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Extra Magic Hours - When to Use & When to Avoid

by Mommy Frog on October 1, 2018 218

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See all of our discount Disney Theme Park Tickets

As you hop deeper and deeper into your Walt Disney World vacation planning, you may see this phrase Extra Magic Hours, or EMH, pop up. This is just one of many new Disney terms that is hopful to learn about. Extra Magic Hours are especially important because they have a big impact on park guests.

If you think Extra Magic Hours strictly apply to Disney Resort guests, you are only partially correct. They are only available to Disney resort hotel guests, but Extra Magic Hours affect all park-goers. This post lays out what they are, how they impact crowd levels, when we recommend using them and when you should avoid the park that has them.

When to Use Extra Magic Hours - Magic Kingdom

What Are Extra Magic Hours?

Extra Magic Hours are extended theme park hours available to Disney resort guests and some non Disney-owned hotels. On certain days of the week, guests can enter a park one hour earlier or stay in a park up to two hours later than normal park operating hours. The Extra Magic Hours are listed with regular park hours on our Orlando Crowd Calendar, so you can easily find them. It's worth mentioning that during peak times and sometimes with the opening of new rides and lands, Disney will add additional Extra Magic Hours.

Which Hotels Offer Extra Magic Hours?

All of Disney World's resorts and villas offer Extra Magic Hours. Additionally, the following non-Disney hotels offer Extra Magic Hours:

Guests staying at one of the above off-site hotels will need to present a valid Resort ID, while Disney resort guests will simply tap their MagicBand/RFID ticket at ride entrances to verify that they are staying on-site. During evening Extra Magic Hours, non-resort guests can remain in the park but will not be able to go on any rides. Regular theme park admission is required.

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!

How Extra Magic Hours Affect Crowds

When to Use Extra Magic Hours - crowds

Extra Magic Hours strongly affect crowd levels. Think of it this way ... there are about 30,000 Disney resort hotel rooms. That total doesn't even include non-Disney owned hotels that offer Extra Magic Hours. Since most people don't travel alone, that's A LOT of people. And while resort guests don't have to head to the park with Extra Magic Hours, many of them think that is where they are supposed to go, even if they don't actually visit during the EMH! This makes the park more congested during regular park hours. This is why for most park visitors, we think it's best to avoid the park with Extra Magic Hours, but we hop through all of the scenarios below!

When Resort Guests Should Use Extra Magic Hours

When to Use Extra Magic Hours - Disney's Hollywood Studios

ONLY if you intend to visit during Extra Magic Hours. There is no benefit for showing up to a park with Extra Magic Hours if you don't actually attend during the Extra Magic Hour. And don't forget, it takes time to get to the parks, especially Magic Kingdom. Allow enough time to get to the park, whether you are using Disney transportation or driving and parking at Ticket & Transportation Center. Keep in mind that evening Extra Magic Hours, especially those earlier in the evening (say, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. vs. midnight to 2 a.m.), tend to attract more crowds than morning Extra Magic Hours.

If you are Park Hopping. In this situation, you can go to the park with EMH during those hours and spend the other part of the day at a less crowded park. Example: Epcot has evening Extra Magic Hours from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a recommended park that day. Go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios during normal park hours, then hop to Epcot that evening during the EMH.

When to Use Extra Magic Hours - Space Mountain

If you have a Disney Theme Park Base Ticket and the overall crowd level is low.

Example: The overall resort crowd level is a 4. Magic Kingdom has morning EMH from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. You can take advantage of the extra hour that morning for popular rides such as Peter Pan's FlightSpace Mountain and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Be sure to use FastPass+ for any other must-do attractions that you don't think you'll get to in the morning such as Splash Mountain.

If you are visiting during (or within the first couple of months after) a major ride or land opening and there are special Extra Magic Hours.

Example: During the opening of Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, there were additional Extra Magic Hours for resort guests. These were the best way to experience all of the new rides in these lands without waiting several hours (because of the tier system in these examples, even if you were able to get FastPass+, it would have only been for one of the new rides).

When Off-Site Hotel Guests Should Visit a Park with Extra Magic Hours

There are Extra Magic Hours on every day of your visit.

