Walt Disney World Extended Evening Hours Review & Touring Strategy
Walt Disney World Extended Evening Hours are a big perk for guests staying at Deluxe Disney resort hotels. The parks will stay open for two hours after park closing for these guests on select nights allowing you to experience high wait rides with no wait.
Our guide covers everything you need to know about Extended Evening Hours plus our best tips for your Disney vacation.
Walt Disney World Extended Evening Hours
Walt Disney World Extended Evening Hours don’t happen on a set schedule like Disney World Early Theme Park Entry so you have to check in advance to know when it is offered. It can be sporadic throughout the year but it will be offered more often during peak times.
Disney has confirmed that Extended Evening Hours will continue through 2023. Extended Evening Hours are essentially the direct replacement for the pre-pandemic Evening Extra Magic Hours. Initially, Extended Evening Hours were promoted as a way to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary it now appears they may be here to stay which is a relief to those that were missing the previous Evening Extra Magic Hours.
Extended Evening Hours will usually consist of about two hours after the park’s official closing time making it a great perk. The end of the night is already a great time to be in the parks as most guests will begin clearing out. Add in the exclusivity of the Extended Evening Hours being only for guests staying at deluxe hotels then these hours become a great perk to take advantage of. You can get so much done in two hours in the parks during this time so its absolutely worth staying up late for!
Keep reading for my Extended Evening Hours strategy, personal review plus all the information you need- like which deluxe hotels are included and what rides will be open!
Walt Disney World Extended Evening Hours Strategy
Another great benefit of Extended Evening Hours is that you don’t need too much of a strategy like you might need for the Early Entry for all hotel guests since it’s exclusive to only Deluxe hotel guests. I do recommend a few tips though to maximize your enjoyment!
- Prioritize attractions that have paid Individual Lightning Lane access. If you can utilize these two hours to ride those rides, you can save your self time (these lines get long later in the day) and money for this individual charge.
- Make sure to eat a big meal before they begin as not all restaurant options will be open and dining options will be a bit more limited.
- If you’re worried about kids staying awake take an afternoon break and make sure everyone gets a nice, long nap.
- Save the most popular attractions for later in the night as you will still have some regular daytime guests in line for those when Extended Evening Hours begin so wait times will be longer!
Make sure to take note if Extended Evening Hours are taking place during your visit as it’s one of the best ways to get plenty of things done during your trip. From all the most recent park reports, even during the busiest times of the year, Extended Evening Hours have been practically empty! This is due to that combination of both the exclusive nature (being limited to deluxe resort guests) and being a later in the day offering… not as many people participate! I cannot stress enough how you should make time to take advantage of these hours during your visit… you can end up accomplishing so much in such a short time.
Walt Disney World Extended Evening Hours Review
We experienced Extended Evening Hours during one of the busiest weeks of the year at Walt Disney World which was the day after Christmas on our visit. The entire day the parks were crowded with ride times easily reaching over two hours for some of the most popular rides. We took advantage of EPCOT’s extended evening hours (available to me because I was staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge– read my review to see how I got this hotel for the price of a moderate!) from 9PM-11PM which began at park closing.
Using my strategy above, we prioritized EPCOT rides that were close by each other and did not still have long waits from the daytime guests. In our two hours at EPCOT we easily accomplished:
- Spaceship Earth
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Missing SPACE: Orange
- Test Track
- Frozen Ever After
- Remy’s Ratoutille Adventure
Every single ride was a walk on, even the virtual queue line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind! Since EPCOT so spread out, this took a bit of hustling on our part to get from Test Track to Frozen Ever After and then Remy’s. We just barely made it in line in time for Remy’s before the park officially closed so keep in mind this was a fast pace itinerary.
Some might ask, why did you ride Spaceship Earth? Well, I wanted to take a moment and thank the Phoenicians on our last day! (At the end of the ride, it reminds us to thank the Phoenicians for the alphabet so it’s become a bit of a popular Disney phrase due to that line!) The other reason is that during our visit we saw Spaceship Earth hit longer than average wait times (nearing 45-60 minutes at times!) so we didn’t have a chance to ride it yet! We also happened to be walking right past when Extended Evening Hours began so we hopped right on.
I didn’t purchase Genie+ for our day at EPCOT since I knew we would have Extended Evening Hours to help us cover all the ground we needed to at the end of the day. This worked out perfectly as we spent the day taking our time and enjoying lower wait times (Living With the Land, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Journey Into The Imagination with Figment, etc.) and saved the most popular rides for Extended Evening Hours. It worked great, definitely worth staying up late for! Keep in mind that the shops will all close right when Extended Evening Hours end and do not stay open that extra hour like stores do after normal park closing hours.
Considering we got on all the most popular rides at EPCOT, I would say that YES Extended Evening Hours are worth it. Far more of a perk than Early Morning Entry since you get more time plus at the end of the day more people are likely to clear out of the parks- even those that also share the perk!
Walt Disney World Qualifying Hotels
Unlike Walt Disney World’s early entry, not all property hotels qualify for Extended Evening Hours. Guests staying at Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts qualify which includes these resorts:
Disney Deluxe Resorts
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (read our Animal Kingdom Lodge review)
- 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
Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts
- 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
Other Select Hotels
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
- Shades of Green on Walt Disney World
One of the greatest ways to save money on a deluxe hotel at Walt Disney World is by renting DVC points for a Deluxe Villa hotel. Then you can take advantage of Extended Evening Hours for the price of a moderate hotel.
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Extended Evening Hours Open Attractions
The two theme parks that offer Extended Evening Hours the most often are Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Occasionally, Hollywood Studios will be added to the list especially during peak times of the year which we saw happen during the 2022 holiday season.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
During the evening EPCOT is hosting Extended Evening hours, guests will be able to request to join the virtual queue at 6PM. The return time will fall during the Extended Evening hours so you do not need to be in EPCOT at the time you request the virtual queue.
Along with select merchandise and food and beverage options, the following attractions are planned to be operational during Extended Evening Hours when it is offered at each theme park:
Magic Kingdom Park
- “it’s a small world”
- Astro Orbiter
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Country Bear Jamboree
- 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 Enchanted Tiki Room
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Mission: SPACE
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
When it’s offered during peak times of the year.
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Toy Story Mania!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
You can find the current schedule for Extended Evening Hours on Walt Disney World’s website for the most current dates.
We have found these hours to be absolutely worth staying up for and you can clearly see why!
Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation!
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Well well well. Free day today @HS tomorrow @ MK for Annual Passholders! Wow. I reserved both dates and did our ( genie ) joke HS was open BUT MK EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED TO fast pass AND OPEN TO GENIE + @ $15.00. SO WHY GO to MK to just watch all the people enjoying the rides so all we as ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS could do was look and walk around. This so unfair to FLORIDA ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS come on really?????