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Disney World Extends Hours for Spring Break


Walt Disney World has added extra hours to the calendar via shoulder season in Could 2024, whereas additionally extending hours at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom for the beginning of Spring Break. This covers the additions plus zig once they zag technique for the parks and all the things else you must know.

We’ll begin with the most recent launch of recent working schedules. All 4 theme parks have had hours for one more week added to’s park hours, and the present calendar now runs via Could 5, 2024. Listed here are the hours for a lot of the newly-added dates:

  • Magic Kingdom: 9 am to 9 pm
  • EPCOT: 9 am to 9 pm
  • Hollywood Studios: 9 am to 9 pm
  • Animal Kingdom: 9 am to six pm

As a reminder, Walt Disney World’s regular follow is to launch boilerplate or placeholder hours earlier than extending these based mostly on attendance and lodge occupancy projections. This has been frequent follow for years, and can nearly proceed all through 2024. It’s completely nothing to get alarmed about and doesn’t imply that, for instance, Magic Kingdom will solely be open till 9 pm on Easter Sunday. There’s a 99% probability that’ll be prolonged, which just about begs the query: why not submit the hours till they’re ultimate?!

Along with these newly added hours, Walt Disney World has additionally prolonged park hours all through the primary half of March 2024. Let’s dig into what’s been prolonged…

Magic Kingdom

  • March 1-3, 2024: 9am to 11pm (beforehand 9am to 9pm)
  • March 4-6, 2024: 9am to 10pm (beforehand 9am to 9pm)
  • March 7, 2024: 9am to 11pm (beforehand 9am to 9pm)
  • March 8-16, 2024: 8am to 11pm (beforehand 9am to 9pm)

Within the quick future, we’d advocate avoiding March 4 at Magic Kingdom. Not as a result of it’ll essentially be busy (it needs to be the calm earlier than the spring break storm), however as a result of it’s a Monday–the worst day of the week–and the one day on this batch of dates with After Hours (the following occasion is March 18–one other day to keep away from, until you’re attending the occasion). Crowds all through the day gained’t essentially be worse, however the mix-in means traces don’t die down on the finish of the evening for day company.

Aside from that, we like what we see right here. The park opening at 9am and shutting at 10pm throughout that weekday stretch means that Walt Disney World’s inner attendance forecast aligns with what we’ve been predicting–that this can be a candy spot or calm between the Mid-Winter Break and Spring Break storms. In fact, no ensures. We’ve been incorrect earlier than, as have Disney’s personal projections!

Then there’s March 8-16, 2024. Magic Kingdom is opening at 8am and shutting at 11pm each single day throughout that stretch. This additionally matches our current Spring Break 2024 Crowd Calendar for Walt Disney World, which recognized March 8 because the unofficial begin of Spring Break season. Nevertheless, we additionally mentioned that we count on that first week to be slower than the following two.

That’s nonetheless our expectation, even after seeing these park hours. We may very well be incorrect, however it’s additionally price trying again to final 12 months’s vacation season. In a nutshell, Walt Disney World received very aggressive with extensions round Veterans Day, crowds didn’t materialize as anticipated, in order that they received extra conservative with extensions nearer to Christmas.

I do know this as a result of I loved a few gloriously uncrowded 8am to midnight days in Magic Kingdom in early to mid-November, solely to see hours on 9am to 10pm later within the season on 9/10 crowd days between MVMCP dates. I’m actually not saying the identical factor will occur, however on the very least, it bodes properly that Walt Disney World is beginning sturdy with the Spring Break extensions. Let’s hope they stick with it, and there are midnight closings the next two weeks!

On the very least, the 8am openings each single day of the week would make me fully comfy visiting throughout that week. Between the additional hour within the morning and one other 2 at evening, technique turns into a lot simpler–and that’ll be doubly true if crowds are “solely” 7/10 or beneath.

I do know we repeat this advert nauseum, however the strategic significance of Magic Kingdom opening at 8am as an alternative of 9am can’t be overstated. Early Entry beginning an hour later is sort of ineffective, whereas it’s unimaginable at 7:30am. One hour makes a world of distinction. See our 7:30 am Early Entry at Magic Kingdom ‘Occasion Season’ Technique. (Spring Break will not be ‘Occasion Season’, however the very same concept applies on these days!)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • March 2, 2024: 8:30am to 9pm (beforehand 9am to 9pm)
  • March 8-9, 2024: 8:30am to 9pm (beforehand 9am to 9pm)
  • March 10-16, 2024: 8:30am to 9:30pm (beforehand 9am to 9pm)

Early Entry will as soon as once more formally begin at 8 am on the above dates that Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens at 8:30 a.m. Unofficially, Early Entry ought to start even earlier. This can be a actually massive deal. As we’ve talked about numerous occasions, the sooner that Early Entry begins, the higher. There’s much less “competitors” and you may get far more carried out.

In truth, that’s how I Did Each Trip at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Earlier than 11am Through Standby Traces. Don’t rely on replicating these outcomes, however the technique is sound. We’d thus extremely advocate doing DHS on considered one of these dates if in any respect attainable.

The opposite massive factor is that Fantasmic goes to 2 showings each evening beginning March 7, 2024. Double-bonus: the second showtime is half-hour after park closing, which means that it’s at 9:30pm or 10pm, relying on the night.

We extremely advocate seeing the second exhibiting. It’ll successfully prolong your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by half-hour to an hour, which is greater than you’ll get by leaping in line for a journey on the finish of the evening.

