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5 “Off Season” Changes Happening Now at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World had a blockbuster holiday season over the past few weeks, and though crowd levels are still slightly elevated, as the park gets ready for the slow season, several schedule changes are going in to effect as the resort prepares for the slower January and February crowds. 

1. Baseline Tap House and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance unavailable during Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Image: Disney

Though Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been shifting its schedule a lot recently thanks to the insane popularity of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests who are visiting this park in the coming weeks should keep in mind that both Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance as well as the popular Baseline Taphouse watering hole will not be available during evening Extra Magic Hours starting next week on January 12, 2020. This change is expected to stay in effect at least until the Spring Break crowds arrive, beginning in March. 

2. Imagination Pavilion to stay open late this winter

Over at Epcot, hours at the Imagination pavilion are being extended. Now that this pavilion is home to several character meet and greets (in addition to the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival and of course Journey Into Imagination) this pavilion will operate from park open to park close for an the foreseeable future (these attractions previously closed early at 7:00 PM). This change will take effect immediately, and will likely remain in place while much of Epcot is closed for refurbishment

3. Epcot Monorail running on modified schedule

Beginning next week, Epcot’s monorail line will be running on a shortened schedule, opening at 10:00 AM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. This modified schedule will be in effect for the foreseeable future, so guests visiting this park should plan accordingly and take a Skyliner, Bus, or Minnie Van if they want to get to this park early (and don’t have their own transportation). 

4. Disney bus service trimmed down at Skyliner resorts

Image: Disney

Now that the Disney Skyliner has been open for awhile, Disney is drawing down bus departures from Disney’s Pop Century Resort to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Effective this week, bus service will be running every 20 minutes in the early to take Guests to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

However, once the Skyliner begins running around 8:00 AM, bus service will only be offered once per hour, and guests staying at these resorts will be encouraged to use the Skyliner to get to Epcot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Bus service to Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will not be affected by these schedule changes.

5. The Festival of Fantasy parade resumes 3:00 start time

The 3:00 parade has become such an institution at the Magic Kingdom that Disney has even created a line of merchandise themed around the classic tourist question “When is the 3 ‘o clock parade?” And even though the daily Festival of Fantasy parade moved to 2:00 PM through the holiday season, effective January 1, 2020 the parade will move back to 3:00 PM.