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Magic Kingdom Park Hours 2024 | FAQs & Tips

For a successful visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, you need to know when it opens and closes, as well as what time the entertainment and fireworks are running. In fact, the Magic Kingdom park hours are always changing and there is no park harder to keep up with.

Disney World Tickets Magic Kingdom train station

In this article, we’ll cover all the Magic Kingdom park hours in 2024 including the upcoming park hours for the next few months, normal hours for the park, early morning openings, when the park closes early, and when it stays open late at night.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom has one of the most varied schedules for hours of all 4 Disney World theme parks because of all the seasonal events, holiday parties, & more. That means it’s much harder to know how late you can stay and if you should even go on those days.

Not only that, but not all the park’s attractions are always running early in the morning or late at night, and it’s better to find out ahead of time instead of showing up and being disappointed. Most guests want to stay for the fireworks shows, and we’ll cover the upcoming hours for those too.

Cinderella Castle spire at Magic Kingdom

Lastly, we’ll cover what time you should show up in the morning and a list of rides you should prioritize to save the most time during your visit, as well as what transportation to use to get there on time. Don’t worry, our tips and tricks will help you beat the crowds and make the most of your day!

Before we get started here is a list of articles explaining the park hours at the other Walt Disney World theme parks:

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we will update you with the latest Magic Kingdom Park Hours, and share the latest vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Magic Kingdom Park Hours 2024

Here are the new operating hours for Magic Kingdom for March, April and May 2024:

  • March 1: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • March 2: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • March 3: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • March 4: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (Disney After Hours: 10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • March 5: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • March 6: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 10:00 pm – 12:00 am)
  • March 7: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • March 8-9: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • March 10-12: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • March 13: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • March 14-17: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • March 18: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (Disney After Hours: 10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • March 19: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • March 20: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 10:00 pm – 12:00 am)
  • March 21-22: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • March 23: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • March 24-26: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • March 27: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 11:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • March 28-31: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • April 1-2: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • April 3: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 11:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • April 4-6: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • April 7: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • April 8: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Disney After Hours: 10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • April 9: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • April 10: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • April 11-16: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • April 17: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • April 18-21: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • April 22: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Disney After Hours: 10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • April 23: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • April 24: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • April 25-28: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • April 29: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Disney After Hours: 10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • April 30: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • May 1: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • May 2-7: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • May 8: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • May 9-11: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • May 12: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • May 13: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (Disney After Hours: 10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
  • May 14: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • May 15: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 10:00 pm – 12:00 am)
  • May 16-21: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • May 22: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours: 10:00 pm – 12:00 am)
  • May 23-28: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm

As you can see Magic Kingdom’s hours have almost returned to normal levels of past years. On most days from March to April the parks open at 8:00 am or 9:00 am and close at 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm with some days up to 11:00 pm.

As the Spring Break and Easter seasons arrive, we see many of the 9:00 am openings change to 8:00 am and the 9:00 pm closings to change to 10:00 pm or even 11:00 pm as we saw at the end of last year.

Main Street USA Magic Kingdom

In 2024 the Disney After Hours ticketed events are back, and just like last year when they run they give an extra 3 hours in the park from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM, but if you want to take advantage of the longer park hours, you needed a ticket to this event. 

Special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are not running at this time but will back in the Fall. Since those parties are not running, Extended Evening Hours are back through the Summer.

When they are available, they benefit guests staying at Deluxe Disney Resort Hotels and select other hotels that allow them to stay in the park for these additional couple of hours. We will touch on who qualifies for these hours in just a minute.

Normally, the Extended Evening Hours run from 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM or from 11:00 pm – 1:00 AM. That gives you 2 extra hours to go on attractions when wait times are minimal. It’s a great opportunity to get rides done that you might not be able to during the day.

Also back in 2024 are Disney After Hours events, a hard-ticket event giving guests 3 extra hours on those evenings.

What are the Normal Hours for Magic Kingdom?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

Since Magic Kingdom is the most popular of all the parks, Disney commonly keeps it open the longest out of all the parks on the most regular basis.

Under normal circumstances, the typical park hours for Disney’s Magic Kingdom are either 8:00 am-10:00 pm OR 9:00 am-11:00 pm.

And while these can sometimes vary, especially if there are special events, they typically stay within this range. There are sometimes outliers when the park closes at 9:00 pm, but they are rare. There are also times when the park will open at 7:00 am, such as during holiday times.

Also, during the holiday times they run their special ticketed holiday parties, and on these days the park can sometimes close in the early evening. It’s not uncommon for Magic Kingdom to close at 6:00 pm.

What Time Does Magic Kingdom Open?

Magic Kingdom parking lot

On most occasions, Magic Kingdom opens either at 8:00 or 9:00 am. There are times of the year though when the park opens up as early as 7:00 am, during some of the busier times of the year and holidays.

For guests staying at a Disney World Resort or other selected hotels, similar to ‘Extended Evening Hours’, guests can take advantage of another provision called Early Theme Park Entry.

