Disney Park Announces Extended Hours for First Time, but Only for Select Guests

in Walt Disney World

family taking a photo at disney world after hours

Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

One of the biggest draws for guests staying on-property during a Disney vacation is the offer of Extra Magic Hours.

Extra Magic Hours allowed resort guests to enter the park up to an hour before opening or stay up to an hour after closing on specific days during the week, promising smaller crowds, and lower wait times. These were mostly done away with after COVID, replaced by “extended evening hours” for certain parks on certain days of the week.

Rope Dropping at Disney World and Disney Castle on the background
Credit: Inside the Magic

Extra Magic Hours Created Extra Disney Magic

For many guests, spending thousands of dollars on a Disney vacation isn’t an easy thing. To make the most of the time and the money spent, many choose to spend as much time as possible in the parks, utilizing “rope drop” in the earliest hours of the morning to be some of the first guests into the park, and staying as late as possible.

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Extra Magic Hours were a way to help guests get more out of their tickets and hotel reservations, providing them an extra half hour or hour that, although it may not seem like much, was enough to at least get a ride or two done without the thousands of daytime guests and hours-long waits. Previously, they were available to any Disney hotel guest.

Disney's boardwalk
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Now, Extended Hours are only available to guests staying at a Deluxe Resort, Deluxe Villa, or one of the Disney-partnered hotels, including:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
  • Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World®
Animal Kingdom Park entrance signage_feature image
Credit: Disney

Animal Kingdom Gets Extra Magic for the First Time

Now, for the first time, these guests can also take part in Extended Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on select dates in November and December. The attractions that will be available include:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • TriceraTop Spin

Kilimanjaro Safaris and Kali River Rapids will not be available during this time. Typically, Animal Kingdom is not available to guests later in the evening due to the animals. Because of this, many guests are often unable to experience one of the park’s coolest features–Pandora at nighttime.

Pandora -- World of Avatar at night
Credit: Disney

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Pandora: The World of Avatar is often praised for its immersive design and theming, including its bioluminescent properties that really shine at night. Due to the long summer days and Animal Kingdom’s shorter park hours, seeing Pandora lit up at night is not an option most of the year, so the fact that the park will be offering Extended Hours is truly exciting…if you’re one of the lucky guests staying at a Deluxe Resort.

What do you think about the Animal Kingdom news? Let us know in the comments below!

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