Prolonged Night Theme Park Hours is coming to Animal Kingdom for the primary time ever firstly of the Christmas 2023 season at Walt Disney World. This put up shares date(s), particulars, and technique for making the most of the on-site perk for friends staying at a Deluxe Resorts, DVC Villas, and choose different lodges.
For individuals who are new to Walt Disney World trip planning, Prolonged Night Theme Park Hours is nighttime counterpart to Early Theme Park Entry. There are a number of variations, most notably that friends staying at Worth or Reasonable Resorts usually are not eligible for Prolonged Night Hours.
Prolonged Night Theme Park Hours has two kinds of resort eligibility, happens two nights per week, is at two parks, and runs for 2 hours (just about every thing in regards to the perk happens in twos). It’s normally each Monday at EPCOT and each Wednesday at Magic Kingdom. See our Technique Information Information for Prolonged Night Hours at Walt Disney World for extra ins and outs of the nighttime Deluxe profit.
Against this, Early Entry is obtainable in any respect 4 theme parks each single day, runs for half-hour, and each on-site resort visitor is eligible, together with the third occasion on-property lodges. Regardless of the expanded eligibility, Early Entry can be nice–particularly at Animal Kingdom. As a result of begin time, not many individuals benefit from it, and you should use Early Entry and cord drop to knock out each trip at Animal Kingdom by 10:30 am!
For every thing you could find out about that profit, see our Technique Information for Early Theme Park Entry at Walt Disney World. That features the place Early Entry works finest and worst, rides to prioritize and keep away from, and extra.
As for Prolonged Night Hours, it’ll be obtainable at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the next dates in Late 2023:
That’s it…for now. Walt Disney World simply revealed the preliminary park hours for early November, so the calendar doesn’t go any farther than that. It’s attainable that Animal Kingdom will turn out to be the brand new Wednesday ExEH park, displacing Magic Kingdom throughout the coronary heart of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Get together season. Through which case, we will count on Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom on November 8, 15, 22, 29; December 6, 13, 20, 27.
It’s additionally attainable that it is a one-off, and Prolonged Night Hours will likely be hosted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and/or Magic Kingdom on Wednesdays. One other situation is that it’s a mixture of the three as scheduling dictates with the onerous ticket occasions and vacation crowds.
For these considering “what vacation crowds?” with regards to November 8, the reply is Veterans Day weekend. We’ve talked about this numerous occasions, however that’s an more and more in style lengthy weekend at Walt Disney World, and the majority of the busy days will really happen earlier than the weekend. Critically, Veterans Day is well one of many busiest holidays of the yr, far surpassing Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
In fact, it’s not the one massive vacation throughout November and December, however I doubt any Walt Disney World followers would doubt that Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Yr’s Eve are busy stretches. Together with Columbus Day (additionally one of many worst weekends/weeks), Veterans Day sneaks up on lots of people!
We beforehand talked about the ‘coronary heart’ of Get together Season as the massive cause why Magic Kingdom most likely gained’t host Prolonged Night Hours throughout the ultimate three-plus months of the yr. Magic Kingdom is a veritable crowd curler coaster this time of yr, and shifting ExEH to a distinct park ought to assist fight crowds and displaced friends on account of that.
It’s because vacationers usually are not doing Magic Kingdom on occasion days of their regular numbers, which means that they’re disproportionately visiting on non-party days. Consequently, each the times and nights of Prolonged Night Hours at Magic Kingdom may be actually busy throughout Get together Season–and that’ll turn out to be much more pronounced as soon as the onerous ticket occasions develop from a few nights per week to 3-4 nights. Internet hosting ExEH in parks apart from Magic Kingdom is an efficient transfer for all concerned.
It’s attainable that the identical concern exists with the Disney Jollywood Nights Christmas Get together, which might clarify why Disney’s Hollywood Studios will not be internet hosting Prolonged Night Hours on November 8, 2023. However I sorta doubt it. That tough ticket vacation occasion solely happens as soon as per week till the final week of November, and it’s extremely unlikely it’ll disrupt crowd traits.
For one factor, DHS by no means has the identical nighttime crowds as Magic Kingdom. It nearly all the time empties out early, a pattern we’ve seen happen regardless of Fantasmic returning. For an additional factor, previous After Hours events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have by no means had an affect on crowd patterns. It’s only a completely totally different dynamic than Magic Kingdom throughout Get together Season. It’s nonetheless attainable that Walt Disney World operations is erring on the facet of warning, however as earlier than, I doubt it.
