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  • On Feb 12, 2020
    Stephanie from OH Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    On April 11th, 2020 Animal Kingdom park hours state that the park closes at 8pm but the River of Lights isn't scheduled until 8:30pm. How does that work?

    Hi Stephanie,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! The Park Hours for Walt Disney World Resort theme parks can seem a little bit wonky! At first glance, it does not make sense that the park would close at 8 P.M. and Rivers of Light: We Are One would start a half-hour later. 

    The closing time for the theme parks works a bit differently than the closing time for a shop or restaurant. We expect if the park closes at 8 P.M. they would want everyone to be out of the park or at the very least on their way out. At Walt Disney World theme parks the closing time means that is when they will close the Stand-By lines for attractions along with some shops, restaurants, and snack carts. Since you are going to be visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Park, this means if you are in line for an attraction like DINOSAUR when the clock strikes 8, you will be allowed to stay in the line until you have ridden the attraction. During busier times they will stop allowing guests to enter the Stand-By lines a bit before closing time but that is so they don't have two hours worth of people in line at when the park closes. 

    People will finish visiting attractions and making souvenir purchases on their way to experience Rivers of Light: We Are One. Once Rivers of Light: We Are One is over, Cast Members will begin gently directing guests toward the park exit. I think it's a lovely way to end your day at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park. 

    Stephanie, thank you for visiting us with your question! I hope you'll let us know if we can help you with any other planning questions!
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Meet the Panelist: Amy, North Carolina

Hey, Howdy, Hey! I'm Amy H. and I have been a fan of Walt Disney World since my first visit during the Magic Kingdom Park's opening year. I'm married to my favorite person in the world and since our son and daughter are in college, we have been enjoying more spur of the moment trips to the Most Magical Place on Earth. No matter the ages or size of your traveling party, I'd love to help plan you plan a magical vacation! Learn More About Amy

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