November 2015 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar

5/4/15 Update: Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours are scheduled on Tuesday November 3rd and the morning Extra Magic Hour is scheduled on Thursday the 5th, instead of the other way around.

4/22/15 Update: Added daily analysis for Thanksgiving and the end of the month.

4/19/15 Update: Daily analysis added for first three weeks. Thanksgiving will be available shortly. Just confirming anticipated crowds and expected operating hours.

This is the Free November 2015 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 November 1

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 7pm – 9pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: none

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Disney resort guests are more likely to visit Wednesday for morning Extra Magic Hour and it’s 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 and/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 around 3pm 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 will be busy again for the International Food and Wine Festival. Many locals know how busy Saturdays are and they wait until Sunday to visit. Others will wait until Sunday to visit because they’re more interested in the special events scheduled that day. Because the Food and Wine Festival runs every day during the week, there’s really no benefit to visiting over the weekend if you have flexibility in which day you visit, unless you’re planning to attend a special event or workshop that is only offered on the weekend. For most locals, visiting on the weekend is much more convenient than trying to swing a weekday visit. You can find success if you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’, but you would be much better off waiting until tomorrow to visit when you won’t need to worry as much about Food and Wine crowds. The World Showcase will be busier than usual in the afternoon and evening. Tomorrow is significantly better.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also more likely Disney will extend the close and add a second Fantasmic, which will make the Park more popular with off-site visitors. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase by 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 8pm when people begin to give up and exit. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, 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 later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Monday, Wednesday, or Friday would be better if you can swing any of those dates.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. The short hours and lack of evening entertainment will cause a lot of casual vacationers to head elsewhere. We’re in between yesterday’s very popular longer hours of operation/both nighttime spectaculars/Extra Magic Hours and have a similar schedule tomorrow. On top of that, Sunday is a major travel day for those on a standard weeklong Disney vacation. With the early close, virtually none of them will start out with an abbreviated day at Magic Kingdom. Few people that arrived on Saturday will also visit a theme park with a seemingly short day and no nighttime spectaculars on their first full day. Tomorrow will be significantly more crowded. If you’re looking to visit Magic Kingdom over two days, then you may want to visit on a Mickey’s Party date and another day where you can enjoy the nighttime spectaculars. If you’re planning just one day at Magic Kingdom, then you’ll need to weigh whether you’re willing to put up with heavier crowds in order to enjoy both nighttime spectaculars. While the 7pm close may seem like a truncated day, I can assure you that ten hours is a long time to spend in a theme park. If you arrive by 8:30am, you’ll be able to accomplish an amazing number of attractions in a short period of time if you head straight for Fantasyland or other important attractions, use FastPass+ in the afternoon when crowds peak, and visit the less popular attractions in the afternoon. Crowds will only diminish from 4pm to 6pm as people leave for dining reservations and other activities. Around 6pm you will begin to see an influx of people arriving for the Halloween Party, but they tend to congregate on Main Street waiting for their Party to begin, rather than heading for the attractions. Stay through 7pm because wait times will only decrease from their afternoon highs as it gets closer to 7pm. One thing about staying through 7pm is that at exactly 7pm (and possibly a couple of minutes before), the special characters will begin appearing for the Party. If you’re not planning to do the Party and have kids, you may want to leave around 6:30pm. Otherwise, your children may encounter a bunch of characters that they won’t be allowed to visit because you must have a Party ticket to get in line. There are no exceptions. Other than those minor inconveniences, this is going to be the least crowded day of the week at Magic Kingdom and most people should take advantage by hammering out the priority attractions.

Monday November 2

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with so much going on over there. Most people will want to take advantage of one of the two best days of the week to visit Epcot or a better day at Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom is easy enough to schedule otherwise. Wednesday and Friday will be busiest.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Thursday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Magic Kingdom for the Extra Magic Hours, later close, and nighttime entertainment. We’re also coming off a much busier weekend thanks to the Food and Wine Festival. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. With the Food and Wine Festival, World Showcase will remain much busier than it would be otherwise. Head up immediately at 11am to dodge most of the crowds. The evening will be busier than usual in World Showcase. Plan to return to Future World after 5pm to avoid the congestion. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is also highly recommended as we come off a busier day with Extra Magic Hours. It’s also early enough in the week that most guests just arriving will be intent on visiting Magic Kingdom with its nighttime entertainment and long hours of operation. As always, it’s imperative that you arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania first thing. The Studios has a severely limited number of rides and wait times rise quickly even on the most recommended days with the lowest crowds.

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy today. Mondays are usually the second busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom, second to only Saturdays, for a variety of reasons. First, a lot of people travel over the weekend and visit Magic Kingdom on their first full day. In most instances, that day is Monday. Second, Mondays often feature longer hours, Wishes Fireworks, and Main Street Electrical Parade, when other days during the week have shorter operating hours and don’t offer the Electrical Parade. Anyone who wants to see the evening entertainment will have to visit on a day when it’s offered. While we’re looking at several days in a row of relatively late closes and both nighttime spectaculars, we still need to be cognizant that the schedule was very different last week and those just arriving are coming off two days in a row of early closes and no nighttime entertainment. They’re more likely to wait until today to visit, even if they arrived late last week. Finally, Disney added a morning Extra Magic Hour, which will only drive more Disney resort guests to the Park because they truly believe the Extra Magic Hours schedule is Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can do well in the morning if you arrive prior to 7:30am and tour efficiently in the morning. But it’s going to be busier than any day this week from 11am-9pm other than this coming Saturday. Tomorrow is the best day to visit this week and Thursday or Friday would also be smarter.

Tuesday November 3

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 7pm, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Wednesday’s and Friday’s morning Extra Magic Hours 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 in the early afternoon around 4pm. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Most people will want to avoid Epcot today with the evening Extra Magic Hours that will lure the majority of Disney resort guests, which will lengthen waits times at the attractions for the entire afternoon and evening. The morning is still a good time to tour with an 8:15am arrival and you can have success if you move up to World Showcase right at 11am, but Monday or Wednesday would be better. Evening Extra Magic Hours at Epcot are a lot of fun if you enjoy being in the Park late and don’t want to ride Test Track or Soarin’, which will continue to see 30+ minute wait times until around 10:15pm. After that is a decent time to ride either of the headliners – the later you go, the lower the wait will be. But walking around World Showcase can be fun with few people around at night, even if most things are closed.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though most people will want to take advantage of the best day of the week to visit Magic Kingdom. With nothing specific attracting people to the Studios, you can still do very well with an 8:15am arrival and an efficient touring plan.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re in between yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours, both of which will pull more Disney resort guests. That in turn increases congestion in common areas and significantly increases lines at everything from the major attractions to the quick services. Crowd levels are only going up as we get closer to the weekend, which makes today a better opportunity to visit the most popular theme park in the world, regardless of recommendation. As always, you’ll have the most success with an 8:20am arrival and an efficient touring plan.

Wednesday November 4

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8pm – 10pm

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 7pm, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

It’s the first or second busiest day of the week at Animal Kingdom. The morning Extra Magic Hour will attract a lot of Disney resort guests that spent Monday at Magic Kingdom and Tuesday at Epcot. Magic Kingdom will prove more popular with the long hours, nighttime entertainment, and more popular evening Extra Magic Hours. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive by 7:30am, you can have a tremendous amount of success from 8am – 10am. But most people will want to take advantage of one of the best days of the week for Epcot or Hollywood Studios, both of which are more difficult to schedule.

Epcot is highly recommended and one of the two best days of the week to visit the Park during the very popular Food and Wine Festival. We’re going into another busy weekend, thanks to the guaranteed higher crowds for the International Food and Wine Festival and we’re in between yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours, both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. All in all, today and next Monday are your best days of the week at Epcot. Tuesday or Thursday would be better than a weekend date. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. Head up to World Showcase beginning as close to 11am as possible to stay ahead of the incoming Food and Wine Festival crowds. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park. Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom will be pulling the bulk of the resort guest contingency with popular Extra Magic Hours. Although the Studios is the most recommended Park, it is also easier to schedule on a recommended day than Epcot. Those looking to spend two days at Epcot are best served visiting Monday and Wednesday and fitting in the Studios on another date. Friday would be a good choice. 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 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 with evening Extra Magic Hours pulling more Disney resort guests than either yesterday or tomorrow. With so many opportunities to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes this week, it doesn’t make much sense to visit on a day when crowds will be so much heavier from 11am-8pm. Unless Disney extends the close significantly, the evening Extra Magic Hours aren’t late enough that the Park will really clear out. Remember that 75,000+ people have access to Extra Magic Hours on any given day and many of them believe the schedule is Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. Many of them will decide to visit Magic Kingdom today, in turn pushing up wait times everywhere from the major attractions to the quick services to the store cash registers. Most people will want to choose a different day.

Thursday November 5

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 7pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 7pm, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park as we come off a more popular day with a morning Extra Magic Hour. We also have another one tomorrow, which will also guide attendance higher. Today, Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Epcot for its popular evening Extra Magic Hours. As always, arriving early and taking care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest is most important. Crowds also drop off in the afternoon with no nighttime entertainment to keep guests around and underrated dining. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to enjoy much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is not recommended. Disney is extremely successful 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. Remember that well over 25,000 rooms resort-wide have access to Extra Magic Hours on any given day. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? While Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios helps, it shouldn’t pull enough people away to make a discernible difference in wait times. With that in mind, this remains the third best day of the week to visit Epcot with much heavier crowds over the weekend due to the Food and Wine Festival. If you can’t visit on Monday or Wednesday, today is the third best day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, do everything you can to arrive by 7:30am and take care of Soarin’ and Test Track as soon as possible. Move up to World Showcase right at 11am to enjoy the lowest crowds possible in World Showcase. Then return to Future World after 5pm or 6pm after most people have moved up to the World Showcase. Still, Soarin’ and Test Track won’t see waits much lower than 60 minutes until after 8pm

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with Magic Kingdom pulling a ton of people with the evening entertainment and Extra Magic Hours. Fortunately, Epcot’s morning Extra Magic Hours will prove more popular with resort guests and with the average-ish overall crowd level, the Studios works with nothing specific attracting people towards it. As always, plan to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to sign up the kids for Jedi Training Academy or over to Toy Story Midway Mania first thing.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended as we come off a more popular day with evening Extra Magic Hours attached. As the world’s most popular theme park, it will still be relatively crowded, particularly with both nighttime spectaculars scheduled and a slightly-above-average overall crowd level. But it’s less crowded than yesterday or this coming Saturday and is thus recommended. As always, the early morning is key. Arrive by 8:20am with an efficient touring plan and you can do very well. Consider an afternoon break and a return in the evening for dinner, some late night attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars.

