Extended Early Morning Magic Hours
In addition, Walt Disney World also announced that from December 19, 2021 January 3, 2022, the early theme park entry benefit for Disney Resort hotel Guests and Guests of other select hotels WILL BE EXTNEDED from 30 minutes each morning to 60 minutes!
So if youll be visiting Walt Disney World as part of your destination Christmas or New Years plans, take note! This is a story that well continue to follow closely. Readers are encouraged to keep checking back with us here at MickeyBlog for further Walt Disney World news and updates.
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Extra Magic Hours Schedule Walt Disney World
Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels can enjoy more time in the theme parks with the enhanced Extra Magic Hours benefit. Each day, one of the theme parks opens an hour early, or stays open up to two hours extra after regular park hours. This benefit offers guests more time to enjoy shorter lines during these extended theme park hours. There is no charge for this Disney Resort guest benefit. Below is the current Extra Magic Hours schedule for Walt Disney World.
Extra Magic Hours have officially been retired. In their place, Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests may now participate in Early Theme Park Entry. More details can be found here.
Which Hotels Offer Extra Magic Hours
All of Disney World’s Resorts and Villas offer Extra Magic Hours. Additionally, the following non-Disney hotels offer Extra Magic Hours:
- Walt Disney World Swan Resort Hotel
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Hotel
- Shades of Green on Walt Disney World Resort
- B Resort Located in the Walt Disney World Resort
- Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando
- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn Orlando
- Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
Guests staying at one of the above off-site hotels will need to present a valid resort ID when entering the park hosting EMH, while Disney Resort hotel guests will simply tap their MagicBand/RFID ticket at the park entrance to verify that they are staying on-site. Regular theme park admission is required.
By the way, we offer discounts on hotel rooms at all of these Orlando hotels and more, so you can get a hop on the savings!
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Disneys Animal Kingdom Tips
In Animal Kingdom, head for AVATAR Flight of Passage or Expedition Everest if you are adults or have older kids. Both of those rides dont have Genie+ times, you pay to ride Lightning Lanes so youll save cash knocking one off first thing. Animal Kingdom is probably the trickiest park for bundling rides. Its large. Even if you power walk, it takes time to move from one area to another. Pick your priority and make Genie+ or Lightning Lane reservations for the rest.
If you hit Flight of Passage first, spend early entry in The World of AVATAR. Being realistic 30 minutes isnt a long time. Its going to take you 30 minutes to bust your butt over to the ride and get through the small queue. Youll be riding it as the park opens to everyone else. Then head over to Navi River ride because everyone who just entered will be lining up for AVATAR.
With Little Kids
With smaller kids or animal lovers I highly recommend going to Kilimanjaro Safaris. I like to be in line at Kilimanjaro Safaris when the attraction opens. In the morning the animals are more active.
For evening hours Im a huge fan of Expedition Everest in the dark! With older kids you can use the single rider line to go through multiple times in a row.
Hotels With Extra Magic Hours
Hotels on property that are owned and operated itself are privy to a set of perks that include Extra Extra Magic Hours at Disneys Animal Kingdom, Disneys Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom parks. There are over 20 different hotel brands, each with varying themes that vary across three different price points: Value, Moderate and Deluxe. All Disney World hotels, regardless of price point, offer the same access to Extra Magic Hours as well as a selection of perks, like transportation and free shuttle rides to and from Orlando International Airport.
Guests of Walt Disney World Swan Hotel and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel both of which are walking distance to Disneys Hollywood Studios will also be able to enter extremely early come September, along with Shades of Green Resort guests. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort will have permission for its guests to attend Extra Extra Magic Hours, while Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando, which recently added Disney park perks to its reservations, are also included in the addition.
All hotel reservations at the above properties include this new Extra Magic Hours offering as well as extended Fastpass windows 60-day booking, as opposed to 30 for standard ticket holders and additional perks.
Valid Disney tickets and hotel ID are required for Extra Extra Magic Hours, and Park Hopper tickets are needed to visit multiple Walt Disney World theme parks in one day.
