Our guide to July 2024 at Walt Disney World offers a free crowd calendar, when to visit & avoid, weather, new attraction openings & closures, and Independence Day events. Plus info & tips for summer season at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
July is usually the height of summer vacation at Walt Disney World and the time when summer storm season intensifies. Generally speaking, July is a month for people who have no better alternatives. It’s summer vacation season, a time when school is out of session and parents with young children and teachers head to the parks in full force.
With that said, if you have a trip planned for July, the sky is not falling. For one thing, “a rainy, crowded day at Walt Disney World is better than a perfect day at home.” For another, last July was not particularly busy at Walt Disney World. To the contrary, most of the month saw below-average crowds–with a couple of notable exceptions that we’ll discuss below.
Normally, July is a literal perfect storm of weather and crowds. Walt Disney World’s primary demographic is families, and on average, they vacation about halfway through the summer break. Although school schedules in some districts have changed and Disney has raised peak season pricing on tickets & hotels, summer is still the busy season at Walt Disney World.
This has shifted around in recent years, but it’s still generally true–and we’ll cover the typical crowd dynamics over the course of the summer season in this July 2024 crowd calendar.
JULY WEATHER AT DISNEY WORLD
The humidity is at “intense back-sweat” levels whenever the sun is up. On the plus side(?), that back-sweat will usually be washed away by the daily afternoon showers, which could be a 20-minute occurrence or could last the better part of the evening. Welcome to July in Florida.
If you think we’re exaggerating, let’s start by taking a look at the weather. July is the hottest month of the year with average high temperatures above 90 degrees every single day of the month. Average lows and highs range from 74 to 91 degrees. As demonstrated by the “comfortable” band on this page for July, 27% of the time, the weather is in “hot” (85-100 degrees) territory.
If there is any silver lining in this, it’s that July has a greater percentage of “comfortable” weather than August (20% vs. 15%)…so those hours of the day when you’re in your hotel room asleep in air conditioning, it’s actually not too bad outside!
Then there’s precipitation. Unless you’re homies with Zeus, it will rain during your July trip. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “how often and much how?”
Especially later in the month, Florida is starting to get into the heart of hurricane and storm season, so you should be prepared for that. You’re average daily chance of some amount of precipitation in July ranges from 67% to 71%. I’m no mathematician, but that says to me it’s a small miracle if it goes 2 consecutive days without any rain.
In addition to our standard Unique Items to Pack for Disney (forget bringing the cheap 10-packs of ponchos that we normally recommend–pack this Olaf raft to get around the parks in style! 😉 ), we recommend reading our Tips for Beating Summer Heat & Humidity post for ideas on things to bring, and ways to minimize the affect of unpleasant summer weather during your vacation.
JULY SPECIAL EVENTS AT WDW
The big thing is obviously Independence Day at the beginning of the month. That first (long) weekend will be especially busy as a result, but those crowds will be rewarded with some of the best fireworks shows of the year. Magic Kingdom and Epcot both have special fireworks shows for the Fourth of July.
“Disney’s Celebrate America” fireworks display is shown at Magic Kingdom on both July 3 and July 4. We highly recommend seeing Celebrate America on July 3. If you’re unable or unwilling to brave the crowds in Magic Kingdom, a great place to view it to see the full scale of the fireworks is outside the park at the Ticket & Transportation Center.
The reason we recommend seeing Magic Kingdom’s Independence Day fireworks on July 3 is because you can only see the EPCOT Forever fireworks with the “Heartbeat of America” finale on July 4.
For more on special entertainment, read our Celebrating Independence Day at Walt Disney World post.
The beginning of July will have other special events. The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival dates have not yet been released for 2024. The last couple of years, it’s ended around Independence Day, but don’t be surprised if it wraps up in June 2024.
After that comes a festival-less gap, during which the park will briefly become “Diet EPCOT.” But not for long. The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival usually begins less than a month after Flower & Garden ends. This is the biggest, longest, and most popular event of the year at Epcot. (It’s also our least favorite and the most lacking in substance, but people love it.) Again, don’t be surprised if this doesn’t start until August 2024, though. EPCOT has really overdone the festivals in the last few years, and we expect that to be dialed back a bit.
In terms of other seasonal events, the France pavilion at Epcot will offer a very minor celebration of Bastille Day on July 14. Nothing around which you should plan a trip, but it’s neat to stop by to see.
JULY REFURBISHMENTS & NEW ATTRACTIONS
For an idea of what’s going to be closed in July 2024, check the Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule. The good news is that there aren’t many attractions that are currently closed. The bad news is that calendar doesn’t fully cover the construction all around Walt Disney World–just ride closures.