Friday November 6

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 10pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

First Night of the Osborne Lights Likely

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 7pm, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is not recommended today, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests. It’s also late enough in the week that many Disney vacationers will already have had an opportunity to visit the other Parks and they’ll naturally save Animal Kingdom for later in the week. With no special evening entertainment scheduled and no evening Extra Magic Hours to speak of, a lot of people will have Animal Kingdom on their minds. With so many recommended days during the week, there’s really no reason to visit today. You can still make today work if you’re Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it. But you’ll probably want to be on your way by 1pm when crowds are heavier.

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

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Animal Kingdom will be pulling more Disney resort guests and Epcot will be incredibly popular for the International Food and Wine Festival and 10pm close. While Disney is holding a ticketed event at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular stage that begins at 7:30pm, it should not affect daytime attendance adversely. Note that with the higher overall crowd level, the Studios will see higher waits than earlier in the week, regardless of the recommendation. As always, it’s much more important to arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster first thing than it is to simply “pick the right day” and show up at 11am. Toy Story Mania will see 60+ minute waits in the afternoon and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster won’t be far behind. There’s no way around that with their limited capacities and the few number of rides in the Park. Arrive early and tour efficiently and you can do very well.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park as we go into one of the busiest weekends of the year since the end of August. This past Tuesday was the best day of the week to visit with the lower overall crowd level and the fact that it was in between a popular Monday with a morning Extra Magic Hour and a Wednesday with evening Extra Magic Hours. Still, today is better than tomorrow, which will be overwhelmingly crowded. Sunday will see lower waits, but the Park closes at 7pm with no nighttime spectaculars during regular Park hours. If you do choose to visit today, try to arrive by 8:20am with an efficient touring plan to beat the crowds. The Park will be busy come 11am and you’ll want to be on your way to some of the less popular/high capacity attractions mixed in with intelligent FastPass+ selections.

Saturday November 7

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is the only expressly recommended Park. The morning Jingle Jungle Marathon that begins at 7am is a bit of a concern, but it’s still your best choice. The race starts at 7am and will be long over by 9am. The problem is the number of people that will arrive, run the race, and then stick around for opening. It’s going to mean more people in the Park at opening than there would be otherwise, but it will still be more than manageable over the course of the day. A lot of the people that run the 5k also run the evening half-marathon and others will be intent on joining their friends at Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival. Yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more popular with Disney resort guests and we have a lot going on elsewhere. Magic Kingdom is going to be attracting a ton of people with the longer operating hours, Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes, and evening Extra Magic Hours. Hollywood Studios will be busy with the morning Extra Magic Hour to attract Disney resort guests. Epcot is going to be incredibly crowded with the Food and Wine Festival and Marathon. Animal Kingdom is overwhelmingly your best choice. To have the most success, arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. 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. Finally, crowds disperse in the afternoon. Stay through close finishing the day in Asia to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Epcot will be considerably busier than usual due to the incredibly popular International Food and Wine Festival and the addition of the after-hours Marathon. The Marathon specifically won’t bring in a ton of people, but it will only add to already heavy crowds. The Food and Wine Festival attracts tons of locals, especially in the afternoon and evening in the World Showcase where the majority of the Food and Wine events take place. Although the effect of the Food and Wine Festival crowds on Future World and the headlining attractions isn’t as great, we’re still much better off waiting until Monday or Wednesday to visit. Expect incredibly heavy crowds from 1pm through IllumiNations. If you can’t visit Epcot any other day, make sure you arrive by 8:15am and visit Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’ in the morning or follow a touring plan. Move up through the Mexico and Norway Pavilions in the World Showcase at 11am if you can’t get to the World Showcase on another day. The World Showcase will be buzzing from 1pm through close and it will be very difficult to move around with the heavier crowds, even if the attractions won’t necessarily be that much busier than usual. If you’re trying to decide between visiting Epcot on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I would recommend Friday and then Sunday over Saturday.

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

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. While we’ve enjoyed Electrical Parades and Wishes most days last week, the same won’t be true next week, which will make the Park more popular with those that have arrived over the last couple days for a short Marathon or Jersey Week vacation. Tomorrow will see significantly shorter waits and yesterday also would have been better. You can still do okay with an early arrival, but we’re looking at the heaviest crowds of the week from 10am-9pm.

Sunday November 8

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8pm – 10pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: none

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Disney resort guests are more likely to visit Wednesday for morning Extra Magic Hour and it’s 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 and/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 around 4pm 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 will be busy again for the International Food and Wine Festival. Many locals know how busy Saturdays are and they wait until Sunday to visit. Others will wait until Sunday to visit because they’re more interested in the special events scheduled that day. Because the Food and Wine Festival runs every day during the week, there’s really no benefit to visiting over the weekend if you have flexibility in which day you visit, unless you’re planning to attend a special event or workshop that is only offered on the weekend. For most locals, visiting on the weekend is much more convenient than trying to swing a weekday visit. You can find success if you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’, but you would be much better off waiting until tomorrow to visit when you won’t need to worry as much about Food and Wine crowds. The World Showcase will be busier than usual in the afternoon and evening. Tomorrow is significantly better.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also more likely Disney will extend the close and add a second Fantasmic, which will make the Park more popular with off-site visitors. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase by 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 9pm when people begin to give up. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, 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 later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Monday, Wednesday, or Friday would be better if you can swing any of those dates.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. The short hours and lack of evening entertainment will cause a lot of casual vacationers to head elsewhere. We’re in between yesterday’s very popular longer hours of operation/both nighttime spectaculars and have a similar schedule tomorrow. On top of that, Sunday is a major travel day for those on a standard weeklong Disney vacation. With the early close, virtually none of them will start out with an abbreviated day at Magic Kingdom. Few people that arrived on Saturday will also visit a theme park with a seemingly short day and no nighttime spectaculars on their first full day. Tomorrow will be significantly more crowded. If you’re looking to visit Magic Kingdom over two days, then you may want to visit on a Mickey’s Party date and another day where you can enjoy the nighttime spectaculars. If you’re planning just one day at Magic Kingdom, then you’ll need to weigh whether you’re willing to put up with heavier crowds in order to enjoy both nighttime spectaculars. While the 7pm close may seem like a truncated day, I can assure you that ten hours is a long time to spend in a theme park. If you arrive by 8:30am, you’ll be able to accomplish an amazing number of attractions in a short period of time if you head straight for Fantasyland or other important attractions, use FastPass+ in the afternoon when crowds peak, and visit the less popular attractions in the afternoon. Crowds will only diminish from 4pm to 6pm as people leave for dining reservations and other activities. Around 6pm you will begin to see an influx of people arriving for the Christmas Party, but they tend to congregate on Main Street waiting for their Party to begin, rather than heading for the attractions. Stay through 7pm because wait times will only decrease from their afternoon highs as it gets closer to 7pm. One thing about staying through 7pm is that at exactly 7pm (and possibly a couple of minutes before), the special characters will begin appearing for the Party. If you’re not planning to do the Party and have kids, you may want to leave around 6:30pm. Otherwise, your children may encounter a bunch of characters that they won’t be allowed to visit because you must have a Party ticket to get in line. There are no exceptions. Other than those minor inconveniences, this is going to be one of the three least crowded days of the week at Magic Kingdom. Wednesday is the best day to see the nighttime spectaculars, but the set of evening Extra Magic Hours does complicate things.

Monday November 9

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with so much going on over there. Most people will want to take advantage of one of the two best days of the week to visit Epcot or a better day at Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom is easy enough to schedule otherwise. Wednesday and Friday will be busiest.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Thursday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Magic Kingdom for the Extra Magic Hours, later close, and nighttime entertainment. We’re also coming off a much busier weekend thanks to the Food and Wine Festival. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. With the Food and Wine Festival, World Showcase will remain much busier than it would be otherwise. Head up immediately at 11am to dodge most of the crowds. The evening will be busier than usual in World Showcase. Plan to return to Future World after 5pm to avoid the congestion. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is also highly recommended as we come off a busier day with Extra Magic Hours. It’s also early enough in the week that most guests just arriving will be intent on visiting Magic Kingdom with its nighttime entertainment and long hours of operation. As always, it’s imperative that you arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania first thing. The Studios has a severely limited number of rides and wait times rise quickly even on the most recommended days with the lowest crowds.

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy today. Mondays are usually the second busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom, second to only Saturdays, for a variety of reasons. First, a lot of people travel over the weekend and visit Magic Kingdom on their first full day. In most instances, that day is Monday. Second, Mondays often feature longer hours, Wishes Fireworks, and Main Street Electrical Parade, when other days during the week have shorter operating hours and don’t offer the Electrical Parade. Anyone who wants to see the evening entertainment will have to visit on a day when it’s offered, like most Saturdays and Mondays. Here in the heart of Mickey’s Party season, that means Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm on four days this week. Every day with a later close and nighttime entertainment will be overwhelmingly more popular. Finally, Disney added a morning Extra Magic Hour, which will only drive more Disney resort guests to the Park because they truly believe the Extra Magic Hours schedule is Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can do well in the morning if you arrive prior to 7:30am and tour efficiently in the morning. But it’s going to be busier than any day other than Saturday from 11am-9pm. Wednesday is the best day of the week to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Tuesday November 10

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: None, Wishes Fireworks: None

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Wednesday’s and Friday’s morning Extra Magic Hours 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 in the early afternoon around 4pm. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to find much shorter 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. Remember that well over 25,000 rooms resort-wide have access to Extra Magic Hours on any given day. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? While Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios helps, it shouldn’t pull enough people away to make a discernible difference in wait times. With that in mind, this remains the third best day of the week to visit Epcot with much heavier crowds over the weekend due to the Food and Wine Festival. If you can’t visit on Monday or Wednesday, today is the third best day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, do everything you can to arrive by 7:30am and take care of Soarin’ and Test Track as soon as possible. Move up to World Showcase right at 11am to enjoy the lowest crowds possible in World Showcase. Then return to Future World after 5pm or 6pm after most people have moved up to the World Showcase. Still, Soarin’ and Test Track won’t see waits much lower than 60 minutes until after 8pm.

