Varying opening times - how do they impact your plans?

If a park has different opening times during your trip, how does that affect your planning? For example, in February MK opens at 9am except for five days when it opens at 8am. If you had a choice between an 8am open and a 9am open on the same trip, which would you pick? How would it impact your RD/G+ plans, including stacking? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


If you have hoppers, the general advice is to start at the park that opens first and finish with the one that closes last. I take a look at the park hours, but ultimately I go to whatever park I feel like going in the morning, regardless of the opening times.


With only that as a criteria, I would pick the one that opens at 8. Fewer people like arriving early, so you will have a little longer with lower crowds. This assumes you plan to RD.

But there are other factors. Days that have shortened hours due to parties or events at MK tend to have significantly shorter waits during the day, so it is actually better to go on those days, then hop to another park for the evening to take advantage of those lower crowds. This also means avoiding the days before and after such days because MK would likely have higher crowds those days as a result.


I’m a morning person so earlier the better for me, and like others have said, the lower crowds are at the earlier openings.

That being said for spring break we are stacking LLs and letting everyone sleep in some.


Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts! Has anyone found that stacking for the afternoon on a “late start” day yields fewer/less desirable LLs than stacking on an “early start” day? Or does it not make a big difference?

And by “late start” I mean a later opening - 9am v. 8am in the example above.

Related question… why does the MK (and Epcot) open so late? Both DL parks open at 8am basically every day.

There are likely many answers, which ultimately come down to…because Disney decides!

But there is at least one practical answer…although it is probably less an issue now than it was. But during the recovery from COVID, Disney was struggling to get enough staff…particularly in the area of transportation. You can’t just hire anyone to drive buses. It takes special training, etc.

As such, Disney had a guest traffic issue to contend with…that is…how to get all those guests from all those resorts to all those different parks? If all the parks opened at the same time, then everyone would be wanting buses to the parks at the same time, and they wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Instead, what Disney wanted to do is stagger demand so that they could shift drivers from one park to another as the morning progressed. This means that by the time, say, Epcot opened, most of the demand at AK would have died down, and some of the drivers who were taken from the resorts to AK could now start taking guests from the resorts to EP.

DLR doesn’t have this same kind of problem, since it is not all spread out in the same way.