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Disney World Will Debut Early Theme Park Entry Benefit for Hotel Guests in October

by Mommy Frog on June 30, 2021 11 Orlando

Rise and shine! Hop off the press — Disney World's Early Theme Park Entry benefit will debut Oct. 1, 2021! This benefit will give Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests access to any of the resort's theme parks — Disney's Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Disney's Animal Kingdom — 30 minutes before the parks open to the public. Get your to-do lists (and coffee!) ready!

While this new benefit is toadally exciting, there's more to know than which ride you're heading to first (though that's definitely also a priority). This benefit extends to select partner hotels, and Disney Deluxe and Villa guests will also have access to the parks on select nights after they close. So, what else should you know about Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours at Disney World? Let's jump in!

All About Disney World's Early Theme Park Entry Benefit

Extra Magic Hour benefits have been suspended since Walt Disney World's reopening last July. Instead, guests at official Disney Resort hotels and select Disney partner hotels will be able to enjoy 30-minute early entry to ANY theme park, EVERY day. Yep, this is a big change that has implications for all park-goers! The benefit will become available Oct. 1, 2021, just in time for Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

While giving on-site hotel guests more flexibility — and probably a better benefit than the original Extra Magic Hours, which was limited to one park each day — the new early theme park entry will also help Disney better spread visitation across all four theme parks. Note that hotel guests will still need valid admission and a park reservation made via the Disney Park Pass system to enter a theme park through January 2023. Don’t froget to jump over to our full reopening post for all of the details you need to know before you go!

Disney's Grand Floridian - Disney Early Theme Park Entry

For those who might have frogotten, Extra Magic Hours were extended theme park hours available to Disney World Resort hotel guests and some Disney partner hotel guests. Each day of the week, these hotel guests were typically allowed to enter one park one hour early or stay up to two hours later than non-hotel guests. Like EMH, this change will most likely impact all park-goers.

This new Disney early entry benefit will give hotel guests the flexibility to decide which park they want to visit 30 minutes ahead of regular park opening. By allowing hotel guests to enter all parks early, it will most likely lessen the benefit of arriving ahead of opening for non-hotel guests, who typically could have arrived at a non-EMH park and had a couple of hours with lower ride wait times.

Which Hotels Will Offer Disney Early Theme Park Entry?

Early Theme Park Entry - Wilderness Lodge Lobby

All of Disney World's Resort hotels and Villas will offer Early Theme Park Entry beginning Oct. 1. The following non-Disney hotels have also been confirmed to offer the new Early Theme Park Entry benefit:

Which Hotels Will Offer Extended Evening Theme Park Hours?

Guests of Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts and a few select hotels will also have access to extended evening hours on select nights in select theme parks beginning in October (similar to evening Extra Magic Hours of years past). If you've been wanting to check out the reimagined rooms at either Disney's Contemporary Resort or Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, here's an extra perk! Here's a full list of participating hotels:

The current schedule for Extended Evening Theme Park Hours is:

  • Oct. 4: 10 p.m. to midnight at EPCOT
  • Oct. 6: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Magic Kingdom
  • Oct. 11: 10 p.m. to midnight at EPCOT
  • Oct. 13: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Magic Kingdom
  • Oct. 18: 10 p.m. to midnight at EPCOT
  • Oct. 20: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Magic Kingdom
  • Oct. 25: 10 p.m. to midnight at EPCOT
  • Oct. 27: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Magic Kingdom

Guests will need valid admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation for the same park on the same day to experience extended evening hours. Or guests may visit with a ticket or annual pass with the Park Hopper option as long as they entered their first park where they made their reservation earlier in the day.

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!

Much like EMH, guests will need to present some sort of resort ID, such as a MagicBand, Disney MagicMobile pass or Key to the World card linked to their stay to access the parks.

Early Theme Park Entry - Stormalong Bay at Beach Club

Disney also announced that it would be ending its Magical Express airport service, starting with arrivals Jan. 1, 2022. Free transportation options – such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner – will continue to be available within Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Resort hotel guests, including to and from all four theme parks. Some familiar faces will be visiting Walt Disney World Hotels during the 50th Anniversary Celebration, too — favorite Disney pals such as Goofy and Pluto will be dropping by in their EARidescent best to say hello!

While more information is still forthcoming, we are toadally excited for the opportunity to get a hop on our mornings with Early Theme Park Entry! What are your thoughts? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments below!

Related: Park Hopping Has Returned to Walt Disney World! Here's How It Works with Your Disney Park Pass

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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Aug 2, 2021 at 10:11 p.m. Yvette Says...

If you stay at one of the non-Disney Hotels, do youhave a magic band or just a key card. If you are only staying one night, which day would you have early access arrival or departure?

Aug 2, 2021 at 5:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Yvette!

Non-Disney hotels will have key cards. In the past, the early theme park entry benefit applied on the day of check-in and checkout - we'll be sure to confirm once we hear more!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jul 20, 2021 at 3:02 a.m. MizzMo Says...

Will this be true of Disneyland as well - going to the half-hour benefit starting in October? Or, will they be bringing back the Extra Magic Hour for Disneyland and California Adventure?

Thanks for your help!

Jul 20, 2021 at 8:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi MizzMo!

No news has been released just yet on an early entry benefit returning to Disneyland - we'll be sure to update the blog if we hear anything!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jul 6, 2021 at 6:25 p.m. Connie Bowen Says...

30 minutes is no time at all. Everyone that is going to rope drop gets there early. If the park opens at 9 then resort guests should be able to enter at 8:30 but check YouTube most say that everyone frequently gets in about 30 minutes before the park opens. Disney is not giving us anything except early entry on paper. It will take 30 minutes just to get through the crowd.

Jul 7, 2021 at 11:23 a.m. Lady A Says...

We're currently at the resorts.

We have been to every single park for rope drop this past week. Only 1 has dropped early, HS. They will let you in early but you won't get on any rides early. The food carts and places to eat before you get to the rope are also open.

So the benefit of getting there early is to get through security and having a bit of a shorter than normal wait in your first ride of the day.

Jul 6, 2021 at 5:52 p.m. Tony Catalfamo Says...

We are staying at a Disney resort for the first time in January. We were excited that we would be able to use the magical express from and to the airport. We are EXTREMELY disappointed that it will end several days prior to our arrival!!!

Jul 6, 2021 at 3:14 p.m. Daniel Levin Says...

We will be in Disney World July 14-17 and will be staying at a Disney resort. I thought 30 minutes early entry was already in place for resort guests. Is that not true?

Jul 6, 2021 at 10:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Daniel!

No, the Early Theme Park Entry was announced earlier this year, but at the time, it did not have a specific timeline for when it'd debut. Last week, Disney announced it would start Oct. 1.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Mar 7, 2021 at 7:25 p.m. Judy Newton Says...

when will there be information avaible to read for my/our vaction to Disneyworld Sept 23,2021 -Oct 5th

Mar 8, 2021 at 7:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Judy!

We'll continue to keep our posts updated as new information is released! :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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