The Walt Disney World Railroad in Disney's Magic Kingdom has been closed now since December…
In this guide to July 2021 at Walt Disney World, we cover everything you need to know for planning a trip and if July is a good time overall to visit the most magical place on Earth.
In this post we will cover all the major factors you must consider before deciding whether to visit Walt Disney World in July or not. The main ones are weather, crowd levels, special events, prices and refurbishments.
Not to spoil the ending already, but July is one of the worst months to visit Disney World. In fact, it’s either in the #11 or #12 position, battling it out with August for the title.
The main reason we don’t like Orlando in July is the weather. If you’ve ever been to Disney World in the Summer then you know exactly what I am talking about. The temperatures are unbearable with very rarely a day under 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and with massive humidity. July is also one of the most crowded times to visit, so the combination is a deal-breaker for us out of the gate.
These are some of the reasons why it ranks low on our list of the Best Times to Go to Disney World this year.
Don’t get us wrong, if July is the only month you can plan a trip, then by all means go. But if you have any choice in the matter, we think it’s best to go at a different time.
This however is just our opinion. Whether you are interested in going in July 2021 or July 2022, we’ll break it all down more for you in this post so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
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Overview of July 2021 in Disney World
As much as it’s not our favorite time to visit, July remains one of the most popular months at Walt Disney World. Naturally kids are off from school which means more families have the chance to visit during this time. This leads to more crowds and high wait times in the parks.
There are few refurbishments which is nice and if you want to go swimming you will more than get your chance.
As you would imagine, 2021 is a strange year for traveling in general, and going to Disney World is no different. Even though things are slowly getting back to normal, there are a few changes you need to be aware of before considering going.
Many of the entertainment and shows are still not running in the parks, though some have made a return in recent months. We anticipate there still being plenty of closures in July 2021 which means you’ll have to put up with these rules during your trip.
While we cover them briefly in this post, we encourage you to read the Disney World Reopening Guide for a more detailed look.
Disney has come up with many new safety guidelines to keep guests safe, and we have to say they are doing a great job so far. In our opinion, Disney World is still safe to visit right now, of course you have to decide for our family. Here are a few examples:
Safety Guidelines – Wearing face masks at Disney World is the biggest change, though physical distancing and distanced queues are still a big part. Every week that goes by however, Disney loosens the rules giving hope of a normal experience soon.
Experiences – Be prepared for some attractions and experiences to be closed for the moment. There are fewer reasons to stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel right now with the Disney Dining Plan, Extra Magic Hours and FastPass+ still not available. Character meals and meet and greets are much different and you can’t get up close to them at this time.
At least Disney World Park Hopping is back so you can visit multiple parks per day. That means one park in the morning and another at night is now possible once again. Just check for availability before going.
Limited Park Capacity – To allow for proper distancing, capacity in all 4 Disney World theme parks is currently limited. Disney has increased the capacity from 35% recently and it will continue rising throughout the Summer and Fall.
Disney Park Reservations – With park capacity is limited, Disney has created a Park Pass reservation system. Reservations are required for park admission, so make sure your entrance is booked well in advance.
If you would rather wait until these safety restrictions have passed, then we suggest not going in July 2021. Things will not be back to normal until 2022 so if it’s a big issue for you and your family we suggest waiting until then.
The special events that Disney has each year are truly special and many families come during one of them so they get to experience all the fun. July at Walt Disney World is usually light on special events, but this year there are a few interesting options you should put on your calendar.
May Dates of Note:
- The 4th of July Celebration – July 3 and 4
- Flower and Garden Festival – March 3 – July 5
- Food and Wine Festival – July 15 – November 20
The Fourth of July
The 4th of July is one of the busiest times at Walt Disney World and one of the biggest celebrations the resort puts on each year.
In 2021 guests will be able to attend the “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” which is taking place on July 3 and 4th.
At this point, Disney hasn’t announced that fireworks are coming back in time, but how strange would the 4th of July be without the annual extravaganza for guests at the end of the night? We’ll keep a close eye on this one as we are waiting to find out when fireworks are coming back to Disney World.
