PlanningThe ParksTips

Plan Ahead: Not All Disney Rides Stay Open All Day

As you plan your trip to Walt Disney World, knowing what rides are a must-do for your family is critical. This allows you to make an overall plan for each day and feel prepared when you walk into the Park.

A big part of your planning process should be looking at rides and experiences unavailable all day. A handful of rides, shows, and attractions close earlier than the Disney Parks. Knowing this information beforehand can hit these magical experiences early on during your day.

Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland
Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom

Since most of us visit Magic Kingdom during our Disney vacation, we want to start there.

Tom Sawyer's Island

Tom Sawyer Island- Frontierland

This attraction has multiple parts for Guests to enjoy. Start by taking a raft ride over to the island itself. Once you arrive on the island, you can enjoy hidden caves and adventure around every corner.

Because there isn’t any lighting over on the island, this experience closes before sunset. You should do so early to explore the dark caves and climb over the bridges. The island can close up to three hours before the Park closes. Since it typically doesn’t open until two hours after the Park opens, you have limited time to experience the island. Keep that in mind if this adventure is something you want to experience in Magic Kingdom.

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
Credit: Disney

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor and Country Bear Jamboree

These two entertaining shows in Magic Kingdom are known to open a few hours after Magic Kingdom does to Resort Guests. 

If you want a great laugh, join Mike and friends as they collect laughs for Monstropolous. It does seem like the monsters like to start later in the day as sometimes this attraction doesn’t open until one or two hours after Park opens.

Get ready to clap your hands and stomp your feet with the Country Bear Jamboree. This Opening Day attraction takes a little longer to get going in the morning, so look for the first show to start around two hours after Magic Kingdom opens.

Carousel of Progress- Tomorrowland

This iconic Disney attraction closes early in Tomorrowland. Guests make their way through the 20th century as they enjoy the 20-minute-long attraction. You will want to experience it before the end of the day as it often closes an hour before Magic Kingdom.

Beauty and The Beast Live On Stage

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the shows will close early. If you will experience them, remember the times in the My Disney Experience app. Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along all wrap up their performances before the Park closes for the day. Sometimes you will even see the last show at 5:00 p.m. 

Muppets Vision 3D

Muppets Vision 3D- Grand Avenue

This fun 3D show is another one that closes before the Park does each day. This is a fantastic place to cool off, but remember that you will want to do so before Park closes. See all the Muppets working together to try to put on a show.

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy- Sunset Boulevard

Lightning McQueen and Friends are located down Sunset Boulevard and behind Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. The last show is around an hour before the Theme Park closes to ensure you return there before he races away for the day.

Walt Disney Presents and Vacation Fun

Both of these experiences close around an hour before the Park. Walt Disney Presents is a unique walk-through experience to learn about Walt’s dream. Vacation Fun is a fun animated short featuring Mickey and Minnie. Make sure you take time for both of these, but do so early in the day to avoid missing out.

Impressions de France
Credit: Disney


Like Disney’s Hollywood Studios, many shows close earlier than EPCOT. Impressions de France, Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, and The American Adventure wrap up their performances early in the day. Use the times guide or check My Disney Experience for the most up-to-date schedule.

Turtle Talk With Crush

Turtle Talke with Crush- The Seas Pavilion

A popular experience that closes early in EPCOT is Turtle Talk with Crush. Guests love this interactive experience with Crush from Finding Nemo. If you want to learn about being a sea turtle, don’t wait until the end of the day, as the show wraps about 20 minutes before the Park closes.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

This Disney Park has the most attractions that have varied hours. Because of this, you will want to ensure you have a clear plan for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Wildlife Express Train and Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Back at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Guests can enjoy the Affection Section (petting zoo) and Animation Experience, a 25-minute experience where you learn to draw a favorite Disney character. However, these activities aren’t available throughout the day, so keep that in mind. The train often doesn’t start running until an hour or so after Park opens and closes early.  Because of this, the Animation Experience also doesn’t start until later on in the day. Keep this in mind as you are making plans.

Kilimanjaro Safari- Africa

A big ride that closes early is Kilimanjaro Safari. Depending on the sunset, this ride often closes up to an hour before the Park will. Check the app to see when it will run during your visit so you don’t miss out.

Gorilla Exploration Trail
Credit: Disney

Gorilla Trails and Maharajah Jungle Trek

Many self-guided animal trails throughout Animal Kingdom often open before the Park opens, but they sometimes close anywhere from 90 to 60 minutes before Park closes. If you want to enjoy these trails and see some of these beautiful animals, get there early on in the day so you aren’t rushed if they close early.

As you plan your trip to Walt Disney World, pay attention to those experiences that aren’t open the whole time the Parks are to Guests. Use the My Disney Experience app to avoid surprises or disappointments during your trip.

Related: Questions You Need to Ask Yourself When Planning a Disney Vacation


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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