As mentioned above, during the busiest times of the year, even more Extra Magic Hours are added to the parks as a perk for on-site guests. You may not be able to avoid the park with EMH, especially at Magic Kingdom. Fortunately, there are more attractions here than at any of the other parks to better handle the crowds. Your best bet is to be at the park entrance before it opens when crowd levels are still at their lowest. If you have Park Hoppers, this is less of a problem. Spend the morning at Magic Kingdom and then hop to another park that doesn't have evening Extra Magic Hours in the afternoon.

There is special entertainment at a park with EMH.

This happens most frequently during the least busy times of year and often affects Magic Kingdom. This is not currently a factor since there is not currently an evening parade at Magic Kingdom, but in the past there were days when the Magic Kingdom evening parade would sometimes only be scheduled on days with Extra Magic Hours. In this case, your plan of attack should again be arriving when the park opens if you have Disney Theme Park Base Tickets. If you have Park Hoppers, you can spend your day in another park and hop over for the nighttime entertainment an hour or so before it starts.

When to Avoid the Park with Extra Magic Hours

There are certain circumstances when you should avoid the park with Extra Magic Hours. Here are those times ...

If you are not staying at a Disney Resort or hotel offering EMH. Since you won't be able to go on any rides during Extra Magic Hours, we recommend avoiding the park that has them. Sometimes you may want to visit a park with Extra Magic Hours because it's the only day you'll be able to see a special show or parade, and sometimes during peak season, it's impossible to avoid Extra Magic Hours. For example, during the week of Christmas and New Year's Day, there are typically EMHs every day at the Magic Kingdom. During these times, it's especially good to have a solid park plan and use your FastPass+ selections wisely.

If you are staying at a Disney Resort or EMH hotel, you have a Disney Theme Park Base Ticket and the overall crowd level is high. In our opinion, the extra hour isn't worth dealing with the bigger crowds brought on by Extra Magic Hours. Unless you have Advanced Dining Reservations at the park with Extra Magic Hours, we recommend choosing another park to visit that day.

Want more advice about using Extra Magic Hours? Share your questions below! And for those of you who are park regulars, do you take advantage of Extra Magic Hours or avoid the park that has them? For more tips, check out our What to Do in Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Timeline!

Related: Introduction to Disney FastPass+ and FAQs

Hoppy Planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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1–50 of 112 comments
Dec 5, 2018 at 1:58 p.m. Steph Says...

Hi Mommy Frog! It’s my birthday whilst we are staying at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace in March and I would love to see the Magic Kingdom firework and laser show without the stress of crowds etc (we will be in a small group with three small children). Which restaurant would you recommend to dine in for the best view and experience please?? Thanks!

Reply
Dec 5, 2018 at 9:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steph!

We recommend dining at any of the restaurants at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian or Contemporary. Make sure you book a time where you'll be finished before the fireworks start, and then you can watch them outside or from a designated viewing location where they have the music piped in.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 27, 2018 at 8:09 a.m. Chris Says...

Hello, quick question regarding the PM Epcot EMH. Rides aside, will all of the World Showcase “things” (food, shops, etc) be open still, or will they be closing down? So much do to in Epcot, I always tend to run out of time during normal hours. Thanks!

Reply
Nov 27, 2018 at 3:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris!

Great question. While food booths (festival kitchens, etc.) will likely be closed, most shops and other locations stay open during the EMH :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 25, 2018 at 9:18 p.m. Peter Says...

Please help frog family! 1st time visitor from the UK. Me, wife and 2 froglets aged 7 & 11. Staying on site at Coronado. Have to plan Disney parks from 24/05 to 30/05. I want an itinery that gets 2 visits to MK, one to a water park, 1 AK, 1 HS and 1 EP (& 1 spare day). As the parks are going to be getting busy (8/10) and ive never been before, I dont know whether to visit the parks on EMH days or avoid EMH days completely and just visit the parks as if we were staying offsite without EMH??? So confused!! Only gonna do this once so dont want to get it wrong! Please come up with an itinery for me!

Reply
Nov 27, 2018 at 3:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Peter!

