The Best Times to Visit Disney World in 2020

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castle evening (2)

Have a magical day!

The Best Times to Visit Disney World in 2020:

First two weeks (weekdays only) in January 2020

Weekdays in February (minus the days around President’s Day, Monday, Feb 17th )

The first two weeks in March

Weekdays the second half of April after Easter (Sunday, April 12th)

Weekdays in May before Memorial Day weekend (Monday, May 25th)

Weekdays the first week of June

The first half of September after Labor Day (Monday, Sept 7th)

Weekdays for the remainder of September and October, avoid Columbus Day weekend (Monday, October 12th)

Weekdays in early and mid-November (minus the week of Thanksgiving, Nov 26th)

Weekdays during the first two weeks of December

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crowds (2)

9am: Guests pouring into MK and struggling to get down Main Street USA on a busy weekend.

The Worst Times to Visit Disney World in 2020:  Listen Up People!!!

RunDisney Marathon weekend: January 9 – 12, 2020

MLK weekend: Jan. 18 – 20, 2020

President’s Day weekend: Feb. 15 – Feb. 17, 2020

Spring Break : March 7 – March 30, 2020

Easter Weeks:  April 4 – April 19, 2020

Memorial Day weekend:  May 23 – 25, 2020

4th of July week:  June 27 – July 6, 2020

Labor Day weekend: Sept. 5 – Sept. 7, 2020

Columbus Day weekend: Oct. 10 – Oct. 12, 2020

Halloween weekend: Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2020

Veteran’s Day:  Nov. 11, 2020

Thanksgiving week: Nov. 21 – 29, 2020

Christmas week through the first week of the New Year: Dec. 19, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021

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dlr star wars

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open to rave guest reviews!!!

star wars2 Rise of the Resistance

Phase 2: Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019

With the full opening of Star Wars Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it has made DHS way overcrowded with long lines.  We don’t recommend going to DHS until September 2020,  after Labor Day weekend and the kids are back in school.

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two Disney Sisters

Ready for a fun – and long – day at the Magic Kingdom!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

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Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂 #TwoDisneyPrincesses

When Disney World is Full: Guide to Park Capacity Closing Phases

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christmas day crowd

December 25, 2019, Main Street USA at 9pm right before the fireworks show. Packed with guests!

new years eve crowd

December 31, 2019: New Years Eve crowd!

More on the story from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2019/12/31/disney-worlds-magic-kingdom-turns-away-guests-new-years-eve

Note that a park may be almost full at a Phase 3 or Phase 4 closure earlier in the day, and then drop back down to Phase 1 restriction when enough people leave and the parking lots open back up.

Always check with a WDW Crowd Forecast when planning your day.  The parks are open 365 days a year, but that doesn’t guarantee you admission!

The park least effected by crowds is Epcot.  Due to it’s size, guests can really spread out and it never reaches capacity.  The busiest day at Epcot is New Years Eve.

crowd (2)

Ugh.

Here is a full breakdown of Walt Disney World’s Capacity Closing Procedures.

Phase A Closing

No admission of guests with one day tickets, and no admission of guests even with FastPass+ reservations unless they have one of the following:

WDW Resort Guests, including The Four Seasons Resort, Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green, Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus (Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, The Buena Vista Palace, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, B Resort, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, Hilton), Golden Oak residents and guests.

WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders

Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another WDW Theme Park

Guests with Memory Maker

Guests with dining reservations

Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop or The Pirates League.

Magic Kingdom crowd estimate >40,000.

mk-on-nye crowdPhase B Closing

No admission of guests with one day tickets, and no re-entering or crossing over from another park unless they have one of the following:

WDW Resort Guests, including The Four Seasons Resort, Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green, Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus (Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, The Buena Vista Palace, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, B Resort, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, Hilton), Golden Oak residents and guests.

WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders

Guests with Memory Maker

Guests with dining reservations

Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop or The Pirates League.

FastPass+ reservations and is a WDW Resort hotel guest.