Taste of EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival
Usually the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival is over by Memorial Day, but not this year. This is the longest Flower and Garden Festival ever and it wraps up on July 5th. That means if you are going in the beginning of the month you still have time to check out one of the best events of the year.
The reason why it’s one of our favorites is that EPCOT transforms into one big lush garden with flower beds everywhere and topiaries shaped after your favorite Disney characters.
Unique food marketplaces are set up around World Showcase where guests can try the many delicious food and drink offerings. Our post on the best snacks at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival will guide you through all the best choices.
You also should get familiar with our EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival Guide where we share more tips and info.
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival
What? Two EPCOT Festivals in July? Usually, July gives us “Diet EPCOT” and there are no festivals, but in 2021 we get two of them! Usually the Food & Wine Festival doesn’t start until late August but Disney pushed up the opening to July 15th this year.
This is another must-see event and the original EPCOT festival. All the festivals are heavily influenced by food, but none more so than this one. There are between 30-40 food marketplaces set up throughout the park with way more food and drink than you could even try in 4-5 visits.
If you are going, make sure to read our Complete Guide to EPCOT Food & Wine Festival for more info and tips. It’s also helpful to look over the Food & Wine Menus and our guide to the Best Snacks at the Food & Wine Festival so you know exactly what to eat.
July has always been one of the busiest months at Walt Disney World, and though it may not be quite as busy as in the past, it’s still one of the most crowded months you can visit, if not the most.
It has at least Medium-high to High crowds throughout the whole month with the peak being the days around the 4th of July holiday.
As we point out in our Disney World Crowd Calendar, Disney park attendance levels are greatly affected by school schedules. Disney World is one of the most popular vacation destinations for families in the world so when kids are out of school you know the parks will be full. The opposite is also true, when school is in session, there is a notable drop-off.
The fact is that in all other months of the year in North America, at least some children are in school for part of the month. July is the only month where all of the schools are out for Summer vacation, which means you see steady crowds the whole month.
There are very few days on the calendar in July that aren’t an 8/10 or higher on the crowd level scale. If you are forced to go in July, at least avoid The 4th of July and go any of the other weeks.
There is really no more tue “off-season” anymore at Disney World and they do a good job of manipulating the calendar to fill up the resorts and parks for all days of the year. June and late August are a little less busy than July if you are deciding between the summer months.
Of course, if you don’t have a flexible schedule and are forced to go in July, you can still make the best of it. Crowds aren’t quite as high as they are during holiday season or at Easter so it’s still doable.
We always encourage guests to visit the parks during the week as the weekends are always slightly more crowded on the weekends when the locals have time off work. This is less useful in July, but still a good habit nonetheless. We like to spend our weekends at the resort hotel pool instead of fighting the crowds in the heat on Saturday and Sunday.
Of course, July 2021 is a bit different than a normal year, and since the park capacity is limited, the “feels-like” crowds are higher than a normal year. WIth physical distancing still in place, queues are longer and walkways seem fuller even though the actual number of people this year is lower.
The nice thing is that Disney keeps increasing theme park capacity, and we are now well over the previous 35% limit. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has even hinted that we may be back to 100% before 2021 is over.
Even worse than the crowds in July however is the weather…
Disney World Weather in July
The weather at Walt Disney World in July is known for 3 things: heat, humidity, and lots of rain. Do I have you intrigued yet?
No jokes aside, the weather in Orlando in July is brutal. It’s arguable if July or August is hotter, but there is no doubt it will be a major factor during your trip. If that wasn’t bad enough, July is also during hurricane season in Florida.
Temperature – According to USClimateData.com July in Disney World has an average high of 92°F (33.3°C) and an avg. low of 76°F (24.4°C).
The high temperatures begin early in the morning and the problem is even at night there is no escape from the heat. The extreme humidity makes it even worse and the “feels-like” temperature is regularly 100°F or higher.
For this reason, if you don’t have a pretty high tolerance to the heat, we strongly recommend not visiting in July. If you do visit, heat exhaustion and dehydration are very real concerns so make sure to drink plenty of water and don’t overdo it.
July is a great month for swimming in Orlando though and if we do end up visiting in July we spend a lot of time at the pool with a cocktail not far away. Early mornings at the parks are best, followed by an afternoon break at the pool or taking a nap in the air conditioning.
Rain – July is one of the rainiest months at Disney World, if not the rainiest. In Orlando it rains approximately 22.8 days in July and it gets on average 5.16″ of rainfall during the month.
If you visit Florida in the Summer, you have to expect that it will rain at some point during the day. The nice thing is even in July, it usually doesn’t last the whole day. Mostly you will get an afternoon storm for a couple of hours and then the sun starts shining again.
It is possible though you get rained out on a day or two during your trip so have some alternate indoor activities planned while you wait for the storm to pass.
July is Hurricane Season at Disney World, and while it is possible, you likely won’t have to worry. August and September are much more at risk and you should know the risk if you are planning to go during those months.
Daylight – The one nice thing about the weather at Disney World in July is the long daylight hours. On average, Orlando, Florida has 13 hours and 44 minutes of sunlight in the month of July. In fact, this is the month with the second most amount of sunlight for the entire year.
Overall, July is perhaps the single worst month for weather at Walt Disney World. Extremely high temperatures and tons of rain is a deal-breaker for us. June is slightly better with 1 or 2 degrees less on average if forced to choose another Summer month, but we prefer any other time of year more.
What to Wear to Disney World in July
What should you wear at Disney World in July? Due to the high temperatures, we recommend dressing as light as possible. This is a good thing because it means you can pack lighter in the Summer than other months of the year.
July is way too hot for pants and long-sleeved shirts. All you need 99% of the time are T-shirts and shorts. This is the case pretty much from May-October, but especially so in July.
The only reason you might need pants is if you decided to go to a really fancy dinner like Victoria & Albert’s. In that case a nice button-down shirt and jacket are also necessary.
If you don’t like tons of air conditioning, bring a light sweater or jacket when you go out to dinner and inside restaurants can get chilly at times. However, in any outdoor environment, you definitely won’t need them.
Orlando weather can change quickly so one suggestion is to always look ahead to the weather forecast before leaving home to see exactly what each day will be like, and then pack accordingly.
You will definitely need to bring a couple of swimsuits as there should be plenty of time for relaxing and swimming at the pool.
Rain is a guarantee in July, so bring clothes for such situations. We recommend buying some cheap ponchos before your trip as it will save you a lot of money rather than buying the overpriced ones at Disney World. If you have a small, portable umbrella, bring it along too.
Despite the rain, there is plenty of sun at Disney World in July which means sunscreen is a must. We also think a hat is a good idea to keep some of the sun off your face. A good pair of sunglasses is also necessary to protect your eyes.
Last but certainly not least, you need a good pair or two of walking shoes. This is perhaps the most important item and you shouldn’t take this lightly. Most people walk 2-5x more at Walt Disney World than they do back home so it’s important to make sure your feet are as comfortable as possible. Our average is 8-10 miles per day at Disney World making this indispensable.
One thing you need to be aware of is that since the reopening, theme park hours in 2021 have been reduced compared to what they normally are. On average, park hours have been cut by 1-2 hours each day. That’s a lot and can cut into an already packed schedule.
Thankfully, in recent months Disney has slowly been increasing the park hours once again. They still aren’t back to 100% normal yet, but they are getting close. It’s drastically improved from 2020 and we expect Disney to continue increasing the hours as the Summer goes on.
Here is an example of what you can expect the park hours to be in July:
- Magic Kingdom – 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
- EPCOT – 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Prices & Discounts
Another question on your mind is probably: “Is Disney World Cheaper in July?” While July is not the cheapest time of the year, it’s also not the most expensive either. July falls under the “Summer” season for pricing, putting it in the “Peak” category.
July is above average for hotel prices and park tickets. Overall it’s less expensive than Spring and the Holidays, but more expensive than Value season.
Since kids are out of school, July is more expensive than going in August when some kids start going back to school. There are also not a ton of big special events which help keep the prices down a bit. Of course, the beginning of the month around The Fourth of July is the most expensive part of the month.
It’s also not a good time for the popular Disney Free Dining Plan promotion, as it comes out usually in the Fall. There aren’t many other discounts in July, so you’ll end up paying close to full price most of the time. Let’s face it, if you are going to Disney World in July, it’s probably because you have no other choice. So why should Disney offer extra incentives to guests when they know they will just come anyway?
