For my thoughts on the re-opening of Walt Disney World, see this.


By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)





Category — i. Itineraries for Walt Disney World

Next Week (September 25 through October 3, 2021) at Walt Disney World

DISNEY WORLD NEXT WEEK: SEPTEMBER 25 TO OCTOBER 3, 2021

The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, parades, and fireworks.

OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/25-10/3/21

Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-9p 9/25 through 9/28, 9a-10p 9/29, 9a-8p 9/30, 8a-10p 10/1, and 9a-10p 10/2 and 10/3

Epcot will be open from 11a-10p 9/25 and 9/26, 11a-9p 9/27 through 9/30, and 9a-10p 10/1 through 10/3

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-9p every day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 8a-7p 9/25 through 9/30, and 8a-8.30p 10/1 through 10/3

EARLY ENTRY AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/25-10/3/2021

Magic Kingdom: every morning beginning 9/26

Epcot: every morning beginning 9/26

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: every morning beginning 9/26

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: every morning beginning 9/26

EXTENDED EVENING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/25-10/3/2021

None scheduled this week.

PARADES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/25-10/3/21

There will be no parades until further notice.

FIREWORKS AND EVENING SHOWS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/25-10/3/21

At Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After is scheduled at 8.15p 9/25 through 9/29 to be replaced with the new Disney Enchantment show on 10/1, showing at 9p 10/1 through 10/3

At Epcot, Epcot Forever is scheduled at 10p 9/25 and 9/26, and 9p 9/27 and 9/28. It will be replaced with the new Epcot evening show Harmonious on 9/29, showing at 9p 9/29 and 9/30, and 9.45p 10/1 through 10/3

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a minor evening show, Wonderful World of Animation, is scheduled at 9p every night

SHOW SCHEDULES FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/25-10/3/21

See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

 

 

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September 23, 2021   No Comments

Next Week (September 18 through September 26, 2021) at Walt Disney World

DISNEY WORLD NEXT WEEK: SEPTEMBER 18 TO SEPTEMBER 26, 2021

The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, parades, and fireworks.

OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/18-9/26/21

The Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-9p 9/18, 9a-8.30p 9/19, 9a-9p 9/20, 9a-8.30p 9/21, 9a-9p 9/22 and 9/23, 9a-8.30p 9/24, and 9a-9p 9/25 and 9/26

Epcot will be open from 11a-10p 9/18 and 9/19, 11a-9p 9/20 through 9/23, and 11a-10p 9/24 through 9/26

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-9p every day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 8a-7p every day

EXTRA MAGIC HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/18-9/26/21

Extra Magic Hours will be replaced October 1 by a new Early Entry program.

PARADES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/18-9/26/21

There will be no parades until further notice.

FIREWORKS AND EVENING SHOWS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/18-9/26/21

At Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After is scheduled at 8.15p every day

At Epcot, Epcot Forever is scheduled at 10p 9/18 and 9/19, 9p 9/20 through 9/23, and 10p 9/24 through 9/26

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a minor evening show, Wonderful World of Animation, is scheduled at 9p every night

SHOW SCHEDULES FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/18-9/26/21

See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

 

 

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September 16, 2021   No Comments

Next Week (September 11 through September 19, 2021) at Walt Disney World

DISNEY WORLD NEXT WEEK: SEPTEMBER 11 TO SEPTEMBER 19, 2021

The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, parades, and fireworks.

OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/11-9/19/21

The Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-9p 9/11, 9a-8.30p 9/12, 9a-9p 9/13, 9a-8.30p 9/14, 9a-9p 9/15 and 9/16, 9a-8.30p 9/17, 9a-9p 9/18, and 9a-8.30p 9/19

Epcot will be open from 11a-10p 9/11 and 9/12, 11a-9p 9/13 through 9/16, and 11a-10p 9/17 through 9/19

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-8p 9/11, and 9a-9p 9/12 through 9/19

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 8a-7p every day

EXTRA MAGIC HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/11-9/19/21

Extra Magic Hours will be replaced October 1 by a new Early Entry program.

PARADES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/11-9/19/21

There will be no parades until further notice.

FIREWORKS AND EVENING SHOWS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/11-9/19/21

At Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After is scheduled at 8.15p every day

At Epcot, Epcot Forever is scheduled at 10p 9/11 and 9/12, 9p 9/13 through 9/16, and 10p 9/17 through 9/19

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a minor evening show, Wonderful World of Animation, is scheduled at 8p 9/11, and 9p 9/12 through 9/19

SHOW SCHEDULES FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/11-9/19/21

See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

 

 

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September 9, 2021   No Comments

Next Week (September 4 through September 12, 2021) at Walt Disney World

DISNEY WORLD NEXT WEEK: SEPTEMBER 4 TO SEPTEMBER 12, 2021

The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, parades, and fireworks.

OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/4-9/12/21

The Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-9p 9/4 through 9/6, 9a-8.30p 9/7, 9a-9p 9/8 and 9/9, 9a-8.30p 9/10, 9a-9p 9/11, and 9a-8.30p 9/12

Epcot will be open from 11a-10p 9/4 and 9/5, 11a-9p 9/6 through 9/9, and 11a-10p 9/10 through 9/12

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-9p 9/4 through 9/10, 9a-8p 9/11, and 9a-9p 9/12

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 8a-7p every day

EXTRA MAGIC HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/4-9/12/21

Extra Magic Hours will be replaced October 1 by a new Early Entry program.

PARADES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/4-9/12/21

There will be no parades until further notice.

