Disney World Hours Added Through April 2021

Walt Disney World has added new hours through early April 2021 for Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios, while also extending hours for late January and February 2021. In this post, we’ll share the updated calendar, plus new commentary on best & worst days of the week for each park.

Let’s begin with the new hours that Walt Disney World has for all four theme parks, Disney Springs, and Blizzard Beach to the calendar on DisneyWorld.com. The calendar was previously posted through March 20, and now extends to April 3, 2021. Added hours are the same for all dates:

  • Magic Kingdom: 9 am to 6 pm
  • EPCOT: 11 am to 7 pm
  • Hollywood Studios: 10 am to 7 pm
  • Animal Kingdom: 9 am to 5 pm
  • Blizzard Beach: 11 am to 6 pm
  • Disney Springs: 10 am to 10 pm (11 pm on weekends)

Park Hopping times for those dates have also been added to the calendar. At this point, the start time for changing parks is still 2 pm across the board; as Walt Disney World previously indicated, that could move earlier as demand and attendance dictate.

When looking at these new hours, it’s important to understand that Walt Disney World has returned to its normal practice of releasing boilerplate hours before extending those based on attendance and hotel occupancy projections. This initial release serves as a minimum baseline for what the ultimate hours will end up being, with hours only extended and not reduced.

These initial “lorem ipsum” Walt Disney World park hours are a placeholder to give false satisfaction to guests who like to plan. They’re ultimately somewhat meaningless, serving as a minimum baseline for what the hours will end up being, with hours only extended and not reduced.

Hours for February 2021 will likely end up being longer, especially the long holiday weekend encompassing Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and Mardi Gras.

That’s the one “red flag” on crowd calendars in the next few months, and it could end up being one of the busiest weeks of the year at Walt Disney World. Seriously–if you have flexibility in travel dates, we’d recommend avoiding that week at all costs.

Consult our January 2021 Crowd Calendar, February 2021 Crowd Calendar, and March 2021 Crowd Calendar for specific best and worst dates to visit Walt Disney World beyond that. As predicted in Will Crowds Keep Skyrocketing at Walt Disney World in 2021?, attendance is down for winter weekdays, a trend that is likely to hold true for the next few months.

Due to falling crowd levels thus far in January 2021, don’t be surprised to see fewer extensions for February and March 2021. Aside from the aforementioned week, this could be the last round of extensions for a bit…

On each of the last several Friday calendar updates, Walt Disney World has extended park hours for a weekend or two in the immediate future while releasing one week’s worth of new boilerplate hours. This has been pretty consistent for the last month or so, but makes vacation planning a tad difficult because it’s on such short notice.

Well, those hoping for a more comprehensive calendar update with extensions for more distant dates has gotten their wish this week! Here are the newly-expanded park hours…

Magic Kingdom

  • January 18 & 30, 2021: 9 am to 8 pm
  • January 23 & 31; February 5-6, 2021: 9 am to 9 pm
  • February 1-4, 2021: 9 am to 7 pm


  • January 24 to February 6, 2021: 11 am to 8 pm

Hollywood Studios

  • January 24 to February 6, 2021: 9 am to 7 pm

Animal Kingdom

  • January 24 to February 6, 2021: 8 am to 5 pm (6 pm closing January 24 & 30, 2021)

The easiest way to survey what has been extended for your travel dates is using the interactive monthly calendar on DisneyWorld.com.

Finally, our best and worst days to visit each of the Walt Disney World theme parks. As always, there’s a ton of fluidity to things right now. If you’re planning for April or May 2021, you’ll want to keep an eye on our Walt Disney World Park Reports, as the advice below may no longer be applicable by then.

Our top recommendation is to avoid Walt Disney World on the weekends. That’s unlikely to change any time soon. While hours can be longer on Saturdays and Sundays, the cost is elevated crowds as compared to weekdays. Wait times are 30% to 40% higher on weekends, which is not enough to offset the addition of a single operating hour.

If your visit includes a weekend, do Disney’s Hollywood Studios one of those days. DHS comes closer to hitting capacity every single day, meaning there’s less of a difference in attendance on weekdays v. weekends. With that said, January and February 2021 are unlikely to be like last November and December.

There is a difference now, just not as big of a difference as the other parks. With that said, it’s definitely easier to score a spot in the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance on weekdays. Note that “easier” is a relative term–boarding passes are still gone within seconds when the virtual queue opens at 7 am, so you need to be up early for that. Our comprehensive Ride Guide & FAQ for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance covers everything you need to know–including some “fast finger” strategy to increase your odds.

EPCOT is the worst pick on weekends for the exact opposite reason. It’s undoubtedly the biggest “local’s park” at Walt Disney World, and that’s doubly true during the off-season and special events. Right now, it’s both. Expect weekends to be busy for the duration of the 2021 Taste of EPCOT Festival of the Arts.

Mondays through Wednesdays are all equally good for EPCOT. We’ve noticed a slight uptick in crowds on Thursdays, and a more significant one on Fridays. Still, not nearly as bad as Saturday or Sunday.

As for the your other weekend choice, pick either Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom is a good pick Monday through Thursday, with Wednesday being the best day of the week there from an objective perspective. While we do like those longer hours on weekends, it’s not really worth it during the winter off-season when you’re only getting one extra hour but significantly heavier crowds.

Accordingly, our strong preference is Animal Kingdom on weekends. This is in part due to lower demand, but also thanks to the 8 am opening time.

Most locals—the primary demographic on weekends—are not going to get up that early, so you can still accomplish an efficient itinerary solely by virtue of arriving early—or even staying late.

Ultimately, Walt Disney World crowds are entirely manageable and should remain that way through at least mid-March 2021 if you properly strategize no matter which day of the week you visit. Midday wait times have been bad and lines are lengthy, but it’s possible to beat the crowds. Visiting exclusively on weekdays will be the best low crowds experience, even if it means shorter hours. How you order the parks Mondays through Thursdays matters less, but we’d recommend doing Magic Kingdom on Wednesday or Thursday and EPCOT earlier in the week, but that’s really it.

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World for a long weekend, do Magic Kingdom on Friday, Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Saturday, Animal Kingdom on Sunday, and EPCOT on Monday. In testing a variety of approaches, that’s the one with which we’ve been the happiest. At this point, the longer hours are not worth the higher crowd levels on weekends, especially with how long weekday crowd levels have been. Keep in mind, that’s our advice right now. Things keep changing, and so too could day of week strategy.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


What are your thoughts about the latest Walt Disney World calendar changes? Happy to see hours extended for January and February 2021? Concerned that this means crowd forecasts are continuing to increase? Will you be visiting Walt Disney World before spring break or are you holding off until at least Summer 2021? Does this modified schedule influence your decision to visit or not? Do you agree or disagree with our advice and commentary? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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