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Here’s Why EPCOT Is Closing Early in June

From operating hours and Park Pass reservations to dining reservations and now Disney Genie+, Guests have a lot to keep an eye on when planning a Disney vacation.

We recently revealed that one Walt Disney World Resort theme park has an unusual early closure in June. Walt Disney World’s EPCOT is scheduled to close at 8:00 p.m. rather than 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, and now we know why.

EPCOT Spaceship Earth

Credit: Disney

The Lake Buena Vista theme park will open early on June 5 at 8:00 a.m., so Park Guests can still enjoy a full 12 hours of riding Test Track, Frozen Ever After, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, as well as grabbing food at the new Connections Eatery. Because of the early closure, the new 50th anniversary nighttime spectacular Harmonious is not scheduled to perform that evening.

But for one lucky group, the evening is set to be a magical private event in the EPCOT Park! Run by the US Travel Association, the IPW event occurs in Orlando this year from June 4 to June 8. The event invites people from all over the world in the travel industry to learn about all the USA has to offer.

According to the IPW website, the event will mainly take place at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, but its Opening Event will be from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at EPCOT on June 5:

A Celebration of Culture and Possibilities

Join us for opening night of IPW 2022 at EPCOT® for A Celebration of Culture and Possibilities! Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures of World Showcase as diverse Disney stories come to life. Enjoy a variety of international culinary delights, specialty beverages, global entertainment, unique photo opportunities and a few surprises as you stroll around the world at this exclusive party. This special event will be held June 5, and we invite you to be part of the magic as we welcome the world back to Orlando.

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Credit: Disney Tips

U.S. Travel Association’s IPW aims to reunite and rebuild the global travel industry in 2022 after the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an in-person event to renew business. It is the leading inbound travel trade show and past IPWs have generated more than $5.5 billion in future travel by connecting U.S. travel exhibitors with travel buyers and media to promote their products and negotiate future business.

The Orlando event is a business appointment-based show that brings together U.S. travel organizations, international and domestic leisure buyers, journalists, International Advisory Committee representatives, Visit USA representatives, U.S. Government Commercial Service representatives, and marketing and technology providers.

In the past, Walt Disney World Resort theme parks Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have closed early for weddings and private events such as IPW’s, just as Magic Kingdom closed early in January for a Cast Member event.

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Credit: Disney

This Cast Member event at Magic Kingdom was canceled due to cold and rainy weather, with another Cast Celebration organized in February. The Cast Service Celebration honors Cast Members and their service milestones, but the pandemic postponed this special event.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios was also closed early on April 6 when McDonald’s restaurant franchisees were treated to a private party at Walt Disney World, complete with exclusive food, short wait times, and character meet and greets.

Guests can book various venues and attractions throughout Disney Parks if they’re planning a corporate event, group celebration, or wedding. These private bookings of Walt Disney World venues come at a price, though – especially when canceling Harmonious for the evening like IPW is on June 5.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book