Extra Magic HoursWalt Disney World: Disney offer an hour extra before opening time and two hours extra after closing for people who stay in the resort.
From ANGELA HUGHESFound the Extra Magic Hours to be a bit of a waste of time as in September they only have one park offering the deal per day, so all the resort guests were concentrated into one park which became more busy for the popular rides than during normal opening times. It was terrible trying to get on Buz Lightyear after the park closed as the amount of people waiting to get on was ridiculous.
Posted October 13, 2008 at 10:06 AM
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Tim WThat happens every day. theres only one park a night. It's how it's always been.
Posted October 13, 2008 at 11:27 AM
From Joshua CounsilI LOVE Extra Magic at night. It's great for college guys like me who pull all-nighters. The parks are cooler in temperature, less crowded, and are often more attractive than during the day. The Cast Members are usually more relaxed and can afford to have conversations with you, and the lines are so damn short.
Posted October 13, 2008 at 11:39 AM
In my experience, Epcot is best to hit on the Extra Magic mornings (as the only outdoor attraction is Test Track), and the rest are perfect for nighttime excursions. Animal Kingdom is beautiful at night, and Everest and Kali are excellent in the dark. The Tower of Terror at DHS is fantastic at night, and the whole park just feels great once the Fantasmic! crowds has dispersed. The Magic Kingdom, however, takes the cake for the best nighttime excursion. Tonnes of attractions, many of which feature outdoor sections. The lighting is fantastic, too.
From James RaoSince I hardly ever stay on property anymore (can't afford it), I know that whichever park has morning magic hours is the park to avoid. And since all the on-property folks will be concentrated in that one park...I experience lighter crowds wherever I go!
Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:21 PM
But agree with Josh on the evening Magic hours, especially in September when the parks close early, evening magic hours are a great way to extend your Disney experience!
From Anthony MurphyNever had a problem with Extra Magical Hours and highly recommend it still. The only park that is annoying with it is DHS, but thats due to the lack of attractions since the shows do not run. I have been able to go on Buzz as many times as I wanted. If EMH work anywhere, its MK
Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:50 PM
From Jeff MI also had no problem with extra magic hours when I visited last October around this same time. I visited the Florida Disney resort area with my family or average "Joe" one could say!
Posted October 13, 2008 at 2:03 PM
When I have visited on business, I'm usually available to wonder around as I see fit. With my family, we actually stayed off sight with other family members.
We had NO problem taking part in the late or extra hours of night within our week stay! All I had was my regular ticket stubs for the parks, etc......
My question here is..... Can anyone tell me how Disney controls non-resort guests in taking advantage of the extra magic hours??? I mean can anyone, even non-resort guests take part in this??? Especially in the evening like we did??? I have not tried the early morning/early opening hours, so I can't speak on this.
Was I just lucky??? or like I said.....can any regular paying customer, (non-resort staying person) receive the same perks???
Let me know your thoughts and experiences please!
From Corey RombergResort Guests get wrist bands at various locations in the park by showing their room key, which shows Cast Members they can take part in EMH...I work at WDW, at the Seas with Nemo and Friends, and it is our policy to check for wrist bands (the right color) before allowing Guests to get in line for the ride or go into the Turtle Talk show or aquarium...if they don't have wrist bands, we ask if theyre staying on property, and ask to see their room keys and check the date...if they arent staying on property, we politely tell them that its EMH and the park is only open to resort guests...Restaurants will look for wrist bands or room keys too....so basically if you are not staying on property, you could stay in the park for the whole 3 hours, but you couldnt do any attractions or eat anywhere...for EMH mornings you have to show a room key to get into the park
Posted October 13, 2008 at 2:34 PM
Im not sure how you were able to get on rides without a room key or wrist band...Cast Members were not doing their jobs correctly apparently...so yes, you got lucky
From Anthony MurphyYou can shop too if you don't have a wristband.
