It’s officially summertime!
July is one of the busiest months to visit the Orlando theme parks, but it is also one of the most fun months to visit the theme parks because of the extended park hours, concerts, fireworks and more! We highly recommend touring early, taking a break in the afternoon and then coming back to the parks in the evenings for as long as your little ones can handle it.
If you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort the week of the 4th of July, you’re in for an extra special treat this year. As part of its Limited Time Magic promotion, from July 1 through July 7, guests can enjoy Disney’s own star-spangled banner with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” nightly. There will also be a special pre-show celebrating the Spirit of ’76 before the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade each day, hosted by Goofy, Donald and Pluto. Finally, it wouldn’t be the 4th of July without apple pie, and Disney will be offering one-of-a-kind treats, including a cupcake complete with Apple Pie filling, Caramel Buttercream and Apple Crisp Topping.
SeaWorld Orlando is planning a spectacular 4th with fireworks, a singing ensemble and a nine-piece band at Bayside Stadium starting at 9:30 p.m. There will be expanded American food offerings along Bayside pathway, including 1/3 pound bacon cheese burger, foot-long hot dogs and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.
What’s new in the parks
At Universal Studios, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3D has offcially opened! This attraction features amazing effects and will have you battling alongside Bumblebee and Optimus Prime to take on the Decepticons. We’ve added wait times for this attraction to our app — make sure you download it before you leave home! Expect long waits for this attraction — we recommend experiencing this first thing after park opening.
You might have seen some of our previous coverage of SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, which opened May 24. Tad has video of the new area, the ride, restaurant Expedition Cafe (which is like three restaurants in one!) and Glacial Collections, the shop which sells the cute-as-a-penguin, customizable Cup That Cares (See, isn’t Tad’s cup cute?).
As far as touring is concerned, we recommend making it your very first stop of the day at SeaWorld Orlando when lines are shortest or when the shows begin. When you enter the park, you’ll want to head toward Manta and then hang a right once you pass it. Look for the glaciers — you can’t miss them! Here are more of our tips for touring Antarctica with the shortest wait times.
If you’re visiting Magic Kingdom® Park, no doubt you’ll want to experience New Fantasyland™. This area opened late last year, and even at opening it’s quite common to find a 45-minute wait for Enchanted Tales with Belle. There is no Fastpass for this attraction, so if it’s a priority, your best bet is to hop over first thing at park opening. If you arrive and find a line less than 45 minutes, do this first and then Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid and Ariel’s Grotto. If you find the line more than 45 minutes, head to Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid and Ariel’s Grotto, because after the opening “rush,” Enchanted Tales with Belle sees a slight dip between 10 a.m. and noon on most days and won’t see lower wait times again until late afternoon and evening. Here are the details about all of the New Fantasyland™ attractions.
Want to know what else is coming to the theme parks? Look no further than Tad’s exhaustive list (which just keeps growing and growing).
There will be no avoiding the summer crowds in the month of July, with the very highest crowds the week of 4th of July. If you’re visiting the parks this month, don’t despair! We visited in July last year and had a blast — just be sure to read our post on the SECRET to Avoiding Disney World CROWDS. Be sure to download our wait-time apps before you head to the parks. It now includes Fastpass return times, so you can plan even better!
Predicted best days of the month to visit (and recommended parks)
July 21 (Epcot®, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure)
July 27 (Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Islands of Adventure)
July 31 (Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®)
Check the crowd calendar to see recommended days for the whole month and beyond.
Closings and Refurbishments
Refurbishments are at a minimum during the very busiest season of the year. At Magic Kingdom® Park, coffee drinkers will rejoice because Main Street Bakery has reopened after its lengthy closure for conversion into a Starbucks location (the original cinnamon rolls have moved back to Gaston’s Tavern). Pirates of the Caribbean® Attraction will have a short closure toward the end of the month. For more details and a list of all refurbishments, check our closings page.
Temperatures are on the rise in July, with an average high of 92, a low of 74 and high rainfall chances. It’s a good idea to pack a few ponchos because storms can move in very quickly, but the good news is that it generally rains for only an hour or two (usually in the afternoons) and then clears up. Here is the packing list for this time of year.
- Summer Nights at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay feature Kinetix®, a rock-fueled blast of music and acrobatics, followed by a fireworks finale. It runs the entire month.
- At SeaWorld Orlando, Summer Nights include extended park hours, and the Shamu Rocks and Sea Lions Tonite night-time shows that run through the entire month.
- At Epcot®, the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, featuring tribute bands, runs daily through July 27.
- Universal Studios hosts its last Summer Concert on July 6 with Kip Moore at the Music Plaza Stage.
All of these events are included with regular admission to the theme parks, so make sure you have your tickets!
Will you be visiting in July? What questions do you have for us?