WDW December Park Hours Updated

by on November 18, 2012 8 Comments

Filed under: Crowd Blog, Recent News, Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL)

The Disney World park hours were recently updated for the month of December, with operating hours extended for the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are now a handful of days where the Magic Kingdom is open until 12am and even 1am 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 10pm 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). Should any major changes occur to our Crowd Calendar, I will update this post with explanations. If you have questions, please feel free to post them in the comments below.

One period that will not change is the period around Christmas. It was expected to be very busy as always, and the updated hours indicate that will come to pass. If you are going to be there during that time, make sure you get to the park before it opens and use a Touring Plan.

Another day of note is Wednesday, December 5 at the Magic Kingdom. The official opening of the Fantasyland expansion is the following day, December 6, with the media preview on the 5th. Because of this media preview, the Magic Kingdom has actually done a rare thing and shortened its operating hours, now closing at 7pm. In another rare move, it has rescheduled Wishes, the fireworks spectacular, to the odd time of 6pm on December 5.


Posted on November 18, 2012

8 Responses to “WDW December Park Hours Updated”

  • Knowing that the media preview is on Dec. 5th, is there any word about what the morning of Dec. 6th will look like in New Fantasyland? I’ve asked Disney about a schedule (e.g., will there be an opening ceremony), but I just got PR-speak and no real info.

    • by Brian McNichols on November 18, 2012, at 7:47 pm EST

      Actually, I have not heard anything yet either. I find it hard to believe that they would advertise so much and skip an opening ceremony, but Disney hasn’t said anything that I’m aware of.

      • Did you notice that Disney updated the December hours again on the 19th? I had asked you about the plans for the Dec. 6th opening of New Fantasyland, and now there is an EMH that morning at MK. Not sure what else changed, but I did see that adjustment.

  • Hi,

    Where did you get the information on the December hours? I checked the disneyworld website and these changes are not posted there. Thanks!

    • Also, do these hours INCLUDE the Magic Hour extensions? For example, on Dec. 23rd you have Magic Kingdom hours of 8am-midnight, with morning Magic Hours and evening Magic Hours. On the Disneyworld website it says operating hours for Magic Kingdom park for that day are 9am-10pm, with magic hours 8am-9am and 10pm-1am. Do the new hours you list mean that Magic hours are now 7am-8am and 12am-3am?!?! I am confused!!

      • by Brian McNichols on November 18, 2012, at 7:55 pm EST

        This information is from the Disney Travel Agents website, which is available to Travel Agents only. They will be posted on the Disney World website in a few days.

        As far as the Extra Magic Hours are concerned, they are not listed as a part of the hours above. For instance, on Friday, December 28 the Magic Kingdom has posted hours of 8am-12am with both morning and evening Extra Magic Hours. On that day the Extra Magic Hours run from 7am-8am and from 12am-3am…now that’s a long day!

        • Wonderful, thank you. WOW! That is a long day, indeed. But I bet the crowds are real low 12am-3am! Hopefully I can stay up that late to enjoy an empty park 🙂

          • I would not bet on the park being empty between midnight and 3am. The park will be very crowded on 12/28/2012, and people are generally much better at staying out late than at getting up early. If you’re looking for a 3-hour block with low waits, my guess is that 7am-10am (be at the turnstiles at least 30 minutes before 7am) will work better.

            That said, crowds decrease as evening Extra Magic Hours go on, so you should have relatively short waits for at least the last 45-75 minutes that the park is open. And keep in mind that Disney will generally let you ride as long as you’re in line at park closing; that can help you if you need to cram in one more ride at 2:59 am!