Hollywood Studios is not expressly recommended. The short hours at Magic Kingdom will be a big turn off for many and off-site visitors in particular will be looking toward Fantasmic and Toy Story Mania after spending yesterday at Magic Kingdom. With that said, there is nothing specific attracting people to the Studios and you can do well if you arrive by 8:15am and follow the usual advice. I’m looking towards tomorrow and Thursday as significantly better days to visit and I would hold off until then if possible.

Magic Kingdom is the best Park to visit, despite the truncated operating schedule and lack of both Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is scheduled tonight. It’s a separately ticketed event that begins at 7pm and runs through 12am. Because the hours are “so short” and there’s no evening entertainment during the regular day, most Disney vacationers will plan to visit on another day. Yesterday will have been busy and tomorrow will also be busier, thanks to longer hours and evening entertainment. Today is an excellent opportunity to visit the Fantasyland and headlining attractions with minimal waits as well as visit the popular characters and whatever else you’d like to experience. Because waits are shorter and the crowd level is so much lower, you’ll actually be able to accomplish more during the day today than either yesterday or tomorrow, despite the Park being open fewer hours. For maximum efficiency, arrive by 8:30am and use FastPass+ in the early afternoon when crowds and waits peak. Consider a second day at the Magic Kingdom to see the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes or ideally Park Hop over in the evening on a night that it’s available. Wednesday is the best day of the week to see the Main Street Electrical Parade at night, but that isn’t saying a whole lot when your other options are a busy Monday and Saturday. Finally, Mickey’s Christmas Party does feature the special Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular at 9:30pm above Cinderella Castle. This show is viewable from a variety of locations around Disney property. My favorite is the Polynesian Resort’s beach, which is directly across from the Magic Kingdom. The 4th floor observatory at the Contemporary Resort is another excellent location. The boat launch and marina at the Grand Floridian also offer pretty good views, though less direct angles. The boat dock at the Transportation and Ticket Center also offers an underrated view and it makes for the easiest exit if you’re driving because you’re already at the parking lot. The soundtrack is easiest to hear at the Contemporary, Transportation and Ticket Center, and Polynesian in that order. You might consider taking the monorail or boat to one of the Monorail Deluxe resorts for dinner after the Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm and then get into position to enjoy the fireworks around 9:20pm at one of the previously mentioned locations. You can then transfer back to the Magic Kingdom and take a resort bus back to your resort or hop in your car and head wherever you like. Each of the Deluxe resorts have pretty good quick service locations too, so you can also eat on the cheap if you prefer and look around the resort(s) for a while until Holiday Wishes begins. In a perfect world, I would hit Kona Café for dinner and enjoy Holiday Wishes from the Polynesian’s beach.

Wednesday November 11

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 10pm – 12am

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

It’s the first or second busiest day of the week at Animal Kingdom. The morning Extra Magic Hour will attract a lot of Disney resort guests that spent Monday at Magic Kingdom and Tuesday at Epcot. Magic Kingdom will prove more popular with the long hours, nighttime entertainment, and more popular evening Extra Magic Hours. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive by 7:30am, you can have a tremendous amount of success from 8am – 10am. But most people will want to take advantage of one of the best days of the week for Epcot or Hollywood Studios, both of which are more difficult to schedule.

Epcot is highly recommended and one of the two best days of the week to visit the Park during the very popular Food and Wine Festival. We’re going into another busy weekend, thanks to the guaranteed higher crowds for the International Food and Wine Festival and we’re in between yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours, both of which will be more popular with Disney resort guests. All in all, today and next Monday are your best days of the week at Epcot. Tuesday or Thursday would be better than a weekend date. Take full advantage by arriving by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. Head up to World Showcase beginning as close to 11am as possible to stay ahead of the incoming Food and Wine Festival crowds. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park. Animal Kingdom will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour and Magic Kingdom will be overwhelmingly popular with the longer hours of operation, both nighttime spectaculars, and evening Extra Magic Hours. Although the Studios is the most recommended Park, it is also easier to schedule on a recommended day than Epcot. Those looking to spend two days at Epcot are best served visiting Monday and Wednesday and fitting in the Studios on another date. Friday would be a good choice. 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 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 going to be busy today with the long hours of operation, both nighttime spectaculars during regular Park hours, and the addition of evening Extra Magic Hours, which will attract even more Disney resort guests. Unfortunately, today also marks the best day this week to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes. Disney should end up adding a second Electrical Parade at 11pm as we get closer to November. That will make it easier for people who can stay out that late to see the fireworks and the later and less crowded Parade, ideally after park hopping from a Park that’s recommended higher. Guests that don’t care about the nighttime entertainment are much better off visiting on a recommended Mickey’s Party date. 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 hottest and 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.

Thursday November 12

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: None, Wishes Fireworks: None

Animal Kingdom is recommended again as we come off a more popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday. We also have another one tomorrow, which will also guide attendance higher. Today, Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Epcot for its popular evening Extra Magic Hours. As always, arriving early and taking care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest is most important. Crowds also drop off in the afternoon with no nighttime entertainment to keep guests around and underrated dining. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to enjoy much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Most people will want to avoid Epcot today with the evening Extra Magic Hours that will lure the majority of Disney resort guests, which will lengthen waits times at the attractions for the entire afternoon and evening. The morning is still a good time to tour with an 8:15am arrival and you can have success if you move up to World Showcase right at 11am, but Monday or Wednesday would have been better. Note that today would actually be better than any of the next three days due to the popularity of the Food and Wine Festival with local visitors. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will see similar wait times and much heavier congestion in World Showcase. Evening Extra Magic Hours at Epcot are a lot of fun if you enjoy being in the Park late and don’t want to ride Test Track or Soarin’, which will continue to see 30+ minute wait times until around 10:15pm. After that is a decent time to ride either of the headliners – the later you go, the lower the wait will be. But walking around World Showcase can be fun with few people around at night, even if most things are closed.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with Magic Kingdom pulling a ton of people with the evening entertainment and Extra Magic Hours. Today, Magic Kingdom will be significantly less crowded with the early close due to the Halloween Party, which will in turn cause the Studios to be busier as more people are looking to visit another Park. Fortunately, Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours will prove more popular with resort guests and with the average overall crowd level, the Studios works with nothing specific attracting people towards it. As always, plan to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to sign up the kids for Jedi Training Academy or over to Toy Story Midway Mania first thing.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park with the 7pm close and lack of nighttime spectaculars during regular Park hours causing most casual vacationers to head elsewhere. We’re also coming off a significantly busier day yesterday with Wishes and evening Extra Magic Hours scheduled and Epcot will prove more popular today with resort guests. Tomorrow is also a great day to visit in case you have other plans today.

Friday November 13

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 10pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: none

Animal Kingdom is not recommended today, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests. It’s also late enough in the week that many Disney vacationers will already have had an opportunity to visit the other Parks and they’ll naturally save Animal Kingdom for later in the week. With no special evening entertainment scheduled and no evening Extra Magic Hours to speak of, a lot of people will have Animal Kingdom on their minds. With so many recommended days during the week, there’s really no reason to visit today. You can still make today work if you’re Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it. But you’ll probably want to be on your way by 1pm when crowds are heavier.

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

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though most people will want to take advantage of some of the lowest crowds of the week at Magic Kingdom. Fortunately, Animal Kingdom will be pulling more Disney resort guests and Epcot will be incredibly popular for the International Food and Wine Festival and 10pm close. As always, it’s much more important to arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster first thing than it is to simply “pick the right day” and show up at 11am. Even with the average overall crowd level and recommendation, Toy Story Mania will see 60+ minute waits in the afternoon and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster won’t be far behind. There’s no way around that with their limited capacities and the few number of rides in the Park. Arrive early and tour efficiently and you can do very well.

Magic Kingdom is our best choice as far as crowds are concerned. This may seem like an odd statement, considering that the operating hours are just 9am to 7pm, but that’s precisely why crowds will be so low. The great majority of Disney vacationers would prefer to visit the Parks when the hours are longer because it seems like more time in the Parks equates to higher value for your money. That seems logical considering the cost to enter the Parks is the same, regardless if Magic Kingdom is open from 8am to 1am or 9am to 7pm. However, crowds are so much lower on Mickey’s Christmas Party days that you’ll actually be able to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Most off-site vacationers will hold off until tomorrow for the longer hours, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes and a lot of Disney resort guests will have visited yesterday for the morning Extra Magic Hour and the Electrical Parade. All of this leaves us with ample opportunity to get on the headlining and Fantasyland rides with minimal waits. As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to opening and head straight for Space/Big Thunder/Splash Mountains or Fantasyland. Use FastPass+ in the afternoon when wait times peak and you should be able to do just about every major ride and many of the secondary attractions as well. If you would also like to see the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes, consider spending a second day at the Magic Kingdom when those nighttime spectaculars are scheduled. Wednesday would be ideal because it will be less crowded than a Monday or Saturday. Ideally, you would Park Hop over to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon or evening on Wednesday, after spending the majority of your day at a Park with lower crowds. Either way, focus on getting the most popular attractions out of the way today and return to the Magic Kingdom for the nighttime spectaculars on another date. With only one day to spend at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to decide whether seeing Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade are worth spending the day in heavier crowds.

Saturday November 14

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

Epcot: 9am – 10pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 10pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special events, evening entertainment, or anything else to attract on-site or off-site visitors. Those leaving tomorrow after a traditional weeklong vacation are unlikely to visit Animal Kingdom on their last full day and most arriving today won’t head out to Animal Kingdom as their first destination. We’re also coming off a morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday that will be much more popular with resort guests. Hollywood Studios will be attracting the bulk of the resort crowd and Epcot will be far more popular with locals for the Food and Wine Festival. As always, you’ll be best off if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Wait times will only get shorter after 4pm, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to enjoy much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Epcot will be considerably busier than usual due to the incredibly popular International Food and Wine Festival. The event attracts tons of locals, especially in the afternoon and evening in the World Showcase where the majority of the Food and Wine events take place. Although the effect on Future World and the headlining attractions isn’t as great, we’re still much better off waiting until Monday to visit. Expect incredibly heavy crowds from 1pm through IllumiNations. If you can’t visit Epcot any other day, make sure you arrive prior to Park opening and visit Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’ immediately in the morning or follow a touring plan. Use FastPass+ in the late morning and afternoon when crowds and waits peak. Move up through the Mexico and Norway Pavilions in the World Showcase at 11am if you can’t get to the World Showcase on another day. The World Showcase will be buzzing from 1pm through close and it will be very difficult to move around with the heavier crowds, even if the attractions won’t necessarily be that much busier than usual. Try to move through World Showcase as quickly as possible and then return to Future World. If you’re trying to decide between visiting Epcot on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I would recommend Friday and then Sunday over Saturday.

