Lower CL vs Longer Park Hours for AK

Hi! This is my first post here but I’ve been reading a lot to plan for our upcoming trip : Oct 31-Nov 6, DH, DSs 19 & 17 and I with 4-day hopper tickets.

Here’s the dilemma I need help with: should I prioritize lower CL (4 vs 6) over longer park hours for AK? The day AK CL is at 6 is also the only evening it will close at 8 instead of 7, making it our only chance to be in the park after dusk.

We’ve never been at AK at night but I’ve read it’s a must see. Is it worth dealing with bigger crowds though?

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I would definitely go for the longer hours. Sometimes unexpected crowds will increase crowd levels day of, or suddenly the crowds will be lower. AK in the dark is not to be missed!


Absolutely make sure you see Pandora at night. I loved being there at dusk watching the illuminations gradually reveal.

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Oh and Awakenings is great too.

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You’ll probably be OK to see Pandora at night either way. Sunset is around 640 on the 31st, so if you were in line for Avatar or something at that time, you’d likely get to walk out of Pandora at least with the park late.

That said, I usually opt for the longer day…

I’ll admit, I hate crowds, and try to plan trips during the lowest CLs I can that work for us…but the truth is, the difference between a 4 and a 6 is fairly negligible, particularly at a park like AK where you can hit most of the main attractions in a day fairly easily, even when it is busy, including shows. So, I’m in the same crowd as the others saying adding that extra hour is probably the way to go. It might not actually allow you to get more done, but I definitely think being there when it is dark for Pandora is worth it. In December, the only reason, really, we are going to AK, other than eating at Yak and Yeti, is to be there to see Pandora in the dark. We aren’t even going there until the early evening, with our dinner reservation at 6:45 so that when we’re done, we can exit the park after most of the crowds are gone.

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Extra time, for sure. Especially at AK where you’re less likely to notice the crowds because there are fewer lineup situations.

At my first trip to Disney World, we spent a day in MK. It was supposed to be a 5, it ended up being an 8. We did not even noticed. We had a touring plan. We did everything that was on it, finished early and went for a swim at the pool.

Early morning/late at night are always less busy and so worth it!


I would go for longer hours as well. I don’t think you’d find an incredibly noticeable difference between a 4 and a 6. If you were talking about a 4 vs a 10 that would be a different conversation. But these two levels are so minimally different that its worth it to be with the “bigger” crowd to see Pandora at night and the Tree Of Life Awakenings if they are running too

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