New Staggered Opening and Closing Times for Park Hours at WDW

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With the announcement of the reopening plans for Walt Disney World yesterday, a variety of changes were mentioned that were expected: masks, hand washing stations, and so on. Even the predicted reservation system and reduced crowd levels were mentioned. What wasn’t mentioned, but was updated on Disney’s park hours web site last night, were the changes in park hours. (UPDATED 5/28/20, 9:30 p.m. to reflect cancellation of Extra Magic Hours per Disney Parks Blog)

Here’s the updated schedule currently on the Walt Disney World web site:

Magic Kingdom

  • Magic Kingdom will be open, starting July 11, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Morning Extra Magic Hours are listed on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and Evening Extra Magic hours are listed on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Select dates also have the hard ticket Early Morning Magic in Fantasyland event from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m., although this may change.
  • There will be no parades or fireworks.

Epcot

  • Epcot will be open, starting July 15, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (This will be a fixed time for all of Epcot instead of staggered opening hours for Future World and World Showcase.)
  • Morning Extra Magic Hours are listed on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Evening Extra Magic hours are listed on Tuesdays from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • There will be no nighttime fireworks show.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open, starting July 15, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Morning Extra Magic Hours are not listed for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Evening Extra Magic Hours are listed on Sundays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • There are no parades or “fireworks and nighttime spectacular” (including Fantasmic!)  shows listed.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open, starting July 11, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Morning Extra Magic Hours are listed on Mondays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Evening Extra Magic Hours are not listed for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • There are no nighttime showings of Rivers of Light listed.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. In all likelihood, by the time the theme parks reopen, we would expect all businesses at Disney Springs to have reopened.

Disney’s Water Parks

As of today, hours are listed for Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach starting on June 11. Both parks are listed as open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and there are still mentions of H2O Glow Nights for Typhoon Lagoon on select nights. Disney had not made any sort of announcement about the reopening of the water parks, and this was not included in their presentation to the Orange County board yesterday. It is possible Disney will make another request for reopening shortly, or it could be that those hours will disappear off of the web site in the future. We’ll have to wait and see.

Why the Change?

Although Disney has not given insight into their reasons for the changes in hours, it is likely for logistical reasons regarding bus transportation at the resorts.

  • To allow for less crowded buses, you’ll need to run more buses for a park’s opening and closing time peaks. Staggering opening hours means that you can have the same number of buses show up at a resort to pick people up, but they will be able to go to the same location instead of servicing all four theme parks for the same morning opening time.
  • Staggering opening and closing times may also permit buses to be taken out of rotation for additional cleaning and sanitizing.
  • For park openings, you will need additional room for people to line up, with appropriate distancing, in queues to get on the buses. Having the surge of people come at staggered times will allow for increased room to spread out the lines for the buses.
  • For park closings, staggering the times means you can send additional buses to a theme park to try and clear the rush faster to try and avoid quite as many people standing in lengthy queues.

Are These Shorter Hours 100% Certain?

It’s Disney–nothing is 100% certain. It is possible that, as procedures play out with the reopening of the parks, hours could be adjusted. Should hours change, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, more than ever, if you plan a vacation to Walt Disney World this summer, remember to pack your patience.

What do you think of these reduced hours? Would they make you less likely to vacation to Walt Disney World this summer, or are you excited to have “sleep in” days automatically built into your schedule? Let us know in the comments.

Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited nine-year-old daughter.

9 thoughts on “New Staggered Opening and Closing Times for Park Hours at WDW

  • May 28, 2020 at 9:21 am
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    For Aug 3rd&4th…Is AK showing extra morning magic hour on Mondays? And Epcot extra evening on Tuesdays

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  • May 28, 2020 at 9:48 am
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    I’m trying to search, but was any mention made of how long this first ‘phase’ of the ‘phased opening’ will last? Hard to know if it will affect my October trip, or if I should just wait longer to wait and see.

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  • May 28, 2020 at 9:55 am
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    At present, it is open-ended–there is no end date for these new procedures.

    Going without any inside info from Disney, I can’t imagine that your October trip won’t have impacts of some kind, whether that’s reduced capacity at parks, reduced hours, reduced experiences, continuation of a mask requirement, etc. We also haven’t heard anything about special fall events, like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival. If I had to guess, there’s plans being made for Go and No Go at the same time. How things work in July and August, and whether there’s a “second wave” of the coronavirus will determine what adjustments are made for October.

    Wish it was better news, but I think it is almost 100% certain that there will be impacts for an October trip. We just don’t know which impacts those will be, but start thinking what’s a deal-breaker or what would be “not ideal, but we’ll still go anyhow” in your mind.

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  • May 28, 2020 at 10:01 am
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    Goes to show how dynamic things are — looks like morning EMH have been added throughout on Mondays at Animal Kingdom, except not on August 17–where that week they’ve moved them to Friday for no reason that I can tell. It’s certainly a work in progress on Disney’s end. Thanks for pointing that out, and I’ll update the post.

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  • May 28, 2020 at 11:09 am
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    We’ve had plans for months to go in July (off-property), and it looks like we will be there opening week. We have season passes, so our thought was that if they reopened we’d go in the evening and stay late (when it would be cooler and more tolerable with masks on). That’s going to be more difficult now since the parks will only be open during the hottest part of the day. I realize they might be short-staffed, but I think a longer day would keep the parks feeling less congested. We’ll see how it goes!

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  • May 28, 2020 at 11:21 am
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    Well, I felt this way before the pandemic and my mind has not been changed by the new hours. As long as no parades or fireworks, and less to see and do, I won’t spend money to go to Disney. It’s expensive and an all day plane ride from my home. I love Disney, but as things stand now, I can’t see a trip again for a very long time (sad face)….

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  • May 28, 2020 at 2:01 pm
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    We were supposed to go in late June for 2.5 weeks, but that bubble was burst yesterday. I’m hoping there will be some kind of capacity limits throughout the year. We’re looking at going in early December, right after Thanksgiving. I’m ok with shorter hours, especially if they don’t allow park hopping. It’s 6 months away, so we’re hopeful some things will be back to normal.

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  • May 28, 2020 at 9:19 pm
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    I wonder what they will do about refunds for trips if people decide a reduced offerings vacation is not what they want. We were booked in April- moved to September and got free dining. I wonder if we will have the option of shifting to January w/o loosing free dining… It is all so up in the air. Do I get to make FP reservation in 20 days? We will see.

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  • May 29, 2020 at 12:35 am
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    I think for those who re-book from the free dining recovery offer, you can use a 35% discount.

    Reply

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