This perk allows guests staying at these resorts or hotels to enter the park 30 minutes prior to the official park opening. Keep in mind, sometimes the parks will allow guests to enter even earlier than 30 minutes!

For instance, if the park opens officially at 8:00 am, technically, you can enter the park at 7:30, although most of the time they will let you in even a few minutes earlier if you’re staying at a Disney World Resort or other participating hotel.

Crowds on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom

Also, Main Street USA and the area around Cinderella’s Castle are usually open an hour before the rest of the official park opening time, so 30 minutes prior to early entry time. This can allow you to get some pictures and do some shopping on Main Street before hopping on line for a ride.

So what do you need to remember about the Magic Kingdom opening?

  • Most times of the year: Magic Kingdom most commonly opens at 9:00 am (Early Theme Park Entry 8:30 am)
  • Some times of the year: Magic Kingdom during certain times opens at 8:00 am (Early Theme Park Entry 7:30 am)
  • Special days of the year: Magic Kingdom rarely opens at 7:00 am (Early Theme Park Entry 6:30 am)

These are generalities and Disney changes their schedule frequently. From year to year, they can do something completely different from subsequent years, but this is generally what we’ve found to be the case the last few years.

What Time Does Magic Kingdom Close?

As you can see on the above schedule, Disney’s Magic Kingdom is almost always open until 10:00 pm and on busier days, such as in Spring or during the Holiday Season it’s open until 11:00 pm on most evenings.

TRON Lightcycle Run at night with Space Mountain

On the busiest days of the year, Magic Kingdom will stay open until midnight.

But with the ‘Extended Evening Hours’ perk, Magic Kingdom is at times open until 1:00 am! This allows some Disney Resort guests and certain other participating hotel guests to enjoy the magic of the parks until the late hours of the night!

Don’t be fooled though, just because these events are only for certain guests, you’re not going to have the park to yourself. The wait times for attractions are lower than normal, but there will still be plenty of other guests there with you.

If you want to truly enjoy the park to yourself, your best bet is paying for one of the ticketed After Hours events.

And while Magic Kingdom almost always has evening hours, there are occasions, especially during the holiday times (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party), that the parks will close significantly early.

Magic Kingdom nighttime Cinderella Castle

Magic Kingdom will occasionally also be rented out for a corporate event or a Cast Member appreciation party as well, so it’s always best to check the schedule first. It’s always best to check the schedule first.

So what do you need to remember about Magic Kingdom’s closing hours?

  • Slower times of the year: Magic Kingdom typically closes at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours until 12:00 am on 1 or 2 nights during the week).
  • Moderately busy times of the year: Magic Kingdom closes at 11:00 pm (Extended Evening Hours until 1:00 am on 1 or 2 nights during the week)
  • Busiest days of the year: Magic Kingdom typically closes at 12:00 am and sometimes 1:00 am for all guests without Extended Evening Hours. (Extended Evening Hours can sometimes extend until 2 or 3:00 am)

While Magic Kingdom hours aren’t as good as they’ve been in years past, as you can see, they still have long hours and are getting better each year. They make it so that guests can take advantage of being in the most popular park in Walt Disney World at all hours of the day and even into the night.

Busy Days & Holiday Hours

Cheapest Time to visit Disney World

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is not only the most popular park but it is also the most flexible of all of the Disney Parks. During the holidays, there are times when the park opens as early as 6:30 am, and other times when the park opening is at 9:00 am which are more common.

During the most popular ticketed events of the year such as Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the park normally closes at 6:00 pm. There are also times of the year when there is a special event when the park might even close at 4:30 in the afternoon.

The good news though is when there is a ticketed event, they normally open the park earlier. For example, in March there are several nights for After Hours events, causing the park to close at 10:00 pm. On these days, the parks open at 8:00 am, allowing guests to have more time at the beginning of the day.

Generally speaking, you can expect the park to be open long hours on the weekends and during holiday periods. In most instances, the park will stay open until 11:00 pm or 12:00 am on the busiest days, and that’s without the Extended Evening Hours available to certain Disney Resort guests.

Carousel of Progress Christmas scene

Here is a list of the busiest times of the year when you can expect longer hours: 

  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Day and Eve
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Spring Break Dates
  • Easter

We like the fact that Magic Kingdom gives extra hours and more availability during the peak travel periods. This helps families make sure to get enough time in the park each day during the days when crowd levels really limit how many attractions you can do.

Magic Kingdom normally has the best park hours for families at all times of the year and we love the fact that the hours in 2024 have improved in comparison to the previous couple of years. Hopefully, soon, they’ll be more in line with historical averages prior to 2020.

While longer hours are great, it’s not always the best time to come during that time. You can expect the park to also be swamped during these days of the year. Disney realizes that all guests are thinking the same thing, and they keep the parks open later for a reason.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for Disney to change the park hours to update their park hours at the last minute, giving better hours for guests if they think the park is going to be particularly crowded on certain days.