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Pros And Cons Of Early Theme Park Entry
The biggest pro to Early Theme Park Entry is that it will theoretically help spread early arriving crowds out to all four parks evenly. Instead of resort guests overcrowding the park with Extra Magic Hours scheduled, they will more uniformly distribute across all the parks.
Another pro to Early Theme Park entry is the set schedule. Rather than a schedule that jumps around and changes, ETPE happens every day in every one of the main parks. This makes it reliable and easy to plan for.
Early Theme Park Entry has two main cons as far as I can tell: less extra time in the park, and the a.m. only schedule.
For those who prefer evenings to mornings, ETPE does not offer an evening option, meaning many early mornings. Depending on when regular park hours occur, Early Theme Park Entry could open as early as 7:30 for some parks on some days.
The other glaring drawback to ETPE is the reduction in extra park time for resort guests. The Walt Disney World Extra Magic Hours program offered an extra hour or two. In contrast, Early Theme Park Entrys 30 minute advance opening pales in comparison, and is frankly, a disappointment to what could be a great program for resort guests to enjoy.
ETPE is especially hard to swallow for those of us who have visited while Disney was controlling capacity in 2020. At this time, guests were being admitted as much as an hour before official park opening to better facilitate social distancing at the entry gates.
This Is The Trick To Getting 5 Extra Hours At Disney World Without The Crowds This Summer
All Walt Disney World resort hotels, as well as select additional hotels, will offer guests three early morning hours inside the new Star Wars land before the park opens to the general public each morning, from September 1 through November 2.
And the extra hours aren’t just for Star Wars land: Three Walt Disney World theme parks will start accepting crowds daily in the early morning hours to accommodate increased attendance when guests head to Orlando in hopes of piloting the Millennium Falcon themselves.
If youre an early riser and are staying at one of the nearly 40 included hotels, you can get much more out of your park tickets without spending a single extra dollar. Not only can guests with hotel reservations get up to five more hours inside Disney theme parks each day, but can take their pick of which to visit each morning, an unprecedented change giving guests more flexibility and access during their vacations.
And, given that no Fastpasses will be provided for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run when it debuts with Galaxys Edge at the end of August, Extra Extra Magic Hours are the only way to enter the land with a limited crowd, giving hotel guests the only true advantage for getting on the attraction more quickly.
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Extra Magic Hours At Disney: What You Need To Know
There have been a TON of changes at Disney in 2021. Everything from Fastpass+ going away, Genie+ and Lightning Lanes starting, the advent of park reservations, mask to no masks to masks, and hopefully the return of parades. Hours at Disney World have also changed. Extra magic hours are out, early entry and extended evening hours are in. We break down exactly what they all are and which guests have access to them.
Magic Kingdom Early Entry Tips
In Magic Kingdom, my early entry go-tos are the big ones: Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin. Make your first Genie+ for Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which isnt open during early entry.
If you have little kiddos, I have an unconventional idea: Head to Fantasyland. Let your kids get their fill of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer, Prince Charming Regal Carousel and more. Why? Well, there are going to be a LOT of kids there later. Moods will swing. It will be loud. Get these out of the way before waiting in line for them becomes painful.
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Which Parks Are Open And When
Different from Early Theme Park Entry, Extra Extended Evening Hours is not in every park, and not every night of the week. Its similar to the old Extra Magic Hours with each park selected on certain nights.
- There are two participating Walt Disney World theme parks at this time: Magic Kingdom andEPCOT.
- Disneys MagicKingdom has Extended Evening Hours on Wednesdays, and EPCOT on Mondays.
- On those nights, those parks are open 2 hours later than the listed closing time.
So far on the schedule, the participating theme parks are:
- Disneys Magic Kingdomon Wednesdays, for 2 Hours after park closing time
Right now each of those parks is only selected once per week. Each park is open for an extra 2 hours which is a nice bonus for Deluxe Resort guests and lets you get all your favorite attractions done with greatly reduced wait times.
Check the Walt Disney World website for the latest schedules and times.
You Dont Have To Know The Schedule As Much
With Extra Magic Hours, you had to keep track of which park was opening early or closing late on a given day. The schedules are much simpler for the new systems.
