by Beth Keating
August 8, 2020
Get ready – park hours at Walt Disney World will soon be reduced.
If you think you’ve locked down everything you need to know for an upcoming Disney getaway, think again. There are more changes coming your way. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen changes to restaurants and kiosks opening and then closing; changes to which hotels are available and when; changes to virtual queues; changes to the park reservation system; and even changes to face mask guidelines. Now, park hours will be reduced after Labor Day.
Starting on September 8th, there will be changes to the operating hours of Disney World’s parks. Park hours for Magic Kingdom will be 9am-6pm (they were 9am-7pm). EPCOT will be open 11am-7pm (previously 11am-9pm). Hollywood Studios will be 10am-7pm (previously 10am-8pm). Animal Kingdom will be 9am-5pm (previously 8am-6pm).
Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will have one less hour to entertain guests, but there will be two less hours to enjoy Epcot and Animal Kingdom. It should be noted that Disney typically does reduce some of the park hours post-Labor Day anyway, when the peak summer crowds head back to school. But prior years’ Fall park hours were still in the neighborhood of a 9 or 10 o’clock closing. Remember the days when Hollywood Studios had a 6am Extra Magic Hour? If you’ve watched any vloggers from the parks of late, though, you have obviously seen for yourself that guest attendance drops off dramatically toward the end of the day, potentially because with such low crowds, guests have already ridden all the rides to their satisfaction.
As coronavirus changes continue to impact guests’ travel plans, it is likely that this isn’t the last we will see of shifts in operating hours. Stay flexible!
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.