So far, you’ve learned two important factors that will enable you to have a great time even in the busiest of seasons.  A third way to beat the crowds is by knowing which days to go to which parks and having a schedule that you have made based on crowd levels.  There are many considerations when making out a Disney World park schedule.  Today we are going to examine three factors for you to choose when deciding which parks to go to.

Extra Magic Hours

As you probably know, Extra Magic Hours are extra periods of park time available to Disney resort guests only.  These are usually either one extra hour in the morning, or 2-3 extra hours in the evening.  While it is possible to use these extra hours to your benefit from time to time, extra hours almost universally mean one thing:  extra guests!  Many people have never been to Disney World before.  As such, they want to have their hand held and they want to be told where to go.  In addition, many guests do not purchase the park hopper addition, so they can only go to one park a day.  So when these resort guests read that the Magic Kingdom has 2 extra hours of time, where are they going to go?  The Magic Kingdom of course!

There aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules for Disney World, but here is one hard rule you absolutely have to follow:  If you aren’t staying on a Disney Resort, DO NOT go to a park that is having Extra Magic Hours that day!  You aren’t eligible to stay anyway!  There is no reason to choose the park with the highest attendance!

If you are a resort guest, it’s still a good idea to avoid EMH unless there is one you REALLY want to go to.  I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the late night EMH at the Magic Kingdom.  For me, there is nothing more fun than running around the park at midnight riding rides!  However, a word of caution about the late night Magic Kingdom magic hours.  Many people have good intentions, but then the exhausted kids just can’t take it.  The last couple hours (especially if the EMH last until 1 or 2 in the morning) have very low lines  because most people give out and head back to the hotel.

So if you plan on staying late, do it.  If you know that your kids won’t last, then go to bed early.  Why?

The morning after a late-night EMH is a GREAT time to be at the park.  For example, if there is an Extra Magic Hour period at the Magic Kingdom lasting until 1AM, it will be heavily attended and many will stay late.   Park attendance early the next morning will be very slim.  You still need to arrive at least 30 minutes before the gates open, but you truly will have the park to yourself!

Special Events

Throughout the year, Disney is full of special events.  Christmas, halloween, marathons, Food & Wine festivals, concerts, Star Wars weekends and much more. An experienced Disney planner can help you plan around these events!

Now we don’t mean to insinuate in any way that you should avoid these special events.  You may want to take part in some of them, and you can easily plan around them.  But when you are deciding where to go each day, please adjust your scheduled based on the special events, which you will find from the concierge at your hotel.

Historical Data

Under normal circumstances, Disney patrons are very predictable!  Due to this predictability, it is easy to recommend certain parks for certain days.   We have made a guide that can assist you in choosing the right days for each park.

When you are deciding which park to go to, much depends on your length of stay, how many days you want to spend in each park, dining reservations, whether you have park hopper passes, etc.  If you have arranged and re-arranged your schedule and you can’t seem to avoid visiting parks on busy days, don’t fret!  Our website is full of helpful hints that can help you to perfectly design a schedule.

Getting to the parks early and using fastpasses will be invaluable even on the busiest of days at Disney.  But even so, you still would rather know which parks will be the least crowded on any particular day, right?  Once again, please click HERE to see our Disney Crowd Calendar.

Final Recommendations

When planning a vacation, you have to pick dates, first.  Narrow those dates down by using our article entitled The Best Time to Go to Disney World.  In this article, we break down the pros and cons of each month.  Then, once youv’e decided on the dates, there is one resource we highly recommend.  Josh at compiles crowd calendars for each month of the year. Choose the month, pick the dates, and use his calendar to actually finalize which parks you are going to on each particular day.

There is one final piece to the puzzle that we need to discuss.  Disney Dining reservations.  Our next installment of the “Beating the Crowds” series can help you to learn how to make Dining reservations that help you stay ahead of the game.