For Extended Evening Hours , EPCOT gets two extra hours on Monday evenings, and Magic Kingdom gets two extra hours on Wednesday evenings. Early Theme Park Entry is even easier: every park gets and extra half hour before opening time every day. So theres a little less planning involved in using the newer systems in Disney World.
There are both benefits and drawbacks to the new systems, and guests will need to decide what perks they want and how best to maximize them. Keep following AllEars, and well let you know how these systems are working in the parks.
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Early Theme Park Entry At Disney
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Disney is currently offering two different types of extra magic hours in the parks. The early theme park entry benefit is for guests of Disney resorts. Early theme park entry gives a 30 minute jump on your day, allowing guests to enjoy any of the 4 Disney theme parks 30 minutes prior to its posted opening time.
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What this really means is that if Magic Kingdom opens at 9am, you should get there at 8am. Theyll start letting folks into the park and the traditional rope drop at the entrance to each land will take place at 8:30am, 30 minutes before the parks open. If you wait until 8:30am to get to the front park entrance your leg up wont really be a leg up. To participate in Early Theme Park Entry you MUST be staying in one of the following hotels. This list does include some Good Neighbor off-site hotels.
- All-Star Movies, Music, and Sports Resorts
- Art of Animation Resort
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Thinking Point #9 When You Have Park Hopper Ticket
The Disney World Basic Ticket allows guests to visit one theme park per day but Disney also offers an upgrade called the Park Hopper Option. This option costs extra, is good for the length of your ticket and allows you two move between the Disney Theme Parks at your convenience. Guests with Basic Tickets really need to be careful when planning around Extra Magic Hours because, once youve entered a park, youre committed to that park for the day. You can leave and re-enter the same park but you cant switch to a different park. The Park Hopper option costs more but it does give you some flexibility for example, you can go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom park for a morning Extra Magic Hour and enjoy that park while crowds are low, then head over to the Magic Kingdom to enjoy some attractions and the evening entertainment.
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Update: Extra Magic Hours Have Been Cancelled
Extra Magic Hours will be retired in 2021. Instead later this year Disney is offering ALL Disney Resort Guests a 30 minute head start in all four theme parks across Walt Disney World. Disney Resort Guests can arrive a half hour before the normal opening of each park, further solidifying the perks of staying on property.
What Was The Walt Disney World Extra Magic Hours Program
Extra Magic Hours at Disney World began in 2005 and was a program that allowed resort guests to enjoy extra time in the park either before or after regular park hours. The hours would change and rotate for each park and not every park had Extra Magic Hours every day.
Extra Magic Hours was often one to two extra hours inside the park with fewer crowds. It could be in the evening, or allow resort guests entry into the park an hour or two prior to regular opening hours.
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Thinking Point #3 How Late Is Too Late
Epcot closes at 9:00PM almost without exception. The closing time at Magic Kingdom and Disneys Hollywood Studios varies a lot from 7:00PM to Midnight, depending on the season. Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s hours are quite late following the opening of the the new Pandora – World of Avatar area and it looks like normal closing time will be around 9:00pm once they settle into a regular schedule. The theme parks are at their least crowded the first two hours that theyre open so I really want you to make park opening a priority. If youre headed to the parks by 8:15AM, will you or your kids really be able to enjoy being up until 10:00PM or later? If you do stay out that late, will it mean getting to the park late tomorrow and missing out on the short lines then? My kids treat Disney World like Marine Boot Camp they go hard from first thing in the morning until the Disney cast members are pushing us out of the park at the end of the day but not everyone takes this you can sleep when youre dead approach to vacation. When will the fun stop being fun for your family?
How Extra Magic Hours Affect Crowds
Extra Magic Hours strongly affect crowd levels. Think of it this way … there are about 30,000 Disney Resort hotel rooms. That total doesn’t even include non-Disney hotels that offer Extra Magic Hours. Since most people don’t travel alone, that’s A LOT of people. And while resort guests don’t have to head to the park with Extra Magic Hours, many of them think that is where they are supposed to go, even if they don’t actually visit during the EMH period! This makes the park more congested during regular Disney park hours. This is why, for most park visitors, we think it’s best to avoid the park with Extra Magic Hours, but we hop through all of the scenarios below!
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