Magic Kingdom Closing Info

Rapunzel's Tower Magic Kingdom

There was a time when Magic Kingdom would be open until 12:00 am practically every night. But unfortunately, we’ve seen that change these last few years. Now more times than not the park will close at either 10:00 or 11:00 pm in the evenings. Sometimes earlier and sometimes later.

Here is some info if you plan on being in the Magic Kingdom near park closing time:

When Does Magic Kingdom Close Early?

Guests visiting Magic Kingdom will tend to find early closing hours on specific days of the week and especially during certain times of the year.

Wednesdays right now in Magic Kingdom have Extended Evening Hours and Fridays and Saturdays tend to have better hours during most times of the year, as they are the most popular days.

Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid Kiss the girl scene Magic Kingdom

While we always recommend guests visit Disney World during historically slower times of the year such as Late August, September, and January, be aware that you might find the park’s hours can be significantly lesser. Magic Kingdom closes early during all After-Hour events as well.

For guests traveling during “Party Season” which runs from mid-August until late December with the two after-hours holiday parties going on (Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party), Magic Kingdom closes to regular guests at 6:00 pm.

These events are special ticketed events that cost additional money and are only open to guests that have tickets to these events. There are also other After-Hour events that might cause the park to close earlier as well, most of the time only being a couple of hours earlier than normal though.

There are certain rare occasions when the park might have a rare 4:30 pm or 5:00 pm closing, and this could be due to a Corporate Event or Disney filming something in the parks.

Staying Late in the Park

Magic Kingdom at night Cinderella Castle

Staying late in Magic Kingdom can be a particularly enjoyable experience if you can push yourself through those final few hours! Nothing that a good coffee at Starbucks or Joffrey’s can’t help you plow through.

Also, you may be surprised to know that you don’t have to actually be OUT of the park at closing time. Typically the closing time means ride queues and restaurants will close at this time.

However, if you are already in line for an attraction, they won’t shut down the ride until everyone in the queue has gotten a chance to ride. That means that in many cases you can actually get on line for a ride right up until closing time.

In fact, the last 20-30 minutes of park opening through all of the Disney parks is often the best time to get in line. At the Magic Kingdom, we often wait until right before the ride queue closes to get in line for the most popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. 

Posted times on signs are typically greatly exaggerated and in many cases are used as a means to discourage guests from getting in line prior to park closing. We’ve had many a case where we’ve been able to walk on a ride that has a posted 60-minute wait or longer a few minutes before the official park closing time!

Cinderella Castle at night Magic Kingdom

But it’s worth considering that Disney will at times close certain attractions earlier than the listed closing time and often if a ride has any malfunctions, they’ll leave it closed for the rest of the evening.

So if you are waiting until the end of the night for a specific attraction, just make sure you check the My Disney Experience app to see if that ride is up and functioning in the later hours prior to park closing.

While most of the lands throughout Magic Kingdom will empty rather quickly after the Official Park Closing Time, Main Street will often stay open much later and still be hopping for a good amount of time. Shops on Main Street typically will stay open for 30-60 minutes after the official park closing as well, allowing for guests departing to get in their last purchases on their way out of the park.

One nice touch that guests can enjoy while staying late in the park is the fan-favorite “Kiss Goodnight.” This 2-minute “goodbye” speech plays every 30 minutes after the park closes. It often starts with Cinderella Castle lighting up and the music of ‘When You Wish Upon a Star.’ If you stay late, you can sometimes hear this multiple times.

This is a classic Disney experience, and one of our favorite moments of the night for any trip to the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street USA at night Magic Kingdom

Closing Down the Magic Kingdom: This is when you are the last person, or among the last group of people to leave the park. We’ve done this dozens of times, and it’s incredibly popular with Disney photographers.

Some of my absolute favorite pictures of Magic Kingdom have come after park closing times. This is how people are able to get those beautiful shots of Main Street USA and Cinderella Castle at night with no one in the street blocking the view and having the entire park to themselves!

If you decide to stay until there is no one else left in the park, you don’t need to stress about not having transportation back to your hotel or car! While Disney officially says that transportation will run for approximately 1 hour after the parks close, transportation can unofficially run for another hour or so after that.

Don’t worry, they won’t allow guests to be stranded at the park, and Disney Cast Members are paid to make sure that no guests are left behind. The times that we were the very last guests in the Magic Kingdom, there was always a bus waiting to take us back to the Disney resort of our choice. 

So it’s safe to say you’ll have AT LEAST an hour after the park closing time to be out of the park. For photographers, the longer you wait the better!

What Time are the Magic Kingdom Fireworks?

The Magic Kingdom fireworks times vary and fluctuate between the time of year and the time of nightfall. At times they will not even begin until AFTER the park is officially closed.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks Disney World in July

In the winter months, the fireworks tend to be earlier due to the earlier sunset. This creates a larger gap between the park closing and the end of the fireworks. You’ll more frequently see fireworks times at 8:00 pm during the slower winter days.

