Disney World Changes Hours To Spread More Holiday Cheer

walt disney world epcot night time ball spaceship earth
Credit: Disney

As the holiday season descends upon the enchanting realm of Disney World, the iconic theme park is gearing up for a spectacular display of festive magic. However, this year, the celebration comes with a twist as Wlt Disney World Resort announces a significant adjustment to its operating hours to accommodate the surge in guests during the busiest time of the year.

mickey mouse gesturing toward pictures of magic kingdom, animal kingdom, hollywood studios, and epcot

Credit: Disney, Canva

Walt Disney World is “The Most Magical place on Earth,” seeing thousands of guests daily. Walt Disney World Resort is home to four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. During the holiday season, the entire park transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with twinkling lights, towering Christmas trees, and the familiar sound of carols echoing through the air. Families and friends flock to the park to witness the enchantment that only Disney can deliver.

In response to the overwhelming demand and to enhance the overall guest experience, Disney World has made the strategic decision to adjust its operating hours. This move aims to distribute the crowd throughout the day, alleviating congestion during peak times and allowing visitors to make the most of their magical experience.

Magic Kingdom hours have changed starting December 2. You can see the full list of changes below.

  • December 3, 7-8, 10, 15, 17, 19, 21-22: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • December 2, 6, 9, 16, 18: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • December 4, 23: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • December 11, 13, 20: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

These extended hours in Magic Kingdom all guests to spend more time in the parks in hopes of less crowds, and lower wait times during the busy time of the year.

disney world magic kingdom cinderella castle during daytime with visitors standing in front of castle

Credit: Becky Burkett

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be opening an hour early and, on certain days, stay open an hour later.

  • December 2-7, 16, 20-23: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • December 8, 9, 17-19: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open 30 minutes early due to Jollywood Nights available at night. Allowing guests to head to the park earlier to enjoy Hollywood Studios longer.

  • December 10: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • December 4, 6, 16, 18: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • December 2-3, 5, 7-9, 17, 19: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
epcot forever fireworks and spaceship earth

Credit: Disney Parks

Last but not least, EPCOT will be staying out late on New Year’s Eve, changing from 12 a.m. to 1 a.m.

  • December 31: 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. (previously 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.)

Alongside the extended hours, Disney World introduces a lineup of special holiday events and entertainment to captivate guests of all ages. From dazzling parades featuring beloved characters in festive attire to themed shows and spectacular fireworks displays, the park is pulling out all the stops to make this holiday season truly magical.

As Disney World undergoes these changes, the spirit of unity and celebration remains at the heart of the holiday season. Families and friends come together to share in the joy of the festivities, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Adjusting operating hours reflects Disney World’s dedication to ensuring that these magical moments are accessible to as many guests as possible.

About Brittni Ward

Brittni is a Disney and Universal fan; one of her favorite things at both parks is collecting popcorn buckets. While at Disney World Resort, Brittni meets the princesses and rides Kilimanjaro Safaris. At Universal, Brittni enjoys the Minions and watching Animal Actors on Location! When not at Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando, Brittni spends time with her family and pets.

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