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

Saturdays are naturally the busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom. We have longer hours of operation, visiting locals, and a lot of vacationers who will be visiting the Magic Kingdom for a second time before returning home tomorrow. On top of that, Main Street Electrical Parade is only scheduled on a limited number of nights this week. Because the Parade is so popular, a lot of people will visit on a day that they can see it, like today. Yesterday will be much less crowded with the 7pm close and lack of nighttime entertainment and any other Mickey’s Party date would be significantly less crowded, but you can have a moderate amount of success today if you arrive prior to 8:30am and head straight for the headlining or Fantasyland attractions. You may elect to prioritize another low capacity attraction or character instead. The afternoon will be busier than any other day this week and you’ll either want to take a break and return for the Electrical Parade and Wishes or visit the less popular attractions from 2pm – 6pm. The relatively late night is also a good time to tour with short waits at most attractions after 9pm. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week.

Sunday November 15

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8pm – 10pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: none

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Disney resort guests are more likely to visit Wednesday for morning Extra Magic Hour and it’s 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 and/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 around 4pm 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 will be busy again for the International Food and Wine Festival. Many locals know how busy Saturdays are and they wait until Sunday to visit. Others will wait until Sunday to visit because they’re more interested in the special events scheduled that day. Because the Food and Wine Festival runs every day during the week, there’s really no benefit to visiting over the weekend if you have flexibility in which day you visit, unless you’re planning to attend a special event or workshop that is only offered on the weekend. For most locals, visiting on the weekend is much more convenient than trying to swing a weekday visit. You can find success if you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission Space, and Soarin’, but you would be much better off waiting until tomorrow to visit when you won’t need to worry as much about Food and Wine crowds. The World Showcase will be busier than usual in the afternoon and evening. Tomorrow is significantly better and if you have no interest in the Festival, this coming Wednesday is the best day to visit since mid-September.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also more likely Disney will extend the close and add a second Fantasmic, which will make the Park more popular with off-site visitors. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase by 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 9pm when people begin to give up. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, 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 later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Monday, Wednesday, or Friday would be better if you can swing any of those dates.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. The short hours and lack of evening entertainment will cause a lot of casual vacationers to head elsewhere. We’re in between yesterday’s very popular longer hours of operation/both nighttime spectaculars and have a similar schedule tomorrow. On top of that, Sunday is a major travel day for those on a standard weeklong Disney vacation. With the early close, virtually none of them will start out with an abbreviated day at Magic Kingdom. Few people that arrived on Saturday will also visit a theme park with a seemingly short day and no nighttime spectaculars on their first full day. Tomorrow will be significantly more crowded. If you’re looking to visit Magic Kingdom over two days, then you may want to visit on a Mickey’s Party date and another day where you can enjoy the nighttime spectaculars. If you’re planning just one day at Magic Kingdom, then you’ll need to weigh whether you’re willing to put up with heavier crowds in order to enjoy both nighttime spectaculars. While the 7pm close may seem like a truncated day, I can assure you that ten hours is a long time to spend in a theme park. If you arrive by 8:30am, you’ll be able to accomplish an amazing number of attractions in a short period of time if you head straight for Fantasyland or other important attractions, use FastPass+ in the afternoon when crowds peak, and visit the less popular attractions in the afternoon. Crowds will only diminish from 4pm to 6pm as people leave for dining reservations and other activities. Around 6pm you will begin to see an influx of people arriving for the Christmas Party, but they tend to congregate on Main Street waiting for their Party to begin, rather than heading for the attractions. Stay through 7pm because wait times will only decrease from their afternoon highs as it gets closer to 7pm. One thing about staying through 7pm is that at exactly 7pm (and possibly a couple of minutes before), the special characters will begin appearing for the Party. If you’re not planning to do the Party and have kids, you may want to leave around 6:30pm. Otherwise, your children may encounter a bunch of characters that they won’t be allowed to visit because you must have a Party ticket to get in line. There are no exceptions. Other than those minor inconveniences, this is going to be one of the three least crowded days of the week at Magic Kingdom. Wednesday is the best day to see the nighttime spectaculars, but the set of evening Extra Magic Hours does complicate things.

Monday November 16

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended for Fantasmic)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 7pm, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with so much going on over there. Some people may prefer to visit Epcot for the last day of the Food and Wine Festival and the least busy day since last Wednesday. Animal Kingdom is easy enough to schedule otherwise. Wednesday and Friday will be busiest.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Thursday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Magic Kingdom for the Extra Magic Hours, later close, and nighttime entertainment. We’re also coming off a much busier weekend thanks to the Food and Wine Festival. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. With the Food and Wine Festival, World Showcase will remain much busier than it would be otherwise. Head up immediately at 11am to dodge most of the crowds. The evening will be busier than usual in World Showcase. Plan to return to Future World after 5pm to avoid the congestion. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase. Note that tomorrow will actually be less crowded in World Showcase because the Food and Wine Festival will be over, but the morning Extra Magic Hour may lead to complications in the morning.

Hollywood Studios is recommended as we come off a busier day with Extra Magic Hours. It’s also early enough in the week that most guests just arriving will be intent on visiting Magic Kingdom with its nighttime entertainment and long hours of operation. Tomorrow will actually be less crowded with the lack of Fantasmic and early close. Those that don’t care about seeing Fantasmic are best served waiting until then. As always, it’s imperative that you arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania first thing. The Studios has a severely limited number of rides and wait times rise quickly even on the most recommended days with the lowest crowds.

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy today. Mondays are usually the second busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom, second to only Saturdays, for a variety of reasons. First, a lot of people travel over the weekend and visit Magic Kingdom on their first full day. In most instances, that day is Monday. Second, Mondays often feature longer hours, Wishes Fireworks, and Main Street Electrical Parade, when other days during the week have shorter operating hours and don’t offer the Electrical Parade. Anyone who wants to see the evening entertainment will have to visit on a day when it’s offered, like most Saturdays and Mondays. Here in the heart of Mickey’s Party season, that means Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm on four days this week. Every day with a later close and nighttime entertainment will be overwhelmingly more popular. Finally, Disney added a morning Extra Magic Hour, which will only drive more Disney resort guests to the Park because they truly believe the Extra Magic Hours schedule is Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can do well in the morning if you arrive prior to 7:30am and tour efficiently in the morning. But it’s going to be busier than any day other than Saturday from 11am-9pm. Wednesday is the best day of the week to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Tuesday November 17

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 5pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 4pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: None

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: None, Wishes Fireworks: None

Animal Kingdom is recommended. We don’t have special events, Extra Magic Hours, or anything specific drawing people toward it. Wednesday’s and Friday’s morning Extra Magic Hours 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. Still, Animal Kingdom is easy enough to schedule otherwise and most people will want to take a good look at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. 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 in the early afternoon around 4pm. Plan to stay through close because waits will only get shorter as it gets later in the evening. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to find much shorter 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. Remember that well over 25,000 rooms resort-wide have access to Extra Magic Hours on any given day. And guess where a lot of those 75,000+ people are going to be headed? With Hollywood Studios attracting few people with the early close, Magic Kingdom proving unpopular with the 7pm close, and no evening Extra Magic Hours scheduled anywhere, most people will want to visit another Park. Keep in mind that World Showcase will be less busy today than virtually any day since mid-September now that the Food and Wine Festival is over. Tomorrow will still result in fewer complications and lower overall wait times, but you can do very well today if you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park. It will be less crowded than other days this week with the earlier close and lack of Fantasmic turning most casual vacationers off. The after-hours, private event rewards cast members celebrating milestones in their careers and will not adversely affect daytime attendance. It’s likely that Disney will move the open to 8am with such an early close. This is good news if you can arrive by 7:25am to enjoy some of the lowest crowds of the year in the first hour. To have the most success, arrive by 7:25am (or 8:25am if the open isn’t moved) 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. After getting through the headliners, focus on the Studios’ stage shows and high capacity attractions like Muppet Vision and Star Tours. Popular characters like Woody/Buzz and Sofia the First may also be a morning priority. After 4pm, you could bus or boat over to nearby Epcot or plan a meal and a look around a resort.

Magic Kingdom is highly recommended, despite the truncated operating schedule and lack of both Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is scheduled tonight. It’s a separately ticketed event that begins at 7pm and runs through 12am. Because the hours are “so short” and there’s no evening entertainment during the regular day, most Disney vacationers will plan to visit on another day. Yesterday will have been busy and tomorrow will also be busier, thanks to longer hours and evening entertainment. Today is an excellent opportunity to visit the Fantasyland and headlining attractions with minimal waits as well as visit the popular characters and whatever else you’d like to experience. Because waits are shorter and the crowd level is so much lower, you’ll actually be able to accomplish more during the day today than either yesterday or tomorrow, despite the Park being open fewer hours. For maximum efficiency, arrive by 8:30am and use FastPass+ in the early afternoon when crowds and waits peak. Consider a second day at the Magic Kingdom to see the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes or ideally Park Hop over in the evening on a night that it’s available. Wednesday is the best day of the week to see the Main Street Electrical Parade at night, but that isn’t saying a whole lot when your other options are a busy Monday and Saturday. Finally, Mickey’s Christmas Party does feature the special Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular at 9:30pm above Cinderella Castle. This show is viewable from a variety of locations around Disney property. My favorite is the Polynesian Resort’s beach, which is directly across from the Magic Kingdom. The 4th floor observatory at the Contemporary Resort is another excellent location. The boat launch and marina at the Grand Floridian also offer pretty good views, though less direct angles. The boat dock at the Transportation and Ticket Center also offers an underrated view and it makes for the easiest exit if you’re driving because you’re already at the parking lot. The soundtrack is easiest to hear at the Contemporary, Transportation and Ticket Center, and Polynesian in that order. You might consider taking the monorail or boat to one of the Monorail Deluxe resorts for dinner after the Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm and then get into position to enjoy the fireworks around 9:20pm at one of the previously mentioned locations. You can then transfer back to the Magic Kingdom and take a resort bus back to your resort or hop in your car and head wherever you like. Each of the Deluxe resorts have pretty good quick service locations too, so you can also eat on the cheap if you prefer and look around the resort(s) for a while until Holiday Wishes begins. In a perfect world, I would hit Kona Café for dinner and enjoy Holiday Wishes from the Polynesian’s beach.