Posted October 13, 2008 at 4:22 PM
From Scottland JacobsonI agree with all the others that Extra Magic Hours are awesome. Especially AK at night. The trick is to hit the early morning hour parks right at opening and stay for only about 3 hours (2 hours past official park opening) - then get out and go to another park.
Posted October 13, 2008 at 4:49 PM
I've ridden Space Mountain, Test Track, Splash Mountain, Expedition Everest, etc. over and over on the Magic Evenings - but Soarin' is ALWAYS a huge line no matter what!
Last time I was there (May of 2007), they made us show our room keys in the mornings prior to entry, and they gave us wrist bands at night. And Shades of Green is now included in the Magic Hours program.
From Jeff MCorey,
Posted October 13, 2008 at 4:45 PM
I guess I did get lucky??? Every ride/attraction I encountered either asked the same, or didn't and just let it go! I did Nemo that week also, as I remembered since my kids were so hyped on the movie!
FYI - to all interested....I was just your average guy w/family (2 toddlers and wife). I was never turned away from ANY attraction/ride during the first hour of special Magic hours!
Yes, I was asked whether or not I had a wristband, or a room key. Of course I didn't have a room key since I stayed off site, but a simple, "room key is with other family members" worked. In regards to wristband, I guess dealing with two toddlers and us tryin to deal with them gave us parents a free pass??? Only a suggestion of getting the band to noy encounter further problems was suggested!
I'm NOT against what happened to me, but I only asked because if it happened to me and possible others also, then it kind of takes away from the fact you are a priviledged "on site" staying guest!
I guess I should count my blessings? :)
From Deidre DennisWe've gone to WDW once and plan to go back in June 2009. This is one of the reasons we choose to stay on site. We've always used the EMH's for the waterparks. Went to Blizzard Beach at 9am and had ridden every water attraction by 10:30am. Went out for breakfast, went to our room and slept for several hours, then went to which ever park had EMH that night. It was awesome.
Posted October 13, 2008 at 5:57 PM
From Joshua CounsilJeff -
Posted October 14, 2008 at 12:38 PM
I've had that happen before. In the off-season, they're a lot more lax about whether guests have wristbands or not. Although I was staying on-site, it was my first time using Extra Magic and I was able to ride several Magic Kingdom rides without a bracelet. I finally got stopped at one of the attractions, and they told me where I could get a bracelet.
It just depends on the Cast Member, I suppose.
From Jeff MJoshua,
Posted October 14, 2008 at 1:18 PM
Yep I agree with you.
A follow up to my previous posts. Keep in mind folks my admittence to any and all attractions did occur within the first hour and half of each extra magic late day hours offered. True, by the time passing, policy was being inforced more. I don't believe I would have been that lucky if I stretched my stay any longer..
From Corey RombergIt does depend on the Cast Member, which depends on how the Cast Member was trained....I was trained to be pretty strict, so I'll almost always enforce it...however, if only one person in the family has a room key and no one has a wrist band, or the date is one day past, or there are young kids who really wanna get on and its within an hour or so of EMH starting, I'll let people in
Posted October 14, 2008 at 3:05 PM
From M. Ryan TraylorLast year during my vacation to WDW, we hit up MK the day of arrival after dinner for the magic hours. Did everything we wanted to do, except for the fairy tale dark rides, in the three hours. We then wondered what we do there on the full day that was allocated for MK later in the week.
Posted October 15, 2008 at 1:00 AM
From Rob PI know what you mean about the crowds during Magic Hours.
Posted October 15, 2008 at 3:03 AM
It seems just as busy during this period as it does earlier in the day. But then again we used the Magic Hours to our advantage by going out on the Boggy Creek Airboats during the day and then sliding over for the extended late night at EPCOT.
I suppose that's what a lot of people do if they have unlimited 14 day passes like we had.
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
Stories from a Theme Park Insider offers a warm and often-funny look at what it's like to work inside the world's most popular theme park. It's a great read for theme park fans!
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive