A reader asks how to go about planning for afternoons at Hollywood Studios and Epcot using Mid-Day Magic Tickets.
About Mid-Day Magic Tickets
In case you need a refresher, Mid-Day Magic Tickets are one of Disney World’s newest offerings (available through December 15), allowing entry to the parks only at noon or later.
Advice for Mid-Day Magic Planning at Any Park
We’ll start with some advice that would be helpful at any park before talking briefly about Epcot and Hollywood Studios specifically.
You could do every ride at any park other than Magic Kingdom with a Mid-Day Magic Ticket. You could probably catch every show. And you could definitely meet a few characters. You won’t be able to do all of that though.
If you’re unfamiliar with whats available, we have two guides that can help:
And we always recommend doing further research if necessary. We’re not usually ones to tell you what you must do and what you should skip. Those guides and the rest of the internet can give you a good sense of what to expect—make lists ranking what you’d like to do before you get to the park.
FastPass+ during Mid-Day Magic
One their Mid-Day Magic Ticket page, Disney is clear that guests with these tickets can use FastPass+ as long as their initial selections are for after 12PM.
Entering at noon, you won’t have the benefit of rope drop. You’ll be walking in to peak wait times. But that can be okay, particularly if you make good use of FastPass+.
A reminder before we give some quick notes, the relevant FastPass+ content can be found at:
Keep in mind that those posts are written with a full day at the parks in mind. Here are some tips specific to midday entry…
You’ll want to make three initial selections at the park, probably as close to 12PM, 1PM and 2PM as possible. I say probably because obviously you might have to take a popular ride like Slinky Dog Dash at a worse time, or you might have a lot of shows you want to watch that will fill conflict with that FastPass+ schedule.
Remember that as soon as you use your first FastPass+, you can try and modify your second to an earlier time.
Once you use your initial three selections, start searching for your fourth FastPass+ (and then use that and search for your fifth, and so on). It’s obviously up to you how much “screen time” you want to dedicate to these searches.
Rides and Waits
As we said, you’ll be walking into peak wait times. With crowds being wildly unpredictable at Disney World recently, it’s silly to try and guess how high they’ll be. It might be that you catch a good day and nothing is over an hour. Or maybe you’ll have all the major rides at 90 minutes or more.
If you don’t need to watch the nighttime shows (or if they have a favorable schedule), you can hop in one line at the very end of the day. But always check ride closure times in the My Disney Experience app.
Other than that, there’s no “ideal” ride strategy. Target shorter waits to start, delaying longer waits until you’ve failed to find FastPass+ for them and you just don’t have a good option except to wait. Wait times are posted in the My Disney Experience app.
If there’s any shows you’d like to watch, mind those showtimes. Since many shows typically stop around early evening (say, 5PM) it might make sense to prioritize the important ones earlier in the day.
Keep in mind the nighttime shows may have multiple showings and may or may not directly conflict with the closing of the park (i.e. when you might hop onto one last ride).
Hollywood Studios with Mid-Day Magic
Besides the above tips, we’ll just add some quick points about Hollywood Studios.
Slinky Dog Dash is a great ride at night. Don’t push it too late unless you’re willing to miss some evening entertainment, but the ride offers stunning views of the illuminated Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge, and the rest of the park. On a day with a 9:35PM showing of Wonderful World of Animation and a 10PM park close, we would watch that show and then hop in line for Slinky Dog Dash.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has a single rider line. This is usually a fine way to grab a shorter wait, if necessary.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run has a single rider line, but… If you ride single rider on the Falcon, you will be “stuck” with the Engineer role. We don’t mind it, and there’s always a chance you get it even from the standby line, but some people prefer to try for pilot. The single rider wait has usually been about 1/3 the standby wait (but we’ve seen some really short waits, too), and is usually about 20 minutes from the bottom of the stairs.
Mind the final showtimes for Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. These two shows tend to end around 5PM or 6PM.
Wonderful World of Animation is about 15 minutes long. This show often takes place before park close and usually leaves you enough time to go hop on one last ride (if you skip anything after it).
Epcot with Mid-Day Magic
And now Epcot…
Test Track has a single rider line. Good way to grab a shorter wait, if necessary.
Mission SPACE “Green” usually has short waits. It’s “less intense” than the Orange version, but we actually prefer the story / scenery in this one. The wait times in the app are for the Orange version, with a longer wait.
IllumiNations is ending September 31. If you’ll be there before then, consider catching this show. It does occur at the end of the day, so you won’t be able to get in line for one last ride.
Several characters and streetmosphere shows stop early. Sometimes as early as 2PM!
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way.
Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
When it comes time to book we’ll help you find discount Disney World tickets. Decide whether you need a dining plan in our Complete Guide to Disney World Dining Plans! And at 180 days out it's time to book those Disney World Advance Dining Reservations!
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon! And for some some fun prep, check out our Ranking of Every Ride at Walt Disney World.
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.