This is what we’re looking at for May 2016. Click to enlarge or view as a prettier PDF. And if you don’t know what the numbers/letters mean, read the top of this post. The full operating schedule is available here.
May gets hotter, wetter, and more crowded as you proceed through the month, culminating in some of the highest crowds and most expensive resort pricing of the year since Easter over Memorial Day Weekend from May 27th through the 30th.
There aren’t a lot of operational surprises here. The Extra Magic Hours schedule does change a bit from week to week, causing some minor changes to the recommendations. When Magic Kingdom is hosting Extra Magic Hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it looks like crowd levels are expected to be very similar on Monday-Wednesday. I’m going to officially recommend the Monday, though some guests may want to take advantage of the full morning Extra Magic Hour on Tuesday or what should be late evening Extra Magic Hours on Wednesdays. Otherwise, the usual advice of wait until Tuesday to visit sticks. Thursdays and Fridays should also see lower crowds.
It remains unclear when Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light nighttime show will debut. When it does, Animal Kingdom should be open until 8pm or 9pm daily. You’d think the nighttime safari and Tree of Life projection show would need to be online no later than the show’s debut.
Fantasmic is confirmed nightly at Hollywood Studios – you may remember there were “officially” no show times with the initial release of the February, March, and April operating schedules. Disney should end up adding a second Fantasmic show nightly. Things don’t look good for the return of Star Wars Weekends. In past years, Disney moved Hollywood Studios’ Saturday morning Extra Magic Hour to the middle of the week in an effort to pull as many Disney resort guests away from the incredibly busy weekends. This year, the Studios is currently hosting evening Extra Magic Hours every Friday. It seems highly unlikely that Disney would host both evening Extra Magic Hours and Star Wars Weekends on the same day. Of course, the Extra Magic Hours schedule could change. Remember that Season of the Force is expected to end as early as the third week in March.
Main Street Electrical Parade is scheduled every night other than Friday May 27th at the moment. That may or may not indicate the likely return of a 24-hour day similar to last year’s Coolest Summer Ever. 2016 is a leap year and Disney did schedule the first 24-hour day on “leap day” back in 2012, but the last few years Disney has used the event to market the beginning of the busy summer season. Otherwise, expect an additional Electrical Parade added nightly by the time the final operating schedule comes along.
Overall, there are still some lingering questions as to what will be available come May, but it is an above average month to travel for the most part. Those with flexible schedules should look at visiting as early in the month as possible for lower crowds and more comfortable weather.