Just a couple changes to the first couple days in January. The complete operating schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_january.pdf.

Thursday January 1:

  • Animal Kingdom hours extended to 8am-6pm from 9am-6pm.
  • Hollywood Studios hours extended to 8am-10pm from 9am-10pm. Third Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 6:30pm and 8pm shows.
  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am-1am from 9am-1am. Note that the Festival of Fantasy Parade returns on January 1st.

Friday January 2:

  • Animal Kingdom hours extended to 8am-7pm from 9am-7pm.
  • Hollywood Studios hours extended to 8am-10pm from 9am-10pm. Third Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 6:30pm and 8pm shows.
  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am-1am from 9am-1am.

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Disney made another round of changes to the December operating schedule. Major ABC Christmas Parade taping has moved to Monday December 7th and 8th. That frees up Friday December 5th, where no taping is currently scheduled. Magic Kingdom will move to “Most recommended” on the 5th. Magic Kingdom will still not be recommended on Saturday December 6th with the long operating hours and plentiful evening entertainment scheduled. On December 7th, Magic Kingdom will move to “Recommended” from “Most Recommended.” It remains the best day to visit Magic Kingdom between December 6th and 9th. Magic Kingdom will remain “Not Recommended” on December 8th, now with stronger wording that most guests will want to avoid the Park due to the inconveniences and crowds that the Parade taping brings. Finally, Magic Kingdom will move to “Tentatively Recommended” on December 9th from “Most Recommended” due to the possibility of inconveniences relating to the ABC Christmas Day Parade taping.

Magic Kingdom sees daily 8am openings beginning December 13th. It’s good news if you can arrive by 7:30am to take advantage of the extra hour as waits will be short at most attractions through at least 10am. The hours during the busiest two weeks of the year, from December 20th-January 3rd, also see extensions in line with what we were expecting.

The full December operating schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_december.pdf. Click “refresh” to load the newest version.

Monday December 1:

  • No changes.

Tuesday December 2:

  • No changes.

Wednesday December 3:

  • No changes.

Thursday December 4:

  • No changes.

Friday December 5:

  • ABC Christmas Parade taping no longer scheduled. Festival of Fantasy Parade moved to 3pm from 5pm.

Saturday December 6:

  • Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am-9pm from 9am-8pm.
  • Major ABC Christmas Parade taping no longer scheduled, though musical act taping is expected. Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am-1am from 9am-12am.

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Just a heads up if you’re visiting this week – Disney just moved regular opening to 8am on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The open will stay at 9am on Monday and Wednesday, with the morning Extra Magic Hour beginning at 8am. Operating hours have been updated on the November crowd calendar.

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Disney released the June operating schedule at the usual address: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_june.pdf. Click “refresh” on your browser to load the newest version. Star Wars Weekends looks to include a fifth weekend this year, with the last Weekend coming June 12th to 14th. Otherwise June is one of the most consistently busy month of the year. With that said, the earlier you go in June, the better. It’s slightly less hot/humid, fewer kids are out of school domestically, and South American visitation is a little lower.

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The Osborne (still no ‘u’) Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is one of Disney’s most popular holiday spectaculars.

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Like most other things Walt Disney World, Frozen has taken over the Cinderella Castle lighting at Magic Kingdom, resulting in heavier crowds and a much more trying experience for those attempting to take in the show. On Party nights, it’s scheduled at 6:15pm for everybody and then again at 8pm for Party goers. On non-Party nights, it’s scheduled at 6:15pm and again at 7:30pm. Shortly after the 6:15pm show, the Dream Lights are turned off in preparation for the second lighting.

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Edit: Magic Kingdom hours also extended on November 16 and 21 to 8am-7pm.

Unexpectedly, Hollywood Studios has extended its hours from 9am-9pm to 9am-10pm during Thanksgiving Week from Monday November 24 through Saturday November 29.

Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am-7pm from 9am-7pm on November 16 and 21.

Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am-10pm from 9am-9pm on November 18 and 19. Both days have added a second Electrical Parade at 10pm, in addition to the 8pm Parade.

The November Crowd Calendar was updated with all changes. The extra hour at Studios is good because waits at the major attractions will come down. The second Electrical Parade is good because it will be significantly easier to see and less crowded than the first.

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Edit: November crowd calendar updated to reflect the earlier openings.

Good or bad news for those traveling over the busy Thanksgiving week.

Animal Kingdom will be open from 8am-8pm from Sunday November 23 to Friday November 28. The previous open was 9am.

Magic Kingdom will open at 8am from Saturday November 22 to Saturday November 29. The previous open was 9am. Closing times remain the same.

If a morning Extra Magic Hour is scheduled, it moves one hour earlier, to 7am-8am.

This is good news for those that can arrive at the Parks by 7:30am for regular opens because it offers another hour of relatively low crowds and relatively low waits, despite high afternoon crowds. Expect low waits at most attractions through at least 10am. It’s potentially bad news for those that booked breakfast reservations around 8am. If you keep those reservations, you’ll be enjoying breakfast while wait times rise all around you, in addition to mostly losing out on that exclusive time in the Parks before it opens.

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Not unsurprisingly, each of the first two Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties have sold out with the Wine and Dine Marathon and Veterans Day holiday bringing a lot of people to the resort on relatively short trips where they try to cram in as much as possible. Despite being some of the busiest Parties of the year, wait times at the major attractions remain short:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports12/mvmcpwaits.jpg

Anything with a posted wait of 5 or 10 minutes should more or less be a walk-on, leaving only a few attractions with actual waits of more than 10 minutes. Wait times are surprisingly short for many of the characters with posted waits. My hypothesis is that there are relatively few people willing to wait 45+ minutes for a character and they’re largely busy waiting for the Dwarfs or Sandy Claws, reducing waits at the characters that ordinarily meet.

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It’s been a while since we visited BoardWalk Bakery, which reopened from a four-month refurbishment all the way back in April 2013.

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