day?

  9. Tk Free says

    You need to update your EMH for Magic Kingdom for the last week of May. Morning EMH is scheduled for Friday May 27, NOT Tuesday May 24. I unfortuantely used your calendar when planning my ADR at the the 180 day window, and I made a BOG reservation for Friday at 8:15. Now it is too late to change it. :(

  10. becky says

    Josh – your post says the following for 5/27: “Animal Kingdom is going to be interesting today as it’s the first day of the nighttime Jungle Book show”. According to CMs, the Jungle Book show is not going to start until the 28th. Any clarification?

  11. Stephen Davis says

    Hi,
    I am travelling to WDW in May this year. I note MK closes at 9pm most nights. This seems to be a change from 2016. Is there a chance MK hours will be extended to 11pm closer to the time or is this a new timing strategy by Disney.
    Many thanks,
    Stephen

    • Jim says

      I’ll second that. Leaving for FL on 5/7, with a Disney trip starting on 5/10, and patiently waiting for a May 2017 Crowd Calendar.

      Thanks.

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