We don't offer personal itineraries, but I have good news for you! You can customize our recommended Park Plans in our Orlando Planning App.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 25, 2018 at 12:40 p.m. Joy Says...

Hi, thank you for your great site and all the helpful tips. We appreciate it! How does EMH work for a family of 6 staying at one of the non-Disney hotels listed above in Disney springs? What will we need or receive from the hotel to enable us to enter during the morning EMH? Thank you!

Reply
Nov 28, 2018 at 10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Joy!

Upon check-in, the hotel will provide you with an Extra Magic Hours benefit voucher that you will need, of course, in combination with your park tickets.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 22, 2018 at 8:08 p.m. Priyesh Says...

Hi

I intend to go to Animal Kingdom on 19 Dec. I am staying at an offsite non EMH hotel. I have been unable to FastPass Avatar Flight Of Passage. If I were to arrive at doors opening 9am, do you think the wait would be long? I understands that even though it is not officially EMH on this day for this park I understand some onsite hotel guests could still choose to have this hotel as their EMH in the am?

Reply
Nov 26, 2018 at 9:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Priyesh!

It depends on what day you go. If there ARE Extra Magic Hours for on-site resort guests, the line will be much lengthier by the time you arrive. If the park opens at 9AM for everyone, and you arrive no later than 8AM, you have a good shot at being near the front of the line for Flight of Passage!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 21, 2018 at 4:23 a.m. Rob Says...

We are taking a 3 day trip to Orlando, staying at Saratoga. We have decided to visit 3 parks in a marathon day to celebrte my wifes birthday in January. We have been to WDW numerous times so we are familiar with all the parks. AK has EMH hours starting at 8, but we are wondering if rope drop is actually earlier than 8 or will we be ok to arrive 30 minutes early to be at the front of the line.

Reply
Nov 26, 2018 at 9:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rob!

We recommend arriving about 40 minutes ahead of rope drop time if you want to head towards Flight of Passage ... even on EMH days :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 20, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. Candy Says...

We will be landing at MCO at 5:00pm on July 4th, 2019. We will be staying at the Caribbean resort. We planned to purchase 4 day hopper tickets, which Im guessing will only be available the next 4 days 5th-8th? Will we be able to see any 4th fireworks from that resort since we cant go to a park until the next morning?

Thanks for any information!

Reply
Nov 26, 2018 at 9:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Candy!

While you can see some of the Epcot and Hollywood Studios fireworks from Caribbean Beach, they won't have quite the same effect. We recommend hopping on a dining reservation at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian or Contemporary the evening of the 4th so you can hang around to catch the show from one of their prime viewing locations :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 18, 2018 at 2:42 p.m. Rebecca Says...

We are staying at the Magic Village Yards, a Trademark collection by Wyndham. Is that considered a EMH hotel as it is by Wyndham?

Reply
Oct 19, 2018 at 3:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca!

Unfortunately, only the non-Disney hotels listed in this post are eligible for Extra Magic Hours.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 10, 2018 at 9:02 a.m. Les Says...

I am staying onsite with a check-in date of January 28, 2019. But...my check-in time is not until 4:00pm, and I want to take advantage of the EMH at AK on the morning of the 28th. If I do online check-in (before I actually arrive to officially check-in later that evening), will my MagicBand show that I am an on-site guest and allow me to benefit from the EMH, or do I have to wait until I formally check-in?

Reply
Oct 12, 2018 at 3:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Les!

You're able to use EMH on your day of check-in and check-out with no problems. :) We do recommend doing online check-in, but no need to formally check in to take advantage.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 4, 2018 at 12:54 p.m. Megan Says...

I am new to Disney and we are taking our first trip in April. Can you please direct me to an older post or tell me how EMH's works for families staying on Disney property.

Reply
Oct 5, 2018 at 2:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan!

This post shares all of the ins and outs of Extra Magic Hours. Please let us know what other specific questions you have!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 4, 2018 at 12:03 a.m. Jennifer Says...

Hi! We're heading to Animal Kingdom on 11/3, where the EMH are in the morning. We aren't staying on property, but still want to try to get there as early as possible to ride FOP. I've read all about arriving early to join the queue at Pandora, but is that all a wash due to EMH?

