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 Magic Kingdom and how to access early and late hours at the park.
Typical Hours at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom’s typical hours are 9AM to 9PM or 10PM, but hours do vary. You can view the official Disney hours for Magic Kingdom by clicking this link.
Here’s what the schedule roughly looks like through the end of 2019 (again, you must consult the official Disney link to confirm the times for your day, these times can change on short notice). We talk about these special items—Extra Magic Hours and the parties—more below.
Through August 28 — 9AM to 9PM / 10PM; Extra Magic Hours Wednesday for two hours after close and Friday one hour before open; 6PM close on select dates (for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party)
August 29 through November 2 — 8AM to 9PM / 10PM; Extra Magic Hours 7AM to 8AM daily; 6PM close on select dates (for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party)
November 3 through December 31 — 9AM to 9PM / 10PM; Extra Magic Hours Wednesday for two hours after close and Friday one hour before open; 6PM close on select dates (for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party)
Typically, Main Street USA and the area in front of Cinderella Castle will open to guests one hour before park opening time.
Specific Ride Hours
Note that not all the attractions open and close with the park. For example, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor often opens late and 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.
When popular rides open late, a good strategy is to plan to arrive at them about 5 to 10 minutes before they open so that you’ll have a short wait without having to use a FastPass+.
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 Magic Kingdom in our Magic Kingdom 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. We also have a post that focuses specifically on morning Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom.
Staying Late at Magic Kingdom
Like all of Disney’s parks, just because Magic Kingdom 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.
Depending on the precise schedules for the day, the nighttime shows Happily Ever After and Once Upon a Time may begin or end right around park close.
At Magic Kingdom, most of the post-close activity will be on Main Street USA and in front of the castle. You can expect to see photographers setting up to get low or no-crowd photos.
Periodically, the “Kiss Goodnight” will be played, thanking guests for visiting and politely telling them to wrap up and leave. 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 Magic Kingdom
There are several options for getting early or late access to Magic Kingdom. Extra Magic Hours includes both morning and evening components. Early Morning Magic is a paid event that allows for early entry. After Hours and the holiday parties are paid events that allow for late night access. Let’s discuss these a bit.
Magic Kingdom typically has one day with one hour of morning Extra Magic Hours and one day with two hours of evening Extra Magic Hours each week. We have a post that focuses on Magic Kingdom morning Extra Magic Hour strategy. With so many attractions open for Extra Magic Hours, we’re just going to direct you straight to the Disney website for the list.
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.
Early Morning Magic
Early Morning Magic is a ticketed event that offers guests all-you-can-eat breakfast and access to select Fantasyland attractions before the park opens to regular guests. The event typically allows access to the park at 7:45AM on days with a 9AM open, and with breakfast served until 10AM.
Given the attractions included, you’re basically paying to walk onto Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, along with the breakfast. Tickets are $79+tax for adults and $69+tax for children. You must also have regular park admission for the day in order to use Early Morning Magic.
Magic Kingdom After Hours
As with Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, there is an After Hours event at Magic Kingdom. This is a ticketed event held on select evenings. When it occurs, After Hours allows ticketed guests access to the park from 7PM to 3 hours after park close.
Tickets cost around $130 per person and are available for purchase on the Disney World website. While we have reviewed Animal Kingdom After Hours and Hollywood Studios After Hours, we haven’t had the chance to visit Magic Kingdom After Hours. Josh at easyWDW has a helpful review of an older version of the event (just keep in mind some details may be different for your visit).
For select nights in summer 2019, Magic Kingdom After Hours was transformed into Villains After Hours, which offered additional, event-specific entertainment and merchandise. Disney Tourist Blog has a helpful review of that event.
Magic Kingdom Holiday Parties
Magic Kingdom has two ticketed holiday parties. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is held select nights August through October. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held select nights in November and December. We strongly recommend clicking through to our posts on the events to learn more about them, but we’ll give a brief overview here.
As with after hours, you don’t need regular park admission to enjoy the holiday parties, but you do need a ticket to the party itself. Typically, party guests are allowed in at 4PM and the park closes to non-party guests at 6PM. The party hours are typically 7PM to midnight. Tickets range in cost but are roughly between $75 and $150 depending on the party and the night.
Unlike the other events, the parties really should not be thought of as a chance to visit rides with short waits. Given the price paid for the events and the amount of exclusive entertainment offered at them, rides tend to be a relative waste of time.
What If I Don’t Have Extra Hours Access?
Okay—so what if you’re trying to plan your visit, you see there is some extra hours event that day, and you’re not part of it. Should you still visit? How can you plan around it? Here’s what we think.
Planning Around The Holiday Parties
On days with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the park closes at 6PM to non-party guests. We only recommend visiting Magic Kingdom this day if you can visit in the morning and are planning to park hop (visit another park) in the afternoon or evening. Do not plan a full day at Magic Kingdom for a 6PM close.
Planning Around After Hours and Evening Extra Magic Hours
For After Hours and evening Extra Magic Hours, we don’t recommend changing your plans. Obviously you should check the closing time to make sure Disney hasn’t moved it up to accommodate the event, but typically these are just tacked onto the end of the standard hours for the week.
Planning Around Early Morning Magic
Because most Early Morning Magic guests will be heading to breakfast when the park opens to other guests, it should impact your morning much. You may see increased wait times on rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain—which aren’t open for Early Morning Magic—but they shouldn’t significantly impact your day.
Planning Around Morning Extra Magic Hours
Important Message For Visits August 29 Through November 2
This post is impacted by changes, some temporary and some permanent, at Walt Disney World beginning August 29. People visiting between August 29 and November 2 are highly encouraged to click here to read our dedicated post especially for those dates.
Morning Extra Magic Hours are trickier. In an ideal world, you have a FastPass+ lineup of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Peter Pan’s Flight. If that’s the case, you can do just fine starting your day in Frontierland after Extra Magic Hours.
If you’re missing just one of those three rides, you can probably start there and have a FastPass+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and still have a smooth day. If you’re missing two or three of those you’re in a tougher spot because they’ll have lines from Extra Magic Hours when your day starts.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
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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.
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