Since Walt Disney World reopened, there has been a list of “temporarily” suspended services and facilities. There is no information on when FastPass+, Single Rider Lines, the Disney Dining Plan, or several other services will return. However, we now know Extra Magic Hours will not be returning! In its place will be a new service, Early Theme Park Entry.
Extra Magic Hours allowed guests of select Hotels, including all Walt Disney World Resorts, to enjoy extra time in a park each day. Extra Magic Hours occurred either before parks open or after they close to regular guests. The available park changed each day.
Extra Magic Hours always appeared to be a great perk, but Walt Disney World has over 30,000 hotel rooms, and each will hold several guests. All those guests could attend Extra Magic Hours. That is a lot of extra guests! Also, the number of guests from non-Disney hotels who could attend Extra Magic Hours has progressively increased in recent years.
Often guests found that the park holding Extra Magic Hours was actually the park to avoid each day. If you were not staying at a Disney Resort, you would often arrive at an already full park. There will be many of us who will not miss Extra Magic Hours. Despite this, it will probably be perceived by many to be the loss of a resort perk.
Early Theme Park Entry will replace Extra Magic Hours later this year. Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will be able to gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park every day. Unlike Extra Magic Hours, this will be at all 4 theme parks. No date has been announced of when Early Theme Park Entry will start.
To gain access to a park, you will still need a Disney Park Pass. Disney has suggested the new service will allow better guest spread across all four theme parks. However, for guests staying off-site, it isn’t great news. Instead of one park being busy before you arrived, Disney Resort guests will now have priority access to all four parks.
We increasingly feel Extra Magic Hours might not be the only thing not returning to Walt Disney World and suspect FastPass+ might not return or be in a limited form. Perhaps a paid version of FastPass might be on the cards?
What will Disney do with the time freed from not having evening Extra Magic Hours? Expect more hard ticket events! We expect Disney After Hours might become a nightly event at all four parks once the pandemic has settled.
Visit our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World to learn more. Our guide includes all the latest information on the reopening of Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.