The only major closure currently scheduled in 2024 is Splash Mountain. That’s being reimagined into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The new attraction will bring guests into the world of “The Princess and the Frog” after the events of the movie. According to Disney, the reimagined ride will open at Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland in California in late 2024.
If recent rumors are to be believed, there’s actually an outside chance it’ll open in Summer 2024. Honestly, we aren’t holding our breath. While anything is possible, Walt Disney World’s recent track record suggests Tiana’s Bayou Adventure being delayed is more likely than it opening early. But who knows!
On the plus side, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Space 220 Restaurant, Creations Shop, Club Cool, Connections Cafe, and more all have now debuted.
When it comes to Cosmic Rewind, experiencing the recently-added ride is a bit complicated. Be sure to check out our How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind & Virtual Queue Speed Strategy to improve your chances of success for joining the free virtual queue. We’re expecting the virtual queue to end any day now…but we’ve been expecting that for a matter of months. So who knows.
Another alternative for Cosmic Rewind is buying line-skipping access via the Individual Lightning Lanes. Those posts explain the free and paid options, their pros & cons, and everything else you need to know. Suffice to say, do not just show up to EPCOT expecting to join the standby line–as there isn’t one.
Then there’s TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom, which is the newest major attraction at Walt Disney World. This works very similarly to Cosmic Rewind; see our Virtual Queue Strategy Guide for TRON Lightcycle Run for details, tips & tricks for success, and more.
There is considerable overlap between the virtual queues for the two rides, so you probably only need to read the VQ guide for TRON Lightcycle Run and can apply those same “lessons” to both. Unlike Cosmic Rewind, we don’t expect this virtual queue to be retired before Fall 2024.
Bouncing back to EPCOT, there’s a bunch of other new stuff there. This includes World Celebration, Moana’s Journey of Water, and Luminous: Symphony of Us, all of which will only be <6 months old as of May 2024. That’s still pretty new in the grand scheme of things! For an overview of what else is on the horizon, see What’s New & Next at Walt Disney World in 2024 & 2025.
JULY 2024 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR
There’s no color-coded July 2024 crowd calendar to start this because that’s reductionist and doesn’t give you the full picture of Walt Disney World attendance trends. Moreover, WDW crowd calendars are less reliable due to how Disney manipulates attendance patterns, staffing, closures, and ride capacity. It better serves readers to offer an explanation in terms of what to expect crowd-wise this summer at Walt Disney World.
Since Disney doesn’t release official attendance numbers, crowd calendars use things like school schedules, airport traffic statistics, hotel pricing & occupancy, etc., as proxies for crowds. We use these to forecast wait times and the resulting crowd levels. In short, predicting wait times via Walt Disney World crowd calendars is an imperfect science. Hopefully that makes sense!
There are other wrinkles that make predicting summer crowds at Walt Disney World difficult. One is the tension between pent-up demand and the pre-closure trend of summers being less busy. (See “Summer Isn’t Peak Season at Walt Disney World.”)
As covered in that article, July is no longer one of the busiest months of the year at Walt Disney World–or at least, it wasn’t from 2017 through 2019. That’s not to say it was off-season at Walt Disney World in July during those years (far from it!), just that the beginning of the month is no longer massively crowded. It was still summer vacation season. Nevertheless, the parks were busier in October than in July during those years.
Typically, the first week of July–the one encompassing Independence Day–would be far and away the busiest week of the month. Crowds would gradually decrease after that, dropping slightly with each subsequent week. However, that is NOT how last year played out.
Last year, wait times rose gradually between the week before Memorial Day and the last week of June, and steadily dropped throughout the first few weeks of July. Most days up until the last week of the month had crowd levels of 3/10 to 5/10.
Independence Day weekend was the slowest 4 days of the entire month, with 1/10 crowd levels. However, that was due to blockout dates for Annual Passholders, Cast Members, and discount tickets. While we don’t expect Fourth of July 2024 to be packed, we also don’t expect it to be dead again.
The bottom line is that July crowd patterns have been hit or miss in the last few years. Last year’s Independence Day almost certainly was an anomaly, as was the peak of summer crowds happening in mid-June. It’s too early to offer precise predictions, but we’re already expecting July 2024 to be busier across the board. Moreover, it’s likely that summer crowds won’t peak until late June or early July.
Another thing that’s likely to happen again is actually a phenomenon that’s consistently occurred the last few years, which is another spike in attendance the last week of July. This is likely a “last hurrah” for tourists scrambling to take a summer vacation before their kids go back to school in August. It’s happened again and again in the last few years, with crowd levels increasing to around 7/10 or 8/10 that last week, which has been a sharp contrast to earlier in the month. Don’t be surprised if these ‘twin peaks’ occur again in late June/early July and late July 2024.
