Update: Link fixed.
Disney released the July 2013 operating schedule at the usual address today: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/DTA-Domestic/pdf/ParkHours/WDW_Operating_Calendar_july.pdf. As always, this is the “official” schedule that will show up at DisneyWorld.com later this month.
July is far and away the busiest month of the year by overall attendance. Add some of the highest temperatures and heaviest rainfall and you’ve got a recipe for a less than magical vacation. The key is to tour early, from 9am to around 1pm, before taking a break back at your resort. Hit the pool, lounge around the resort, take a shower, etc. Then return to the Parks around 6pm for dinner, some evening attractions, and the nighttime spectaculars. This way, you completely avoid the busiest, hottest, and wettest part of the day.
The good news is that July also sees, on average, the longest hours and most evening entertainment of any month of the year. When Disney updates the operating schedule in the middle of June, you can expect the close at Magic Kingdom to be extended to 11pm or 12am with a second Electrical Parade scheduled at 11pm each night. At Hollywood Studios, expect 10pm closes every night with a second Fantasmic scheduled at 10:30pm. Even though Fantasmic is scheduled after the official close, anyone is still welcome to stay and see it. Epcot should retain the usual 9am – 9pm schedule and Animal Kingdom’s hours should be extended to 9am – 8pm. If you’d like to compare July 2013 to the final 2012 schedule, you can check 2012 here.
Overall, July is doable, but arriving early and touring efficiently in the morning is the key to success. Plan to arrive prior to Park opening and have a good idea about what you want to accomplish before lunch and you’ve got a great start.