In the summer months when sunset occurs later, oftentimes the park closing happens simultaneously with the conclusion of the fireworks. This can create massive logjams and chaotic Main Street walks as everyone exits the park. During the busier summer months, you’ll frequently see fireworks around the 9:00 pm time slot.

Happily Ever AfterOn April 3, 2023, the fan-favorite show Happily Ever After came back. As of now, it will be performing each night at either 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm. But this fluctuates throughout the year as well, so keep an eye on Disney’s official schedule.

Happily Ever After Fireworks Magic Kingdom

How early should you get there for a good spot? Really, it depends. You’ll often see guests camping out along the areas in front of Cinderella Castle several hours prior to the start of the fireworks to stake their spot for the fireworks. But that probably won’t be necessary for you unless you are setting up a tripod to take photos of the show.

There’s a balance between getting there too early and too late. If you’re traveling during a slower time of the year and not a peak travel time, we typically recommend 45 minutes to an hour prior to the start of the show to get a good spot.

If you’re wanting to see the show during peak times or on weekends when the park is the most crowded, we recommend getting there at LEAST an hour prior and perhaps even two hours prior. It all depends on how badly you want to see the show and how badly you want a great view.

However, if you get there too late, you’ll often be stuck behind a tree or large amounts of guests with significantly impaired views of Cinderella’s Castle. You might also be directed by Disney Cast Members to undesirable areas with poor or NO sight-lines.

Trust me, my wife can attest to the fact that there is nothing worse than being a smaller guest and being behind hundreds of guests that are taller or perhaps have children on their shoulders completely blocking your view!

Early Theme Park Entry

Early Entry at Magic Kingdom Genie+

Early Theme Park Entry is a newly added perk that replaces the former ‘Extra Magic Hours.’ With Early Theme Park Entry, guests staying at ALL Walt Disney World Resorts or other approved partner hotels have access to the park 30 minutes prior to the scheduled opening each day.

Unlike Extra Magic Hours, Early Theme Park Entry happens EVERY day at EVERY theme park!

This is a nice perk for Disney Guests to be able to utilize an additional 30 minutes to get on more attractions with minimal waits.

Open Attractions

Unfortunately, Magic Kingdom doesn’t open the entire park during Early Theme Park Entry. The only lands open during Early Theme Park Entry are Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Both Adventureland and Frontierland don’t open up until the official park opening.

Peter Pan's Flight Magic Kingdom

But guests that can take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry have access to the main attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland including rides such as Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it’s a small world, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and many others throughout these two lands.

We highly recommend you take advantage of getting on these rides, as they will grow longer and longer throughout the day, especially when the rest of the guests can enter the parks.

To learn more about Early Entry and other perks on-site guests get, we recommend reading our article on the Benefits of Staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel.

Extended Evening Hours

Magic Kingdom Fantasyland at night

Along with Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Hours is another perk that is extended to certain Disney Resort guests and other approved partner hotels. Whereas Early Theme Park Entry is EVERY day and for only 30 minutes, Extended Evening Hours is only on select days, but it’s more advantageous since it’s open for two whole hours.

While Early Theme Park Entry is extended to all Disney Resort guests, Extended Evening Hours is only available to select Disney Resort guests (more on that in a moment).

In Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Extended Evening Hours run 1 night per week. Most recently, it’s been on Wednesdays. Every Wednesday guests staying at these approved hotels can stay in the parks for an additional two hours AFTER the official park closing.

Cast Members will be there to scan MagicBands or have other proof to show you’re staying at a participating hotel, so don’t try sneaking in if you don’t belong because you won’t be able to do any rides.

Participating Resorts

Disney's Wilderness Lodge entrance mat

Unfortunately, not ALL Disney Resort guests have use of Extended Evening Hours. This is only a benefit for registered guests staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort, a Disney Deluxe Villa Resort, and a few other select hotels. This includes:

Disney Deluxe Resorts

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Other Select Hotels

  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
  • Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World®

Open Attractions

Similar to Early Theme Park Entry, not all attractions remain open for Extended Evening Hours.

Country Bear Jamboree Magic Kingdom

Here is a list of current rides you can expect to have access to in Magic Kingdom during Extended Evening Hours: 

  • “it’s a small world”
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

This list is of course subject to change and ride closures as well, so check the My Disney Experience app or website for the latest. 

Both Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours replace the former Extra Magic Hours, and are some of the benefits of staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, and another reason why you should really consider it.

After Hours Events

Cinderella fountain Magic Kingdom at night

Disney After Hours Events are special ticketed events are available on select nights throughout the year at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.

These events enable you for an additional cost to pay extra to stay in the park for several hours after the official closing. Guests coming to After Hours events are generally allowed into the parks a few hours before the events start and are given wristbands that enable them to stay in the park during the event.

While we tend to hate to pay for additional tickets when we already pay annually to be an Annual Passholder, we love the After Hours Events! And the good news is for those that aren’t locals, you don’t need a separate park ticket to enter the After Hours Event.

