Our guide to July 2022 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. (Updated June 21, 2022.)
July 2022 is the height of summer vacation at Walt Disney World and the time when summer storm season intensifies. There’s really no way to sugar coat it: July is for people who have no better alternatives. With that said, if you have a trip planned for July, the sky is not falling. As we’ve said before, “a rainy, crowded day at Walt Disney World is better than a perfect day at home.”
For starters, you might wonder why July 2022 will be bad. This is because July is a literal perfect storm of weather and crowds. Due to changes in school schedules in some districts coupled with higher peak season pricing on tickets & hotels, and a lack of seasonal events, crowds at Walt Disney World decreased dramatically during the summer a few years ago. However, that was not the case last year nor do we expect it to happen in July 2022. Pent-up demand should continue playing out in full force.
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% v. 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, 2022. We highly recommend seeing Celebrate America on July 3. A great place to view it to see the full scale is outside the park at the Polynesian or Ticket & Transportation Center.
The reason we recommend seeing Magic Kingdom’s Independence Day fireworks on July 3 is because you can only see Harmonious with the “Heartbeat of America” finale on July 4, 2022. This is the first year for the new nighttime spectacular to show the Independence Day tag.
For more on special entertainment, read our Celebrating Independence Day at Walt Disney World post.
The beginning of July 2022 will have other special events. The 2022 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will run until July 4, 2022. After that comes a festival-less gap, during which the park will briefly become “Diet Epcot.”
But not for long. The 2022 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will begin a little over a week later, on July 14, 2022. 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.)
The other big thing will be the World’s Most Magical Celebration, which runs through April 2023. See our Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary for more details.
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.
It’s not really a seasonal event, but July is typically the month of the year when hours at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are longest. We love both of Walt Disney World’s water parks. You can read why in our Typhoon Lagoon FAQ & Tips post and Blizzard Beach FAQ & Tips post.
We highly recommend arriving early or late. If you go after 4 p.m., virtually everything will be a walk-on most days. Also, going on a rainy day is a great way to avoid crowds…and who cares about getting rained on when you’re at a water park? (It always amazes me when the water parks–inexplicably–clear out during storms.)
In the four main theme parks, July is also a month when park hours are (typically) longer. You’ll find earlier closings at Magic Kingdom than what we’ve seen in years past, but this is at offset by Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios now closing later thanks to their big additions of Pandora and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, respectively.
JULY REFURBISHMENTS & NEW ATTRACTIONS
For an idea of what’s going to be closed in July 2022, check the Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule. Not everything will be listed on that until a few months before July, and even then, it doesn’t fully cover the construction all around Walt Disney World–just attraction closures.
Epcot is starting to look fairly good as of Summer 2022. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Space 220 Restaurant, Creations Shop, Club Cool, and Harmonious all already debuted last year. In addition to those, it’s likely significant progress will be made on World Celebration, with more walkways opening back up and Connections Cafe & Eatery also now open.
Walt Disney World’s blockbuster addition for 2022 is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Experiencing the new ride is a bit complicated, so if you want to experience it (and you should!), 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.
Another alternative is buying line-skipping access via the Individual Lightning Lanes. Those posts explain each option, 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.
Beyond that, there are several attractions that have not yet opened and likely won’t until Fall 2022 or later. These include the Play Pavilion and Moana’s Journey of Water at Epcot, and TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster at Magic Kingdom. All three may not open until 2023.
JULY 2022 DISNEY WORLD CROWD CALENDAR
There’s no color-coded July 2022 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 attendance, and the resulting “feels like” crowds. Wait times usually align with attendance levels, but not always. 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 July 2022 crowd levels at Walt Disney World incredibly 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 massively crowded. It was still summer vacation season. Nevertheless, the parks were busier in October than in July during those years.
The other significant challenge is that wait time data from last year paints a very different story than a normal year. 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.
Last year, wait times increased with each week in July. The far right segment of the graph below shows daily Walt Disney World wait times through mid-August; those peaked on July 28 last year. Normally, the end of July would be the least busy week of the month, with crowds continuing to drop in August (as they did).
Our best guess is that this late July spike last year was an anomaly, with Americans scrambling to book vacations as reopening occurred in full force. Another relevant consideration is that Disney didn’t dropped its health safety rules until mid-June last year, and there’s a lag between booking and traveling.
In other words, the busier than normal summer makes sense–and could be likewise applied to this year. However, there was a specific reason why crowds grew towards the end of the month that won’t be applicable in July 2022.
Accordingly, our expectation is that July 2022 will once again see elevated crowds consistent with last year, as Americans continue to make up for lost vacation time over the course of the last two years.
However, we expect the trajectory to play out as it would in a normal year, with Independence Day being busiest and then slowing as school going back into session draws nearer towards the end of the month.
With all of that in mind, expect July 2022 to see crowd levels that are well above average. Expect high crowds in the first full week, beginning on July 1, 2022 and continuing the entire week thereafter.
We are forecasting across the board crowd levels of 8/10 to 10/10 for July 1-10, 2022.
This will be particularly pronounced over the Independence Day long weekend in the evenings at Magic Kingdom and, to a lesser degree, Epcot. That’s because more guests will Park Hop to Magic Kingdom and Epcot for fireworks, since those are the only two parks that will have nighttime spectaculars in July 2022.
Expect Magic Kingdom to have 10/10 crowds July 1-4, 2022. It might drop slightly in the weekdays thereafter, but don’t count on it. Despite no nighttime spectaculars, Disney’s Hollywood Studios does a poor job of absorbing crowds; it’s likely to be a 10/10 most dates around the holiday, too.
The weeks that follow should get progressively better on the July 2022 crowd calendar, but you’re still looking at moderate to high crowd levels dropping only to the 7/10 range by the end of the month.
In other words, pretty much all dates will be close to the same on the July 2022 crowd calendar, with Magic Kingdom and Epcot being noticeably busier than the other two parks at night due to fireworks.
JULY PRICING & DISCOUNTS
While special offers for Walt Disney World are usually weak for summer, there are actually a higher than average number of deals. Due to school being out of session, Walt Disney World has something of a captive audience during the summer months as many families can only visit then. 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!