Magic Kingdom crowd estimate >45,000.

new years eve

December 31, 2019: Crowds in Tomorrowland.

Phase 1 Park Closing

Guests with ‘Magic Your Way’ base tickets, or a ‘1-Day 1-Park Ticket’, Guests without an admission ticket, and Cast Members using Main Gate & Silver Passes will be turned around at the parking lot booths.

Mainly effecting Magic Kingdom on days leading up to a major holiday.

MK crowd estimate > 50,000.

A sad sign.

A sad sign.

Phase 2 Park Closing

Admission is limited to:

Disney Resort Guests (including the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and guests arriving by bus from the Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels)

Annual, Premier and Premium Annual Passholders

Guests with Hopper tickets coming from another park

Guests re-entering the park

Guests with dining reservations

Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League

Guests using Walt Disney World Resort Transportation will be admitted.

Guests with pre-purchased 1 day Magic Kingdom tickets

Magic Kingdom crowd estimate: 55,000. Parking lot is almost full.

[Magic Kingdom was at Phase 2 Closure on July 4, 2019 by noon.]

Turning away cars.

9am:  Turning away cars at the MK toll booths.  Parking lot is almost full.

Phase 3 Park Closing

Admission is limited to:

Disney Resort Guests (including the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and guests arriving by bus from the Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels)

Annual, Premier and Premium Annual Passholders

Guests with dining reservations

Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League

photo

December 25, 2019:  Phase 3 at MK at 11am.

MK crowd estimate: 60,000.  Parking lot is full/closed.

Wall-to-wall guests, all attractions have extremely long wait times, restaurants are packed.

Phase 4:  Wall-to-wall guests, all attractions have extremely long wait times, all restaurants are packed.

Phase 4 Park Closing (Major Holidays:  December 24/25/31, January 1st)

Closed to all newly arriving guests, aka avoid the park at all costs!!!

Magic Kingdom crowd estimate: 75,000+. Parking lot is full/closed.

Park is at capacity and would be difficult to evacuate in case of an emergency.

No more guests are admitted until a significant number of current guests leave.

Comment:  This is our least favorite time to visit the Magic Kingdom.  We’ve done it, but it’s not been a very fun experience.  We’ve only stayed for a few hours.

We feel that Disney Parks has upped the capacity level for the Magic Kingdom in the past year or two, allowing even more guests in, over 80,000+ before closing the gates.  It’s just miserable and a lot of guests have rightfully complained about Christmas Week being too busy at the Magic Kingdom.

crowdAll four Disney World theme parks have reached some level of closure in the past. As the most visited theme park in the world, Magic Kingdom is the park most likely to experience capacity-based closures during busy times of year. Due to its size, Epcot is the least likely to close, and has not done so in recent memory. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom rarely close, but their smaller capacities still make them more likely to close than Epcot.

To be specific, Magic Kingdom closes to further guests, on average, around 6 days per year. New Year’s Eve and July 4th are always two of them, often getting up to a Phase 3 closure. Two to four other days during Christmas week can be expected each year as well, although those rarely go above Phase 2. The years where Easter week falls during late-March or early-April can also see closures due to the Easter break/Spring Break overlap.

crowd (2)

Easter Sunday crowd, April 2019

crowd1

December 31, 2019: New Years Eve. Phase 4 closure at 3pm.

crowd

December 31, 2019: New Years Eve mob.

MK new years eve crowd

New Years Eve mob scene.

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beach tree Two disney sisters

When the Parks are busy, it’s fun to go resort hopping! Celebrating the holidays at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort.

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls

Two Disney Sisters.  Happy Holidays!

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Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂 #TwoDisneyPrincesses

Mickey New Years Eve

Visiting Disney World During the Slow Season

cinderella castle

Mid-January 2018…and it’s off season: It’s 9am and hardly anyone here!  Sunny and 70 degrees.

When you think of a Disney World vacation, you might immediately think about huge crowds, hot rainy weather, and high prices. That makes sense. That is the typical summertime Disney experience that guests experience.

