Here’s the preview of the June 2012 crowd calendar. It’s not yet finalized as I’ll be putting together the “daily analysis” over the next few days. The process usually reveals some nuances that change the recommended Parks slightly. Nonetheless, this should give you a good idea about where we’re headed:
The Calendar is also available in an easy to view and print PDF file, Here
Should you have no idea what you’re looking at or what to expect from the final product, check out the December 2011 Crowd Calendar here: https://www.easywdw.com/category/calendar/12-december-2011-crowd-calendar/. Underneath the list of update is an explanation of what each line means. I’m still “experimenting” with the addition of the last line that lists the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes start times.
If I have one nice thing to say about June, it’s that it’s not July – both in terms of heat and crowds. Yes, it’s crowded. Yes, it’s hot. But it’s not July hot and July crowded. You’ll find the lowest crowds in the first ten days or so. After that, it’s basically peak crowds and peak heat through the middle of August. We’re not talking Christmas crowds here, but the summer is the longest stretch of “crowded” days you’ll find over the course of the year. At least around Easter in April, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December, you have days and weeks that are significantly less crowded around the busy periods. Once the middle of June hits, every single day is busy for a couple of months.
The good news is that the summer also sees the longest operating hours of the year, particularly because it gets dark so much later. When Disney updates the operating schedule in the middle of May, we should see Hollywood Studios close at 10pm most every night with a second Fantasmic scheduled at 10:30pm. Magic Kingdom will see 12am and 1am closes with a second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm every night. Animal Kingdom will see mostly 8pm closes throughout the month. As usual, Epcot’s operating hours will remain constant at 9am to 9pm with IllumiNations every night at 9pm. During the summer, the ideal day sees you arriving at the Parks prior to Park opening to hit the major attractions and collect FASTPASSes. Once 1pm or 2pm hits, you’ll want to take a break back at your resort. Hit the showers, the pool, and relax in whatever ways you deem fit. Then, return in the evening for dinner, some additional rides, and the nighttime entertainment. This way, you miss the hottest and most crowded part of the day. The late night evening Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom are particularly excellent. You can’t beat the crowds at 2am when Magic Kingdom doesn’t close until 3am. I’m still not wild about evening Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios or Epcot though. They just don’t have the number of attractions open to handle the lingering crowds.
At the moment, the June operating schedule is virtually the same every day with few items of interest. We do have “Gay Days” over the first weekend, which is an unofficial event that attracts a lot of people. They visit each of the Disney theme parks one time. We’re planning to avoid them on Friday June 1st when they visit Hollywood Studios. Coupled with Star Wars Weekends, the Studios will be extremely crowded without their help. On Saturday at Magic Kingdom and Sunday at Epcot, we’re not as concerned. Gay Days participants tend to arrive late and leave early and don’t affect touring much at all. They also tend to displace people who are intent on avoiding the theme park that that Gay Days is planning to visit, which actually makes those theme parks less crowded.
Speaking of Star Wars Weekends, we can expect to see the event held at Hollywood Studios on June 1 – 3 and 8 – 10. Disney most likely won’t announce the dates until the beginning of 2012 and appearances won’t be finalized until April or May. I’ll have a full rundown of the event in the “daily analysis” or you can peruse my overview of last year’s event here.
Overall, June isn’t necessarily a terrible month to visit. You certainly shouldn’t be nervous or scared to visit during the summer. After all, if you’ve made it this far, you’re already smarter than 97% of the people that will be touring the Parks alongside you, no matter which Disney app they happen to have open on their telephones. I would say 100%, but you never know when I’m going to show up with my army.
June 2011 Walkabouts:
For those of you considering a June 2012 vacation to Walt Disney World or for those of you just joining us, here’s a list of my June 2011 Walkabouts. It should give you a better idea about what to expect.
A Couple Days at Magic Kingdom – Casey’s Corner Chili Cheese Dog review; A walk around Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland; Lobster Roll from Tomorrowland Terrace review; Chicken Parmesan from Pinocchio Village Haus review.
Saying Goodbye to Star Wars Weekends – A look at the last Friday and Sunday of Star Wars Weekends; Pressed Tuscan Deli from Studio Catering Company review; Chicken/Rib Combo at Fairfax Fare review; 100+ minute waits at Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
The Tale of Two Sandwiches – Magic Kingdom on June 18 and Animal Kingdom on June 19 – Golden Oak Outpost review (menu has since changed to hot dogs); Hot Italian Style Sandwich from Pizzafari review.
Hollywood Studios Walkabout June 26 – Star Tours is just five weeks old; New Cars Meet and greet; Toy Story Pizza Planet review; New Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet.