The Fourth of July is on Thursday, which means guests began packing into Walt Disney World this weekend and will continue to do so until next weekend. Independence Week is the most popular week to visit, save for the week between Christmas and New Year’s, which means crowds are at or near capacity, there are long lines for everything from attractions and food, right on down to restrooms. If you happen to be heading down to Walt Disney World this week, here are a few choice reminders to help you make the best of your trip.
Don’t Expect to See Everything – Heck, this goes for a regular trip to Walt Disney World too, but it is even more relevant this week. You are going to have to prioritize what you want to see and do. If there is a must, must, must do attraction on your list, even if it isn’t an E-Ticket thrill like Space Mountain or Soarin’, make it one of your first stops. In the end seeing what you want, and not what everyone else says you need to see, will make the trip more enjoyable for you and those you are with on the trip.
Rise and Shine! – Make sure you arrive well before rope drop in order to beat the crowds to your first destination of the day. There are going to be long lines no matter where you go, but if you arrive even on time for a park opening, it’s likely the lines you face at the first destination are going to be long enough to cause a grumble somewhere amongst your group.
Have Some Brunch or Linner – It may sound a little odd, but try to eat at off times. Have breakfast or lunch between 10:00 and 11:00 and a late lunch or early dinner around 2:00 – 4:00. Sure you may get hungry in the evening hours, but that just gives you the freedom to try some small plate items or snack on some of your favorite vacation treats.
Stop and Smell the… - There are going to be plenty of times during the week when it is hot and muggy and/or the lines are unbearably long. In those situations it may be best to find a bench in the shade, grab a refreshing beverage, and just relax for a little while. Listen to the background music weaving a story around you and take a few moments to people watch. I’m willing to bet you’ll see at least a group or two who could use a little bit of a break, just like the one you are taking.
Rest and Refuel at the Resort – Take a nap. Swim in the Pool. Recharge those batteries for the rest of the day and for when you return home. Your body and your vacationing partners will thank you!
Take in a Show – There are so many incredible shows at Walt Disney World, and I’m not just talking about IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth or the Main Street Electrical Parade (although we’ll get to those in a moment). There are movies and theatrical shows that take place in every park all day long, and many of them have huge seating areas to accommodate a ton of guests. While it isn’t likely they’ll be overlooked as much as they usually are this week, it is a safe bet that you can get into a show relatively easy. Similarly, consider attractions like One Man’s Dream, an air conditioned museum and film dedicated to the life and times of Walt Disney, or the galleries scattered around World Showcase.
The Rockets Red Glare – If you want to secure a good spot for fireworks or for a parade, the answer is simple. Prepare to arrive several hours early to claim a spot and hold it. Sure you can send someone to grab some food, but know that other guests are going to try and jostle into in crevice of space they can find as it gets closer to show time. Crowds will only get larger and arrive earlier the closer it gets to Fourth of July, which means that on that day a great spot may cost you an investment of the entire day.
I hope your Independence Week is filled with fireworks, fun times, and memories to last a lifetime! Hopefully I’ve given you a tip you hadn’t considered before, and it will make the week just a tiny bit more special. The one thing you need to hold onto above all else is your patience. Everyone is trying to do the same things you are, and there are only so many spaces on the mine train and only so many people who can fit on Main Street, U.S.A., so a little common kindness can go a long way to making sure that you, those you are with, and those who happen to be near you will go a long way!