July 4th at Disney World: Walt Disney World is popular for summer vacation, and that’s doubly true during on the Fourth of July holiday. We cover what to expect for Independence Day Weekend 2018 at Walt Disney World. The first thing to expect on July 4th is added crowds at Disney as Floridians and Southerners take the long holiday weekend and head down to Walt Disney World.
Add to that the fact that Disney and America go together about like America and apple pie, plus great celebrations and fireworks shows, and it’s easy to see why a lot of people visit Walt Disney World for July 4th. This post will offer tips and tricks for surviving Walt Disney World around the Fourth of July, and help you make the most of the experience.
If you’re already in Walt Disney World and are looking for ways to avoid the heat, humidity, and crowds and for the best experience on and around July 4th, we’ve got you covered. If you’ve wanted to do the “Distinctly Patriotic” thing and go to Walt Disney World for the Fourth of July, but have always been afraid of the chaos and crowds, this post might just present an attack plan to convince you to go…
Since we are distinctly patriotic (or crazy…your pick!), we’ve visited Walt Disney World for the week leading up to the Fourth of July and Independence Day itself. It’s hot, humid, and crowded. Not exactly ideal circumstances. However, the atmosphere and fireworks are some of the best in the United States, enough to almost make it all worthwhile.
With that said, here’s what we’ve learned about making the most of the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World!
When we were at Walt Disney World for the Fourth of July last year, I sweated through my shirt approximately 13 minutes after we got to the park each morning. Okay, maybe not that quickly, but the idea is that Walt Disney World is more or less a rain forest environment in the summer. It will be in the upper-80s with 80%+ humidity, and it will rain for at least 20 minutes. Every day. You need to pack accordingly.
We think packing light when going to the park is a good idea, as more weight equals more heat. Three items from our Unique Disney Packing List that we think will be helpful are Frogg Togg Chilly Pads for keeping cool, a collapsible water bottle for keeping hydrated, and ponchos for staying dry…and not getting fleeced on the Disney ones when it’s either buying one in a gift shop or getting soaked!
This stuff isn’t unique to visiting over the Fourth of July, but it’ll help keep you sane during one of those visits. Additionally, if you want to stay cool during your July visit to Walt Disney World, consult our Tips for Beating the Summer Heat at Walt Disney World post.
As far as the major holidays go during which we’ve visited, Fourth of July isn’t quite as bad as the others. To be sure, it’s still bad, just not as insanely bad as New Year’s Eve, for example. What arguably makes it worse than other holidays is the Florida humidity and summer tour groups. Crowds, plus humidity, plus tour groups can be a recipe for disaster, and can make your group more prone to meltdowns.
We say this not to scare you, but to give you a strong dose of reality before you expect to walk into the park skipping hand-in-hand down empty sidewalks with Sam the Eagle while lighting sparklers and being handed apple pies and Cracker Jacks by smiling Cast Members.
There will be none of that. You will encounter congestion, incredibly long lines (even for restrooms), and other guests in foul moods due to the “unexpected” crowds. In fact, the parks get so busy that sometimes they are closed to new guests at various points in the day via phased closings.
No matter what tricks we have to help you avoid crowds, it is impossible to avoid them completely unless you lock yourself in your hotel room. Beyond that, no tip, regardless of how good, is as good of a tip as “visit in September or late January instead.” If avoiding crowds is your paramount concern, you should be avoiding the weeks around the holidays, not reading these tips for visiting on July 4th.
With that said, you can definitely make lemonade out of lemons, seeing and doing a lot on the Fourth of July despite the crowds. Here’s how…