So feasibly you can spend the first part of the day relaxing at your hotel and then come to the parks in time for your check-in for After Hours. Considering that, the price isn’t too unreasonable and not too much more than a typical 1-Day Park Ticket.

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The reason we love it so much is that Disney After Hours are capped at VERY low attendance numbers allowing you to essentially have the park to yourself! That means all of the attractions that usually have wait times of 1 Hour or more during the day, will be practically empty. Usually, we are talking about wait times of 10 minutes or less for most rides.

In addition to the park being almost empty, you’ll also receive complimentary drinks, popcorn, and dessert!


The Disney After Hours events at Magic Kingdom run from 10:00 pm until 1:00 am on the event nights. Guests NOT staying for the After Hours event and without proof of a wristband will be asked to leave by 10:00 pm at the official park closing time on these dates.

In fact, cast members will even check wristbands to go from one land to another, so if you don’t have one, the only place you can really go is Main Street U.S.A.


Tomorrowland sign with lights at night Magic Kingdom

For those considering attending, standard tickets for Disney After Hours events at Magic Kingdom cost from $155 per person to $175 (plus tax) depending on the date you select. This is in line with Disney’s date-based pricing structure they also use for their park tickets.

There are discounts for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. These prices start at $125 per person (excluding tax) and advance up to $145 per person depending on the date you select.

We recommend reading our article on Discounted Disney World Tickets where we cover the best ways to save money on all park ticket types.

Open Attractions

Again, not all attractions are open during Disney After Hours, but the majority of the most popular ones are.

it's a small world Magic Kingdom

Over 20 attractions are open at Magic Kingdom during the ‘After Hours’ events including:

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • The Barnstormer
  • Dumbo The Flying Elephant
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel
  • Under The Sea — Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • PeopleMover

Holiday Parties

The Holiday Parties returned in 2022 and are a staple for Magic Kingdom on select nights from mid-August until December. These are also ticketed events and require additional costs, typically between $100 – $200 per person. Discounts for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can also be applied.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

The Holiday Parties at Disney’s Magic Kingdom include:

Unlike the After Hours events mentioned above, the Holiday Parties are less focused on the attractions and more focused on special entertainment offerings and snacks.

These Holiday Parties are on select nights throughout the week from August through December. Magic Kingdom has historically closed at 6:00 to guests NOT paying for the event, and they’ll be asked to leave prior to 6:00.

Guests NOT going to the Holiday Parties should probably avoid going to Magic Kingdom due to the fewer hours and no fireworks that night for the general public.

However, crowd levels are significantly quieter on days of the Holiday Parties and can be a great option for guests that want to enjoy the parks at more tolerable park crowd levels. Just remember, you’ll have to leave prior to 6:00 pm.

Old Extra Magic Hours

Since Disney World’s reopening following the suspension in 2020, the old Extra Magic Hours are a thing of the past and have not resumed.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides in Fantasyland

EMH, as it was often called, was available to Disney Resort hotel guests and it often significantly impacted crowded levels, whether you were staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels or not. EMH allowed guests on certain days of the week to enter a park one hour earlier or stay in a park up to two hours later than normal park openings.

Disney has replaced this old benefit with things such as Extended Evening Hours and Early Theme Park Entry, and while there is still hope that this can return one day, it doesn’t appear likely.

While the old EMH usually had the majority of guests flooding to the same park to take advantage of the extra time, in some ways, we prefer Early Theme Park Entry, since it involves all 4 theme parks each day, and it seems less crowded than before.


Is the Magic Kingdom Free After 6:00 pm?

No, I’m sorry to say it is not. Unfortunately, the Magic Kingdom is NEVER free. There is no difference in the cost or discount for guests arriving later in the day. 

Guests looking to enter Magic Kingdom after 6:00 pm will still need to pay the same costs that guests entering at the park opening will need to pay, so you might as well show up early since you will get your money’s worth by getting more done.

What Months Have the Longest Park Hours?

Jessie Toy Story Magic Kingdom parade

Typically, the months that have the longest park hours are the months that are the busiest. That would mean March-July and November-December.

While that doesn’t mean EVERY day during those months will have long park hours, these months as a rule of thumb have longer park hours.

Even though year-over-year averages have changed substantially over the last few years and Disney’s Parks are beginning to reach pre-pandemic hours, they aren’t quite there yet. If you check our Disney World Crowd Calendar, usually the busiest days of the year will have the longest park hours.

How Often are Magic Kingdom Hours Updated?

All Walt Disney World park hours including Disney’s Magic Kingdom are added now to the 5-day calendar on a rolling basis, generally about 60 days in advance. They also have a monthly calendar found here that has the schedule out about 6 months in advance.

The 5-day schedule is FAR more accurate than the 6-month schedule. Oftentimes Disney will extend or adjust the hours on the 6-month schedule based on expected attendance and this can change with hotel occupancy numbers.

Keep in mind, Disney frequently adds additional hours or takes away some hours as dates get closer based on these projections, so as your vacation gets closer, we recommend checking again to make sure you have the latest park hours.

