Changes to March 2011 Operating Schedule

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Disney has updated the March 2011 Operating Schedule: You can see the schedule here: http://www.disneytravelagents.com/StaticFiles/DTA-Domestic/pdf/ParkHours/WDW_Operating_Calendar_mar.pdf

Disney updated the operating schedule for March 2011 at each of the Disney World theme parks. Here's a list of the changes:

Tuesday March 1: No changes

Wednesday March 2: No changes

Thursday March 3: Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 9pm from 9am - 7:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 9pm, in addition to 7:30pm Fantasmic.

Friday March 4: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 8pm from 9am - 8pm.

Saturday March 5: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 10pm from 9am - 9pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 9pm, in addition to 7pm Parade.

Sunday March 6: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 10pm, in addition to 8pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 9pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 7pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Monday March 7: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 10pm, in addition to 8pm Parade. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Tuesday March 8: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 10pm, in addition to 8pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 9pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 7pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Wednesday March 9: Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Thursday March 10: Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 10pm, in addition to 8pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 9pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 7pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Friday March 11: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 11pm from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 10pm, in addition to 8pm Parade. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Saturday March 12: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 11pm from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 10pm, in addition to 8pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 9pm from 9am - 7pm. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Sunday March 13: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 9pm from 9am - 8pm (likely to change to 9:30pm or 10:00pm close). Second Fantasmic added at 9:30pm, in addition to 8pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Monday March 14: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 1am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Tuesday March 15: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 1am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10:00pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Wednesday March 16: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 11pm from 9am - 10pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10:00pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Thursday March 17: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 1am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Friday March 18: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Saturday March 19: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 1am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 7pm. Fantasmic added at 8:30pm and 10pm (no Fantasmic previously scheduled). Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Sunday March 20: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 11pm from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Monday March 21: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 1am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Tuesday March 22: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Wednesday March 23: Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Thursday March 24: Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Friday March 25: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 11pm from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Saturday March 26: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 11pm from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Sunday March 27: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Monday March 28: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 8am - 1am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Tuesday March 29: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 1am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Wednesday March 30: Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 8pm from 9am - 7pm.

Thursday March 31: Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 12am from 9am - 11pm. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade. Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am - 10pm from 9am - 8:30pm. Second Fantasmic added at 10pm, in addition to 8:30pm Fantasmic. Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am - 7pm from 9am - 6pm.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
I checked these park hours against the calendar on DisneyWorld.com and they are different? Who’s right?

The Disney World website is notoriously slow at updating theme park hours. These changes were just released today. The Park hours above are taken from the Disney World Travel Agent Hours available at http://www.disneytravelagents.com/StaticFiles/DTA-Domestic/pdf/ParkHours/WDW_Operating_Calendar_mar.pdf. The Travel Agent Hours are always updated before the Disney World website and are almost always correct before Disney makes their own update. Expect Disney to update their website within the next few days with all of the changes listed.

Will These Changes Greatly Affect the Crowd Level Estimations or Best Parks to Visit?

This is a pretty substantial update, similar to what we see around Christmas. If you look over the March Crowd Calendar, you'll see that I already had crowds in the seven to nine range for most of March. The extended hours, particularly at the Magic Kingdom, verify that Disney is expecting substantial crowds in the above-average to well-above-average range. On the plus side, we don't have any 8am openings at Animal Kingdom, no change to Epcot's schedule, and only one additional Fantasmic night, which means Park closures due to crowds shouldn't be an issue. Nonetheless, crowds will be heavy and we don't have the additional Extra Magic Hours that we enjoy during Christmas break. I will be updating the March Crowd Calendar tomorrow with the changes listed here. The recommended Parks should not change much. In fact, in many cases it will make the recommended Parks that much less attractive to the general population, and thus that much less crowded for us to enjoy.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Looks like Disney is going through with no more evening Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom. It's a shame because the Animal Kingdom is beautiful at night, even though there's basically only three attractions open. This is also the firs time I've seen them add a second Fantasmic that begins before the first previously scheduled show. Usually they elongate the Studios hours to accommodate the second Fantasmic.
 