Wednesday November 18

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8pm – 10pm

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: 7pm, Wishes Fireworks: 8pm

It’s the first or second busiest day of the week at Animal Kingdom. The morning Extra Magic Hour will attract a lot of Disney resort guests that spent Monday at Magic Kingdom and Tuesday at Epcot. Magic Kingdom will prove more popular with the long hours, nighttime entertainment, and more popular evening Extra Magic Hours. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive by 7:30am, you can have a tremendous amount of success from 8am – 10am. But most people will want to take advantage of one of the best days of the week for Epcot or Hollywood Studios, both of which are more difficult to schedule.

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

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Animal Kingdom will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour and Magic Kingdom will be overwhelmingly popular with the longer hours of operation, both nighttime spectaculars, and evening Extra Magic Hours. The only problem is we’re coming off a less popular day yesterday with the early close and lack of Fantasmic. But with so much going on elsewhere, nothing particular attracting people to the Studios, and the low overall crowd level, the Studios works just fine today. 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 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 going to be busy today with the long hours of operation, both nighttime spectaculars during regular Park hours, and the addition of evening Extra Magic Hours, which will attract even more Disney resort guests. Unfortunately, today also marks the best day this week to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes. Disney should end up adding a second Electrical Parade at 9pm as we get closer to November. That will make it easier for people who can stay out that late to see the fireworks and the later and less crowded Parade, ideally after park hopping from a Park that’s recommended higher. Guests that don’t care about the nighttime entertainment are much better off visiting on a recommended Mickey’s Party date. 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 hottest and 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.

Thursday November 19

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: None, Wishes Fireworks: None

Animal Kingdom is recommended again as we come off a more popular morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday. We also have another one tomorrow, which will also guide attendance higher. Today, Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Epcot for its popular evening Extra Magic Hours. As always, arriving early and taking care of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest is most important. Crowds also drop off in the afternoon with no nighttime entertainment to keep guests around and underrated dining. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to enjoy much shorter waits than the afternoon.

We’ll want to avoid Epcot. Its evening Extra Magic Hours will lure the majority of Disney resort guests, which will lengthen waits times at the attractions for the entire afternoon and evening. Epcot is almost always at its busiest and lines are the longest when it has evening Extra Magic Hours. This is due to the fact that many Disney resort guests head to whichever Park has Extra Magic Hours, even if they don’t plan to take advantage of them. Without Park Hopper, Disney resort guests must stay in the Park with Extra Magic Hours for the entire day. The increased crowds lead to longer lines, heavier congestion in common areas, and an overall less pleasant touring experience. I would urge you to visit a different Park. If you want to head to Epcot today, despite my strong objections, your best chance to ride the headlining rides is from 9am-11am. Most Disney resort guests will sleep in and arrive around lunch in anticipation of staying until 10-11pm. The morning will be a decent time to tour Epcot, but you’ll probably want to Park Hop elsewhere after lunch or you’ll be stuck in significantly larger-than-usual crowds. You might also consider an afternoon break from 2pm-6pm when crowds will be at their largest. You could then return in the early evening for dinner and Extra Magic Hours. Alternatively, you could also Park Hop over in the evening for Extra Magic Hours, provided you’re aware of how busy it will be. With Extra Magic Hours only being two hours now, wait times at Soarin’ and Test Track won’t ease much until after 10:30pm. However, other attractions will see nominal waits and it’s a great time to take in Epcot’s natural ambiance and hit a few of the less popular/high capacity attractions. Skip Illuminations if you’ll be here on another night because it will be more crowded than usual. Overall, there’s no reason to visit Epcot today because crowds will be higher than any other day during the week and waits at Soarin’ and Test Track will be just as long as they were during the day until at least 10:30pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though yesterday would have been better with Magic Kingdom pulling a ton of people with the evening entertainment and Extra Magic Hours. Today, Magic Kingdom will be significantly less crowded with the early close due to the Christmas Party, which will in turn cause the Studios to be busier as more people are looking to visit another Park. Fortunately, Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours will prove more popular with resort guests and with the below average overall crowd level, the Studios works with nothing specific attracting people towards it. As always, plan to arrive by 8:15am and head straight to sign up the kids for Jedi Training Academy or over to Toy Story Midway Mania first thing.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park with the 7pm close and lack of nighttime spectaculars during regular Park hours causing most casual vacationers to head elsewhere. We’re also coming off a significantly busier day yesterday with Wishes and evening Extra Magic Hours scheduled and Epcot will prove more popular today with resort guests. Tomorrow is also a great day to visit in case you have other plans today.

Friday November 20

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 8pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: none

Animal Kingdom is not recommended today, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests. It’s also late enough in the week that many Disney vacationers will already have had an opportunity to visit the other Parks and they’ll naturally save Animal Kingdom for later in the week. With no special evening entertainment scheduled and no evening Extra Magic Hours to speak of, a lot of people will have Animal Kingdom on their minds. With so many recommended days during the week, there’s really no reason to visit today. You can still make today work if you’re Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of it. But you’ll probably want to be on your way by 1pm when crowds are heavier.

Epcot is highly recommended as we come off a busier day yesterday with evening Extra Magic Hours attracting a ton of Disney resort guests. Plan to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and use FastPass+ at Soarin’ or follow a more compartmentalized two-day touring plan if you prefer. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ at Soarin or Test Track because they will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10:30am due to popularity and relatively low capacities. Getting in line right before Park close will also result in a short wait if you can’t ride any other time. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World. Return to Future World after 5pm if you have more to accomplish and to ride/re-ride the headliners with FastPass+. It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though most people will want to take advantage of some of the lowest crowds of the week at Magic Kingdom. Fortunately, Animal Kingdom will be pulling more Disney resort guests. As always, it’s much more important to arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster first thing than it is to simply “pick the right day” and show up at 11am. Even with the below average overall crowd level and recommendation, Toy Story Mania will see 60+ minute waits in the afternoon and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster won’t be far behind. There’s no way around that with their limited capacities and the few number of rides in the Park. Arrive early and tour efficiently and you can do very well.

Magic Kingdom is our best choice as far as crowds are concerned. This may seem like an odd statement, considering that the operating hours are just 9am to 7pm, but that’s precisely why crowds will be so low. The great majority of Disney vacationers would prefer to visit the Parks when the hours are longer because it seems like more time in the Parks equates to higher value for your money. That seems logical considering the cost to enter the Parks is the same, regardless if Magic Kingdom is open from 8am to 1am or 9am to 7pm. However, crowds are so much lower on Mickey’s Christmas Party days that you’ll actually be able to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Most off-site vacationers will hold off until tomorrow for the longer hours, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes and a lot of Disney resort guests will have visited yesterday for the morning Extra Magic Hour and the Electrical Parade. All of this leaves us with ample opportunity to get on the headlining and Fantasyland rides with minimal waits. As always, you’ll find the most success if you arrive prior to opening and head straight for Space/Big Thunder/Splash Mountains or Fantasyland. Use FastPass+ in the afternoon when wait times peak and you should be able to do just about every major ride and many of the secondary attractions as well. If you would also like to see the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes, consider spending a second day at the Magic Kingdom when those nighttime spectaculars are scheduled. Wednesday would be ideal because it will be less crowded than a Monday or Saturday. Ideally, you would Park Hop over to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon or evening on Wednesday, after spending the majority of your day at a Park with lower crowds. Either way, focus on getting the most popular attractions out of the way today and return to the Magic Kingdom for the nighttime spectaculars on another date. With only one day to spend at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to decide whether seeing Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade are worth spending the day in heavier crowds.

Saturday November 21

The following is based on what the final operating schedule for Thanksgiving Week will likely look like. The final schedule will probably not be updated until mid-October.

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Not Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park as we head into a very busy week for the Thanksgiving holiday. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special events, evening entertainment, or anything else to attract on-site or off-site visitors. Those leaving tomorrow after a traditional weeklong vacation are unlikely to visit Animal Kingdom on their last full day and most arriving today won’t head out to Animal Kingdom as their first destination. We’re also coming off a morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday that will be much more popular with resort guests. Hollywood Studios will be attracting the bulk of the resort crowd with the morning Extra Magic Hour proving popular. As always, you’ll be best off if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Wait times will only get shorter after 4pm, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to enjoy much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is recommended. 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 by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’. Head up to World Showcase beginning as close to 11am as possible to stay ahead of the crowds for as long as possible. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

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

Saturdays are naturally the busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom. We have longer hours of operation, visiting locals, and a lot of vacationers who will be visiting the Magic Kingdom for a second time before returning home tomorrow. On top of that, Main Street Electrical Parade is only scheduled on a limited number of nights this week. Because the Parade is so popular, a lot of people will visit on a day that they can see it, like today. Yesterday will be much less crowded with the 7pm close and lack of nighttime entertainment and any other Mickey’s Party date would be significantly less crowded, but you can have a moderate amount of success today if you arrive prior to 7:30am and head straight for the headlining or Fantasyland attractions. You may elect to prioritize another low capacity attraction or character instead. The afternoon will be busier than any other day this week and you’ll either want to take a break and return for the Electrical Parade and Wishes or visit the less popular attractions from 2pm – 6pm. The relatively late night is also a good time to tour with short waits at most attractions after 10pm. While it is possible to have a decent day here if you arrive early and tour efficiently, there are much less crowded days to visit during the week.

Sunday November 22

The following is based on what the final operating schedule for Thanksgiving Week will likely look like. The final schedule will probably not be updated until mid-October.

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8pm-10pm

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Disney resort guests are more likely to visit Wednesday for morning Extra Magic Hour and it’s 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 and/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 around 5pm 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. You can have a tremendous amount of success from 8am-10am and 6pm to 8pm, but the afternoon will see high wait times with the high overall crowd level.

