Extra Magic Hours
Walt Disney World:
Disney offer an hour extra before opening time and two hours extra after closing for people who stay in the resort.
Found 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.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Tim W
Posted October 13, 2008 at 11:27 AM
That happens every day. theres only one park a night. It's how it's always been.
I 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.
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 Rao
Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:21 PM
Since 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!
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!
Never 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
From Jeff M
Posted October 13, 2008 at 2:03 PM
I 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!
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!
Resort 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
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
You can shop too if you don't have a wristband.
I 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.
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 M
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? :)
We'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.
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 M
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..
It 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
Last 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.
From Rob P
Posted October 15, 2008 at 3:03 AM
I know what you mean about the crowds during Magic Hours.
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.
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