December 2017 Park Hours

Curious if the hours listed for the various parks in December seem normal to people? I built a tentative schedule a few months ago based on the park hour estimates, but the hours released of the weekend containing the 16th of December are just silly to me. MK closes at 9pm on a Saturday? HS closes at SIX PM??? What am I missing here??

My trip in the week of the 11th - the 19th and currently I am pretty bummed about the lack of evening EMH.
I seem to remember from trips gone by, that the hours change as it gets closer to the actual trip, but 6PM closing must mean some event they haven’t announced? And how do people plan parks based on hours that are constantly changing!!! I am going insane…

/end rant

Without a doubt those hours will be changed. Most likely a few times.

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I would expect them to change, but it seems to me that we were there in December a few years ago and HS closed really early for a special private event one night.

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Thank you both. I guess in my stresses last night I was kind of ramble-y and should have just pared down my thoughts to this question, since the hours will definitely change, how do you best plan your trips 180 days out?

I’ve always tried to book ADRs around which park I plan to be in for that day. We try to avoid having to hop parks since I’m usually with 3 kids. Perhaps with the new express transportation I should change my thinking? Book the ADRs for wherever we want to eat, and don’t worry as much about planning our which park to be in?

I’ve seen suggestions that the HS closing time could be some kind of Star Wars film preview event, being the day before the film’s release date. Or maybe the actual release date?

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I can’t believe I didn’t think about that. Would make some sense as the movie comes out the 15th. Good point. Thanks!

A week or so before 180 days I will map out which parks I’d like to visit, based on the CLs available at the time. It will give me an idea of when I’ll be in which park, and when we’ll be at the resort. I think think about where I will want to eat in each park and decide which meal I want to have there, and maybe whether I’ll want the meal to be early or late (i.e. a 10:30am breakfast, or a 4:30pm dinner) at any places I don’t think will be a problem getting into.

Keep in mind that except for Epcot and/or any early closings for special events, the parks’ closing times will larelgy be a function of expected crowds, and if anything they might make them a little later as the date gets closer because they’re expecting more people to be in the park that day, which would mean longer waits so you might actually get to do less in that day even with an extra hour or two that night. If a closing time seems exceptionally early (like a 6:30 HS closing) then it’s probably for a specific reason and won’t change. I don’t consider it to be a major issue if I planned on visiting Epcot because HS was closing at 8:00, and then then they change it to 10:00 later on… in most cases I wouldn’t change my plans, either. There are some times when you just have to shrug it off.

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Thanks. I really appreciate that input. If I had a nickel for every time I had to remind myself to shrug it off…

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I know… it’s tough for lots of us. I was going mad late last summer when I had to make my FPs (we’d booked after 180 days, so we took what we could get with ADRS, which was still everything we wanted because it’s just about the slowest week of the year!) everything at AK was in flux because of the very new late hours (and the fact that at the time it was still projected that RoL might even open up then), Epcot was shifting all over because FEA had just opened, and the additional screen at Soarin was opening, and HS was also slightly uncertain because they’d just opened the additional capacity at TSMM.

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Wowza. Haha. That’s madness right there. I woke up at 3:55 am and was able to get the ADRs I wanted, but only for lunch. I don’t know how to play the game better…and the best I could get was a bunch of lunch reservations! Oh well, now it’s time to sit down and really look at what our vacation looks like. Really excited to go.

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I am right there with you! I will be at WDW 2-9 DEC. I got my ADRs booked, but had to watch out for dinner because I don’t know when some events will be at night. It looks like the Epcot schedule isn’t complete because of the candlelight processional hours, which haven’t been published. And I am trying to choose which day to see the Star Wars fireworks at HS, but they aren’t listed. Also, Rivers of Light…I am seeing AK closing at like 7pm so I can’t figure out which day to see Rivers of Light either. Ugh.


Completely understand! Haha. Good luck to you. We just decided to invest in the Express Transportation and change the way we typically do a trip to WDW. Excited to try some park hopping this time around.

We’re a week and a half from our ADRS (going 23 dec - 2 jan) and going through all the same questions. (Plus a few more, thanks to me being the only person in the family being able to commit to a decision…!) We pretty much picked what parks we want to do while we are there based not so much on CL (its all pretty much 10s), but what we want to be doing ie. Candlelight processional is a definate christmas eve, so we’re at epcot that day etc. I’m working off the current hours on TP knowing full well they will change. My guess it is unlikely they will shorten the hours. If they make them longer… I probably wont change my plans around them, but will keep it in mind. the only time its going to effect THE PLAN is if they do morning EMH at a park we had planned for on a day its not currently predicted for…and i may have difficulty convincing dh to get out of bed for it if it wasnt on the original plan…

this is making me nervous!

I’ve never had this kind of bad luck. We are a party of 12, but I split it so I was only looking for parties of 6. Good luck on your ADRs.

There’s a hard ticket Jedi training event at HS in mid-Dec. Our trip is 12/16-12/23. I was able to score several pre-RD ADRs in MK and AK. Now as I look at prioritizing FP+ selections, I’m worried the park hours will change from 9a RD to 8a RD and I’ll be stuck with long waits for 7DMT and FoP. Any advice?