As an extra perk for the 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World is offering Early Theme Park Entry, or 30 minutes of early park access, for guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel.
But that’s not all, folks! For guests staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort or Deluxe Villa Resort, there’s an extra perk known as Extended Evening Theme Park Hours; and, of course, you know we had to try it out!
What Are Extended Evening Hours?
Extended Evening Hours are a whopping two extra hours after park closing on select nights at select parks (currently, once per week at EPCOT and once per week at Magic Kingdom).
At this time, most weeks EPCOT’s Extended Evening Hours Hours are offered on Monday, while the Magic Kingdom’s are on Wednesday.
Hours and dates for this resort-exclusive perk are only scheduled through March 23, but Disney’s website encourages guests to check back for additional dates and to monitor for potential changes. (Our Disney World Crowd Calendar also notes them.)
During Extended Evening Hours, most of EPCOT’s attractions are available, along with select food and merchandise.
Note: In order to attend Extending Evening Theme Park Hours, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Must be staying at a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort (see the full list of eligible hotels).
- Must have a valid park ticket and park reservation that allows you to be in the park that evening. (You can “park hop” to the Extended Evening Theme Park Admission park if your ticket supports it AND you already entered the park for which you had a reservation that day.)
Our Extended Evening Hours Experience
Chrissy experienced EPCOT’s Extended Evening Hours on Monday, December 27; and while the actual evening hours perk didn’t begin until 10:00 p.m., she arrived early to catch Harmonious at 9:45 p.m. from the Italy Pavilion.
Once Harmonious ended, the park officially closed to general guests; and by 10:08 p.m., Chrissy was in a standby line for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at the newly expanded France pavilion!
Remy converted from virtual boarding groups to a standby line on January 10, but back in December a virtual queue and Individual Lightning Lane were the only ways to experience Disney World’s newest attraction during normal park hours. The standby queue was exclusive to Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, and Chrissy used it to wait around 2 minutes for Walt Disney World’s newest attraction!
Afterward, Chrissy headed to The Land pavilion where, by 10:46 p.m., she was riding Soarin’, followed by Test Track at 11:16 p.m.
She then finished the park’s roster of heavy hitters with Frozen Ever After at the Norway pavilion at 11:37 p.m.
Lastly, she finished up the night – and her to-do list – with Mexico’s Gran Fiesta Tour at 11:50 p.m., meaning she rode 5 rides in 2 hours with a total of only 20 minutes spent in line.
Even with a fantastic Touring Plan and an ideal optimization, she would have waited for a minimum of 195 minutes for those same attractions during regular hours earlier in the day and, at the time, without riding Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Clearly, EPCOT’s Extended Evening Hours were an absolute win. If you’re staying at a Deluxe Resort or a Deluxe Villa Resort when this perk is offered, it’s definitely worth taking advantage of!
Have you attended Extended Evening Hours in EPCOT? How did you prepare yourself / your family for the late night? Let us know in the comments!