Early Theme Park Entry began on September 26th, with all Disney World hotel guests getting to enter all four Disney World parks an extra half-hour before opening time. Extended Evening Hours are a little different, but now we have some exciting news about this Disney hotel perk — AND some mistakes to avoid!
Extended Evening Hours have officially begun in Disney World! These extra hours are offered to guests staying at a Disney World Deluxe hotel, Shades of Green, or one of the Swan and Dolphin hotels. If you qualify, you can stay in a certain Disney World theme park on select days for up to two hours past normal closing time.
Today was the first day of this new perk, taking place in EPCOT from 10PM till midnight. We entered the park after 10PM, and Cast Members checked our deluxe hotel reservation before scanning our ticket. We were also told at each ride that guests will have to scan to provide their confirmed resort reservation.
Only select rides are open in the theme parks during Extended Evening Hours. In EPCOT, the following rides and attractions remain open:
- Beauty and The Beast Sing-Along
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- Mission: SPACE
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Note that one major ride, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, is not listed as being open during the extra hours. When we checked this evening, we noticed that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and La Crêperie de Paris were both closed.
Here’s a look at the wait times in the middle of the extended evening hours!
All of the rides were either walk-on or had a short wait of 20 minutes or less! When’s the last time you were basically able to walk onto Frozen Ever After or Test Track?!
Compared to the crowds that we saw EPCOT have during Disney World’s 50th anniversary, the parks were pretty quiet! We noticed that many guests were leaving after Harmonious. So, if you plan on sticking around for the evening, you may either want to skip the show and continue to ride attractions during that time or head straight for the rides after Harmonious concludes.
But, one of the best parts about EPCOT is its delicious food (and lots of it)! When we were ready to find a late-night snack, we looked around to see which restaurants and snack booths were open. Rose & Crown Pub is open until 12AM! But, it’s important to note that many of the restaurants you may see during the day are closed around this time. We recommend eating prior to the Extended Evening Hours, just to be on the safe side!
Here’s the thing about that food though. Don’t be too tempted; it might lead to a mistake! You might think that two hours of post-park close time is PLENTY to ride everything you want, but if you spend too much of that time snacking and sipping, you might not be so lucky. Don’t make the mistake of heading into your extra hours unprepared! Have a game plan and keep it moving!
If you don’t plan to take advantage of staying late every day you can, we recommend skipping EPCOT. This perk is most likely much more valuable at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (if/when it’s added) where there are more high-demand rides. In EPCOT, most of the rides are pretty accessible during regular park hours. If you only use this perk for EPCOT, you might be making a mistake!
In Magic Kingdom, the park is open later at night from 9PM until 11PM for guests staying after-hours. These hours will vary and shift depending on the day and the regular park hours. Crowds tend to really pick up around the Magic Kingdom at around 9, as guests leave the park after Disney Enchantment. So, you definitely want to steer clear of places like Main Street, U.S.A. since many guests head towards the exit around the start of Extended Evening Hours. Personally, we find it EXTRA magical to ride outdoor attractions like Splash Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and more when the fireworks are taking place.
Throughout the night, you can go on the following rides and attractions during Extended Evening Hours in the Magic Kingdom:
- “it’s a small world”
- Astro Orbiter
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Haunted Mansion
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Barnstormer
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
As you can see there are MANY more rides available in the evenings at Magic Kingdom, so the perk is definitely more helpful here. If you do head over to Magic Kingdom, it’s even MORE important to have a plan of action. You won’t be able to ride everything in two hours, so prioritize! And remember, you can get food without waiting too long during the day — it’s the rides that usually have long lines!
These are the only two parks with Extended Evening Hours listed so far. You can find the complete list of Extended Evening Hours on our main page.
If you’re wondering whether your hotel qualifies for the extra hours, just check this list of all the qualifying hotels:
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
- Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
- Shades of Green Resort
When choosing your hotel, you may want to consider picking a Deluxe Resort in order to be able to take advantage of both Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening hours. You will need to see if the extra cost is worth the hours for you and your family (because Deluxe Resorts can be a pricey hotel option). Of course, we’ll continue to give you a look at what the crowds continue to be like around the park during regular hours and after hours. Keep following DFB for more updates on what’s new in Disney World!
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Are you planning to take advantage of the new Extended Evening Hours? Let us know in the comments!