MK Clock and castle

There are so many things that go into planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, including what days to visit what park!  With 4 full theme parks to choose from, Disney Springs and Water Parks – your time at each is very valuable.

So what time does the Magic Kingdom close every day?

The best place to find out the park hours is in the My Disney Experience app or on the official website, but keep reading for the additional hours that you’ll want to know about!

Once you look at the calendar you’ll see that there are caveats to the Magic Kingdom park hours (and the other parks as well).  From early entry, after hours events and extra hours for Disney resort guests – you’ll want to understand what they all mean to figure out the best ways to maximize your vacation time.

Things to consider about park hours:

Early Entry:

Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels and select other hotels can take advantage of a 30-minute early entry into Walt Disney World theme parks every day.  This can be a huge advantage if you wanted to get in to the park early and go straight to the most popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Jungle Cruise or Space Mountain.  You can get a head start on those lines before the offsite guests are able to enter the park.  For a full list of participating resorts for the early park entry click here.

Magic Kingdom Walking Down Main Street

Rope Drop:

I need to explain what this is because you’ll see this term used in the Disney community.  This is where you basically arrive at the park before opening to be one of the first inside.  The name comes from the times when they would “drop the rope” to let guests in.  With the early theme park entry, you basically get an earlier rope drop than offsite guests and can be walking up Main Street USA while everyone else is still outside of the gates.  This is one of the ways guests get pictures of themselves in front of Cinderella Castle with limited people in the background.

Space Mountain at Dusk

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours:

Guests staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort, Deluxe Villa Resort or other select hotels are able to enjoy extended evening hours on select nights in select theme parks (for years they were called extra magic hours).  For example, one night the Magic Kingdom may close to regular guests at 10pm – but because you’re staying at one of the participating resorts you can stay until midnight!  That’s 2 extra hours of fun and a great way to maximize your time in the park.  Another added bonus is that you can get an extra shot at a virtual queue on the nights with the extended hours.  For all of the details including the list of resorts click here.

MK will close at 6pm sign

Special Events:

Depending on the time of the year that you’re visiting, there are many separately ticketed events that can impact the park hours.  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party both require the Magic Kingdom to close early.  The party may start at 7pm for ticket holders – but they ask the daytime guests to leave by 6pm.  This is a significant reduction in the park hours for the Magic Kingdom.  However, it can be one of the BEST days to get in and ride attractions!  Given the reduced hours many people avoid the Magic Kingdom on an event day and the lines are significantly shorter for attractions.  If you have park hopping on your tickets you can go to another one of the Disney parks for the evening, just remember that you won’t see fireworks this day at Magic Kingdom.

The Disney After Hours events don’t generally close the park early, in fact the events start at the parks closing time.  These are also a great way to maximize your attraction wait times in the parks as they sell a limited number of tickets to these events.

When I have the chance to experience the shorter wait times I do some of my favourites like the Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan’s Flight.

What would you do with extra time in the Magic Kingdom?

How late is the Magic Kingdom park open in Walt Disney World?
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