Disney World extends park hours in May and June 2022

Walt Disney World added more hours to the schedule for June 2022 and extended hours from early May through the start of the summer season at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. This article shares the new hours, what to expect during the upcoming tourist season, and how to take advantage of earlier opening hours to beat the crowds.

Let’s eliminate the most insignificant part first. Like clockwork, all four theme parks have had hours for another week added to DisneyWorld.com’s park hours, and the current schedule now runs through June 25, 2022. Here are the times for the newly added dates at summer 2022:

  • Magic Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Epcot: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hollywood Studios: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Animal Kingdom: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Typhoon Lagoon: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Disney Springs: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays)

These hours are notable because they deviate from Walt Disney World’s normal practice of publishing boilerplate hours before extending those based on projections of hotel attendance and occupancy. This initial release could be the last hours, or at least closer to them. A new baseline, if you will.

They are definitely not the initial placeholder or “lorem ipsum“Walt Disney World Park Hours.” We recommend that you plan around this schedule as if it would not change. It’s always possible that an hour or two will be added here or there, but don’t expect anything dramatic.

That said, there are some interesting changes for the most recent weeks to be released in mid-June 2022. First, Animal Kingdom is expanding its hours from 8am to 8pm, from an earlier baseline of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. This 9-7 am is still on the schedule for the second half of May 2022, but we expect it to be extended on a rolling basis.

In a similar twist, Epcot’s base hours are now 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from May 8 through June 25, 2022. Epcot previously posted hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., although the park has extended its hours on a continuous basis and opening at 8:30 am since the beginning of March. With Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opening on Memorial Day, more expansions at 8:30 (or even earlier) are almost certain to occur.

Finally, Typhoon Lagoon is gradually extending its closing time. Currently, the water park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Beginning on Memorial Day weekend, this closing time changes to 6 p.m. (weekends only). Starting June 12, closing time becomes 7 p.m. daily. Interestingly, H2O Glow After Hours runs from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night, regardless of the water park’s actual closing time. (Suggesting that more extensions to regular hours may be in order.)

In addition to these updated standard hours for May and June 2022, Walt Disney World has also extended park hours from May 1 to May 7, 2022. These are the exact same extensions that have been happening since the start of the season. spring break at the beginning of March. (to be precise, I think the current operating schedule started on February 28) and makes it much easier to fight the crowds, provided you don’t mind getting up a bit earlier.

Here are the current hours for Walt Disney World Park through May 7, 2022:

  • Magic Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Epcot: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hollywood Studios: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Animal Kingdom: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

As of now, these return to normal on May 8, 2022. That could end up happening, but we doubt it. Although it would normally be the end of the Spring Break season, Disney Park Pass reservations are already filling up for the first week of May, and those dates are still several weeks away. Expect this calendar to get a lot more yellow.

Crowds may drop further in the coming weeks, but we no longer expect that. On the contrary, we expect remote work and continued pent-up demand to keep the month somewhat elevated. Not as bad as spring break, but worse than a normal May. As such, we expect expansions more or less in line with what is stated above for the foreseeable future.

What interests me most is where and when these extensions occur. Animal Kingdom opening at 7:30 a.m. (7:00 a.m. for the Early Entry!) is certainly a choice. Anyone arriving at that time will have the park practically all to themselves and should be able to knock it all out before noon.

I’m not one of those who still thinks Animal Kingdom is a half-day park, but neither can I imagine arriving at 7am and staying until 8:30pm with its slate of attractions current. There’s only so many times you can ride Kali River Rapids before you get completely soaked, and the “wash cycle” without the “spin cycle” just doesn’t make sense. . (A little Disney Must-Do with the Stacey reference for “oldies”.)

In contrast, Magic Kingdom still opens at 9 a.m., which is a historically late hour given current crowd levels. The rope drop is difficult at this time because it is easier for more guests to be standing, outside and in the park at this time. Moreover, Magic Kingdom is much more popular than Animal Kingdom.

It’s always possible to accomplish a lot in Magic Kingdom in a single day with a solid strategy, but there will never be a time during the day when you encounter low mobs. At Animal Kingdom, there are twice a day.

There are a few potential explanations for these odd hours at Animal and Magic Kingdoms. The first is transportation; Walt Disney World bus issues have improved a lot since this time last year, but there is still a shortage of bus drivers (and likely will be for years to come – this issue predates March 2020). Staggered opening and closing times may be needed to alleviate some of this tension.

Second, it could be a simple matter of cast member changes. With current labor constraints, perhaps Magic Kingdom will be able to open at 8 a.m. or stay open until 11 p.m., but not both. This is purely speculative on my part – I have no real idea why these are the hours.

I just know that if operating Walt Disney World was a RollerCoaster Tycoon game, I would try to find a way to reallocate resources to keep Magic Kingdom running from 8am to midnight every day, even if that meant cuts commensurate with Animal Kingdom. There may be something I’m overlooking, but “calendar history” is on my side, even after Pandora.

On a positive note, it’s easier to beat the crowds at Walt Disney World right now than it has been in a long time. It’s something we discussed earlier this week in Spring sees peak season wait times at Walt Disney Worldbut it bears repeating.

Significantly earlier opening hours offer a huge advantage to early risers, and savvy strategy or advanced-level know-how with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes can be a game-changer. To this end, we (once again) recommend to check Strategy Genie+ versus Savvy at Walt Disney Worldwhich is the result of extensive “testing” to determine the best and worst ways to beat mobs.

Honestly, we’ve found it easier to tackle Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom since those earlier hours began in early March. At this point, you’re only left with Magic Kingdom where mobs present issues due to the more traditional operating schedule.

However, this is easily avoidable since Magic Kingdom is the only park where Genie+ is actually incredibly beneficial. Savvy planners might argue that it is strategically superior for Magic Kingdom to have the opening delayed, as its crowds are more “beatable” with Genie+, while the paid FastPass+ service offers fewer benefits at other parks. In other words, earlier opening hours are more advantageous in the other 3 parks.

In fact, I would make exactly that argument. But I would also argue that Magic Kingdom should have longer hours for practical reasons. It might be one of those “take your cake and eat it too” scenarios, but it sounds more like utility maximization to me. Again, what do I know. Maybe opening Animal Kingdom at 7am for 382 people is somehow a better use of resources than running Magic Kingdom for reasonable hours.

Ultimately, it will be interesting to see what happens from here for the rest of May 2022, and then for the summer tourist season. As noted elsewhere, mid-May is something of a wild card at Walt Disney World. There could be a lull in attendance, and even a slight dip coupled with the current operating schedule (minus Magic Kingdom) would make even high crowds very beatable.

Then there’s Memorial Day and beyond, which is sure to be very busy. In particular, I’m curious what will happen with Epcot and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Part of me thinks we could have a repeat of the early months of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, when Disney’s Hollywood Studios daily ‘situation’ was the Wild West, with the actual park opening occurring hours before the published time and the policy adjusts every other week. Hopefully this was a “learning experience” for Walt Disney World Operations and that these failures and successes can be applied to Cosmic Rewind, but we’ll see.

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YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of Walt Disney World’s May and June 2022 hours of operation (so far)? Do you think that’s fair and reasonable? Do you think Magic Kingdom should open earlier and/or later? What about Animal Kingdom opening at 7am? Curious what will happen at Epcot once Cosmic Rewind debuts? What was your experience with crowds and wait times? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback – even when you disagree with us – is both interesting for us and helpful for other readers, so share your thoughts below in the comments!

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