Another likely trend is lower Saturday and Sunday attendance–see the ‘Wonky Weekends at Walt Disney World’ section of our Best & Worst Days to Do All Parks at Walt Disney World for a discussion of this dynamic.
Expect all of these trends to continue into August 2024, which will likely be slower than this month. That’s par for the course, as schools start going back into session mid-month, and fewer families are inclined to take summer vacations in the couple of weeks heading back into school. The result is typically that crowds continue to taper off throughout August before bottoming out in September. Expect the same dynamic in late summer and early fall.
With all of that said, we do have words of warning to add. If you last experienced Walt Disney World in the post-reopening period, or even in 2017 or during the Great Recession, your baseline expectations and experience probably would be different than someone who visited during holiday weeks during the last year or when pent-up demand was really running hot.
Not only that, but a ‘low’ crowd levels does not mean that in absolute terms. Even on 1/10 days, the parks will not be veritable ghost towns (for the most part) allowing you to do snow angels on the ground. You will see rides with 60-90 minute posted wait times. You will encounter areas of congestion. “Uncrowded” at Walt Disney World means something different than it does at the American Dream Mall or Wyoming in The Last of Us. The most popular rides, especially during the middle of the day, will still have long lines.
For example, going from a 10/10 crowd level to a 1/10 crowd level means you might encounter a 65-75 minute average wait time for popular rides–such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Slinky Dog Dash, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Avatar Flight of Passage–as opposed to 90-120 minute wait times. Since those numbers are averages, it also means higher peaks and lower lows. Below-average crowd levels does not mean every attraction is always a walk-on!
Another specific problem point is Happily Ever After. Unfortunately, congestion is the not-so-new normal for fireworks at Magic Kingdom. For the sake of illustration, let’s say that there are–on average–40,000 people in Magic Kingdom towards the end of a busy night.
On a slower day, let’s say the number is 20,000 people–half the number of a busy day. Now let’s assume that 10,000 people fit on or around Main Street USA. It’s a simple math problem. Regardless of whether it’s a slow or busy night, the number of people wanting to see Happily Ever After exceeds the capacity of the viewing areas on and around Main Street.
Finally, expect there to be day-to-day and park-to-park variance for the remainder of July 2024. This is beyond the scope of this crowd calendar, and will largely end up being driven by ride breakdowns, maintenance issues, and weather.
If it’s a really hot or rainy day, Floridians will largely avoid the parks, which can reduce crowd levels. If it’s an unseasonably dry or cooler (by Orlando in summer standards) day, Floridians will flock to the park. If several attractions experience downtime, that will cause wait times to balloon everywhere else. All of these are more random variables, but they collectively can move the needle on crowd levels considerably.
JULY PRICING & DISCOUNTS
In terms of promotions, there are likely to be room-only discounts for Annual Passholders, Florida residents, and the general public in July 2024. See All Current Discounts at Walt Disney World for the various resort deals.
Normally, Walt Disney World has something of a captive audience during the summer months as many families can only visit then due to school being out of session. Disney only offers discounts in order to fill hotel rooms and entice more guests to visit. They don’t really need any extra incentive for the summer, as that’s when people are most inclined to travel to Florida, even in the face of the weather we mentioned above.
In terms of pricing, July has higher than average rates. One-day park tickets are most expensive during this month, with most of July being “peak” season (read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post for multi-day ticket recommendations to avoid having to deal with seasonal pricing). Hotels aren’t quite as bad, as it’s the “Summer” pricing season for them most dates; overall, hotel rates are slightly above average, outside from the dates around Independence Day.
Even with below-average crowds, you’ll still want a solid itinerary for touring the parks. July is also a safe bet when it comes to seeing the new entertainment and attractions at Walt Disney World, and the longer hours. There’s also upside in the inclement weather: it clears out the parks. If there’s heavy rain for over an hour (and you follow our tips to stick it out), you’ll be rewarded with a far less-crowded park after the rain stops.
Many guests are not prepared for heavy rain, and a heavy rain in early afternoon can mean significantly lower crowds the rest of the day. It’ll also cool down the parks a bit. From an objective perspective, July is one of the worst months of the year, but it does have upside and if you’re forced to visit during the summer due to your school or vacation schedule, you should not hesitate to do so. You’ll still have a good time!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Do you agree that a rainy day at Walt Disney World is better than a perfect day at home? Do you like July at Walt Disney World? If you’ve visited in July, do you have any tips to add? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of July? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!