This article is your complete guide to answering the question of, “Does Disney World close?” If you’re planning your vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth, you might be concerned about when the parks might be open or affected by certain circumstances. Since Florida gets extreme weather events, it is a totally fair question to wonder when picking dates for your Disney vacation.
So, with that being said, let’s figure out the question if Disney World closes.
Is Disney World Open Year Round?
Let’s start this guide with the most popular question we receive on this topic which is, is Disney World always open? And as a general rule of thumb, yes Disney World parks are open year round, and do not close for seasonal weather, or holidays for that matter. There are occurrences when there would be a Disney park shutdown, whether it be for a preplanned event or an unplanned event, like a pandemic, it does happen! So, to fully answer the question, Disney parks are open year long and have hours planned for every single day unless planned otherwise.
What days are Disney World closed?
During a regular calendar year, Disney World is actually open 365 days a year! That means you can really plan a Disney World vacation whenever and don’t have to worry about the parks being closed. With that being said, there are some exceptions you’ll have to watch out for like limited hours, weather, or other events.
Are Disney Parks closed on Christmas?
No, the Disney parks are not closed on Christmas. All four Walt Disney World parks in Florida will have normal park hours, and tend to be the busiest they are all year on Christmas Day. Theme park reservations will sell out so make sure to book quickly.
Does Disney World close for Thanksgiving?
No, Disney World does not close for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving weeks tend to be one of the busiest weeks of the year in Walt Disney World, especially Thanksgiving Day. Many guests have the holidays off and are looking for things to do and will travel during this time, especially to Disney!
Is Disney Springs open on Thanksgiving?
Yes, Disney Springs is open Thanksgiving and certain restaurants even serve traditional Thanksgiving meals to guests visiting on that day. Make sure to check the hours of the restaurants and stores you’re looking to visit because they may vary on those holidays. But other than maybe a few stores closing early, Disney Springs is open on Thanksgiving and typically very busy.
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How Many Times Has Disney World Closed?
Walt Disney World has closed for a total of 7 times since it has opened, mostly due to hurricanes. Since Disney World is located in Central Florida, is can be subjected to rather extreme weather which is unsafe for the guests and the Cast Members stuck in the path. For that reason, Disney will decide to close to give guests and their Cast Members time to prepare for the incoming storms.
If you’re wondering how how many days has Disney closed in total since opening, the doors have only shut for a total 125 full days for all unforeseen events. Most of which were for the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed the parks in March of 2020.
Disney World has also been known to close their doors for guest safety, which usually results in a half day closure. For 9/11, the Disney parks closed early to ensure that guests were safe and taken care of.
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2020 Walt Disney World Shut Down
When it comes to when has Disney World closed for the longest, that would be for the 116 day closure during COVID-19. All Disney parks and operations ceased on March 12th, 2020 and announced that it was initially going to be for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, the situations was unforeseen and Walt Disney World end up being closed for a total of 4 months.
The parks did eventually open in phases and with new procedures in place to ensure the safety of all guests and Cast Members working. Starting May 27th, 2020 Disney started their announcements of the reopening of the parks and hotels, which was done in phases that still haven’t completely returned.
- June 22nd, 2020 – DVC Resorts Reopen for guests and Cast Members
- July 11th, 2020 – Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom open first, along with the first wave of Disney Resort Hotels
- July 15th – Hollywood Studios and EPCOT reopen
It took a long time for Walt Disney World to completely reopen, with restaurants, character experiences and attractions. The parks are almost completely operating back to normal, with all hotels open, and all parks open with only a few attractions still closed.
How long has Walt Disney World been closed for?
The longest period that Walt Disney World was closed for was the COVID-19 pandemic, where all four Disney parks closed for 116 days. That is the record for Disney World, and most theme parks in that matter, as it was an extremely unprecedented time.
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Does Disney World Ever Close for Weather?
Yes, while it is not common, Walt Disney World will close for major weather events. In fact, 6 out of the 7 times when Disney World has closed, it has been for hurricanes. Just recently in 2022, the Disney World parks closed for two days in September for Hurricane Ian, which caused minor damage in the area.
When was Walt Disney World closed for hurricanes?
- September 15th, 1999 – Hurricane Floyd
- September 4th & 5th, 2004 – Hurricane Frances
- September 26th, 2004 – Hurricane Jeanne
- October 7th, 2016 – Hurricane Matthew
- September 10th & 11th, 2017 – Hurricane Irma
- September 28th & 29th, 2022 – Hurricane Ian
Disney World has also closed for half days for the safety of guests during hurricanes, which has also allowed for Cast Members to get back to their homes safely. If that happens while you’re on vacation and are wondering if Disney will close, they will inform all guests who are on property of what to do and how to handle the situation.
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Does Disney Ever Close For Special Events?
Disney World has been known to close early from time to time for special events where an entire theme park is rented out for an event. You can spot these events if you’re looking to plan your vacation and see that one of the theme parks close earlier than what would be expected during that time. If you’re wondering, “when does Disney close at 4PM?”when looking at that scheduled day, you can probably assume the park has been bought out for a private event or Cast Member event.
When is Disney World closed for special events?
Like we mentioned above, those days can change and you should always check ahead on the Disney calendars for park hours when you’re going. But, the parks will typically close for:
- Evening Work Events
- Cast Member Recognition Events
- Private Disney Events
Is Disney ever closed for capacity?
While it is very rare, the parks can close when they hit capacity. This has been typically seen on days like Christmas or New Years Even when guests want to watch the special holiday fireworks shows. If you’re planning to travel those days, make sure to make your park reservations as soon as possible. Now that Disney uses the reservation system, we don’t foresee it closing for capacity, but instead, reservations for holidays going months in advance!
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When Does Disney Close FAQ
Is Disney World ever closed?
While Disney World is open 365 days a year, there are times when the parks have to close for extreme weather, like hurricanes or global crises. So, if you’re planning a vacation, as long as there are no hurricanes forecasted for Central Florida, the parks will be open.
For additional vacation planning tips to Walt Disney World be sure to check out our main Disney planning page. And for the latest Walt Disney World Vacation package deals be sure to check out our partners The Park Prodigy!