Didn’t get invited to Taylor Swift’s annual Hampton Bash this year? It’s okay – you can always take a star spangled picture on the beach in New York with the squad some other year. Besides, wouldn’t you rather be planning a 4th of July trip to the most magical place on earth? We just got back from celebrating America’s Independence with the mouse, and had a blast. You’ll hear a lot of people try to tell you that going to Walt Disney World during the summer months, or on Holiday’s isn’t a good idea, but with FastPass+, and Disney getting better at crowd control than ever, there really is never a bad time to go. We love visiting during the summer holidays – the park feels festive, and there’s so much ‘extra’ offered, that you truly do get more for your money, Today, we’re breaking down what you find at Walt Disney World during the week leading up to the holiday.Shop my shorts here, my purse here, and my sunnies here! 

Fireworks:
There are two ‘Fourth of July’ fireworks show – there’s a whole show in The Magic Kingdom, which features 360 degree fireworks going off all around you, that’s shown on both the 3rd and the 4th, and a 4th of July ‘tag’, added to the end of Illuminations at Epcot, which is essentially an extra 10 minutes of fireworks with a patriotic feel. This show is only on the 4th of July. The best thing you can do for crowds, and to maximize your park experience, is to see The Magic Kingdom’s fireworks on the 3rd, and Epcot’s on the 4th.

Food:
You’ll find a handful of specialty treats and snacks scattered throughout the parks for the 4th of July. When we were there, we saw patriotic caramel apples and dipped marshmallows at The Confectionary, as well as a Patriotic Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich in Epcot’s France Pavilion. Our favorite American treat though, is the ‘American Dream’, found at The Fife and Drum Tavern in Epcot. This slush is layers of blue and red slushie, with vanilla soft serve. It looks like an American flag, and is perfect to cool down with on a hot day.

Crowds:
Yes, it’s going to be crowded. But it truly isn’t as bad as the horror stories you hear. If you go into the park with a game plan, solid Fastpass+ reservations, and your dining plans in order, you’ll be fine. Like always, we highly recommend getting to the park when it opens, taking a break during the heat of the day, then going back in the evening hours.Shop Jenny’s purse here, mine here, similar dress to mine (mine is sold out).Some of my favorite sandals – the footbed is perfect for the parks. 

Characters:
In Epcot, in the American Pavilion, Mickey and some of his friends appear in Patriotic outfits, They draw huge crowds, but it’s a great meet and greet, with solid character interaction. When we did it, Cast Members were passing out fans. We left one person in line, and the other members of our party waited in air conditioning, to make the heat more bearable.

Dance Parties:
On the 3rd, and 4th, The Magic Kingdom hosted dance parties after fireworks. We personally would have enjoyed these dance parties more if the Country Bears in Patriotic costumes had been present (a girl can dream, right?), but I’ll take any excuse to dance, instead of wait in line for an hour for a monorail.

Decorations:
The parks aren’t heavily decorated for The 4th of July, but you will see American Flag colored swags up around Main Street, and The Train Station, which are nice touches, as well as star projections on the castles.

All things considered, with everything extra that’s offered, if you’re going to plan a summer vacation to Walt Disney World, the 4th of July is a great time to do it. Yes, there will be crowds, and it will be hot, but that’s true of anytime of the summer. The fact that you’ll get two extra firework shows, and other entertainment options, make up for that, in our opinion.