Different prospects are personal park buyouts, different unknown occasions, or that Walt Disney World is testing totally different approaches to Prolonged Night Hours to see what works finest. Given the schedule quirks all through October and early November, my cash can be on testing.
In that case, kudos to Walt Disney World for seeing what friends favor for ExEH parks. My guess is that Hollywood Studios goes to show way more in style, but it surely’s definitely value attempting out totally different choices and assessing precise visitor suggestions. We respect when Walt Disney World does such a factor.
We love Animal Kingdom at night time. Nicely, when it’s open after darkish–however that’s normally the case throughout the vacation season because of Daylight Saving Time and earlier sunsets. Pandora – World of Avatar appears to be like nice at night time, and takes on a completely totally different ambiance that’s surprisingly serene even when it’s busy. (It normally will not be busy at night time.)
Then there are the Discovery Island Luminaries and different beautiful decor lit up for Christmas. Between that and the Tree of Life Winter Awakenings, we’re massive followers of doing an Animal Kingdom afternoon and night throughout November or December. That’s how we do DAK more often than not throughout the vacation season. And we nonetheless extremely advocate that for Christmas 2023.
Nevertheless, I’m undecided how enthusiastically I’d advocate Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom. It’s tough to evaluate how in style this will likely be, particularly with it being restricted to solely Deluxe Resort and different choose friends (excluding Worth and Reasonable Resorts).
I’ll simply say that I used to be not a fan of Night Additional Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom. Actually, I can’t even bear in mind the final time we did that providing at Animal Kingdom; like DHS, it wasn’t persistently provided pre-closure. I wish to say we did it someday in 2018, however I could possibly be mistaken. In any case, we stopped doing Night Additional Magic Hours at DAK as a result of it was depressing.
Animal Kingdom was a lot extra crowded throughout that “perk” than on a traditional night time, and the strains for Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey have been ridiculous. What I do vividly bear in mind was lengthy strains that stretched again to Harambe, and precise wait occasions that have been triple-digits. With that mentioned, I additionally bear in mind different elements of the park being ghost cities, in order that was a plus!
I wouldn’t be shocked if Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom is a considerably comparable story. It undoubtedly gained’t be as dangerous because of a smaller pool of eligible friends and because the ‘new land odor’ has worn off Pandora. But it surely might nonetheless be busier than a traditional night time in Animal Kingdom, which is usually fairly quiet.
The primary cause for that is induced demand. Animal Kingdom is quiet within the evenings as a result of most Walt Disney World friends don’t understand how nice it’s; if this have been dropped at their consideration, their conduct would change. Prolonged Night Hours is actually bringing it to their consideration, and through an “unique” perk. Folks love issues which are (purportedly) unique. However I could possibly be fully mistaken–we will see!
The second cause for that is that Animal Kingdom is dangerous at absorbing crowds. That is all the time true, which is why there’s a ‘tipping level’ when DAK goes from completely manageable to insanely crowded, with out a lot of a reasonably busy in-between. Such is the character of a restricted trip roster.
So far as technique goes, Avatar Flight of Passage is the principle substantive draw of Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom. Experiencing this attraction with a minimal wait is a big promoting level of the perk; friends will undoubtedly acknowledge this, seeing ExEH as an alternative choice to paying for Particular person Lightning Lane entry.
That’s precisely why Flight of Passage will likely be busy firstly of Prolonged Night Hours. Based mostly on our previous expertise throughout late nights at Animal Kingdom (Additional Magic Hours, After Hours, DVC occasions, and so forth.), our recommendation can be to save lots of Flight of Passage till the tip of the night time.
We’ve finished occasions throughout which Flight of Passage posts a 60-90 minute wait firstly, is a walk-on after the primary hour, and has whole theaters going almost empty in direction of the tip. Throughout After Hours, specifically, there have been events when nobody else was in your entire theater (not simply our load space–all of them). It was surreal trying left and proper whereas driving the banshee and seeing a sea of empty seats on an attraction that’s among the many hottest at Walt Disney World. With that mentioned, we’d count on ExEH to be busier than After Hours, because the latter value $100+ per ticket and that is “free.”
As odd as this may sound, there’s cause for the fall-off: Flight of Passage’s pre-show. When you’ve solely skilled the attraction a handful of occasions, the awkward and rambling pre-show may strike you as mildly annoying. Strive experiencing that very same pre-show 4 consecutive occasions and also you’ll discover it interminably lengthy and bordering on torture (speak in regards to the final first-world hyperbole, however nonetheless).