However, it isn’t like that all the time. Disney World is so much more fun during the “Slow” aka “Off” Season!

When is the “Slow Season” at Disney World?
While there are no official definitions, most people say that there are generally three slow seasons at Disney World, which mostly take place when kids are in school:

January to mid-March (after the Christmas and New Year’s rush, but before the spring break rush)
After Easter until mid-May (before school gets out for the summer)
Labor Day to mid-November (before the Thanksgiving rush begins)

That being said, Disney is getting better and better about increasing the crowds during the slow seasons. They run , the Walt Disney World Marathon in January, The International Arts Festival at Epcot Jan-Feb., the International Flower and Garden Festival in March-May, the Expedition Everest Challenge in May, and the extended Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in August-November now.

See how these events and festivals line up with the slow seasons to bring in more people?

arts

January 2018:  We needed jackets at Epcot.  It was very cool all week.

What are the benefits of going to Disney World during the Slow Season?

1 – Weather
Unless you live in the topics, Florida will probably be warmer than your home town in the winter months. Usually the winter weather in Florida is really nice. It may be cool in the early morning and evening, but it typically warms up during the day into the 70s when the sun comes out.

However, Central Florida has a sub-tropical climate, not a tropical climate. That means in can get cool, and there are occasionally even a few days in the dead of winter (usually towards the end of January) when it comes close to freezing (32 degrees) overnight. In the end, you might have to wear a hat and gloves, at least during certain parts of certain days.

hotBut, you won’t be melting under a broiling sun in 90+ temps! And, it’s the dry season, so it’s much less likely to rain and there are rarely thunderstorms.  In the summer months, June-August, you can expect afternoon thunderstorms every day!

2 – Slower Pace
When crowds are smaller, they also tend to move more slowly. You might experience a somewhat laid-back vibe with less energy and hustle. You might have to accept a less energized environment.

But, you are much less likely to have to listen to over-stimulated crying children in the evening. The parades and firework shows are all earlier in the evening. It gets darker earlier, so all the evening activities start earlier, typically around 6pm. As the parks close earlier, there’s no feeling of having to stay until midnight to see it all.

3 – Shorter Operating Hours
During the slow times of the year, the parks may close much earlier than you would expect. Some parks, especially Disney’s Animal Kingdom, will close as early at 6pm. In addition, Disney generally tends to schedule refurbishments during the slower seasons. You might find that some of your favorite attractions are down for repairs.

It might also be too cool to visit either of the water parks (Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach) and they close if the daytime forecast is for temps below 65 degrees.

That’s the downside.

The upside is that the lines for attractions will generally be much shorter so that you can see and do more even when the parks are open for fewer hours.

You probably won’t need FastPasses, or if you do want them, they won’t be all gone by 10am like they are in the summer.

You will probably have a much easier time getting Advanced Dining Reservations. You might even be able to walk into some table service restaurants without a reservation at all, if you can imagine that! (Totally impossible in the summertime!)

Plus, the prices for everything from air fare to hotels to car rentals to Disney menu prices are all significantly lower in the off season. It might mean you can spend a few extra days at Disney World or buy a few more Disney gifts!  🙂

The Best Times to Visit Disney World 2019 are:

Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year’s Day and the days around MLK Day, Jan 21st)

Weekdays in February (minus the days around President’s Day, Monday, Feb 18th )

The first two weeks in March

Weekdays the second half of April after Easter (Sunday, April 21st)

Weekdays in May before Memorial Day weekend (Monday, May 27th)

Weekdays the first week of June

The first half of September after Labor Day (Monday, Sept 2nd); weekdays for the remainder of September and October, avoid Columbus Day weekend (Monday, October 14th)

Weekdays in early and mid-November (minus the week of Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 28th)

Weekdays during the first two weeks of December

crowds (2)

Easter Week 2018, 8am: Guests pouring into MK and struggling to get down Main Street USA.  Bad, bad, bad!  😦

The Worst Times to Visit Disney World in 2019:  Listen Up People!!!