Equally as necessary, we’ve managed to see the second exhibiting of Fantasmic from spectacular seats with out arriving greater than 5 minutes prematurely of showtime. This has been the case even on evenings when the primary efficiency was fairly busy and seats crammed up half-hour earlier than showtime.

On those self same busier days, the late performances of Fantasmic had a number of complete sections that went unfilled. I used to be capable of snag the third row of an incredible part at (actually) 2 minutes earlier than showtime, and that was on a busy day. That adopted doing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance shortly earlier than park closing with an precise wait of below 20 minutes. We adopted that technique repeatedly final 12 months, together with through the peak of Spring Break. (With that mentioned, I haven’t tried it since final November and would by no means advocate anybody else for whom Fantasmic is a must-see reduce it so shut.)

Animal Kingdom

  • March 1-4, 2024: 8am to 7pm (beforehand 9am to 6pm)
  • March 5-7, 2024: 8am to 6pm (beforehand 9am to 6pm)
  • March 8, 2024: 8am to 7pm (beforehand 9am to 6pm)
  • March 9/11, 2024: 8am to 8pm (beforehand 9am to 6pm)
  • March 12-14, 2024: 7:30am to 8pm (beforehand 9am to 6pm)
  • March 15-16, 2024: 8am to 8pm (beforehand 9am to 6pm)

The 8am opening time is clutch at Animal Kingdom. This implies Early Entry at 7:30am, which is fairly sparsely attended. See Animal Kingdom Park Opening & Early Entry Trip Technique (or, “How I Did Each Trip at DAK Earlier than 10:30am.”)

Much more clutch? The 7:30 am opening time. Holy cow. This has occurred earlier than, however it looks as if it’s been some time. Even when these find yourself being 10/10 crowd stage days in Animal Kingdom (and I’m extremely skeptical of that), you may just about run the desk on rides by doing Early Entry. The overwhelming majority of company can’t/is not going to rise up that early. (Simply look what number of complaints there are about digital queue begin occasions being at 7am!)

On the reverse finish of the day, Animal Kingdom continues to formally shut after dusk for many of lately–even after the clock “springs ahead” in March! Between the later closing and earlier sundown, you may get a pair hours in DAK after darkish for the primary time shortly. We extremely advocate staying for evenings in DAK to benefit from the Tree of Life Awakenings, plus Pandora and the remainder of the park after darkish.

Our Animal Kingdom Afternoon Arrival Technique is as soon as once more the best method for this park. Genie+ is a greater choice throughout Spring Break than through the slowest stretches of the 12 months, however these 8pm closings nonetheless ought to permit so that you can accomplish so much within the ultimate few hours of the day.

However, in case your plan is to reach late and depart early, Genie+ is usually a good choice. After experiencing 8/10 and above crowds there (and seeing the Lightning Lane really be priceless for stage exhibits!), we aren’t fairly so assertive about Genie+ being categorically “unhealthy” at DAK. It actually relies upon.

As all the time, the sooner opening occasions at Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom make it simpler to beat crowds at these parks. There’s an enormous benefit to early risers, and savvy technique or data of how one can leverage Genie+ and Lightning Lanes is usually a gamechanger.

We’re large followers of leveraging Park Hopping and splitting most days into two half days. If your loved ones is filled with early risers and staying on-site, I’d be making the most of these 7:30am Early Entry occasions (and that features DHS, unofficially). I wouldn’t be doing any mornings at EPCOT, and would as an alternative begin the day doing Early Entry on the park that opens earliest and bounce round to leverage park hours and crowd dynamics.

To that finish, take a look at our Genie+ v. Savvy Technique at Walt Disney World, which is the results of in depth ‘testing’ to find out one of the best and worst methods to beat the crowds. It’s also possible to do fairly properly within the evenings at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios–and that’s someway nonetheless true even now that Fantasmic is again. EPCOT is extra of a wildcard–the mud nonetheless hasn’t settled on Luminous or the opposite new stuff there (and now it’s Pageant of the Arts).

Finally, a number of superb park hours extensions for March 2024, which was not less than partially to be anticipated given the entire college breaks on the horizon. Nonetheless, these hours ought to put any fears you may need to relaxation, as there’s sufficient right here to leverage to beat even unhealthy crowds. Effectively, until you prefer to sleep in…however even then, they’re nonetheless not unhealthy.

For those who’re an early chicken, although, a number of alternatives to get that worm (the worm being brief standby traces). The extensions at Animal Kingdom are actually good–and even that 30 further minutes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is nice. Magic Kingdom opening at 8am on each morning throughout Spring Break season is a superb growth, and a pattern that we actually hope continues for the remainder of March and April 2024. About the one disappointment is the lack of extensions at EPCOT, particularly after the crowds we’ve skilled this 12 months for Pageant of the Arts, however that’s grow to be par for the course, too.

Trying ahead, we count on to see much more park hours extensions for the second half of March 2024. Ideally, ones even longer than these. Right here’s hoping Magic Kingdom will get some midnight closures between March 16 and March 31, and the opposite three parks have extra opening occasions at or earlier than 8am. These two strikes alone could be large in serving to scale back crowding.

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What do you consider Walt Disney World’s working hours for the beginning of Spring Break season? Is that this schedule is cheap, or are extra extensions wanted to assist take up crowds? Happy that Magic Kingdom is open from 8am till 11pm? What about earlier opening occasions on the different parks? Confused in regards to the lack of extensions for EPCOT? What has been your expertise with crowds and wait occasions? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we may also help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!