Reply
Oct 4, 2018 at 11:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

Unfortunately, arriving at park open won't be nearly as beneficial if EMH are taking place. We would recommend another day!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 3, 2018 at 5:18 a.m. Jason Says...

I just purchased my tickets and hotels with you guys and Hope maybe you can help me out here with planning. This will be our first time to Disney World and we’re being brave (or insane) and will be at Magic Kingdom New Years Eve and we have an 8 day ticket. Park days Dec 31-Jan 7. My main question is the crowd level is all 9/10 for my days but some park days have a green check when others are red exclamation EMH days. We are hoping to be able to take advantage of the early morning EMH but on a few days the EMH are red exclamation when other parks on that day have a green check. How much will the crowd level being at 9 make a difference for the parks with green checks compared to EMH with red exclamation. Hope this made sense. Any advice would be welcomed. Sorry for the length. Below is my tentative schedule.

Dec 31, 2018 MON ! Magic Kingdom (9am-12am)

Jan 1, 2019 TUE Animal Kingdom (9am-8pm)

Jan 2, 2019 WED Hollywood Studio (9am-8pm)

Jan 3, 2019 TH Epcot (EMH 8am-9am)

Jan 4, 2019 FRI ! Magic Kingdom (EMH 8am-9am)

Jan 5, 2019 SAT. Animal Kingdom (EMH 8am-9am)

Jan 6, 2019 SUN. ! Hollywood Studio (EMH 8am-9am)

Jan 7, 2019 MON. Epcot (EMH 8am-9am)

Reply
Oct 5, 2018 at 12:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jason!

Even if a Crowd Level of 9 is listed, a green check mark means we expect those parks to be slightly less busy than the others, and a red exclamation mark meaning we expect those parks to be the busiest. Hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 1, 2018 at 3:44 p.m. Francisco Says...

I will be going to Orlando for 6 days (4 days for DW parks without park-hopper) and 2 for Universal. I will be going from Feb 12 2019 to Feb 17 2019. I was thinking about taking the morning EMH disney parks, and that left me with my first 2 days with Universal Parks. Would you agree with this planning? Thanks!

Reply
Oct 1, 2018 at 9:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Francisco!

That sounds like an awesome plan to us!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 1, 2018 at 7:05 a.m. Sean Says...

Since we have a one day park hopper, can we pay for parking on the day at MK and use that to get into Epcot parking?

Reply
Oct 1, 2018 at 10:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sean!

Yep, just keep the receipt :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 28, 2018 at 1:56 p.m. Sam Says...

Hello! We will be visiting during the last week of January 2019. All dates have crowd level of 3.

1/28 - Animal Kingdom AM EMH

1/29 - rest, enjoy resort.

1/30 - Magic Kingdom PM EMH

1/31 - Epcot AM EMH

3 Adults and 1 Two Years Old Boy. Plan on napping at 1PM-4PMish Daily back at resort. Should we take advantage of EMH when during those time. I am thinking of switching to

1/28 - Animal Kingdom AM EMH

1/29 - rest, enjoy resort.

1/30 - Epcot normal hours.

1/31 - Magic Kingdom (Have Be Our Guest Breakfast at 8AM before park open) MK may be less crowded since night before is PM EMH, resort guests will be at the other parks.

Thank you!

Reply
Oct 2, 2018 at 12:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sam!

Honestly, these both sounds like great plans to us. It totally depends on which parks, meals and activities are your top priority :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 11, 2018 at 9:02 p.m. Lindy Says...

I'm staying at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, will I be able to take advantage of EMH?

Reply
Sep 12, 2018 at 12:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lindy!

Yes, this is one of the Disney Springs-area hotels eligible for Extra Magic Hours. :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 6, 2018 at 10:37 p.m. Angie Says...

Hi Mommy Frog!

I am planning a 1 day visit to WDW on my birthday in December. I will not be staying on property, but am still planning on staying in Epcot in the evening during an EMH day. EMH are 9:30-11:30 that night. If I am already in the park as a ticket holder that day, can I stay during EMH and just walk around and enjoy the World Showcase (no rides) during that time? Thanks!

