Disney recently posted official park hours for April 2011. At the same time, there were several changes to park schedules and park hours in October, November, December, January, February and March.
Park schedules and park hours tell us a lot about what the crowds will look like. When park hours change it is a sign that crowds may be different than originally expected. We have incorporated all the changes to the park hours and park schedules so make sure to check the dates of your vacation – the crowd calendar may have changed.
What does this mean?
Since most of the changes are in the direction of extended hours and additional shows and parades we can assume that advance bookings are up. Dining promotions and general health of the economy may be making vacations to Walt Disney World more popular than originally expected in the upcoming months.
Conversely, it may be that the original park hours and schedules were too pessimistic.
Regardless, it does mean that our estimates for the crowd calendar have been affected. Make sure to double-check your travel dates.
Here is a synopsis of the changes we noticed:
- Fantasmic! shows added and hours extended at the Studios (7th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 18th, 21st, 24th and 28th)
- Nighttime parades added and hours extended at the Magic Kingdom (9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th)
- Hours reduced at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom (1st, 2nd and 3rd)
- Special Private Event closes the Magic Kingdom at 6:30 on November 9th
- Hours extended at the Magic Kingdom on December 6th
- Hours extended at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (8th, 15th, 21st and 22nd)
- Only minor changes that don’t affect the crowd calendar
- Hours extended at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (20th, 25th, 28th)
- Dates changes for ESPN The Weekend (Formerly 25th – 28th)
- Hours extended at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (3rd, 4th, 6th and 26th)
- Dates changes for ESPN The Weekend (4th – 6th)