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Major Changes in Disney World Thanksgiving Week Calendar, Especially Magic Kingdom Openings

By Dave Shute

Thanksgiving Week 2013 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netEarlier this week Disney World updated its operating calendar for November, and Thanksgiving Week in particular saw massive changes.


Every day from Saturday November 24 through Saturday November 30, the Magic Kingdom is now open from 8a til 1a.

Before the change, hours were listed that week as 9a-10p.  No one expected that the 10p closes would stay–they were clearly going to be extended.  But 1a closes every day Thanksgiving week is a surprise, as are the 8a openings.

While 8a opens are common other busy weeks, this is the first time since I’ve been tracking that Disney World has had a week of 8a opens during Thanksgiving. (To compare last year’s Thanksgiving Week hours, see this.)

So those intending to beat crowds by showing up before open at the Magic Kingdom now need to get up an hour earlier. And those with 8.10a breakfast in the Magic Kingdom, scheduled with the thought that they’d be finishing just as the park was opening, will need to seriously reconsider these bookings.

The best time to tour is the first hour or two after the park opens.  And since the surprising operating hour extensions are a hint that Disney is expecting really heavy crowds Thanksgiving week…well that touring time is golden, and not wise to spend eating!


Beyond the Magic Kingdom, Epcot saw no changes; Disney’s Hollywood Studios now has 10p closes, as I would have expected, and the Animal Kingdom is now open 8a-8p all week–as it was last year.

The schedule may change again, even the day before–Extra Magic Hours may be added, etc.  So keep up with the operating hours!



1 Cassie { 10.17.13 at 4:28 pm }

Interesting. . .we are arriving Nov 30th and staying through the 7th – do you anticipate that week will be busier as well? Love your site and have planned my last two trips based on your recommended weeks which worked out wonderfully!

2 Dave { 10.18.13 at 7:10 am }

Hi Cassie–I don’t think your week will be much different. No kids are on break, and parents have a tough time taking kids outta school so soon after one break and close to another!

So glad the site has been helping you!!

3 JAMES { 05.05.14 at 12:19 pm }

Hi Dave –

Do you think MK will open at 8am Thanksgiving week in 2014? Or, would they have already posted that in the schedule?

Thank you for your help!

4 Dave { 05.05.14 at 5:22 pm }

James, I do–they opened at 8a all that week in 2013. See this: Schedules are revised monthly…

5 Jane { 10.05.14 at 8:45 pm }

Hi Dave, if HS is extended to 10 PM close (now in 2014), will they add another Fantasmic? Right now they are only doing one at 6:30. I have an ADR at 7:10 but would love to see Fantasmic if I could.

6 Dave { 10.06.14 at 8:35 am }

Most likely, Jane!!

7 DrewChesh { 11.24.14 at 2:22 pm }

Will be at MK on Black Friday with 3, 6, and 8 year old. The 8 am open is fantastic news! Got lucky last week and got 7DMT FastPass+ for all five of us! Staying off site (just barely off site) this time. How early do the monorails/boats run if MK is open at 8? Thanks for all the great info!

8 Dave { 11.25.14 at 2:35 pm }

Hey DrewChesh, that’s great! The monorails and ferry start typically an hour before open. See

9 Carrie { 11.26.14 at 6:10 am }

hi Dave
The MK schedule now shows it opening at 8am throughout December. Do you think this is a mistake or will they keep the 8am opening the entire month?

10 Dave { 11.28.14 at 8:36 am }

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