MLK weekend: Jan. 19 – 21, 2019

President’s Day weekend: Feb. 16 – Feb. 18, 2019

Spring Break : March 9 – March 31, 2019

Easter Weeks:  April 13 – April 28, 2019

Memorial Day weekend:  May 25 – 27, 2019

Summer: June 8 – August 31, 2019

4th of July week:  June 30 – July 7, 2019

Labor Day weekend: August 31 – Sept. 2, 2019

Columbus Day weekend: Oct. 12 – Oct. 14, 2019

Halloween week: Oct. 27 – Nov. 3, 2019

Veteran’s Day weekend: Nov. 9 – Nov. 11, 2019

Week around Nov. 20th:  New Star Wars Land opens at DHS

Thanksgiving week: Nov. 21 – Dec. 1, 2019

Christmas week through the first week of the New Year: Dec. 21, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020

spring break 2018

Spring Break 2018: Fantasyland is packed. Extremely long wait times for all rides.

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Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier.  Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life.  On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental.  While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.

While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.

Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.

Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

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About the Author:

Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney.  Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.

She is currently a 7th grade middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

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Discounted Tickets to 2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Special parade, snow falling on Main Street USA, Castle Dream Lights, free cookies and cocoa...all of it wonderful!!!

Special Christmas nightime parade  with snow falling on Main Street USA, the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights turned on, holiday music playing, free cookies and cocoa for all guests…all of it is wonderful to see!!! 

The dates and prices for the 2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom in Florida have been announced.

Main Street USA all decorated for tonight's party!

Main Street USA all decorated for the holidays (always by the first party night, Nov. 7th)!

Tickets went on sale today, May 5, 2016:

2016 Party Night Dates:

  • November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29*
  • December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22

November 10, 13 – $86.00 plus tax age 10+, $81.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $91.00/$86 same-day

November 18, 27, 29, December 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13 – $92.00 plus tax age 10+, $87.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $96/$91.00 same-day

November 7, 8, 11, 15, December 1 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 9, 15 – $96.00 plus tax age 10+, $91.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 16, 18, 22 – $99.00 plus tax age 10+, $94.00 plus tax age 3-9

Passholder Rates available 11/7, 8, 11, 15; 12/1, 11, & 13 – Rates are $74-$84 plus tax depending on night. DVC members also have discounts on additional nights (including all dates APs are entitled to) 11/10, 13, 18, 27, 29, & 12/6 ranging between $74-89 plus tax.

*Cast Members can purchase discounted tickets for 30% off to MVMCP for most nights in November at the Company D Store.

MVMCP

Cast member pricing:  Nov. 10 and 13: $60.20/ticket;   Nov. 7, 8, 11, 15:  $63.70/ticket.

I love how Disney decorates the lightposts on Main Street!

We love how Disney decorates the lightposts on Main Street!  So pretty!

MVMCP (2)

At last year’s 2015 MVMCP on a cool evening…so much fun!! The Cinderella Castle is just beautiful with the Dream Lights turned on!!

CM Tip:  The MVMCP party starts at 7pm, but Disney let’s ticketed guests in for the party starting at 4pm.  Plan on going to the Magic Kingdom early (park by 3:30pm) and don’t forget to wear your Christmas sweater!

Even if it’s warm during the day, it can get very chilly in the park after the sun goes down!!!  Stash a jacket in a locker as you enter the park.

Wondering about the crowds???  Well, here’s a forecast:

crowdchart2016 (2)

The two week after Thanksgiving and into early December are some of the best times to visit WDW with fairly light crowds.  (Note:  Thanksgiving Week and the last two weeks of the year are the WORST time to visit WDW with long lines, heavy crowds, rude guests, and Park Phase Closures in effect!)

 

Interested in tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party??  Here’s the ticket info for that event:  2016 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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