Disney's Extra Magic Hours Are Going Away Permanently
Hoppin' news! As most of you know, Extra Magic Hour benefits have been suspended since Walt Disney World's reopening last July. Today, Disney announced that the Extra Magic Hours benefit will not be coming back. 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! And there is not yet an official start date for this new early entry benefit nor details about how it will work. Disney says it is coming soon.
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. This is key as Disney continues to operate at lower capacity and to require park reservations for all park-goers. On that topic, please 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 to take advantage of this new early entry benefit. Don’t froget to jump over to our full reopening post for all of the details you need to know before you go!
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?
All of Disney World's Resort hotels and Villas will offer this new benefit. The following non-Disney hotels offered Extra Magic Hours previously. Although it is not yet confirmed, we would expect that they would also benefit from Disney Early Theme Park Entry:
- Walt Disney World Swan Resort Hotel
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Hotel
- Shades of Green on Walt Disney World Resort
- B Resort Located in the Walt Disney World Resort
- Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando
- Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn Orlando
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando
- Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
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!
The new Disney early theme park entry benefit wasn't the only news today. 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.
While this is a lot to take in and we still don't have all of the details about the changes, we most definitely will be updating this post as new information emerges. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts about the changes and let us know any questions you have.