Current Disney World Hotel Discounts in July 2021:
- Spring Into Magic Hotel Discount (up to 35% for Annual Passholders, 30% for General Public) – starting April 18, 2021 through July 10, 2021.
- Save 25% on Select Rooms with Summer (from 10%-25% at select Disney World Resort Hotels – starting July 11, 2021 through September 29, 2021.
Let’s first take a look at resort hotel room pricing in July. These prices are before taking into consideration extra promotions. We’ll look at a comparison in price between going in July and other times of the year at Walt Disney World.
Below are the prices for a standard room per night at 3 different Walt Disney World Resort hotels. We chose one from each hotel tier, Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. The prices show the base prices during the various seasons of the year compared with July:
You can see from the chart that July is above average for resort hotel prices and only the Spring and the Holiday Seasons are more expensive. Obviously, hotel rooms are more expensive at the beginning of the month around The Fourth of July. After that all prices are the same with Sunday – Thursday getting a lower price than Saturday and Sunday.
The numbers listed above are the base prices, and it’s possible to get a cheaper rate if you find a special promotion offer. If you are on a tight budget, it’s best to skip July and go during Value season when room rates are lower and there are more advantageous deals being offered. Keep checking the Disney World website for the latest offers.
Read our guide to the Cheapest Times to Go to Disney World, to compare July with all the other months of the year.
Theme park tickets are pretty much the same throughout the month of July, though the price increases slightly in the first week with a difference of $6 to $8 each for a one-day ticket. Weekends are more expensive than weekdays.
Prices for single-day Disney World theme park tickets range from $126 to $134 which is average to above-average. July is about the same as June, but not as cheap as the second half of August.
The most expensive days in July for park tickets are at the beginning of the month from the 1st to the 4th. Skip those dates if possible and go later in the month and on a weekday to save the most money.
Read our guide on “How Much Does it Cost to Go to Disney World?” for a more detailed break down and example trips in every budget.
If you want to take advantage of the best offers for July or any other month, we recommend using an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. Contact Show You the World Travel for all your trip planning needs. They are super helpful and the best part about it is they are FREE to use!
July 2021 Refurbishments and Construction
One of the few reasons that makes going to Disney World in July a good idea is not many of the rides are closed for refurbishment. That means your favorite attractions should be running and long refurbishments are few and far between.
It’s much more likely to find long ride closures during the Winter months right after the holidays. Disney is reluctant to shut down the more popular rides in July since crowd levels are much higher.
Still, it’s possible a couple of attractions will likely be down when you are planning your trip. Check out our Walt Disney World Refurbishment List so there are no surprises when you go.
Because of The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration, there are a few attraction closures in July 2021 that you need to be aware of.
At the Magic Kingdom the Walt Disney World Railroad will still be closed for a long refurbishment, and it may be down until 2022 at this rate.
The Hall of Presidents will still be closed and won’t be done with its refurbishment until late 2021 or 2022. Fans of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse will be disappointed to know it’s closed through Christmas.
The good news is we may see the Jungle Cruise refurbishment wrap up in July since that’s when the Disneyland version will be done. At least at the Magic Kingdom it’s still open during the construction.
Thankfully, there are no big scheduled refurbishments at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the month of July.
The biggest work is happening in EPCOT. The park is undergoing a total renovation, especially in the front half. When the EPCOT expansion project is finished it will change the park forever. For example, Future World is splitting up into 3 separate neighborhoods, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery.
Unfortunately, the best of the new attractions in EPCOT will not be ready by July 2021. Attractions like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the Space 220 restaurant, and the new fireworks show “Disney Harmonious” still won’t be ready in time. If any of those are important to your trip, you need to way until at least October 2021 when the celebration starts.
These are plenty of other Disney World construction projects currently in progress including exciting new additions coming to the parks and hotels. Check out our post where we compare if Disney World is better in 2021 or 2022? That should give you an idea of the positives and negatives for both years and which is best for you.
Check out our guide to the New Disney World Attractions coming 2021-2023 to see these projects in more detail.