Reply
Sep 7, 2018 at 8:23 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Angie!

While we don't encourage it (since EMH are reserved for on-site resort guests) you are able to stay, walk around, eat and drink. You will not be allowed on any attractions, however.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 6, 2018 at 5 p.m. zoya Says...

is this accurate. i mean if everyone looks at this and plans won't you end up with opposite issue?

also confused with EMH, is it good to go or not for morning EMH? But it's in the red at each park on those days? I'm very confused how to plan

Reply
Sep 4, 2018 at 4:05 p.m. Cathy Noles Says...

So if you are NOT staying on DW property, can we still take advantage of getting into the “Early” extra magic hour ? ( I know we won’t be able to get onto a ride but can we still go into the park during that extra early magic hour)?

Reply
Sep 4, 2018 at 2:04 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cathy!

If you are not staying at an onsite Disney resort hotel, you will not be able to enter the parks for morning extra magic hours until the park opens for regular guests.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 28, 2018 at 12:24 p.m. Anita Says...

Any tips of visiting the parks Presidents Week? We have 6 full days to visit the parks.

Reply
Aug 28, 2018 at 4:46 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anita!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts the parks will be pretty busy that week, so be sure to use FastPass+ wisely.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 25, 2018 at 7:03 p.m. Melissa Hershey Says...

We are staying off site, but I have a BOG reservation for 8:35 at MK on an EMH day. I am considering switching days since I don't want to go on an EMH day, but I doubt I can get a BOG reservation for the day. I was thinking at least we could be well into the park by the time it opens for us off site people? How does that work when you have a reservation?

Reply
Aug 28, 2018 at 7:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa!

You must have valid admission to the park for the time of your reservation. If your reservation is at 8:35 a.m. but as an off-site guest, you're not allowed in until 9 a.m., that might be problematic. We'd recommend asking the reservation agent, or waiting until you have full access to the park to be sure.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 20, 2018 at 3:16 p.m. John Says...

I would be staying at Contemporary hotel for one night on 26/9. I realize I can get benefit of EMH on the day of check-in. What about the day of check out? Could we do morning EMH on 27/9 if we have already checked out? What if we do morning EMH then check out immediately after?

Reply
Aug 22, 2018 at 11:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi John!

You can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours on both your days of check-in and check-out :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 15, 2018 at 5:12 a.m. Sylvia Says...

Hi Frog Family! My teenage son and I will be visiting WDW for 11 days in 2019, visiting the parks Feb 8 - 14 & 17 (maybe), 1 park per day, staying on Disney property, quick service plan. Relaxing at the hotel Presidents weekend. Question: Do we hit every park that is assigned Magic Hours or do we go with the parks that you recommend will have a lower attendance? Your crowd calendar dictates either low or average attendance except for the 17th. Thank you!

Reply
Aug 15, 2018 at 4:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sylvia!

As long as you plan on arriving on time (if not early) for Extra Magic Hours, we do recommend taking advantage.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 13, 2018 at 1:59 p.m. Luciana Says...

Hello, wich day is better for WDW (Less crowded), considering i'll be staying off site?

Oct 27th ( SAT crowds) or Oct 29th (MON + EMH at night).

Thanks, Luciana

Reply
Aug 14, 2018 at 11:19 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Luciana!

You can check out our Crowd Calendar for details, but we would recommend arriving early on Monday. The EMH crowds likely won't arrive until later in the afternoon/evening.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 16, 2018 at 12:57 a.m. Luciana Says...

Thanks a lot for your repply.

Luciana

Reply
Jun 12, 2018 at 7:31 p.m. Natalie Says...

Hey, great post

I was wondering if I am staying offsite but have an 8:05 ADR am I allowed to go on rides after breakfast since there is early morning magic hours going on or do I have to wait till 9:00 when the park opens?

Thank you,

Reply
Jun 12, 2018 at 3:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Natalie,

Generally, you'll have to wait until when the park opens. You'll be allowed to stay in the park, but if the park isn't officially open by the time you are done with breakfast, then you won't be allowed on the rides quite yet. We do suggest making your way to those high priority rides so you can jump in line as soon as possible!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 18, 2018 at 11:41 p.m. Natalie Says...

Hi, thank you for the response. I was wondering also how do you check in if your staying on site for extra magic hour? Do they scan magic bands or do I have to bring something?

Thank you

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Natalie!

They will simply scan your MagicBand for verification.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 19, 2018 at 10:41 a.m. Natalie Says...

Hi,

Thank you so much for all your help

Reply
Jun 12, 2018 at 3:22 a.m. Brandee Says...

Why is Animal Kingdom on Dec. 12 considered a bad park to visit?

Reply
Jun 13, 2018 at 10:25 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brandee!

There are several factors that are used in determining the park recommendations, including historical data, overall crowd levels, time of year, special events, EMHs etc. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 9, 2018 at 7:40 p.m. Isaiah Says...

If you are staying off property, can you still get into the park during early morning magic hours? We are trying for Jedi training and Hollywood studios has morning magic hours, but we are off property.

Reply
Jun 12, 2018 at 10:52 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Isaiah,

Extra Magic Hours are reserved for those staying on-site at an official Disney Resort Hotel or at one of the above listed non-Disney hotels!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 9, 2018 at 5:36 p.m. Anisa Says...

We're visiting MK 6/22 and they do have EMH that day but we can't avoid, based on our itinerary. It's our first time to Disney and we're staying off site, but do you have any helpful tips to

1. Combat the crowds and actually get to ride the rides

2. Get into the park without major hassle and headache?

We have a reservation at 8:15 at Be our Guest (EMH is 8-9) which is a little saving grace as we get to get in?

Thanks in advance! I've loved the blog :)

Reply
Jun 12, 2018 at 10:51 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anisa,

We have some handy Magic Kingdom Park Plans that might help you figure out which rides to prioritize/when to ride them to beat the long lines. Check out this post for handy tips on visting Disney World in the summer! Have a wonderful trip.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 21, 2018 at 10:27 p.m. Stephanie Says...

Hi! Thanks for this insight. I have a question I haven't been able to find an answer for on the internet yet... My family's park plan has pretty much been set and I've just found out that the day we're at Epcot has evening EMH. We have little ones and we're planning on breakfast at Akershus to beat the park opening and won't be taking advantage of the evening extra hours. Are the crowds typically there all day, or if the EMH are evening only, will we not see an upswing in crowds until later in the day? Thank you!

Reply
May 22, 2018 at 1:50 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephanie,

We suggest looking at the crowd level on our Crowd Calendar for the day you're planning on going to Epcot. Parks with EMH do tend to have more crowds, so if you aren't taking advantage of the EMH, we usually suggest avoiding the park that has them. If you're dead set on your plan, though, then it's good you're beating park opening! It sounds like you're getting well prepared with a park plan, so that will definitely help. Have an awesome time!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 6:32 p.m. Nick Says...

Hi - I made an ADR at 8 a.m. for Be Our Guest a while ago when Magic Kingdom was scheduled to open at 9, hoping to experience the extra hour with fewer people. The hours have now changed and MK opens at 8. Should I look into cancelling my breakfast reservation so we can hit the rides during that first hour? There are no more BOG reservations available so I'm confused as to what to do for a first time visitor with 2 girls, ages 6 and 4.

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 1:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nick,

Sorry to hear this! As to whether you want to cancel, that really depends on what is most important to you. You would likely spend 45 minutes to an hour at breakfast. It is still early enough that you would have low waits on many rides, but since an EMH was added, most likely it's a busy time. For your girls' ages, I would lean toward keeping the reservation at BOG, but perhaps others will share their thoughts.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 15, 2018 at 4:10 p.m. Lorine Lewis Says...

We love EMH!!????❤️

Reply
May 9, 2018 at 9:19 p.m. Anna Says...

