Disney World Attractions with Unusual Hours

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Disney posts daily hours for each of the theme parks, but that doesn’t mean that every single attraction in the parks follow those same hours. Some attractions typically open an hour or more after the rest of the park, while others may close well ahead of other attractions.

Look for a section of the Times Guide called 'Special Hours' for last minute adjustments.

Odd hours are usually instituted for practical reasons. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to run the Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safari after dark because you wouldn’t be able to see the animals. Similarly, the Kali River Rapids ride will soak guests to the bone. The ride often won’t run in the early morning during the winter so that guests don’t experience hypothermia. In other cases, some attractions have shorter hours because of perceived guest interest. An example of this is the Magic Kingdom’s Country Bear Jamboree which does not usually open until 10:00 a.m., even when the rest of the park opens at 9:00, because few guests make this attraction a first-thing-in-the-morning priority.

Of course, special hours are noted on the Lines app and taken into consideration when constructing Touring Plans, but sometimes it’s nice to have a cheat sheet of all the wonky attractions in one place.

I’ve taken a look at a sampling of Walt Disney World Times Guides from the past two years and complied a list of attractions that typically have operating hours that are different than the rest of the park.

Bear in mind that schedules regularly change and that hours may vary due to crowd levels, weather, and other circumstances. In all cases, check Lines and the current Times Guide for the most up to date information. Also be aware that not all attractions are open during Extra Magic Hours. Additionally, restaurants, retail venues, character greetings and show-type attractions have their own fluctuating hours.

Animal Kingdom

The Boneyard playground almost always opens after the rest of the Animal Kingdom.

  • The Boneyard: Typically will not open until 10:00 a.m. May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey: Typically will not open until 10:00 a.m.
  • Kali River Rapids: Often will not open until 10:00 a.m.
  • Kilimanjaro Safari: Typically closes at dusk.
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek: May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Pangani Forest Trail: May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Typically will not open until 9:30 a.m. Often closes at dusk.
  • Wildlife Express Train: Typically will not open until 9:30 a.m. Closes 10-15 minutes prior to Rafiki’s Planet Watch closing time.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Muppet*Vision may have slightly different operating hours.

  • Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground: May open up to one hour after park opening. May close 1-3 hours prior to park closing.
  • Magic of Disney Animation: May open up to one hour after park opening. May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Muppet*Vision 3D: May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Studios Backlot Tour: May open up to one hour after park opening. May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.

Epcot

  • Agent P Adventure: A new attractions, so patterns not yet available. But assuming that it follows the schedule of its predecessor the Kim Possible Adventure, will typically close one hour prior to park closing.
  • Journey into Imagination may close before other Future World attractions.

  • Captain EO: May close 2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure: May close 2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Innoventions: May close 2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Journey into Imagination: May close 2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Living with the Land: May close 2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Soarin’: May have operating hours longer than official park hours.
  • World Showcase Countries, including Kidcot Fun Stops and all related attractions: Virtually never open before 11:00 a.m.

Magic Kingdom

  • Country Bear Jamboree: Typically will not open until 10:00 a.m. Often closes 1-3 hours before park closing.
  • Hall of Presidents: May close 1-2 hours before park closing.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat: Typically will not open until 10:00 a.m. Usually closes at dusk.
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor: May close 1-2 hours before park closing.
  • The Country Bears are unlikely to sing first thing in the morning.

  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: Typically closes one hour prior to park closing.
  • Tom Sawyer Island: Typically will not open until 10:00 a.m. Usually closes at dusk.
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress: May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room: May close 1-2 hours prior to park closing.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad: Typically closes 1-3 hours prior to park closing. Will not run during fireworks presentations.

So fellow tourists and touristas, have you encountered any other usual operating hours during your Walt Disney World travels? How have unusual operating hours impacted your planning or touring schedules? Let us know in the comments below.

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Posted on June 27, 2012

10 Responses to “Disney World Attractions with Unusual Hours”

  • We have encountered (and been disappointed) by 2 of the early closer. First, Innoventions, which I think we were looking to do to kill some time before our Soarin FPs and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. That one was a puzzler–does it get too dark in there in the evening? Did it not justify the cost of having CMs man it? Most parents are used to supervising their own children at a playground and frankly, it is good to let a toddler blow off some steam in such a place to avoid a melt-down later in the night.

  • FWIW, I picked up my Agent P “FONE” in Mexico last night around 8:20pm. I did the Mexico adventure, then was able to start Norway at about 8:55pm, and my FONE continued functioning while IllumiNations was going on. So it’s not always closing at 1 hour prior to park closing.

  • “Wildlife Express Train: Typically will not open until 9:30 a.m. Closes 10-15 minutes prior to Rafiki‚Äôs Planet Watch closing time.”

    I know that you meant to say it stops departing Harambe 10-15 minutes prior to Planet Watch closing…but I like the image of a few people getting stuck at Planet Watch during the 15 minutes in limbo and having no way of returning to Animal Kingdom. Just stuck there until 9:30 the next morning.

    • You make an excellent point. Sorry for the confusion. I guess the guests left behind could cuddle with the goats for warmth :-)

  • The Laugh Floor in MK also tends to open later than park opening. I think when we were there earlier this month it opened at 10.

  • One thing about Agent P… if it’s like Kim Possible. Regardless of the actual closing time, it may be difficult to do after the sun goes down. In our case, a number of the missions involved items outside and with the sun down, it was hard to find and/or see what had happened.

  • Yeah I think that all attractions should follow the same opening times as the park itself. I’ve experienced this with theme parks in the UK too.

    If people gain entry to a theme park you would expect all the attractions to be operating and fully functional.

  • Does the wdw railroad stay open later during emh? Or does it still close 1-3 hours prior to regular park closing? For instance, we are going there on a day when the park closes at 10, but has emh until midnight. I was hoping to watch the parade at 7 and then take the train back to fantasyland before wishes starts. Just curious…

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