Epcot is the most recommended Park. We have a lot going on at the other Parks and nothing specific to draw crowds to Epcot. It’s a particularly excellent day to see IllumiNations and have dinner in the World Showcase because both Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom offer popular evening entertainment. Despite the strong recommendation, you will still have the most success if you arrive prior to opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ or follow a more compartmentalized two day touring plan. With the crowd level well above average, Epcot won’t be empty, despite the high recommendation and you’ll still want to arrive early and tour efficiently. If Future World seems to be getting crowded by 11am, move up through the World Showcase as soon as it opens. If you have more to accomplish in Future World, return after 5pm to visit any non-headlining attractions. Most people will have moved up through World Showcase by this time, decreasing crowds and waits. If you’d like to ride Soarin or Test Track again in the afternoon or evening, plan to rely on FastPass+. Check your Times Guide to see which Future World attractions remain open past 7pm – it’s usually only Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Test Track, Soarin’, Character Spot, The Seas with Nemo, and Turtle Talk with Crush.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase by 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 9pm when people begin to give up. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, 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 later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Monday, Wednesday, or Friday would be better if you can swing any of those dates.

Magic Kingdom is recommended as we look toward a very busy week for the Thanksgiving holiday. The overall crowd level is lower today and the morning Extra Magic Hour tomorrow will prove more popular with resort guests. You’ll have the most success if you arrive by 7:30am and tour efficiently in the morning followed by intelligent FastPass+ usage in the afternoon. The late night is also a good time to tour. Visit Tomorrowland after 10pm and Fantasyland after 11pm to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Monday November 23

The following is based on what the final operating schedule for Thanksgiving Week will likely look like. The final schedule will probably not be updated until mid-October.

Animal Kingdom: 8am – 8pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 7am-8am

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

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Magic Kingdom will be attracting the resort guest crowd and it’s early enough in the week that few people will be visiting Disney’s least popular theme park this early in their vacation. Tour very early or very late to have the most success.

Epcot is recommended. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Thursday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site and on-site visitors alike on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Still, it will be crowded with the above average overall crowd level. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. You’ll also be in the best shape if you’ve moved on to World Showcase as close to 11am as possible. Should you have more to accomplish in Future World, return after 5pm when most of the crowd has moved on to World Showcase. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin’, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we come off a more popular day yesterday with the evening Extra Magic Hours attached. Magic Kingdom will be overwhelmingly popular with the longer hours of operation, both nighttime spectaculars, and 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. Expect waits to hit triple digits today even with the recommendation. The second attraction with the longest peak wait is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which should be ridden immediately after Toy Story Mania in the morning or with FastPass+. Other priorities are Tower of Terror and Star Tours, though FastPass+ are more plentiful at both attractions and standby waits are usually lower. After you get through these four headliners, it’s just a matter of arriving in time to see the various stage shows that run on a set schedule and getting over to the Studios’ high capacity attractions. You may also have characters to visit before lines get longer. See the second Fantasmic if you can because it will be much less crowded than the first and you won’t have to deal with two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. While it’s officially a recommended day, arriving prior to Park opening and hitting the headliners first thing is more important than which day you pick. Arrive at 11am, no matter the recommendation or the overall crowd level, and you’ll be looking at long lines at Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

It’s going to be an extremely busy day at Magic Kingdom today, even without the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract even more resort guests. The problem is that a lot of people travel over the weekend and naturally head to Magic Kingdom on their first full day, regardless of what’s going on at the other Parks. If possible, try to put the Magic Kingdom off until tomorrow when we’re in between two more popular days and fewer people will naturally be visiting it on their first day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive by 6:20am to take advantage of it, then you can have a tremendous amount of success from 7am-10am. But the afternoon will be reliably busier than tomorrow with wait times high enough that they will cancel out just about any benefit from the extra hour. Plan to park hop elsewhere or consider a lengthy afternoon break when waits peak.

Tuesday November 24

The following is based on what the final operating schedule for Thanksgiving Week will likely look like. The final schedule will probably not be updated until mid-October.

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Most Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Tomorrow’s morning Extra Magic Hour will be more attractive to Disney resort guests and it’s early enough in the week that most people visiting on a traditional Thanksgiving week vacation will be looking to visit Epcot or Hollywood Studios. To take full advantage of an above average day, arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Get those two attractions out of the way early and the only real concern is getting to Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King. You would be in the best shape if you could get to the first or last show of the day as well as over to DinoLand USA before 10:30am when lines begin to build at DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl. You may also want to prioritize the most popular characters by arriving five minutes before they’re scheduled to appear. Use FastPass+ in the late morning and afternoon day and you should have no trouble experiencing just about everything Animal Kingdom has to offer in just one day. Stay through close if you have more to accomplish because waits will decrease after 5pm. Visit DinoLand after 6pm and Asia in the final hour to find much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Epcot isn’t recommended due to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests and the natural progression of weeklong Disney vacationers that will naturally head to Epcot after the Magic Kingdom yesterday. While the morning Extra Magic Hour will be an excellent time to tour, Epcot will get progressively busier as more and more Disney resort guests arrive. You could have success if you arrive at 7:15am, head straight for the headliners, and move up to the World Showcase around 11am, but afternoon crowds will be heavier than recommended days and you’ll likely want to Park Hop elsewhere or take a break around 2pm. A lot of Disney resort guests think that Disney dictates where they should go each day with the Extra Magic Hours schedule. Even though this isn’t true, it doesn’t stop thousands upon thousands of Disney resort guests from visiting the Extra Magic Hours Park, even though they have no intention of arriving in time to take advantage of their extra hour. Yesterday, tomorrow, and Saturday are the best days of the week to visit.

Hollywood Studios is recommended, though the relatively standard operating hours and plentiful nighttime entertainment will “help” distribute crowds more evenly over the course of the week. Because of that, your touring plan is more important than which day you decide to visit the Studios. Arrive by 8:15am, head directly to Toy Story Mania, and then visit Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, 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 and Star Tours. Popular characters may also be a morning priority. You may want to take a break in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm or so when crowds get heavier. Return for dinner, some evening rides, and Fantasmic. Finally, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the Hollywood Hills Theater if you’re planning to see the early show. It will still require you to arrive 20 minutes early (or you run the risk of Disney opening the reserved sections to the general population), but it’s better than the 60 minute wait that may be required to get decent seats without it. The Dining Package makes the most sense if you’re also on the Disney Dining Plan because it costs the same one-table-service credit at Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and two-table-service credits that you would use otherwise. It also includes the appetizer, which is a nice bonus. If you’d prefer not to spring for the show or it’s not available, plan to see the later show. It’s far less crowded because so many families have to leave early with young kids and there aren’t two large sections reserved for Dining Package users. The best seats are at least half way up in the middle sections. You’ll have a great view of the entire stage, what’s happening on the water, and won’t risk getting wet. Overall, it’s a recommended day, but what you do is more important than arriving on the “right” day. Both yesterday and tomorrow would be a little better.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We’re in between yesterday’s morning Extra Magic Hour and tomorrow’s evening Extra Magic Hours, both of which will pull more Disney resort guests. That in turn increases congestion in common areas and significantly increases lines at everything from the major attractions to the quick services. With the long operating hours and plentiful nighttime entertainment every day this week, coupled with the high overall crowd level, Magic Kingdom won’t be empty. It’s still more important to arrive by 7:30am with an efficient touring plan than it is to do anything else. Consider a lengthy afternoon break when waits peak. Return in the evening for dinner some late night attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars. If you’re planning to see the Electrical Parade, the 11pm Parade is much less crowded, particularly along the route in Frontierland or Liberty Square. If you’re not interested in the nighttime entertainment, visit Tomorrowland after 10pm and Fantasyland after 11pm to find much lower waits than the afternoon, finishing with Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Wednesday November 25

The following is based on what the final operating schedule for Thanksgiving Week will likely look like. The final schedule will probably not be updated until mid-October.

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 7am – 8am

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 12am – 2am

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

It’s the first or second busiest day of the week at Animal Kingdom. The morning Extra Magic Hour will attract a lot of Disney resort guests that spent Monday at Magic Kingdom and Tuesday at Epcot. Magic Kingdom will prove more popular with the long hours, nighttime entertainment, and more popular evening Extra Magic Hours. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible and able to arrive by 6:30am, you can have a tremendous amount of success from 7am – 10am. But most people will want to take advantage of one of the best days of the week for Epcot or Hollywood Studios, both of which are more difficult to schedule.

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

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Animal Kingdom will be popular with the morning Extra Magic Hour and Magic Kingdom will be overwhelmingly popular with the longer hours of operation, both nighttime spectaculars, and evening Extra Magic Hours. The only problem is the number of people that are planning to visit Magic Kingdom or Epcot tomorrow for the holiday, but that is a nominal concern overall. Epcot still makes more sense today with the Studios a slightly better choice for tomorrow. 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 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 later Fantasmic if you can because it will be much less crowded than the first. 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 with evening Extra Magic Hours pulling more Disney resort guests than yesterday from 10am-10pm. Remember that 75,000+ people have access to Extra Magic Hours on any given day and many of them believe the schedule is Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. Many of them will decide to visit Magic Kingdom today, in turn pushing up wait times everywhere from the major attractions to the quick services to the store cash registers. You can still do well in the morning from 8am-10am and in the late evening after 10pm, with short waits at most attractions after 10pm. 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.

Thursday November 26

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 9pm – 11pm

Illuminations: 9pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Not Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park today as we come off a busier day with a morning Extra Magic Hour attached and have another tomorrow. Animal Kingdom is always the least crowded Park (both literally and relatively) on major holidays like Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas. It doesn’t exactly “feel” festive and most people naturally would prefer to visit the “most magical place on earth.”  Others will have heard how well Epcot handles large crowds and they’ll head in that direction instead. All in all, few people will be considering Animal Kingdom and it is by far your best choice as far as crowds are concerned. Take advantage by arriving prior to Park opening and heading straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest (or follow a touring plan). You should have no problem riding both multiple times during the day, especially with the help of FastPass+ in the late morning and afternoon. If you don’t arrive early in the morning, use FastPass+ and/or head to the headliners you missed or would like to ride again after 6:30pm. A lot of people leave in the afternoon, which lowers waits at just about every attraction until close. After you complete your itinerary, I would recommend heading to a resort for dinner rather than trying to Park Hop elsewhere. You could theoretically head to Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic, Epcot for IllumiNations and evening Extra Magic Hours, or Magic Kingdom for Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes, and some late night rides, but all three Parks will be very crowded in the late afternoon and evening. It would be more relaxing to transfer to a nearby resort for dinner. You might consider heading to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at one of their three excellent restaurants – Sanaa, Jiko, and Boma. Mara, the resort’s quick service, is also well above average and a cheaper alternative. There’s also plenty to see and do at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, including a visit to the amazing public observatory where you can look out at the same private savannas that guests of the resort are paying $300+ a night to enjoy from their balconies. You can also book a reservation at one of Animal Kingdom’s table service restaurants right up until 8pm. Disney will run buses for at least 90 minutes after close, making it easy to return to your resort or another destination should you stay for a late dinner.