pam1969

knows where she'll be at 8am on March 27th
Love the 8 am MK opening and 2nd MSEP on the 27th-- our first park day! Wahoo! :RpS_thumbsup:
 

mousehelper

will grab your arm
I'm seriously considering a drive over to AK for the evening EMH next week. I've never seen the place at night, and would love a front seat view from the top of Everest. But seriously--- what else is there to do??

ooo--- that's a thread you can start Josh! What can Judy do during an AK EMH?
 

texhanddoc

won't let you order a nice scotch
I am not going in March... but for those who are so inclined, the 8am opening for MK is actually a decent deal. Its usually on a Saturday which is rarely a great time to go to MK, but I think if you are there at rope drop and are gone by lunch, your morning could be wonderful. NO ONE gets up that early. Our last trip, we were there at an 8am MK opening and the rides were totally vacant. In fact, the busiest place before 9am was the Main Street Bakery. So... even though its a Saturday, I would have no reservations about spending the morning at MK if you can get your family to the ropes before 8am.
 

jillyb

unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversa
I'm seriously considering a drive over to AK for the evening EMH next week. I've never seen the place at night, and would love a front seat view from the top of Everest. But seriously--- what else is there to do??

ooo--- that's a thread you can start Josh! What can Judy do during an AK EMH?
I've never done an evening EMH at AK either but we did do a late dinner at Yak & Yeti back in November. It's not a rumor....AK is just beautiful at night. The park was closed so we didn't get the view from the top of Everest. I could have stood there for hours just admiring the Tree of Life.
 

jillyb

unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversa
I've got a friend that's going to be there the beginning of March during Mardi Gras. She's just booked the trip. I gave her the link to this website. I hope she's used it! Hmmmm...think I'll do a copy and paste about the park hours changes so she'll know.
 

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
I've never done an evening emh at AK either but I think it would be a nice time just to stop and smell the roses. At least for us. We usually only have 1 day for touring AK so we never really get to stop and take it all in.

Ann
 

RoonieRoo

will take any rain...even if its men.
It always feels like a good sign when they are extending hours/adding performances.
 

Brandie

Will work for Dole Whips.
Thanks for the update, Josh! Are you willing to pull out your crystal ball and predict any changes to April's calendar? I'm hopeful they'll have later water park hours and more F!s.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
April is looking to be less crowded than predicted, particularly around Easter. The lack of spring breaks and sky-high pricing is keeping people away. I will be lowering the crowd predictions for those dates around Easter to the "6-7" range I think, which is sort of a bold move, but there is nothing to indicate that April will be an 8 or above as far as crowds are concerned and certainly not a 10 (which would imply Magic Kingdom closures due to crowds). I think Disney really dropped the ball this year on correctly pricing the Easter season without the help of spring breaks. There is just no demand when prices are sky high and kids are in school. I was holding off of lowering the projections because I thought those rooms would fill, but it looks like occupancy in and out of Disney World is going to be relatively low when Easter pricing is in effect. I think it's too late to offer pin codes for that time frame, but there may be some select emails going out in the next couple of days. It's been discussed.

With that said, the water parks should have slightly longer hours in the 9am to 6pm range. Disney has added a second Fantasmic on almost every night that originally had one Fantasmic scheduled, so they should continue that trend moving forward. They may add the second one at 7pm rather than 10pm though, like they did with this past March update.
 

