Disney Quietly Changes New Year’s Eve Park Closing Time at EPCOT

EPCOT Christmas/New Years
Credit: Disney

With holiday announcements coming out of Walt Disney World recently, and especially with some of those announcements sharing offerings that run through January or later, Disney fans have been awaiting news of what New Year’s Eve celebrations could look like at the parks and resorts this year.

Beacons of Magic Spaceship Earth

Credit: David Roark / Disney

The only official news we’ve had so far on the topic has been the park hours for December, which since they were released have indicated midnight closures for the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Today however, the park hours for EPCOT on December 31, 2021 were quietly changed to 10:00 pm from midnight.

Credit: Disney

While nothing official has been announced by Disney, we know that many Guests were hoping that the park’s midnight closure would then include a celebratory countdown along with perhaps at least some of the events and entertainment we’ve seen during past New Year’s Eves in the park. In previous years, EPCOT has been quite the destination for New Year’s Eve, with live music, DJs, special effects and entertainment taking over many of the countries throughout World Showcase and allowing for large dance floors. The last “traditional” New Year’s Eve celebrated in EPCOT took place on December 31, 2019, ahead of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in which 2020’s event was cut short and regulated under pandemic safety guideline.

Credit: Disney

At this time, both the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are still slated for midnight closures. Again, with nothing official to go on, this is only our prediction, but we believe those parks will at least offer countdowns at midnight due to them both already having nighttime shows running that result in crowds each day, regardless of the holiday. It is possible that the change in hours in EPCOT was also due to a staffing challenge, either in Cast Members who help control crowds or in entertainment offerings, as the change was quietly noted on Disney’s website and app, the reasoning for it is not clear.

If New Year’s Eve hours change once again at EPCOT or at the other Walt Disney World theme parks, we will keep you updated here on Disney Fanatic.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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