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Birthday bash means no more 9am

Sunday, 18th February 2007 at 23:38

For the 15th Anniversary Celebration, we're promised the "biggest Disney birthday bash ever". Now, what comes with a big party? You've guessed it - a hangover! And judging by the latest Park Hours schedules, Disneyland Park is planning for more than a few late starts to compensate for the large-scale anniversary events - time to wave goodbye to that 9am start.,

Park Hours have now been announced up until the end of May 2007, with the first two months of the 15th Anniversary year standing out with not a single 9h00 opening of either Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios Park, the usual standard opening time for peak days. In return for this sacrafice, though, we do get some of the first 10pm Disneyland Park closures over Easter in memory – for a whole week infact. Though again this appears to come at a price – 10am to 7pm openings for most of the month of May 2007.

The reason for this sudden change is not only the Anniversary events and the resort’s new “demand-based opening hours”, but the new Extra Magic Hours concept, available to all Disney Hotel guests for the entire year. Giving an extra two hours in Disneyland Park on specific days, the system therefore sometimes requires the general park hours to be shortened slightly, whilst on high peak days (such as those in mid August), the extra hours are consistently scheduled in the morning so as not to clash with the general 11pm closure.

For guests not staying at Disney Hotel this year, it therefore looks like an extra hour in bed will be your anniversary gift, unless you wish to invest in a Passeport Annuel Dream and enjoy the 1-hour early entry this pass affords its holders.

Finally, perhaps the true winner from the latest Park Hours shakeup – Walt Disney Studios Park. After almost five years of nothing but 6pm closures, the park hits its fifth birthday and suddenly gets an extra hour before bedtime to enjoy the anniversary – likely in preparation for the extra guests hopefully arriving in June 2007 for Crush’s Coaster and Cars Race Rally. The park will now remain open up to 7pm on most weekends and holidays, yet another reason to celebrate in 2007!

What are your views on the new Park Hours? Is the 1-hour cut fair for normal guests?

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