Staying on Disney World property comes with a series of perks, whether that’s easy access to Disney’s complimentary transportation systems, 24/7 immersion in the so-called Disney “bubble,” or Early Theme Park Entry, which grants all on-property guests the ability to enter a theme park 30 minutes prior to the posted opening time each day!
If you’re looking for even more of that extra time in the parks, there’s another new perk you should know about. However, not every resort guest is eligible, and depending on what your priorities are, it may not be worth the cost!
We’re talking about extended evening park hours. On select nights, one Disney park will remain open for an additional two hours — much like what Extra Magic Hours used to look like. However, there’s one HUGE catch. Unlike Extra Magic Hours or Early Theme Park Entry, which all on-property resort guests could take advantage of, extended evening park hours are only offered to guests staying at a Disney World Deluxe Resort or a Disney World Deluxe Villa Resort.
That means you have to pay top-dollar at a Disney World Resort hotel in order to be able to stay at the park for 2 hours after that park’s closing time. So, with that in mind…is this expensive perk even worth it?
Reasons why it may be worth it!
We were at the first night EPCOT’s extended evening park hours, and one of the biggest pluses we experienced were extremely short wait times. In most cases, EPCOT’s rides were practically walk-on, with even the most popular rides like Frozen Ever After having a wait time of only 15-20 minutes.
In that same vein, we noticed there was plenty of elbow room walking around the parks during the extended evening park hours. If you’re still cautious when it comes to large crowds and gatherings, these extra hours are a fantastic way to get a lot of rides done without worrying about it being too crowded.
Finally, having these extra couple of hours at night frees up your day to get a lot more done in the park. We didn’t have to worry about waiting in that long line for Frozen Ever After because we knew we could ride with little to no wait at night! It also frees you up to head back to your hotel if you want to take a midday break.
Reasons why it may NOT be worth it!
While having two “quiet” hours in the parks seems like a dream, there are a few key details you should know about before deciding whether or not its worth booking Deluxe accommodations! For starters, while we could hop on many of EPCOT’s popular rides during the extended evening park hours, there was one huge omission: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was NOT available during the extended evening park hours.
Not only that, but we noticed that dining options during the extended evening hours were very limited. Rose & Crown Pub remained open throughout the night, and we spotted a couple of snack carts open. If you’re considering Deluxe accommodations so you can take advantage of extended evening hours, don’t plan on holding off on food until the park closes!
Then there’s the big reason why extended evening park hours may not be worth it. Disney World Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts are quite expensive, and you can likely afford a longer vacation by staying at a less-expensive hotel! You’ll have to decide if the cost of a Deluxe hotel is worth it to have those extra two hours in the park at night, or if you can budget your time wisely during the day so you don’t necessarily need those two extra hours!
Ultimately, Disney World’s extended evening park hours are a great way to get a lot of rides in at the end of the night with little to no wait. If you know your Disney World vacation is going to be short and money isn’t much of an object (or if you were already planning on booking Deluxe accommodations), then you may benefit from this pricey perk! If you have to stick to a budget, however, or even if your schedule is flexible and you can, say, spend multiple days at each park, then it may not be worth it to shell out that extra cash just for 2 more hours in the park at night.
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Would you pay for Deluxe accommodations just so you can take advantage of extended evening park hours? Let us know in the comments!
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