What is Rope Drop?

Tomorrowland entrance Magic Kingdom at rope drop

“Rope drop” is a term for guests entering one of the Disney theme parks at the official park opening time. For instance, at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, guests can typically enter Main Street prior to the official opening of the park.

Guests who enter at rope drop will be walled off figuratively speaking by Disney Cast Members around Cinderella Castle area until the Early Theme Park Entry or the Official park opening time. Then, at rope drop, the cast members will allow guests to advance through the park and visit the areas of the park that they wish to visit.

So if someone asks you, “will you be there for rope drop?” They essentially are asking if you will be there in time for the official park opening time (or Early Theme Park Entry if you are staying on property).

We are big proponents of rope dropping at the Disney parks, especially the Magic Kingdom. By doing this, it helps you to beat the crowds, spend less time in lines, and therefore get more rides done in a shorter period of time.

We are currently working on a Guide to Rope Drop at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, so stay tuned for that soon!

What is the Earliest You Can Enter the Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom entrance crowds in the morning

Guests visiting Magic Kingdom or any of the parks are often surprised when they arrive at the park and there are hundreds if not thousands of people already in the parks! While Disney World has “official times” for the opening they also have “unofficial times.”

Frequent visitors know that they often allow guests into the parks earlier than the listed official times. But the addition of Early Theme Park Entry essentially squashed this possibility for guests not staying at a Disney World Resort or other participating hotel.

For guests staying at one of the approved resorts or hotels, this perk allows guests to enter the park 30 minutes prior to the official opening time. In fact, we’d suggest getting to the park at least 45 minutes prior to the official opening time because they often allow guests in BEFORE the ‘early entry time.’

So if you’re staying at a Disney Resort or one of the participating hotels, you can enter Magic Kingdom between 45 and 60 minutes prior to the official opening time for that day.

What Time Should YOU Arrive at the Magic Kingdom?

Tomorrowland in the morning without crowds

If you want to “rope drop” and get on the most amount of attractions before the bulk of the guests has arrived at the park, we’d suggest getting to the front entrance of the park:

  • 45-60 minutes prior to park opening time IF staying at a hotel that allows for Early Entry.
  • 15-30 minutes prior to official park opening time if NOT staying at a hotel that allows for ‘Early Entry.’ 

We know this isn’t always easy and is dependent on a number of factors, primarily transportation. And if you have a larger family or group, getting everyone ready and out the door in time can be challenging.

If staying on-site, this also means that you’ll be reliant on Disney Buses, Skyliner, Monorail, or Boat transportation. These can be slow, and many other people have the exact same idea, leading to major overcrowding.

To minimize this, you should plan to be waiting for Disney Transportation 60 to 90 minutes prior to the Early Theme Park Entry time.

Disney World Monorail pulling into the station

If staying at one of the off-site hotels, you’ll probably be driving and you’ll need additional time to park the car and take the Ferry Boat or the Monorail into the front entrance of the Magic Kingdom. This usually means LONG wait times in the early hours.

Both the Monorail and the parking lots found at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) open around an hour prior to the official park opening time.

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Pool at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

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Rides to Prioritize Early in the Morning

There is no doubt that if you go into the day with a plan, you are going to get a lot more done than if you just wing it. We like to play it by ear as much as the next person, but having a plan of attack before you go will allow you to ride way more attractions than not having one.

Boat riding down the river in Jungle Cruise

Deciding which rides to prioritize early in the morning depends on if you are going for Early Theme Park Entry or if you are going for the regular park opening.

If going for Early Theme Park Entry and you have that extra 30 minutes, your choices are limited to either Fantasyland or Tomorrowland attractions. If that’s the case, prioritize depending on the interests of your group one of these:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Space Mountain

Each of these rides SHOULD be open for Early Entry. These are the three attractions that get the longest wait times later on in the day out of the available attractions, so you’ll save yourself some serious time by doing them early.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Prioritize them based on your interest level. Out of all of them, if I were to choose one I’d recommend Seven Dwarfs Mine Train due to the fact that it’s the ride that gets the LONGEST wait in all of Magic Kingdom, at least prior to TRON Lightcycle Run.

If NOT coming for Early Theme Park Entry and instead you are coming for the regular park opening I’d recommend avoiding Fantasyland and Tomorrowland since they’ll already be crowded for guests in the parks.

You’ll likely be able to get on the attractions in Adventureland and Frontierland immediately which makes them a better bet. In this case, I’d prioritize either:

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • Thunder Mountain
  • The Haunted Mansion

If going THIS route, save the rides in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland later on in the day, or use a Genie+ selection on them if you buy it for the day.

Attractions That Never Open at Park Opening

There are a few attractions that rarely open at the same time as the park opening, if ever. Plan other attractions than these and certainly don’t prioritize them since they are rarely open.

The rides that fit in this category are:

  • Character meet and greets
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Tom Sawyer Island

Should You Use Genie+?

