Hey, NJ: Heading to Disney World for Jersey Week? What to Expect
Every year, the teacher’s convention in New Jersey takes place in the beginning of November, which means kids have off from school.
So how do you keep them entertained for a whole week? You take them to Disney World, of course.
“Jersey Week” is known to locals in Florida as the week when all of New Jersey visits the most magical place on earth.
If you haven’t been to Disney World since pre-pandemic, it’s a little different than you remember.
Here is what you need to expect if you’re heading down to WDW for Jersey week:
Theme park reservations are required
Purchasing a theme park ticket isn’t good enough anymore.
Along with that, you need to make a theme park reservation each day you plan on visiting a park.
Without this reservation, you will not be allowed access. This is Disney’s way of keeping track of capacity.
Once that limit is reached, there will be no more reservations available for you to make.
So to give you an idea of what crowds will look like for Jersey week, I went to Disney World’s website to see what parks were available to make a reservation.
For the week, Magic Kingdom is at capacity and you can no longer make a reservation. On select days, Hollywood Studios is also not available to book.
This should tell you to prepare for crowds.
Looking to park hop (or visit more than one park a day)? Good news! You can do so after 2 p.m. without making another park reservation BUT you do need to enter the first park you plan on visiting that day before you can hop over to another.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
If you’re a big fan of Christmas, this is a great event for you and your whole family to attend at the Magic Kingdom.
It’s a separate ticketed event where you can see the special Christmastime fireworks show, see the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, meet and greet rare characters that make spending the money on that memory maker worth it, enjoy free cookies and hot cocoa, and just be immersed in all of the Christmas decorations around the park.
Again, to give you an indication of crowd levels, the website says all three party nights during Jersey week are sold out, but as a frequent Disney World goer, I have shown up on a sold-out night and they have sold me a ticket so if you’re interested and you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, don’t be afraid to ask!
With all of this being said, if you don’t plan on attending the party and are looking to spend Nov 8, 10, or 11 inside the Magic Kingdom, be aware that the park closes early, at 6 p.m., for the party and you will have to exit the park and make other plans for the rest of the night.
Disney FastPass is no more. Welcome to the world of Genie+ where you now have to pay to “skip the line” for your favorite ride.
It was only a matter of time because Disney was the only company NOT charging for this system but it’s really simple to use.
Make sure you have the "My Disney Experience" app and head to your “Tip Board” to purchase and book your Genie+ passes.
Now there is one ride in each park that is not offered through Genie+ and is considered an "Individual Lighting Lane". That just means it’s the most popular attraction and you’ll need to pay extra for it. Those rides are:
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Hollywood Studios
Avatar Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom
The return of Fantasmic! show in Hollywood Studios
HUGE news! One of the best shows in all of Disney World is making its return on Nov. 3 to Hollywood Studios.
Fantasmic is a nighttime show with stunts, effects, pyrotechnics, and the best music to any soundtrack all with your favorite characters including Sorcerer Mickey.
This could be the reason why Hollywood Studios is sold out on select dates but if you are in the park, I highly recommend catching this show.
You can find the show times HERE.
Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary and EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary
The party never ends when it comes to celebrating anniversaries in Disney World.
Magic Kingdom is still celebrating its 50th (even though Oct. 1 marked its 51st) and there is still plenty of photo opportunities and merch for you to check out.
If you’re a Mickey Mouse fan, you can find him inside the Town Square Theater dressed in his best anniversary outfit.
Oct. 1 was also the 40th-anniversary celebration of EPCOT and, same as Magic Kingdom, you will find plenty of photo ops and merch.
Be aware that EPCOT is STILL under construction so get your walking shoes on and get ready to take many detours around what used to be Future World.
All in all, Disney World is still a great escape from the real world not only for your kids but for you as well. Have the most magical time!