For the most part, theme park hours are straightforward. There’s an open time—when guests are let in the park—and a closing time—when the last guests are allowed to line up for rides. But as with all things, Disney makes things a little more complicated, with changing hours and a variety of ways to get early and late access to the parks. In this post we discuss the typical hours at Epcot and how to access early and late hours at the park.
Typical Hours at Epcot
Epcot’s typical hours are 9AM to 9PM or 10PM but hours do vary. You can view the official Disney hours for Epcot by clicking this link.
Within Epcot, the World Showcase portion of the park typically does not open until 11AM. The exception is the Norway Pavilion, which houses Frozen Ever After and the Anna & Elsa greeting beginning at park open.
Extra Magic Hours (covered more below) are typically held Tuesday evenings for two hours after park close and Thursday mornings for one hour before park open.
Specific Ride Hours
Note that not all the attractions open and close with the park. For example, Journey Into Imagination with Figment often closes early.
There’s no way to predict ride opening times in advance other than to look at the ride hours in the days before your visit and assume they’ll stay the same. You can either check the My Disney Experience app yourself (clicking into an attraction will tell you its hours for today), or you can visit TouringPlans—the purple, “observed wait times” line will reveal when the right started and ended operations on that day.
It is really important that you check the closing times of anything you’re thinking about visiting late. You can check the closing times in the My Disney Experience app. You don’t want to plan to visit a ride in the last hour of the day only to get there and find it closed two hours early.
When To Arrive
We cover when to arrive at Epcot in our Epcot Rope Drop Strategy post. Because the arrival times are highly contingent on what rides you’re starting with, we recommend you read that post in full, but you’ll typically be fine arriving 30 minutes before the scheduled open.
Staying Late at Epcot
Like all of Disney’s parks, just because Epcot closes at some time doesn’t mean you have to exit the park at that time.
The closing time is the when guests will stop being allowed to line up for rides. In most cases, you will be able to get in line for a ride right up until closing time. Because there can be exceptions to this—due to capacity issues or ride breakdowns—we don’t recommend you rely heavily on this. Rather, this is a good time for a “bonus ride” you would otherwise skip or a re-ride on something big.
While the last people are allowed into line for the rides at closing time, some stores will remain open and anyone still in the queue for a ride will get to ride and then leave. The stores at the front of the park will be open latest.
The nighttime show, IllumiNations, is typically held right at park closing. The World Showcase shuts down pretty quickly after that (stores and quick service restaurants will typically close when IllumiNations stars), and Epcot in general closes more quickly than the other parks.
While Disney buses will run until the last guest leaves the park, they’ll do so on a significantly more limited schedule as it gets later, and the later exits almost always have to share buses.
Extra Hours Access to Epcot
Unlike the other parks, Epcot only has one way to come early or stay late—Extra Magic Hours.
Extra Magic Hours
Extra Magic Hours is a perk offered to guests of Disney hotels (and select partner hotels) that allows guests access to the park and select attractions before park open or after park close on select days.
Remember, you must be a guest of a hotel with Extra Magic Hours access to take advantage of this perk. You also must have park admission for the day to use Extra Magic Hours.
Visiting Epcot Without Extra Magic Hours (When Others Have It)
Truthfully, as long as you have (1) a full day at Epcot and (2) a FastPass+ for Soarin’, Test Track, or Frozen Ever After, you won’t be significantly impacted by visiting on a day with Extra Magic Hours when you don’t have access to those hours.
Your morning will be slower, but this shouldn’t impact you too much. For one, Epcot typically has good same-day FastPass+ availability. You don’t need to hit every ride with a short line in the morning because there are so few rides and you can grab FastPass+ for them.
Second, Epcot is built so that a large chunk of your day is spent moving slowly through the World Showcase. If you have to fit more lines in during the day, you’ll have less time for the World Showcase, but it’s not enough of a problem to ruin a day.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way.
Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
When it comes time to book we’ll help you find discount Disney World tickets. Decide whether you need a dining plan in our Complete Guide to Disney World Dining Plans! And at 180 days out it's time to book those Disney World Advance Dining Reservations!
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon! And for some some fun prep, check out our Ranking of Every Ride at Walt Disney World.
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.