I understand the apprehension that guests have to pay extra money on top of the already expensive park tickets. But out of ALL parks in Walt Disney World, the one that makes the most amount of sense to get Genie+ is Magic Kingdom.

Astronauts in Space Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

In OUR opinion we almost always recommend getting Genie+ in Magic Kingdom. Why?

It gives you BY FAR the most amount of value. Practically every ride (20+) are accessible via the Lightning Lanes Genie+ reservation in Magic Kingdom! Prior to TRON, it was perfectly feasible even on the busier days to get on every single worthwhile attraction in Magic Kingdom with Genie+.

Rather than having to wait 30-40 minutes for almost every ride, which adds up quickly throughout your day, with a Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation you could literally plan your day to go from attraction to attraction.

By lining up for the longest wait attractions in Magic Kingdom such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for Genie+ Reservations, you can get in line for the shorter wait attractions.

Magic Kingdom Rides sign

The other parks are more debatable about whether they are worthwhile to get Genie+ due to the lesser number of attractions available, but Magic Kingdom is absolutely worth getting it at!

If you want a further in-depth discussion on why I recommend it at Magic Kingdom and exactly how you can plan out your day, read my Genie Plus Guide at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

You also will find my post on Genie+ & Lightning Lanes helpful, as well as the article Is Genie+ Still Worth It?

Transportation Options

When getting to Magic Kingdom, it’s worthwhile to consider the available transportation options to you, both if you’re staying in the Disney World Resort or outside, especially when trying to arrive early for rope drop or Early Theme Park Entry.

bus to Disney's Magic Kingdom

The main transportation options are:

  • Disney Buses

When staying within a Disney World Resort, the most common form of transportation to the Magic Kingdom is a Disney Bus. Although slow and cramped at times, Disney Buses will take you to the very front of the Magic Kingdom.

  • Disney Monorail 

Guests traveling both by vehicle and/or staying at one of the Monorail Resorts have access to a direct line to Magic Kingdom. Also, guests coming from EPCOT can transfer on the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom line and vice versa.

  • Ferry Boat 

Guests coming from a few Disney World Resorts have access to boat transportation to the front entrance of Magic Kingdom. The most common resorts to take the boat are Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, though some of the other Seven Seas Lagoon resorts also have boats.

walking path from Grand Floridian Resort to Magic Kingdom
  • Walking 

Guests staying at any of the three Monorail Resorts can walk to the front entrance of Magic Kingdom. This can be anywhere between a 5-minute walk to a 30-minute walk depending on which resort you’re staying at, and how fast you walk.

  • Traveling by Vehicle 

Guests driving into Magic Kingdom and parking OR ridesharing (Uber, Lyft) will be dropped off at the Transportation and Ticket Center. This will require additional transportation to the front of Magic Kingdom by ferry boat or the monorail. Our Disney World Parking Guide will tell you everything you need to know.

While there is no direct access to Magic Kingdom from the Disney Skyliner, it’s possible you might be using the Skyliner to get to EPCOT or another Disney World Resort that will enable you to take a bus or other form of transportation. In most cases though, this is going to take a long time so you are better with a bus direct from your resort.

In the Morning

With each of the transportation options mentioned above, what can you expect to find when using each of these transportation options in the morning?

Monorail entrance Magic Kingdom
  • Disney Monorail 

The ‘Highway in the Sky’ is often incredibly popular for guests striving to reach Magic Kingdom in the morning. Guests arriving at the TTC and from the Resorts often want to use the monorail to reach the front gates of Magic Kingdom.

The line can fill up fast and we’d suggest getting in line for the monorail at least 45 minutes prior to Early Theme Park Entry.

  • Disney Buses

When trying to use a bus to arrive at Magic Kingdom for ‘rope drop’, we recommend being out by your bus stop at your resort at least 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to Early Theme Park Entry.

The first bus usually comes during that time frame. If you want to be on the very first bus of the day, you might consider getting out even earlier than that to ensure you get on the first bus, especially if you have a larger resort.

  • Ferry Boat 

Those wanting to get to Magic Kingdom via boat should be out by the bus at least 60 minutes prior to Early Theme Park Entry, which is normally when the boats begin running from the resorts. Get there a little bit earlier if you want to ensure you’re on the first boat.

Magic Kingdom ferry
  • Walking 

The good news about walking is you’re not reliant on anyone other than yourself! If walking from Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can be at the front gates of the Magic Kingdom in under 10  minutes! Disney Cast Members will allow you to head up to the turnstiles around 60 minutes prior to Early Theme Park Entry. It’s the easiest way to ensure you’re there first!

  • Traveling by Vehicle 

Traveling by vehicle in the morning can be stressful and requires multiple steps. You’ll need to park you’re vehicle or get dropped off if ridesharing at the TTC. (Transportation and Ticket Center) Then you’ll have to take either the large passenger Ferry Boat or the Disney Monorail over to the front entrance of Magic Kingdom.

We’d suggest getting to the parking lot 60-80 minutes prior to Early Theme Park Entry. If you arrive too early, the booths might not be open yet and you’ll have to turn around.