Epcot will be busy today even without the evening Extra Magic Hours that will entice even more Disney resort guests. Casual Disney advice is to head to Epcot on holidays because it handles crowds better than the other Parks. While it’s true that there is physically more space in Epcot to stand than the other Parks, there are really only two major headlining attractions and a few upper-tier attractions in Epcot. Because of this, the lines at Soarin’ and Test Track will be extremely long (120+ minutes most of the day) and other attractions that are usually empty will see significant waits. Imagine a 40 minute wait for Journey into Imagination and 60 minutes for The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Because of the limited number of attractions, you’ll also see a ton of people milling about Future World and World Showcase. While you could have success if you arrive by 8:15am and head straight to Soarin’ or Test Track, there are much less crowded days available. Waits at the major attractions don’t drop significantly during evening Extra Magic Hours until the last 30 minutes or so. If you do end up visiting, try to get in line for either Soarin’ or Test Track during IllumiNations when waits are short and then hit the other one right before 11pm.

Hollywood Studios is recommended today because of the popularity of Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The mostly standardized operating schedule and plentiful nighttime entertainment also means few people will lock in on visiting the Studios with nothing in particular attracting them. Animal Kingdom remains the best choice, but Hollywood Studios is not a bad choice if you have other plans for the animals. As always, you’ll have the most success if you arrive by 8:15am and head straight for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. You’re in good shape after you get through these four rides because most of the Studios’ other attractions are high capacity stage shows and rides. Like any other day when crowds are this heavy, you’ll run into lines and waits if you don’t arrive until after 10am. You can still have success if you use FastPass+ and visit the less popular attractions in the afternoon, but the standby waits are going to be long, despite the recommendation. There’s just no way around that on a major holiday. If you’re planning to see Fantasmic, you’ll want to consider the Fantasmic Dining Package that will guarantee everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the theater if you’re planning to see the 6:30pm show. If you’re not interested in the Fantasmic Dining Package or it isn’t available, wait for the second show because it will require a shorter wait. Still, plan to arrive 30 minutes early for the second show to secure good seats together. For the first show, you’ll want to arrive 30 minutes early with the Package or 60+ minutes without it. Finally, consider taking a break in the afternoon from 1pm – 5pm when crowds are at their highest and return around 5pm for dinner, some late night attractions, the Osborne Lights, and Fantasmic. Return to the headliners after 9pm when waits decrease, finishing the day with Toy Story Mania.

Like most major holidays, Magic Kingdom will be extremely crowded today. Unless you plan to arrive prior to Park opening for some early rides or merely want to visit for the ambiance, Magic Kingdom will be expressly not recommended. This will be one of the busiest days of the year and we obviously don’t want to be caught in crowds of that magnitude. Like any day this week, you can have success if you arrive prior to opening and head straight for Fantasyland or other priorities, but crowds will be heavy from 11am through 11pm. Tomorrow will be much less crowded.

Friday November 27

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 7am – 8am

Epcot: 9am – 9:30pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9:30pm

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 10pm (Recommended)

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Most Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is not recommended today, thanks to the morning Extra Magic Hour that will attract Disney resort guests. It’s also late enough in the week that many Disney vacationers will already have had an opportunity to visit the other Parks and they’ll naturally save Animal Kingdom for later in the week. With no special evening entertainment scheduled and no evening Extra Magic Hours to speak of, a lot of people will have Animal Kingdom on their minds. With so many recommended days during the week, there’s really no reason to visit today. You can still make today work if you’re Extra Magic Hours eligible and arrive by 6:30am to take advantage of it. But you’ll probably want to be on your way by 1pm when crowds are heavier.

Epcot is recommended as we come off a busier day yesterday with evening Extra Magic Hours attracting a ton of Disney resort guests and the natural attractiveness of a major holidau. Plan to arrive prior to Park opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and use FastPass+ at Soarin’ or follow a more compartmentalized two-day touring plan if you prefer. If you arrive later, plan to use FastPass+ at Soarin or Test Track because they will have 60+ minute waits for most of the day after 10:30am due to popularity and relatively low capacities. Getting in line right before Park close will also result in a short wait if you can’t ride any other time. Move on to the World Showcase beginning around 11am if crowds begin to build in Future World. Return to Future World after 5pm if you have more to accomplish and to ride/re-ride the headliners with FastPass+. It’s also a great day to stay for dinner and IllumiNations.

Hollywood Studios is recommended. Animal Kingdom will be pulling more Disney resort guests and the Studios will prove more popular tomorrow with the morning Extra Magic Hour attracting resort guests. As always, it’s much more important to arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster first thing than it is to simply “pick the right day” and show up at 11am. Toy Story Mania will see 60+ minute waits in the afternoon and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster won’t be far behind. There’s no way around that with their limited capacities and the few number of rides in the Park. Arrive early and tour efficiently and you can do very well.

If you haven’t been able to make it to the Magic Kingdom yet, today is a great day to do so. A lot of people will have visited yesterday and the long lines and giant crowds will cause them to look elsewhere for relief. Today is also Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year and many Florida locals will be out shopping rather than visiting the Parks. Despite the recommendation, Magic Kingdom will still be busy with the high overall crowd level. You’ll want to visit Fantasyland or the headlining Mountain rides first thing in the morning and use FastPass+ efficiently throughout the day. Plan to visit the less popular attractions in the afternoon. The 10pm – 12am timeframe is also an excellent opportunity to visit Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, or other popular attractions. Many families leave after the first Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes, which lowers crowds in Fantasyland and the other lands late at night. If you couldn’t get to Mine Train, Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh early in the morning, return after 11pm, ultimately getting in line for Mine Train a couple minutes before close. As usual, the second Main Street Electrical Parade will be less popular than the first. Plan to stake out a spot along the Parade route in Frontierland or Liberty Square at least 10 minutes before the Parade is scheduled to begin. Overall, Magic Kingdom is going to continue to be busy, but you can “beat” the crowds by arriving early and touring efficiently, using FastPass+ in the late morning and afternoon, taking an afternoon break when crowds peak, and returning in the evening for dinner, some additional rides, and the nighttime spectaculars.

Saturday November 28

The following is based on what the final operating schedule for Thanksgiving Week will likely look like. The final schedule will probably not be updated until mid-October.

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

Epcot: 9am – 9:30pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9:30pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am – 9am

Fantasmic: 6:30pm and 8pm

Magic Kingdom: 8am – 12am (Not Recommended)

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

Animal Kingdom is the most recommended Park. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special events, evening entertainment, or anything else to attract on-site or off-site visitors. Those leaving tomorrow after a traditional weeklong vacation are unlikely to visit Animal Kingdom on their last full day and most arriving today won’t head out to Animal Kingdom as their first destination. We’re also coming off a morning Extra Magic Hour yesterday that will be much more popular with resort guests. Hollywood Studios will be attracting the bulk of the resort crowd. As always, you’ll be best off if you arrive prior to Park opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Wait times will only get shorter after 5pm, so stay through close if you have more you’d like to accomplish. Visit DinoLand with two hours to close and Asia in the final hour to enjoy much shorter waits than the afternoon.

Epcot is recommended. 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 by 8:15am and head straight for Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+. Head up to World Showcase beginning as close to 11am as possible to stay ahead of the crowds for as long as possible. Return to Future World after 5pm to find lower crowds there than the afternoon, keeping in mind that only Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission: Space, Character Spot, Turtle Talk, and The Seas continue operating after 7pm. Hit the other Future World attractions from 5pm – 7pm and then return to Soarin’ and Test Track after 8pm to find shorter waits, use FastPass+, or take advantage of single rider at Test Track. It’s also an excellent night to stay for IllumiNations.

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

It’s another busier than usual day at Magic Kingdom. Although we had long hours, Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wishes scheduled every day this week, we won’t next week. Plus, a lot of people who are visiting for Thanksgiving will be leaving tomorrow and they’ll want to head back to Magic Kingdom for one last go around. The early morning from 8am – 10:30am and late night from 9pm – 12am will be great times to tour, but the afternoon from 11am – 9pm will be busier than most days over the last week and any day next week with the high overall crowd level. Tomorrow will be significantly less crowded.

Sunday November 29

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 6pm (Recommended)

Epcot: 9am – 9:30pm (Recommended)

Illuminations: 9:30pm

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

Evening Extra Magic Hours: 8pm – 10pm

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Festival of Fantasy Parade: 3pm, Main Street Electrical Parade: none, Wishes Fireworks: none

Animal Kingdom is recommended. Disney resort guests are more likely to visit Wednesday for morning Extra Magic Hour and it’s 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 and/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 around 4pm 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 with Hollywood Studios attracting the majority of the Disney resort guests. World Showcase will still be a bit more crowded with the Holidays Around the World festivities, but there’s no getting away from that until January. To have the most success, arrive prior to opening and head straight to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or follow one of the touring plans. Single Rider at Test Track is also a good option and will often result in a shorter wait than the standby or FastPass+ lines. It’s more important to arrive early and take care of the headliners first thing than it is to pick the “right” day. You’ll run into lines at the headliners in Future World if you don’t arrive until 10:30am with everyone else. To stay ahead of the crowds for the longest amount of time, move up through the World Showcase beginning at 11am. Return to Future World after 5pm to see anything you missed, but make sure you check your Times Guide because some attractions close at 7pm, including Captain EO, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Innoventions, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure. If you’re interested in re-riding Soarin’ or Test Track, plan to use FastPass+, single rider at Test Track, or get in line around 8:55pm.

Hollywood Studios will be busy due to the evening Extra Magic Hours that are popular with Disney resort guests. It’s also more likely Disney will extend the close and add a second Fantasmic, which will make the Park more popular with off-site visitors. The morning will be an okay time to tour, but crowds will increase by 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 9pm when people begin to give up. In addition, 9,000+ people will exit Fantasmic at 7:30pm, 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 later in the week and you won’t have to deal with the significantly heavier afternoon and evening crowds. Monday, Wednesday, or Friday would be better if you can swing any of those dates.

