Does Disney World Close Too Early?

in Walt Disney World

Spaceship Earth and a Christmas tree at nighttime

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort might be The Most Magical Place on Earth, but some guests say its theme park hours prevent visitors from having the best experience possible. According to a recent conversation on social media, Disney Parks fans pine for more time at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It started with a post from u/bognostrocleetus on Reddit that called Walt Disney World Resort’s theme parks’ closing times “frustratingly early.”

“All the parks close and sidewalks roll up by 9:30-10:00 most nights,” they wrote. “What?! That is craziness to me! Amateur operations in small towns close at 9:00, this is a world class resort packed shoulder to shoulder at closing time and it makes zero sense… By contrast, Disneyland stays open until midnight on a standard park day.”

Guests walking down Main Street, U.S.A. in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Lee (myfrozenlife), Flickr

Most Disney Resort hotels’ Quick Service food options also close at 11 p.m.

“By the time you get to your resort, the quick service options are also dried up,” the guest said. “You literally have to leave Disney property to get hot food after 11:00 which is a huge inconvenience, and even the dining/shopping district has nothing to offer after 11:00.”

They argued that Disney could make more money with later hours.

Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Brittany DiCologero, Inside the Magic

“I think this is a major failure in operations and management,” they concluded. “Customers pockets are way deeper than 9pm. Demand is certainly greater than 9pm. Add in more shifts if you have to! If I had later options in WDW last week, I would’ve stayed in the parks for hours longer, more snacks, maybe even a late meal.”

Plenty of Disney Parks fans agreed.

“The before Covid hours were more generous,” u/aspons1 said. “After Covid the park hours have really shrunk around the busy time of year. The parks are so cool in the evening but we now feel rushed out especially at DHS. Galaxy edge is so neat at night.”

A guest standing back to back with Chewbacca at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

“It used to be open until midnight-1 am,” u/Narrow-Swing835 agreed. “My daughter and I talk about this all the time and how much better it was back then.”

“Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world, so it is embarrassing that they don’t stay open later anymore,” u/Automatic-Weakness26 replied.

Hours fluctuate based on season and crowd levels. Some days, Disney’s Animal Kingdom closes as early as 7 p.m. Special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Disney Jollywood Nights close Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios early throughout the year. Check the official Walt Disney World Resort Day Calendar for the most up-to-date theme park hours.

Are Walt Disney World Resort’s hours too limited? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks guest experiences. No two guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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