The Disney World park hours were recently updated for September 30 through October 27, with operating hours extended for the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are now a handful of days where the Magic Kingdom is open until 12am with a second Main Street Electrical Parade added.
Hollywood Studios also had quite a few days changed, and will now stay open until 9 or 9:30pm occasionally. Those days will also see an additional showing of Fantasmic!. Animal Kingdom had many closing times adjusted as well.
The chart below shows all current park hours with changes in red.
You may notice changes to our Crowd Calendar involving some of the changed dates. We recently began using our own internal projected park hours to give you the most accurate crowd ratings available. Using these projected hours has made our long-term crowd ratings more stable, but we are not perfect (well, some of us).
Even with our projections, there were some changes to the Crowd Calendar for October:
Animal Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 1.4 to 5.3 – This is due to the closing time being moved from 5pm to 7pm. We expected closing to remain at 5pm as it did on the equivalent day last year (October 20, 2011). The increase to 7pm indicates that Disney is expecting a larger crowd on this day.
Magic Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 4.6 to 7.6 – This is due to the addition of 2 Main Street Electrical Parades where there were previously none. It is less common for Disney to add parades where none had previously been scheduled, indicating that higher crowds are expected.
Animal Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 3.2 to 7.0 – This is due to the closing time being moved from 6pm to 8pm. We expected closing to remain at 6pm as it did on the equivalent day last year (October 21, 2011). The increase to 8pm indicates that Disney is expecting a larger crowd on this day and specifically keeping the park open until 8pm is odd in the off season. Typically 8pm or later closings only occur at Animal Kingdom at busy times.
Animal Kingdom’s crowd rating was increased from 3.1 to 6.9 – This is due to the closing time being moved from 6pm to 8pm and the rationale is exactly the same as for October 19 above.
Hollywood Studios’ crowd rating was decreased from 6.0 to 1.1 – Finally, a good change! This is due to the closing time being 6pm with no showings of Fantasmic!. I am unsure of the reason for the early closing but it is typically for a private special event. Regardless, short park days often have very low crowds as many do not want to go to a park with shorter operating hours.
We apologize for the changes, although one thing you should be aware of is that Disney sometimes announces extended operating hours on the actual day of operation. Saturdays in particular tend to be prime candidate for last minute extensions. These extensions are not necessarily something that can be planned around, but you should be aware that they are possible. We will make sure to keep you updated on all changes.