Here are our most important Disney World touring tips for the month of July:
1. Be Prepared for the Heat
This is almost impossible to do 100%, but you should at least know what you are getting into. Frankly, the Summer in Orlando is at time unbearable. The heat is relentless and there are very few days where you don’t feel like you are melting into the sidewalk.
Knowing this should help you plan your days at the parks better. Go early in the morning at rope drop and get as many rides done before it gets too hot. This is a key strategy to touring the parks well and avoiding the longest lines. There are some months where it’s beneficial to go early in the morning and stay until park closing, July however is not one of them.
You will get tired more easily from the heat, and you might want to use the afternoon to rest in your hotel room or by the pool so you are energized for the evening when the temperatures are a bit lower.
2. Avoid The Fourth of July
As tempting as it might be to go to Disney World during the holiday weekend, we strongly suggest you to quickly forget that idea.
The Fourth of July has two strikes against it: large crowds and high prices. If your schedule only allows you time off in July, that’s fine, but whatever you, don’t pick the first week of the month.
3. Prepare for Hollywood Studios
Since 2019, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been the most popular park at Walt Disney World, and that means it’s important to have a good plan for touring it. For example, the hit attraction Rise of the Resistance requires some advanced planning if you want to ride.
This is easily one of the top rides in Disney World but in order to get on you will need to take the right steps ahead of time. Find out everything about the Virtual Queue, which is Disney’s new online reservation system, much different than waiting in a stand-by line.
Make sure to read our detailed guide on How to Ride Star Wars Rise of the Resistance for more info. There we share all our tips and tricks which will give you the best chance of riding.
June vs. July in Disney World
All three summer months at Walt Disney World are very similar. There isn’t much difference between June and July, though we like June slightly better for a couple of reasons. July is a couple of degrees hotter each day than June, though turn up the oven from 425 to 450 and let me know if you notice a difference.
Crowds are the bigger factor between the two months and July has the peak crowds around the 4th of July, but it’s also a bit more crowded throughout the rest of the month in comparison. The events are a little better in July as you get two EPCOT festivals overlapping in July.
Read our guide to Disney World in June for a more thorough look at the month.
July vs. August in Disney World
There also are a lot of similarities between July and August at Disney World with weather equally as hot and rainy. As a negative, August is in peak Hurricane Season so you are much more likely to get severe storms that could affect your trip.
Besides that however, we prefer August to July for a couple of reasons. The first is the crowds are significantly lower in August, especially if you go during the last two weeks of the month with many kids already back in school. August also has better deals so if you are on a budget you can save some serious money.
If you are big into special events, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party traditionally starts in August, one more thing to see.
Should You Visit Disney World in July?
While no month is really a BAD month to visit, we do feel strongly that July is the worst month of the year to go to Walt Disney World.
The lethal combination of extremely high temperatures, rainy weather and high crowds make our decision an easy one. There are also very few special events to get excited about compared to other months and prices are high with few discounts available.
Unless you have no other choice, we suggest avoiding Disney World in July and to pick basically any other month to visit, preferably not in the Summer.
Visit Disney World in July If…
- It’s the only month you have free on your schedule to go.
- You love weather in the 90s with extreme humidity.
DON’T Visit Disney World in July If…
- You don’t like tremendously high heat.
- You want to avoid the crowds.
- Going to special events is very important to you.
- You are on a budget.
July is one of the worst times to visit Walt Disney World. The combination of extremely high temperatures, rainy weather, large crowds and few special events means it’s very low on our list. If you have no other choice because of your schedule that’s one thing, but if it is flexible at all we highly suggest switching months.
Walt Disney World in July has high level crowds for most of the month. It’s one of the busier times to visit since kids are out of school the entire month. Avoid weekends and go on weekdays if you can.
The weather at Disney World in July is extremely hot. The heat and humidity in Orlando is unbearable most of the time and it’s equal with August for the hottest month of the year. There is also a lot of rain and thunderstorms, almost every day.
If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World, make sure to read our Disney World Vacation Planning Guide. There you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.
I want to know what you think about visiting Walt Disney World in July…
- Do you think July is a good month to visit?
- Which month do you think is the best?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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