When you are planning your Disney World vacation, do you struggle with determining which park to go to on a specific day? This is a common question. Due to this, Disney crowd calendars have sprung up all over the web, and the problem is that many of them have conflicting information!
We are going to go over two things:
1. We will give you the information you need to make decisions for yourself and your party, as we can’t always go by a strict schedule.
2. We will review the best crowd calendars on the internet.
There are a few factors that play a significant role in determining crowd levels. We will go over these factors now.
As you probably know, each day Disney has Extra Magic Hours at one of their 4 parks. Only Disney resort guests can attend the park on these days. Typically this will be one extra hour in the morning or 2 extra hours in the evenings.
1. If you aren’t staying at a Disney resort, avoid EMH days — This is pretty self-explanatory. If you can’t take advantage of the extended hours, don’t go to the park that will have the highest attendance!
2. The Morning After a late-night EMH is a great time to go to a park — If the Magic Kingdom has Magic Hours until 1am, the following morning that park will be empty. You will truly have the park to yourself for a few hours if you arrive early. When scheduling your time, keep this in mind!
Disney World Crowd Calendar by Park
The Magic Kingdom is Disney’s most popular park. It draws the most local tourists, who are more likely to come on the weekends. The busiest days for the Magic Kingdom are: Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Typically it’s the first park people go to, and the final park they go to. The MK also has it’s nighttime events on the weekend.
If you are strictly looking at the best day to ride rides, go to the Magic Kingdom on a Tuesday or Thursday and you will have a great time.
Epcot doesn’t have the fluctuations that the MK does. However, Epcot gets very busy at night. Practically any morning is good if you get there early. Epcot doesn’t fill up early like so many of the other parks do, because so many people go to Epcot in the evenings to eat and watch the fireworks.
If you are looking at a great day to ride all the attractions, choose a Wednesday or Thursday, early in the morning. At this point, most people on week long vacations have already done their “Epcot Day”, and any remaining time at Epcot will be in the evenings.
Picking the right day for Hollywood Studios is less important than any other park. I personally would fit Hollywood Studios around the rest of your schedule. By far, the most important factor in touring Hollywood Studios is to get there 45 minutes early. Every day will be busy in the morning because at this point Hollywood Studios has 4 landmark attractions that everyone wants to ride, so everyone goes to the same places. The only way to avoid lines is to be at the front.
Typically, it’s best to go to AK on Friday’s. Crowd levels are also smaller on the weekends too, as everyone focuses on the other parks. The Animal Kingdom is a very large park, and so people wear out quickly. You’ll find that a great time to ride the headlining attractions at the AK is just after the afternoon parade. The park empties out. In the final hour or two, you can ride Everest and Kali River Rapids over and over with very little waits!
Best Disney Crowd Calendars on the Web
I like free. As such, I’m only going to tell you about two Crowd calendars, both of which do a good job of giving you free information regarding the exact times you are going to Disney World.
EasyWDW — Easywdw does a great job of giving you a plethora of information, all for free. You simply choose the month you want to go, and print out the information. Every day of the year is analyzed, and presented to you with detailed discussion! For the most part, people seem very satisfied with the results of aligning their trip with the EasyWDW calendar. I think you will be highly satisfied with this calendar.
Undercover Tourist — Undercovertourist is much more visually appealing and is a little easier to navigate. If you are just wanting a quick go/don’t go for a specific day, Undercovertourist is a great cheat sheet. The downside, however, is that there is no discussion of why they decided that certain parks are to be attended or avoided on a specific day.
The above tips and online resources can help you to plan a very workable schedule. However, in busy seasons, the most important thing to remember is getting to the parks early is still the best way to tour parks effectively!
Next, lets look at how you can stay ahead of the crowds and tour the parks like a pro, no matter WHEN you go:
Let’s hard to Part one of our “Beating the Crowds” Series. Start here
By: Ryan Shade