• On Feb 3, 2012
    Nancy from ON Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My family and I are going to Disney World April 18-24. Any suggestions on the best time to visit the parks to beat the crowds. Mornings? Evenings? During extra magic hours (we are staying at a Disney resort)? Weekdays? Weekends?

    Hi Nancy!

    There are a lot of opinions out there and a lot of good advice, but to answer your questions, I highly recommend visiting the independent website  That's the website for the research team behind the tour book "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World".  They are famous in the Disney fan community for producing a crowd calendar that predicts the crowd levels in the various parks on a particular day.  They also produce touring plans which minimize your wait in lines.  A touring plan is a step by step guide that recommends what order to experience the attractions in.  Their recommendations are based on a lot of math and years of data collection.  As an engineer I'm a huge fan of their work; I've actually tested plans for them as a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.

    All of the said, you definitely want to visit the parks first thing in the morning.  A lot of guests like to sleep in.  A good plan is to be at the parks at least 30  minutes before park opening and then stay through lunch.  Then head back to your hotel for a nap or a swim.  Then in the evening head back to the parks and stay until park closing.

    With regards to Morning Extra Magic Hours, a good strategy is to visit the park offering the Extra Magic Hours until lunch time and then hop over to another park; however, that does mean you have to have the Park Hopper option.  I always try to hit Morning Extra Magic Hours.  In my opinion, there's no good strategy for Evening Extra Magic Hours; sometimes I go to the park offering them and sometimes I don't. 

    I hope this helps!  Write back if you have any more questions!
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Meet the Panelist: Bernie, Maryland

I am an engineer with NASA with prior Air Force service. My wife and I have two boys, ages 13 and 8. At home, I'm known as the "Disney Guy" and I've enjoyed helping guests plan their Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland vacations. Learn More About Bernie

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