Why does AKL close so early (7pm) during spring break?

WDW Crowds are predicted to be 9/10 the third week in March ‘22 and sunset is after projected park close at 7, meaning you can’t see Pandora at night or the Tree Awakening. Is this typical or Covid typical?

I’m planning for next spring, so not a fire drill question, but I’m still on the fence between AKL vs BLT, so have been doing TPs and a schedule to help figure out where we should land. I was surprised to see AKL projected to close before sunset at such a busy time of year.


Definitely not an expert, but I think that might be normal. We went Easter week in 2019 and Memorial Day 2020 and both trips AK closed before dark. I really wanted to see it at night but I never have.

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When I was grumbling about it at my 7pm exit, someone rushing by informed me that the animals there are not nocturnal (as I thought some were because they select all day) but are, in fact, diurnal. Nighttime is for sleep for them, even if we’re still up.

Us staying in the park to see it after dark would be disruptive to the animals.


The park, Animal Kingdom, may close at that time but that is different from the resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge. The resort is not inside or next to the park. They are two entirely separate locations. You can see animals on the savannahs at the Lodge after dark.

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In past years, WDW had extended AK park opening/closing an hour or so during March. Hopefully that will be the case this year, but not necessarily.

Why does AKL close so early (7pm) during spring break?

Because Chapek and D’Amaro hate us.


Oh geez. Lol. I think it may have more to do with staffing.

Well honestly I’ve always noticed AK to be closing early for most of my April trip - though sometimes at the very end the park hours will change.

But Chapek and D’Amaro definitely hate us.

If they didn’t, Chapek would forego some of his $35mill+ salary/bonuses, offer better pay to attract more cast, and staff the parks so as to maximize guest experience. But, he’s all about lining his own personal pockets (salary more than doubled in a year!!!). So that’s how I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s a greedy piece of work who hates us — and D’Amaro is no better anymore


Hate is a pretty strong word. I disagree with that one. I think I know what you are trying to say though.

Anyhow, even if AK closes at 7, that 6-7 hour is golden for KS, Dinosaur, and some other things my kids rode over and over last March during the last hour of park opening.

Well…a $35 million bonus is a bit ridiculous to be sure! Anyway, I really just wanted to see Pandora at night and Tree Awakenings but I might have to be ok enjoying a few low wait rides.

This was essentially going to be an ‘almost’ no park day, (free day except with an early dinner at Saana at 4.30pm then 2 hours at AKL (now 1-ish hours if it closes at 7 instead of 8). So maybe we head straight to KS right at 6, then try to hop in line at FoP right before close and hope for 20-ish minute true wait (vs end of night inflated posted wait)

We have another day planned for a full AKL experience but from experience we like to go on signature rides more than once.

That’s a good plan. You can see the previous day’s measured wait times for each ride by the hour on the TP blog each day to monitor.

I remember in the old days–2011–AK always closed at 5:00. That was the standard.


Good news-I just received an update for my February trip and AK closing has been extended from 7 to 8 PM.


Oooh. Congrats!

Thanks! Super excited!

The later they have people depart AK, the more glaringly obvious is their negligent attitude concerning transportation from AK ?

Resurrecting this a bit. Our April dates have a 7p close and I really want my mom to see Pandora at night. Sunset is at like 7:15. Would either of these work?

  1. Get in line for FOP at 659p. I’ve done this before and the line was still 90m, and my 3yo can’t even ride it, so I don’t wanna wait more than 30-45m
  2. Get a late res at Y&Y or Tusker and take our time. Will they let us walk through Pandora? I’m assuming not, but…?
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Based on history, there is a decent chance park hours are extended as it gets closer to the dates. I wouldn’t stress about it too much. But yeah, you’ll want to be in the park as late as possible if you want to see it at night.


I am hoping this too. It typically has been extended to later - I think one year it was even 10pm close - but I am honestly getting nervous that it hasn’t been extended quite yet. I know they do finalize hours about a month out.

Hang in there @dboothsummers

I’m there very end of April (arriving MCO 4/22). I don’t think we’ll cross paths but maybe?

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the other problem is they extend hours of the park, but nothing else that’s IN the park. All the activities short of rides shut down at their normal-disgustingly-early hours. :angry: