Magic Kingdom is the most popular park to visit at Walt Disney World. In fact, did you know it’s the most visited theme park in the entire world? Yep. 20 million people a year. And we wonder why it’s so crowded when the fireworks over.
So a big part of most people’s vacation to Disney World is spending some time at Magic Kingdom. Many families spend more time at Magic Kingdom than any other park. So understanding the best times to visit for lower crowds is important in planning a great trip.
The Party Season at Magic Kingdom
Four months out of every year Magic Kingdom has Holiday parties that drastically effect its schedule and crowd flow. Starting in September and October for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and then in November and December with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Currently the Halloween Party is in full swing. MNSSHP (much easier to use the abbreviation!) is three times each week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday nights. Once we get to October they will add in Thursday’s making it four nights per week.
So a third of every year is changed by these parties; September – December. And knowing how they affect crowds and entertainment schedules is very important if you’re planning a trip to Disney during any of those months.
Why the Party Schedule Matters
Because the nights you can experience a typical MK night, stay late, see Happily Ever After and so forth are only a few times a week. That means those days (a “normal” day when there is no party scheduled) are crowded. Especially Saturday nights. Everyone who would typically want an evening at Magic Kingdom are now all funneled into only three or four nights. This includes all the locals and passholders as well. And since a lot of people plan their park day based on where they want to be that night, it makes the park busier the entire day.
But the reverse is also true: On the days when there IS Magic Kingdom party crowds are very low during the day.
You can use this.
You need to plan to go to MK during the day when there’s a party scheduled and then leaving for another park for the evening. (Crowds for parties won’t start to trickle in until after 4pm) When there isn’t a party, only go to MK after dark to see the evening entertainment. Spend the day in a less busy park. This strategy will make a huge difference in your visits to the parks. It effects more than just your MK visits because when one park is busy, the other parks are less so, and vice versa.
So to sum up:
If it IS a party night: Go to MK during the day and another park for the evening.
If it’s NOT a party night: Go to another park during the day and MK at night only. (It will still be crowded but it’s worth it to see the shows at least once.)
The schedule for parties is the same once the Christmas season begins November 9th. Thru November Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is three times a week and they go to four during December. If you missed it, Disney released their full Holiday line up. Check out all the details here including the new show at Tower of Terror!
Hopefully this will help you plan your visit to Walt Disney World and you’ll get the most out of your time here.