Driving to the Magic Kingdom for rope drop is not our favorite option, but if you are staying off-site, you’ll have no other choice.

  • Disney Skyliner

Taking the Disney Skyliner to Magic Kingdom isn’t the most efficient way to get to the park since there is no direct access and it will require multiple connections. You’d also be reliant on the Skyliner to be running, which doesn’t run until about an hour prior to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios‘ opening times.

We really don’t recommend this, and it’s almost impossible to do for rope drop or Early Theme Park Entry.

At Park Close

Finding the right transportation to the parks in the morning is already a hassle, but sometimes, it can be an even bigger nightmare at the park close.

Pirates of the Caribbean Magic Kingdom laying down

What can you expect to find in the evening time when leaving the park when using these same transportation options?

  • Disney Buses

If the park close is in line with the end of the fireworks show, Disney Bus lines can be incredibly long! You’ll often have to wait for multiple buses and it can require a lot of standing around. Buses will run anywhere between 60-120 minutes after the official park closing time.

If the park closing time is much later than the fireworks show, the bus lines will not be anywhere near as long albeit they’ll still be longer than normal.

  • Disney Monorail 

Similar to the Disney Buses, both the Resort Monorail line and the Express Monorail line can be long at park close and require a lot of standing around and waiting.

The Resort Monorail line will run usually about an hour after the closing time of Magic Kingdom and will take guests both to the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center) and to each of the three Monorail Resorts.

The Express Monorail will run guests directly to the TTC and is the quicker option for guests looking to get back to their vehicle, it also runs for an hour or so after park closing.

  • Disney Boat 

Using the Disney Resort boats to get back to your resort is a nice relaxing way to end a long day. The boats will run between 60-90 minutes after park closing. These lines can get long with people all wanting to get back to their resort.

  • Walking 

A simple walk out of Magic Kingdom will have you back to your resort in no time! No need to wait or stand around as you promptly get back to your hotel.

Parking at Disney World
  • Traveling by Vehicle 

Exiting Magic Kingdom and getting back to your vehicle at the TTC can be long and stressful, especially at the end of a long night. Ferry Boat lines get VERY long immediately after the fireworks, but Disney normally does a good job of loading them quickly and getting people back. The line moves a lot faster than it might seemingly first appear.

Your other alternative is taking one of the two Monorail Lines (Resort and Express), and you can take whichever line seems shorter. They’ll both take you back to the TTC to your car, although the Express one is a direct path.

  • Disney Skyliner

The Disney Skyliner hours of operation are based on EPCOT and Hollywood Studios hours and they’ll usually run both lines depending on what time those two parks close. Normally they run between 60-90 minutes past the closing time of those two parks.

Again, this would be almost impossible from the Magic Kingdom and would require you to take the monorail to EPCOT first, walk through the entire park, and then out the back gate to the Skyliner. By that point, either EPCOT or the Disney Skyliner would probably be closed, so we don’t recommend it.

Bus Transportation Magic Kingdom

TIP: For all transportation options: If you have some time, we recommend hanging out at the Magic Kingdom for at least 30 minutes after the fireworks show is over. That will give a large number of guests the chance to leave, and you won’t be stuck waiting in line for a bus, ferry boat, or the monorail.

We’d much rather browse a few shops or take selfies in front of Cinderella Castle and soak up the atmosphere than be waiting at the bus stop during that time. Then when crowds have dissipated, head for your transportation home.

Our Predictions for Future Magic Kingdom Park Hours

crowds at the entrance to Liberty Square Magic Kingdom rope drop

While there’s no way to know for sure what will happen in the future when it comes to the park hours, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with the increasingly better hours each of the last couple of years since the reopening of the parks in 2020.

While we are still a ways off the regular 11:00 pm or 12:00 am closing times and the more consistent 8:00 am openings, we hope they’ll get back to this in the next year or so. The past year has given us some promising hopes for the park.

With the opening of TRON and the recent reopenings of the final few attractions, it seems the Magic Kingdom has given guests more and more access, especially during peak travel times.

March was exciting and it gave Disney a good chance to evaluate 8:00 am openings and Extended Evening Hours each Wednesday until 1:00 am! Hopefully, it proved to be a successful strategy for Magic Kingdom while being a sign of things to come.

Crowds in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom

We love having these late-night options, and spending a night in Magic Kingdom until 1:00 am is a perfect way to end a great night! We’re excited for the future of Magic Kingdom and that it’ll finally rebuild some of its lost luster.

Ready to Start Planning Your Disney Vacation?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

If you feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. They are experts on every Disney location and can tell you where to stay, what to do, how to save money, and give you personalized service for your most magical vacation ever!

That wraps up our look at Disney’s Magic Kingdom park hours in 2024. We hope you now have a better understanding of when the park opens, closes, and how to prioritize your day!

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the park hours for Disney’s Magic Kingdom…

  • What time do you like to arrive at the Magic Kingdom?
  • What changes would you like to see to the park hours?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