Magic Kingdom is the most recommended Park. The short hours and lack of evening entertainment will cause a lot of casual vacationers to head elsewhere. We’re in between yesterday’s very popular longer hours of operation/both nighttime spectaculars and have a similar schedule tomorrow. On top of that, Sunday is a major travel day for those on a standard weeklong Disney vacation. With the early close, virtually none of them will start out with an abbreviated day at Magic Kingdom. Few people that arrived on Saturday will also visit a theme park with a seemingly short day and no nighttime spectaculars on their first full day. Tomorrow will be significantly more crowded. If you’re looking to visit Magic Kingdom over two days, then you may want to visit on a Mickey’s Party date and another day where you can enjoy the nighttime spectaculars. If you’re planning just one day at Magic Kingdom, then you’ll need to weigh whether you’re willing to put up with heavier crowds in order to enjoy both nighttime spectaculars. While the 7pm close may seem like a truncated day, I can assure you that ten hours is a long time to spend in a theme park. If you arrive by 8:30am, you’ll be able to accomplish an amazing number of attractions in a short period of time if you head straight for Fantasyland or other important attractions, use FastPass+ in the afternoon when crowds peak, and visit the less popular attractions in the afternoon. Crowds will only diminish from 4pm to 6pm as people leave for dining reservations and other activities. Around 6pm you will begin to see an influx of people arriving for the Christmas Party, but they tend to congregate on Main Street waiting for their Party to begin, rather than heading for the attractions. Stay through 7pm because wait times will only decrease from their afternoon highs as it gets closer to 7pm. One thing about staying through 7pm is that at exactly 7pm (and possibly a couple of minutes before), the special characters will begin appearing for the Party. If you’re not planning to do the Party and have kids, you may want to leave around 6:30pm. Otherwise, your children may encounter a bunch of characters that they won’t be allowed to visit because you must have a Party ticket to get in line. There are no exceptions. Other than those minor inconveniences, this is going to be one of the three least crowded days of the week at Magic Kingdom. Wednesday is the best day to see the nighttime spectaculars, but the set of evening Extra Magic Hours does complicate things.

Monday November 30

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

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Highly Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

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

Fantasmic: 7pm

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

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

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

Animal Kingdom is highly recommended. Magic Kingdom will prove overwhelmingly popular with so much going on over there. Wednesday and Friday will be busiest.

Epcot is highly recommended. We don’t have Extra Magic Hours, special evening entertainment, or anything else that will draw people toward Epcot specifically. Disney resort guests will be more likely to visit tomorrow or Thursday for Extra Magic Hours and off-site visitors on a weeklong vacation will be headed to the Magic Kingdom for their first full day at the world’s most popular theme park. Disney resort guests are more likely to head to Magic Kingdom for the Extra Magic Hours, later close, and nighttime entertainment. To have the most success, arrive prior to Park opening and head to Test Track, Sum of All Thrills, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ with FastPass+ or follow one of the two-day compartmentalized touring plans. Move up through World Showcase as close to 11am as possible to minimize crowds. Plan to return to Future World after 5pm to avoid the congestion. Just keep in mind that a lot of the Future World attractions close at 7pm. Usually, just Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Character Spot continue to operate after 7pm. If Character Spot is on your itinerary, try to visit after 7pm when waits times are much lower than the afternoon. Overall, it’s a great day for Epcot and an excellent opportunity to spend time in both Future World and World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios is the most recommended Park as we come off a busier day with Extra Magic Hours. It’s also early enough in the week that most guests just arriving will be intent on visiting Magic Kingdom with its nighttime entertainment and long hours of operation. As always, it’s imperative that you arrive by 8:15am and take care of Toy Story Mania first thing. The Studios has a severely limited number of rides and wait times rise quickly even on the most recommended days with the lowest crowds.

Magic Kingdom is going to be busy today. Mondays are usually the second busiest day of the week at the Magic Kingdom, second to only Saturdays, for a variety of reasons. First, a lot of people travel over the weekend and visit Magic Kingdom on their first full day. In most instances, that day is Monday. Second, Mondays often feature longer hours, Wishes Fireworks, and Main Street Electrical Parade, when other days during the week have shorter operating hours and don’t offer the Electrical Parade. Anyone who wants to see the evening entertainment will have to visit on a day when it’s offered, like most Saturdays and Mondays. Here in the heart of Mickey’s Party season, that means Magic Kingdom closes at 7pm on four days this week. Every day with a later close and nighttime entertainment will be overwhelmingly more popular. Finally, Disney added a morning Extra Magic Hour, which will only drive more Disney resort guests to the Park because they truly believe the Extra Magic Hours schedule is Disney’s way of telling them where they belong each day. If you are Extra Magic Hours eligible, you can do well in the morning if you arrive prior to 7:30am and tour efficiently in the morning. But it’s going to be busier than any day other than Saturday from 11am-9pm. Wednesday is the best day of the week to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes.

 

Comments

  1. Tom says

    Josh as usual you are awesome. I had a quick question. If you were looking to do the Mickey XMas Party one night the week of the 16th, would you recommend doing it on the 17th or 19th? I’m leaning towards the 19th considering the studios private event. Curios to know your thoughts

  2. Tiffany says

    Going to Disney World Nov 11 – 18, 2015. Which would be a better day for MVMCP, Thursday (Nov 12), Friday (Nov 13), Sun (Nov 15), or Tues (Nov 17)? Is one day of the week better than another? Thank you in advance

    • RebeccaMcK says

      Like siskaren said below, Fridays would normally be more crowded because it’s when the locals tend to go. Maybe Sundays, too, but not as bad. I’d personally opt for the Tuesday (with the Thursday as my second choice).

  3. siskaren says

    Fridays are more crowded due to locals. There’s probably not a significant difference in the other dates.

  4. Kristina says

    Thanks for this! We’ll be there the 8th-13th and I’m curious about how much Veterans Day will impact food and wine crowds? Is it likely to be significant, or less of an issue with the holiday falling in the middle of the week?

  5. Jen B says

    This is great – thank you! I love how the way I wanted to do it works out to be the right way on the calender- win win for me.

  6. Pooch says

    visiting my daughter 11/10 thru 11/16. You recommend Epcot either Wed 11/11 or Monday 11/16. Doesn’t F & WF end on 11/16 and do you think that will impact the day?

  7. dusty cheatham says

    what no photos of the throng of adoring crowd sighing auotgraphs . hope everything was a success .

  8. Disgirl says

    I’m confused… The calendar shows that on Monday Nov. 30th, HS is the farthest to the left (meaning, it’s the most recommended park for the day). But in the description at the bottom of the page, it says Epcot is the most recommended park for the day. Which one is correct?

    • siskaren says

      Unless Josh made an edit since you asked, Epcot is described at highly recommended, not most recommended.

  9. Jane says

    Hello, I am curious about whether Black Friday will see bigger crowds at Epcot b/c it’s the start of their holiday program. Would that be enough to push it from recommended to not recommended? Thanks!

  10. John says

    Thanks Josh. As usual this is Great!!
    We are planning on going to WDW in November so this will sure help us in our planning.

  11. MIKE says

    a question josh. do you think the magic kingdom will open at 8 am again after thanksgiving or was that a one year thing. would love to see them do it again as wasn’t able to go last year and am a morning person. thanks in advance.

  12. Nicole says

    Thank you so much for this – I truly enjoy reading each month – even if I won’t be there at those times!

    Any preference between Nov. 11-17 or Nov. 14-20 this year? Will the crowd numbers between a 3 and a 5 really be that noticeable?

    Thanks so much – keep up the great work!

  13. Linda says

    Does the first night of Osbourne lights draw a crowd? I was surprised to see DHS as the recommended park on the 6th. I figured it would be the opposite! Either way, I hope to be there. I have never saw the lights.

  14. Tiffany says

    Traveling to Disney World Nov 11 – 18th. First time with 8 year old. Trying to determine our daily plan and want any opinions:
    Wed (11th) – arrival
    Thursday (12) – MK
    Fri (13) – HS
    Sat (14) – Day at Resorts
    Sun (15) – AK
    Mon (16) – EP – I want to visit during Food and Wine
    Tues (17) – MK and MVMCP planned since can sleep in next day
    Wed (18) – Departure

    Thank you in advance

  15. Susannah says

    This is so awesome! Thank you for all the information! We’ll be visiting for the first time from Nov. 15 through Nov. 21 with our five year old. Which party during that time is our best bet?

  16. Karen says

    So excited!! We are coming for our first trip ever to WDW (6 days) and UO (2 days) 11/26-12/5. I wanted to start visiting parks on 11/28 but I know that weekend is still pretty crazy. I was thinking we’d just do World Showcase that day and then use a less busy day the following week to do the rest of Epcot, however your calendar shows AK as the best. We are only planning on 1 day for AK. Would it be better for us to go there instead of Epcot?

    TIA

  17. Frank says

    Josh do you think that they are going to extend hours (a month out) of the parks in late November and early December like they did last year?

  18. Crystal says

    Love using your site, but I can’t get the Nov 2015 pdf calendar to work. It gives me an error on your site saying it isn’t found. Just wanted you to know!! Thanks for all the work you put into the site!! Love it!!

  19. Linda says

    Thank you! It must take some time to put the calendar and daily analysis together, and I want you to know how much your efforts are appreciated.

  20. Lisa says

    I was suprised to see MSEP and Wishes Fireworks down for the week of Nov 22nd. I spoke to two different cast members who advised me there is nothing on THIER calendar listing either show starting on Sunday, Nov. 22nd – Nov 26th (we are departing 11/26). I thought it seemed strange, just curious as to how you have that info but they do not?
    P.S. The calendar and the obvious amount of work that went into it is beyond appreciated!!

  21. Elizabeth says

    Hi, how does the free dining plan deal affect the crowd calendar? They offer free dining for arrival most nights 11/8-11/19. It’s sure hard to get a room.
    Thank you for your hard work with this website ! I love it!

  22. Shirley says

    I’ve always used your recommendations because they have been spot on! When will Nov 2016’s calendar be up. We are going for our first holiday trip 11/27-12/2 and are anxiously awaiting your recommendations!!! Thank you.

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