10 Tips for Surviving July 4th at Walt Disney World

Something that Disney fans know and all Walt Disney World Guests can count year after year is that the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is an experience to be reckoned with. It will be hot, it will be humid, and the Park will become so crowded that it reaches capacity and will go through different phases of closures. But what does that mean for travelers that have vacations falling around this dates, and how can they ensure a fun and happy vacation amongst the masses? Read on for Walt Disney World for Grown-ups tips and trick to make the most of the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World.

Patriotic Fireworks Light The Sky At Magic KingdomPatriotic Fireworks Light The Sky At Magic Kingdom

Before I get on with the tips - the first bit of advice I can offer you is that on days like July 4th, it is essential to have a plan, just as essential is to understand that the plan will be crushed requiring you to change course. Make sure you've got a plan B as well.

Tip 1) Pack your patience. It's best to move slowly on days like this, between the heat, humidity, long lines, and the foot traffic everything at the Disney Parks is going to take longer. Conditions like that often make for cranky tourists who weren't as prepared as you were. Be sure to add ample extra time to make your way to where you need to be for Fastpass+ and dining reservations.

Tip 2) Don't plan on doing too many rides. Make your Fastpass+ reservations and count on those, but all attractions - especially those that have just recently opened -will have very high wait times. You can look to some of the less popular indoor shows, like the Hall of Presidents, Mickey's Philharmagic, and the Country Bear Jamboree to fill out your schedule while allowing for a comfortable seat in a cool theater.

Tip 3) If you're going to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, arrive early in the day and plan to be staying for the duration. Once you leave the Magic Kingdom or Epcot on the Fourth of July, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to get back in. It's very common for these two Parks to experience closures on the 4th.

A Grand Pyrotechnic DisplayA Grand Pyrotechnic Display

Tip 4) You should know that the fireworks displays on the 3rd of July are the same as those on the 4th of July. Crowds are usually a little lighter on the 3rd, but the popularity of the Magic Kingdom display is immense and you'll still be dealing with a high capacity show. A great plan B is giving the fireworks a try on the 3rd, with the 4th as your fallback date.

Tip 5) If Fireworks are a must in your plan, scout out the spot you want to view them from and stake your claim early - really, really early. Someone in your party will need to stay there for the duration. My family tends to drop the older adults in one spot to rest and hold down the spot, while the younger members run back and forth from different attractions or shopping.

Tip 6) Get a locker first thing in the morning to store extra gear you may need for later on during the day. With the high heat and humidity of this time a year, consider a change of clothes, rain ponchos, medications or first aid kits, and even inexpensive snacks and drinks. Having these things in the Park will reduce any need to head back to the hotel.

Tip 7) Plan to eat at off hours. Unless you already have Advanced Dining Reservations, be sure to schedule meals outside of the busiest meal times. The Quick Service Restaurants tend to be packed at regular meal times, making for long lines of hangry people, and extreme difficulty getting a table. If you move your meal times back 2-3 hours you should miss the largest crowds of the day. Be sure to carry some heat stable snacks in your day bag to ward off any hunger you have at your regular meal time.

2015's July 4th Fireworks Courtesy of Chris Hallock on YouTube

Tip 8) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I can not say enough how important it is to keep drinking water during the summer in Disney. If you don't want to have to buy bottles of water, you are welcome to bring your own and fill it up several times throughout the day. Also, all of Disney's restaurants offer free ice water for those who ask. Also, make sure those members of your party that you've planted in one spot to save your viewing area are well hydrated. They've given up touring for you - be sure to be gracious in caring for them.

Tip 9) After the fireworks are done, there will be a mass exodus of the Park. This makes leaving difficult, often with shoulder to shoulder movement that is scary and dangerous for young children. It also makes for massive wait times at the bus, boats, and monorail. I suggest hanging back and enjoying the Park after dark for a little longer and heading as far away from the exits as possible. Alternatively, you could view the fireworks from a point near the Park exit and then make a dash ahead of the crowds to transportation.

Tip 10) If fireworks aren't a must for your day, and you're hoping for lighter crowds, head on over to Disney's Animal Kingdom. While there aren't any specific 4th of July activities planned, several new food options, after dark street parties, and attraction hours have brought new life to this Park at night. This is also a great day of the year to head to your Resort Pool and enjoy activities on the water at a Disney marina.

Have you been to Walt Disney World over the 4th of July? What are your best survival tips? Share them with us in the comments!

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