Craig

on disneys mom panel
I'm seriously considering a drive over to AK for the evening EMH next week. I've never seen the place at night, and would love a front seat view from the top of Everest. But seriously--- what else is there to do??

ooo--- that's a thread you can start Josh! What can Judy do during an AK EMH?
If you can, you really need to see AK at night. It is really beautiful. The only thing I remember distinctly was that Africa was closed completely, you couldn't even walk through. It seems like everything else was open, best I can remember.
 

blyday

tests unsafe roller coasts in china
April is looking to be less crowded than predicted, particularly around Easter. The lack of spring breaks and sky-high pricing is keeping people away. I will be lowering the crowd predictions for those dates around Easter to the "6-7" range I think, which is sort of a bold move, but there is nothing to indicate that April will be an 8 or above as far as crowds are concerned and certainly not a 10 (which would imply Magic Kingdom closures due to crowds). I think Disney really dropped the ball this year on correctly pricing the Easter season without the help of spring breaks. There is just no demand when prices are sky high and kids are in school. I was holding off of lowering the projections because I thought those rooms would fill, but it looks like occupancy in and out of Disney World is going to be relatively low when Easter pricing is in effect. I think it's too late to offer pin codes for that time frame, but there may be some select emails going out in the next couple of days. It's been discussed.

With that said, the water parks should have slightly longer hours in the 9am to 6pm range. Disney has added a second Fantasmic on almost every night that originally had one Fantasmic scheduled, so they should continue that trend moving forward. They may add the second one at 7pm rather than 10pm though, like they did with this past March update.
This is a very interesting observation. I had a new client contact me about booking a trip over that week but with the pricing and no discounts, they have opted for different dates. I guess there are a lot of people feeling the same way this year.

Now....if only the airlines would drop my flights out to Utah for that weekend....it would be great!!!! (sorry......:focus: )
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Considering like 90% of the U.S. would have to pull their kids out of school anyway, you're much better off waiting until May. I don't usually base the crowd predictions on Disney occupany rates because the resorts can be full for a variety of reasons (Pop Warner, conferences, dance champtionships, etc.), but the fact that you can basically book any room you want over Easter is a pretty strong indication that bookings are severely down during that time period and off-site bookings based on what I have access to aren't good either. As it stands, Easter season actually looks more like a "3" as far as crowds are concerned, if that. But you have to assume Disney and off-site hotels are going to do something about it soon.
 

Brandie

Will work for Dole Whips.
Thanks, again, for your insight, Josh.

Re: April predictions . . . How about the beginning of April (1-10 in particular)?

Re: Extra F!s . . . if they add an earlier F! is that the show F! dinner packages are assigned to? Is at 4:55 dinner to a 7:00 show going to work?
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Someone can correct me if this has changed, but as far as I know the last Fantasmic Dining Package time you can get is 4:30pm. Disney uses the Fantasmic Dining Package to fill its less popular Studios restaurants during off-peak times. That's a good question about which Fantasmic the Dining Package will be good for though. I'm not aware of any previous day in the past year that Disney has added a second Fantasmic that actually began before the original show. They have always added the second show 90 minutes after the first one is scheduled to start. My guess would be that the Fantasmic Dining Package would then be good for the 7pm show, rather than the original 8:30pm show. Fantasmic starts even earlier in January (6:30pm), so the 7pm start isn't anything out of the ordinary. I can make an inquiry into that on Monday. I don't think anyone random on the phone would know on the weekend.

I think they'll change the first 10 days in April to look more like the last week in March, only without the 8am opening at Magic Kingdom and one hour earlier closing times. In other words, Magic Kingdom should be open from 9am - 11pm and 9am - 12am rather than 8am - 1am and 8am - 12am. Animal Kingdom should be open from 9am - 7pm. Hollywood Studios should be open from 9am to 10pm on Fantasmic nights with Fantasmic at 8:30pm and 10pm.

April is tough to predict this year because the first two weeks in April are currently looking to be busier than the last two weeks, which is opposite of what Disney was originally expecting. The spring breaks just don't match up with Easter this year. I'm usually a lot more certain about these things, but I don't even think Disney knows what they're going to do at this point.
 

texhanddoc

won't let you order a nice scotch
I believe the lunch times are from 1:30 to 3:25 pm and dinner times are from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. My guess is that the dinner package would still be for the early show only. You may want to take advantage of the lunch package. We did that for Candlelight Processional and it was a less stressful lunch. We didnt have to worry about finishing up to get in line.
 
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