McDonald’s Shuts Down Disney World Park – Here’s Why

For those wanting to travel to The Twilight Zone or head to a galaxy far, far away, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the Disney theme park top of the list at Walt Disney World.

From the thrills of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Star Tours, and the Tower of Terror, to the incredible performances of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Beauty and the Beast – Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort has so much to offer Guests.

But with so many rides and experiences returning post-pandemic for Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, Park crowds are increasing and wait times growing. Well, one way to escape the crowds is to book the Park for a private event, and that’s exactly what one famous American company did this week!


Credit: Disney Tips

Operating hours for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are usually released around 60 days out, and back in February, we noticed that on April 6, 2022, Disney’s Hollywood Studios was showing an early closure.

The Park opens at 9:00 a.m. but was set to close early at 5:00 p.m, with the hours on the My Disney Experience app and the Walt Disney World calendar both showing the same times. Typically, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m and it was unknown why the Park would close four hours early on this day.

Many Disney fans speculated that the early closure was for a private event, just as Magic Kingdom closed early in January for a Cast Member event. 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.

Now, we know why Disney’s Hollywood Studios was closed, with McDonald’s restaurant franchisees on April 6 treated to a private party at Walt Disney World Resort’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park!


Credit: Disney Tips

After the Disney Park closed early for the evening. McDonald’s restaurant franchisee workers got a unique night at Walt Disney World, enjoying an evening of food, attractions, and no wait times.

Franchisee Katie C. shared her experience on Facebook, writing about “the best night ever”:

Had the best night ever at Hollywood Studios! It was closed to the public, so we got to ride every single ride with virtually no wait times and get all the food and drinks we wanted!


Credit: Katie C. via Facebook

It looks like Katie and her McDonald’s colleagues had a productive evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, riding Toy Story Midway Mania, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railways, and getting a giant Mickey Mouse pretzel. The private night at Lake Buena Vista is very different from working at the hamburger giant for the evening!

Getting an employee appreciation event at Walt Disney World after the Park closes operations for the day would be a dream, and while it’s not possible to rent out all of Walt Disney World Resort or to close down an entire Disney Park for a whole day just for you, it IS possible to rent out Disney’s theme parks after they close.

You can book various venues throughout Disney Parks if you’re planning a corporate event, group celebration, or wedding – if you have enough money, of course.


Credit: Disney

Those wanting a magical Disney wedding can rent out Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom after hours, once Guests have left the Park.

Cinderella Castle, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, or the Tree of Life all make the perfect fairy tale backdrop for marriage vows or even just the famous Wedding Pavilion near the Grand Floridan Resort & Spa. Brides and Grooms can also rent Cinderella’s Coach down Main Street, U.S.A., and get fireworks all to themselves. Having Magic Kingdom Park to yourself is not exactly cheap, however, with a $30,000 fee just for having your wedding ceremony here, and rumor has it that the entire package itself starts at $180,000.

If a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park does close early like this for a private event, Disney Park Hopping is available from 2 p.m. Guests with Park Hopper tickets can go to another one of Walt Disney World’s theme parks for the evening, while Guests with one-day tickets should probably choose a different Park on these special days.

So, next time your employer wants ideas for a private corporate event, why not suggest Walt Disney World in Florida?

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