Here at TouringPlans we make our predictions based on empirical data. We spend a crazy amount of effort and time gathering as much information to make the best predictions as possible. We track schedules of the 100 largest school systems in the country. We have a database with millions of wait times. We know what the weather has been in Anaheim and Orlando for the past 10 years. We check the Disney website daily for any changes in events, shows, attractions, and park hours. Out of all the information that we track, school schedules and park hours are some of the best predictors of crowd levels.
Park hours are much more variable than you might think. Walt Disney World’s initial park hours are released to travel agents 6-7 months ahead of time. Unfortunately, the initial park hours are rarely the final park hours. Besides Epcot’s 9am-9pm schedule, the other parks’ hours may change several times. There are even days where the park hours change within 24 hours. To minimize the changes in our crowd calendar models, we make a prediction of the final park hours.
The calendar below shows the changes in park hours. The list of numbers are the number of hours the park is scheduled to be open. The number in parentheses is the number of days the final park hours were available. For example, on March 1, 2015, the Magic Kingdom was initially scheduled to be open for 13 hours. Two times the park hours increased by one hour. The final change was made only 3 days prior on February 26. Only parks that had a change are displayed on the calendar.
For the planners out there, the big takeaway is not to be wedded to the initial park hours you see. Once you are in the 30 day window there will be minimal changes. On the TouringPlans website we will always show the latest published park hours.