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Extended Evening Theme Park Hours (what they are & who can use them)

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours (what they are & who can use them)

Onsite resort guests have 2 new options for enjoying the parks outside the official park operating hours: Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

But, while all onsite guests have access to Early Theme Park Entry, only guests staying at a Disney Deluxe or Disney Deluxe Villas Resort (plus a couple other select hotels) have access to the new Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

Here’s everything you need to know about this new onsite benefit.

What are Extended Evening Theme Park Hours?

Simply put:

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours allow eligible guests to stay in Magic Kingdom or Epcot (and on rare occasions, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) for 2 hours past official park closing.

For years and years, the onsite benefits you got from staying at a Walt Disney World Resort were fairly consistent, including Extra Magic Hours – which was a perk that allowed all onsite guests (no matter which Disney hotel they were staying in) to get some extra time in 1-2 parks per day.

But, after the parks reopened, Disney opted to make some changes, and the once popular Extra Magic Hours have been retired, with 2 new options for enjoying the park past official park hours taking its place:

spaceship earth

  • Early Theme Park Entry (which is open to any onsite guests, plus guests at other select nearby resorts)
  • Extended Evening Theme Park Hours (open to only guests staying at a Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa resort, plus a couple other select resorts)

Who can go to Extended Evening Theme Park Hours?

Unlike the old Extra Magic Hours and the current Early Theme Park Entry, eligibility for Extended Evening Park Hours requires that you be staying at a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort.

Note: These are typically the most expensive resorts, but you can save some money when staying at the Deluxe Villas by renting DVC points.

This change signifies a move towards a more curated experience. While it narrows the pool of guests who can take advantage of these hours, it also means a quieter and more leisurely park experience for those who do. It’s about quality over quantity.

The parks during these hours are less crowded, making it a bit easier to enjoy popular attractions. For those who have access, it’s a chance to enjoy the parks in a distinctly unique and less hectic setting, adding a different kind of magic to the end of your day

Disney Polynesian Resort at night marina

Disney Deluxe Resorts

Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts

Other Select Hotels

  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
  • Shades of Green

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours Schedule

Early Theme Park Entry is available every day, at every park.

But, Extended Evening Theme Park Hours are only available at 2 parks (Magic Kingdom and Epcot) and only for a couple of nights per week. (Note: Hollywood Studios occasionally hosts Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, and even Animal Kingdom sometimes has them, but this is the exception, not the rule. Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time to see what’s available.)

Disney isn’t publishing the schedule too far in advance, but as you can see by the list below, Epcot Extended Evening Hours are for 2 hours on Mondays and Magic Kingdom Extended Evening Hours are for 2 hours on Wednesdays.

Which attractions are open during Extended Evening Theme Park Hours?

While not every attraction will be open, you’ll find many of your favorites available:

Magic Kingdom Attractions Open During Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

(Notably missing: Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Jungle Cruise, & The Hall of Presidents)

its a small world at night

Epcot Attractions Open During Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

spaceship earth at night

Hollywood Studios Attractions Open During Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

*May not be available during Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

Tower of Terror

Animal Kingdom Attractions Open During Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

(Notably missing: Kilimanjaro Safaris)

pandora at night animal kingdom

How do Extended Evening Theme Park Hours work?

On regular nights, when the parks officially close, Cast Members also “close” the lines to attractions (if you are in line when the parks close, you’ll be allowed to ride) and, as people exit attractions and restaurants, they slowly move them towards the front of the park by forming loose human walls that only let you move out, towards the park exits, and not back deeper inside the park.

But, on the select nights when there are Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, the lines remain open and Cast Members confirm at the attractions (by scanning your MagicBand or ticket) that an individual is allowed to ride.

imagination pavilion at night

Do you need a ticket for Extended Evening Theme Park Hours?

You don’t need to purchase a separate special ticket, but you DO need a park ticket for the day you plan to attend Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours Tips

After attending several Extended Theme Park Hours, here are some tips we have:

  • Plan Ahead: Before your visit, check which attractions and areas of the park will be open during the extended hours. This will help you prioritize and plan your evening accordingly.
  • Rest Up: Extended hours often mean a long day at the park. Consider taking a break or a short nap in the afternoon so you’re refreshed and ready to enjoy the evening.
  • Dine Strategically: Have an early dinner so you won’t have to spend precious extended hours eating.
  • Dress Appropriately: Evenings can be cooler, especially in winter months, so bring along a light jacket or sweater. Comfortable footwear is also a must, as you’ll likely be on your feet for extended periods.
  • Target Popular Attractions: Use this time to visit the most popular rides and attractions, as lines are generally shorter. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience rides that usually have long wait times during regular hours.
  • Capture the Moments: Evening hours can offer unique photo opportunities with special lighting and fewer photobombers. Don’t forget to capture these moments.

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Heather Thomas

Angela

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

When you say ‘avoid the park hosting these extended hours’ is that because you expect long lines during extended hours or just earlier that day? I am wondering if shorter wait times are expected during the extended hours allowing attendees to get in several rides during the two hour window or not. Thanks!

GLORIA CHOI

Sunday 9th of January 2022

For my December 2021 trip, I used the Epcot extended evening hours, they scanned your magic band at the beginning of the ride to ensure you qualified.

Erin Han

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Do you think Disney plans to add more parks to the Extend Hours benefit at some point in the future? And if so, when would you expect them to do so?