FIREWORKS AND EVENING SHOWS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/4-9/12/21

At Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After is scheduled at 8.45p 9/4 through 9/6, and at 8.15p 9/7 through 9/12

At Epcot, Epcot Forever is scheduled at 10p 9/4 and 9/5, 9p 9/6 through 9/9, and 10p 9/10 through 9/12

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a minor evening show, Wonderful World of Animation, is scheduled at 9p 9/4 through 9/10, 8p 9/11, and 9p 9/12

SHOW SCHEDULES FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD 9/4-9/12/21

See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

 

 

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September 2, 2021   No Comments

Disney World’s Early Theme Park Entry Program

EARLY THEME PARK ENTRY AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Update–Early Entry will begin with a soft open on September 26. “Soft open” means it is not guaranteed to be available. Beginning October 1, 2021, Walt Disney World will kick of its new “Early Entry” program.

This program, which replaces the previous Extra Magic Hours offering that was cancelled in 2020, allows folks staying at any Disney World owned resort, or at any of fourteen other hotels on (or almost on) the Walt Disney World property (full list here) to enter any of the four Disney World theme parks at least 30 minutes before anyone else can enter these theme parks. (Contrary to some claims from others, the list of eligible hotels is exactly the same as the list of hotels eligible for EMH before the March 2020 close.)

There is no extra cost to taking advantage of Early Entry. However, each person entering a park early will be required to have a valid ticket, a valid reservation, and proof that one is a guest at an eligible resort hotel.

There has been much dismay that the Extra Magic Hours (“EMH”) replacement Early Entry program offers no evening hours, as EMH did—extra evening hours will likely be reserved for those staying at the equivalent of a deluxe resort (I’ll write more about that later) or for those paying extra for after-hours events. The absence of evening hours penalizes those from other time zones, those who prefer to sleep in in the mornings, etc. That said, in the FastPass+ era with its early park closes—especially at Magic Kingdom—compared to previous eras, there was not all that much value to evening EMH.

There has also been dismay that that the Early Entry period is only 30 minutes. (Disney’s initial messaging about this was that it would be “at least” 30 minutes. I expect longer periods may show up—especially over high crowd holiday weeks, and/or as Disney learns more about the impact on this program on guest satisfaction and on occupancy rates at eligible hotels.) However, I expect that this shortening will be more than offset—way more than offset—by the fact that every park will have Early Entry every day. Each week each park will have at least 210 minutes of early entry.

Common non-holiday EMH patterns before Disney World closed for COVID had 180 minutes a week of EMH at each of Epcot and Magic Kingdom, (one 60-minute morning and one 120-minute evening session at each), 120 minutes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (two morning sessions), and 60 minutes a week at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. See the image above (note that it is for a nine-day period, and the figures above for a seven-day period; weekly history of EMH back to early 2012 is here.) That nets to a more than 50% increase in minutes/week of exclusive access.

At the parks, Early Entry eligibility, a well-planned itinerary and an arrival at least 30 minutes before Early Entry opens ought most time of the year to put eligible guests through at least one ride (more in Fantasyland) and in line for a second before anyone else can make their way into the lines. This, when combined with the possibilities created by Disney World’s replacement for the FastPass+ systems, will put eligible guests who can take advantage of both three to six steps ahead of everyone else—which will yield much lower waits over the course of a day than what guests who can’t, or won’t take, take advantage of these offerings

Even more important is that Disney World Early Access happens every day at every park. In the EMH period, having EMH at each park most weeks of the FastPass+ era only once or twice a week, and most commonly just one park offering EMH on any given day, meant that guests on shorter stays might have missed the EMH most valuable to them entirely, and that some parks could be more crowded all day from the draw to it of morning EMH among the ~75,000 guests in the eligible hotels.

Having Early Entry every day at every park means that not only can guests with any length of visit take advantage of Early Entry at any park they have reservations for, but also that every day eligible guests will be divided over four parks, rather than just one.

Finally, some have noted that the 30-minute Early Entry reduces the perks of staying in an eligible resort compared ot the 60 or 120 minutes of exclusive period during the FastPass+ part of the EMH era.

I suspect that in contrast, Early Entry will be the most valuable perk Disney World has offered to eligible resorts in the time I have covered it. The value of the perk is not just the advantage it offers to eligible guests, but also the disadvantage it confers on ineligible guests.

For the first time, every time ineligible guests enter the parks, they will face already existing lines from eligible guests, every day, at every park. The ability of those staying at an ineligible hotel, or coming from home on annual pass, to enter the parks on equal terms to everyone else five or six days a week is just gone.

The current list of rides planned ot be available during Early Entry is here—it is near identical with the stable of offerings during the last iteration of morning EMH.

A related program, for guests at a a much narrower set of resorts, is the Extended Evening Hours program.

 

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August 28, 2021   No Comments

Next Week (August 28 through September 5, 2021) at Walt Disney World

DISNEY WORLD NEXT WEEK: AUGUST 28 TO SEPTEMBER 5, 2021

The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, parades, and fireworks.

OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 8/28-9/5/21

The Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-9p every day

Epcot will be open from 11a-10p 8/28 and 8/29, 11a-9p 8/30 through 9/2, and 11a-10p 9/3 through 9/5

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-9p every day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 8a-8p 8/28, and 8a-7p 8/29 through 9/5

EXTRA MAGIC HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 8/28-9/5/21

There will be no Extra Magic Hours anymore.  They will be replaced October 1 by a new program.

PARADES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 8/28-9/5/21

There will be no parades until further notice.

FIREWORKS AND EVENING SHOWS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 8/28-9/5/21

At Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After is scheduled at 8.45p every night

At Epcot, Epcot Forever is scheduled at 10p 8/28 and 8/29, 9p 8/30 through 9/2, and 10p 9/3 through 9/5

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a minor evening show, Wonderful World of Animation, is scheduled at 9p every night

SHOW SCHEDULES FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD 8/28-9/5/21

See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

 

 

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August 27, 2021   No Comments