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Park Hours Extended Again as Crowds Continue to Increase at Walt Disney World

With crowds continuing to increase through spring break and the start of the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, Walt Disney World has extended hours for all four theme parks at the end of this month. Hours have been extended across each Disney park from March 20-26, 2022. If you have a Walt Disney World vacation in the works for the end of March 2022, here’s what you need to know.

Credit: Disney

The Magic Kingdom’s park hours will continue to open at 9:00 AM (with early entry for resort Guests at 8:30 AM), however, the park’s closing time has been pushed back to 11:00 PM, and to 1:00 AM on March 23, 2022, for extended evening hours for Deluxe Disney Resort Guests.

Consistent with weeks earlier this month, EPCOT will move to an 8:30 AM start time rather than its usual 10:00 AM opening, marking the earliest park hours this Disney Park has seen since prior to the pandemic. Closing times at EPCOT have no changed at this time, with the park closing at 9:00 PM to all Guests March 20-26, 2022.

Credit: Brittany DiCologero for Disney Fanatic

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has extended park hours in the morning, with early entry beginning for Disney resort Guests at 8:00 AM and the park opening to day Guests at 8:30 PM. Evening hours have not changed. The park is still set to close at 9:00 PM, a closing time that will likely stay in place until Fantasmic! returns assuming two showtimes take place on select dates.

The earliest extended hours come at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which will open at 7:00 AM for early entry and 7:30 AM for all other Guests visiting the park. Evening hours at the park have also been pushed back to 8:30 PM, which is sure to help with Guests looking to park hop to Animal Kingdom in the afternoon since park hopping is not possible until 2:00 PM.

Tree of Life, Disney's Animal Kingdom

A warm light emanates from the Tree of Life when it transforms into a Beacon of Magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, as part of the resorts 50th anniversary celebration. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

Aside from a couple of small lulls, crowds at Walt Disney World have been steady or increasing since the past holiday season. With hours extending, and Disney’s ability to control capacity through the Disney Park Pass system, it is possible that staffing challenges and other issues holding back certain areas of the resort from reopening are on their way to being figured out.

We will be back with updates on crowd levels and any changes to park hours through the rest of the month 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."