Extra Magic Hours allow guests of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels & select other resorts to enjoy extra time in the parks each day either before or after regular park opening.
However, are they worth attending? Also, are they worth additional cost of staying in an included resort? Plus, if you are staying elsewhere how will Extra Magic Hours affect your day?
Our guide to Extra Magic Hours will help you decide whether they should form part of your Walt Disney World vacation plan.
What are Extra Magic Hours?
Guests of select Hotels including all Walt Disney World Resorts can enjoy extra time in the parks each day. Extra Magic Hours occur either before parks open or after they close to regular guests.
Which hotels do I need to stay in?
Extra Magic Hours historically have been a benefit for guests staying at Disney Resort Hotels, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel and Shades of Green Resort.
In addition, Extra Magic Hours are open for Disney Golden Oak Residents or Guests of Disney Golden Oak Residents.
In 2018 this benefit was extended to guests staying in any of the 7 Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels. Since then several additional, resorts have been added. Currently, these benefits are scheduled to run until at least December 31, 2019. While at this stage we do not know if this benefit will be extended into 2020, all hotels added in 2018 were given access for 2019 too.
The current list of resorts that have access to Extra Magic Hours are:
- Disney Resort hotels
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
- Shades of Green® Resort
- Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando
- Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Which park will have Extra Magic Hours?
How long Extra Magic Hours last?
Morning hours are 1 hour before parks open for regular guests.
Evening hours are usually for 2 hours after usual park closing.
What do I need to access Extra Magic Hours?
A valid theme park admission and hotel ID is required to access Extra Magic Hours. For Disney Resort Guests your MagicBand serves as your ID.
It is worth noting that accessing Extra Magic Hours counts as 1 park admission and if you do not have a hopper ticket you will not be able to change parks.
Can you use Fastpass+?
Fastpass is not available during Extra Magic Hours.
Can annual pass holders attend?
No, unless you are currently staying in one of the above resorts.
Will all attractions be open?
You can expect all the major park attractions to be open and a selection of other attractions. Actual attractions are subject to change.
You can get details of the current advertised attractions here.
What about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
Following the opening of both Toy Story Land and Pandora Disney offered daily Extra Magic Hours for these new attractions. These offered a great benefit for guests who might have been struggling to get a Fastpass.
We understand that Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will be available during Extra Magic Hours. Currently, Disney has published minimal details, but advise the benefit will be for guests staying at “select” Walt Disney World Resorts.
We are advised that details will be available at a later date. However, it is unclear what “select” resorts means. It certainly seems plausible that this benefit will only be for guests staying at the Disney owned resorts. However, will it be set days for specified resorts or a benefit for only the Deluxe Resorts? Hopefully, further details will be published soon.
Are Extra Magic Hours worth attending?
Whether Extra Magic Hours are worth attending is the subject of regular debates.
You get to enter early or stay late but so do many more guests. Walt Disney World has over 30,000 hotel rooms, and each will hold several guests. All these guests can also attend during EMH. That is a lot of extra guests! If everyone participated, the park would probably reach capacity.
The extension of Extra Magic Hours to more resorts in recent times has also meant that crowds have increased
If you intend to get to the park early for morning EMH, they are probably worth attending. However, you must get there for the opening. If you are going to miss opening it is worth going elsewhere.
In the evening Extra Magic Hours are busier the earlier they are held. If a park’s EMH is to 1 am they will be quieter than if they are to 11. In addition, they will usually quieten in the last hour.
We have found during peak periods evening Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom can be a great way to experience attractions with shorter waits. However; the most popular attractions might still have very long waits even after midnight.
I’m not staying at a park with Extra Magic Hours what should I do?
If you are not staying in a Disney Resort in our opinion, you should generally avoid parks with Extra Magic Hours.
This is especially true for parks which are holding morning sessions. You are likely to be met with a busy park and long lines when you are allowed access.
I can’t attend Extra Magic Hours what should I do?
Avoid the park with EMH it will be busier. Attend one of the other parks. The only exception to this rule is if certain entertainment is only held on this specific day during your visit.
Visit our guide Walt Disney World for Beginners for more essential tips.
If you want more Walt Disney World Tips & Tricks we have lots of them here on Modern Life is Good. Here are 201 Tips & Tricks to have a great vacation at Walt Disney World.