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 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 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 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.