In concept, you could possibly most likely trip Avatar Flight of Passage just a few occasions throughout Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom. The complete expertise from getting into the queue to exiting and strolling again to the entrance of the road as a walk-on ranges from 19 to 22 minutes (relying upon strolling pace, load time, and whether or not you will have Pandoran parasites).
Nevertheless, most friends should not have the persistence to topic themselves to that pre-show that many occasions in a single night. It simply isn’t attainable. As majestical, detailed, and euphoric because the trip expertise itself is, you’ll be spending the majority of your time within the pre-show every time, and that’s simply an excessive amount of. Sadly, there is no such thing as a strategy to skip the pre-show because it comprises the protection spiel.
That is exactly why the road will drop off sharply for Avatar Flight of Passage throughout the course of Prolonged Night Hours. Folks will get their fill firstly of the occasion, and never do it once more both because of the lengthy line they encountered the primary time, the lengthy pre-show, or each.
Accordingly, I believe the perfect method to Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom is beginning in Asia and doing Expedition Everest, probably repeatedly. The overall trip expertise there may be considerably shorter and it ought to be an identical story with the road. You can most likely do Expedition Everest just a few occasions in brief order in case your physique is as much as it.
From there, doing Dinosaur a couple of times is sensible (you can skip the pre-show there…however why would you need disrespect the venerable Dr. Seeker like that?!) earlier than ending the night time in Pandora – World of Avatar the place you may bounce between Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage to combine issues up a bit, and forestall overload on that pre-show.
Our rationale for this technique is that everybody goes to go to Pandora first. It’s the principle draw, and why 95% of persons are going to attend Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom. Not solely will ExEH friends flock to Pandora, however day friends will nonetheless be there firstly.
After about an hour, day friends will likely be lengthy gone, and Prolonged Night Hours friends will even begin to transfer on to different areas of Animal Kingdom. The final half-hour or so, you need to have Pandora just about to your self. Not solely will you be capable of benefit from the sights with minimal wait, however you may benefit from the ambiance of Pandora at night time devoid of crowds.
I like the bodily surroundings of Pandora, however it’s usually so chaotic that it’s tough to get pleasure from. At night time, it’s normally so devoid of folks that the “natural” ambiance there may be way more convincing–really like an alien planet being reclaimed by nature. Strolling round different areas of the park is equally satisfying.
Actually, that is the upside of Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom from our perspective. Whereas I contemplate Animal Kingdom to be the weakest of the 4 parks at night time, that may be very a lot a relative time period–even the “weakest” on this case remains to be implausible, and extremely underrated.
It’s not simply the moody ambiance, it’s the serene sounds and simply basic peacefulness of the park. When you’ve solely finished DAK throughout sizzling days, you should have a completely contemporary perspective on it–noticing particulars you’ve by no means seen earlier than and leaving with a newfound appreciation for the park. I promise!
The largest draw back to Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom is every thing that isn’t open. Kilimanjaro Safaris, Pageant of the Lion King, Discovering Nemo: Large Blue & Past, or Feathered Mates in Flight, all of which at present finish operations nicely earlier than 7 p.m.
Accordingly, we’d advocate arriving just a few hours early, and allocating that point to different sights, stage reveals, and in addition the wonderful vacation season leisure that gained’t be open or carried out throughout Prolonged Night Hours. Through the occasion, you’re essentially going to be repeating sights, as so few are open.
Finally, Prolonged Night Hours at Animal Kingdom is an occasion that leaves me conflicted. On the one hand, I choose nighttime within the different 3 parks, and I additionally favor ExEH in each Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom from a sensible perspective given the trip rosters in every of these parks.
However, I actually don’t wish to undersell how unimaginable Animal Kingdom is at night time, throughout occasions like this one (as long as crowds aren’t too dangerous). It could be my least favourite park at night time, but it surely’s nonetheless implausible–and criminally underrated. It’s an actual disgrace that so few Walt Disney World friends expertise Animal Kingdom within the night, as your entire park takes on a distinct vibe–particularly Pandora – World of Avatar. Greater than anything, this actually simply makes me want Animal Kingdom had a (good) nighttime spectacular and bigger trip roster so individuals stayed late right here on common days.
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Will you be making the most of Prolonged Night Theme Park Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Late 2023? Disenchanted in regards to the lack of ExEH at Magic Kingdom throughout the coronary heart of this Get together Season? Hoping extra Prolonged Night Hours dates are provided at DAK for the vacation season? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we might help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even while you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!