I would like to ask your opinion about our visit to WDW. We will be there 7/18 - 7/20. We will be staying on-site but we don't have a park hopper. Should we go to AK on 7/18 (our first day and busy day for that park according to your Crowd Calendar) and to MK on 7/20 (also busy day but has morning EMH)? Or should we switch it and go to MK on 7/18 and to AK on 7/20 (good day to vivit the park according to your Calendar)? MK has evening EMH on 7/18 but we don't anticipate staying in the park that long. We will go to EPCOT on 7/19. Thank you for your help

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 1:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anna,

We usually recommend avoiding parks with Extra Magic Hours that have an overall high crowd level. So we'd recommend avoiding Magic Kingdom on the day it's predicted to have a high crowd level and has EMH. We'd switch the days and go to Magic Kingdom on 7/18 and Disney's Animal Kingdom 7/20. Have a great trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 8:33 p.m. Anna Says...

Thank you so much for your answer!

Reply
May 7, 2018 at 7:41 p.m. KK Says...

We are in Orlando May 31st thru June 6th. We are planning to visit AK, MK, Universal studio or Island of adventure. Which days would you recommend for each of those? Yet to buy theme tickets. Also, is it worth staying in resort for the EMH?

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 9:51 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Please check our Crowd Calendar as we have recommended parks by day to help guide you! There are are a lot of factors that families should consider on deciding where to stay. EMH is just one, but we probably wouldn't let that be the only factor in deciding.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 8:35 p.m. Wayne Augustson Says...

When do kids go back to school in August?

Reply
Apr 30, 2018 at 11:39 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Wayne!

This depends entirely on the location of the school and the district itself. Our tadpoles usually head back around mid-August!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 26, 2018 at 6:54 p.m. Jen Says...

We will be visiting in June, parks from the 7th-11th. Your calendar has the parks at a crowd level of 7. We have a split stay with the first 2 nights at the Yacht Club and the rest at POR. Should we avoid the EMH during times of equal crowds? We are early risers and would like to take advantage of the walking proximity. We will rely on buses after that.

Reply
May 17, 2018 at 9:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

If you will use EMH in the mornings, then we say go for it! If you have park hoppers, it definitely makes sense.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 25, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. Kristen Says...

We are going to Disney June29-July7. On the 7/4 we were planning on heading to HS, then go to Epcott because we have a lunch reservation 2:15(8 in our party ages 15-50; one couples 20th anniversary this day) then we were hoping to go to Magic Kingdom in the evening. Would you recommend this strategy? We know it will be crowded but figured we could ride rides in MK while fireworks are happening. Thanks

Reply
Apr 26, 2018 at 10:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristen!

It sounds like you have an awesome day planned! The only potential problem here is that Magic Kingdom usually reaches max capacity on July 4, as the fireworks are incredibly popular. This means you may not be able to gain entry to the park. We'd recommend playing it by ear on that day!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 18, 2018 at 11 p.m. Angelo Says...

We will e staying on Disney property 1nd week in October and extra hour to Magic Kingdom is 8 to 9 Am on a Friday we do not have a hopper should we take advantage of EMH on a Friday how do you think the crowds will be afterwards? Or should we go on a Thursday for regular hours will the crowds be lightly through put the day ?

Reply
Apr 18, 2018 at 10:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Angelo!

As long as you arrive right at 8 a.m. (if not earlier) to make the most of your Extra Magic Hour, then we totally recommend it!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 17, 2018 at 2:07 a.m. Candy Says...

Thanks for the helpful info! We’re heading to Epcot and HS this August. HS just added EMH for every day of our 4 day trip; only planning to do one day at each park. There’s one particular day the HS has EMH FROM 7am-12:30am. Would you go on this day or avoid the double EMH?

Reply
Apr 19, 2018 at 8:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Candy!

If you're ready to take on both ends of these Extra Magic Hours, it would be a GREAT day to visit the park and maximize your time. We would recommend arriving around 6:30 a.m. to get in the gate ASAP, taking a pool break at the hotel during the morning + evening crowd overlap from around 1-4 p.m., and then coming back to take advantage of those late night hours!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 24, 2018 at 6:57 a.m. Candy Says...

Thank you!! That’s a great plan.

Reply
Apr 9, 2018 at 3:56 p.m. Megan McMath Says...

Hi so I have a question and I hope that you'll be able to help me because I can't find it anywhere. We are arriving on May 13th and our first day of Disney's going to be May 14th at the animal kingdom. We planed this before knowing that they had that extra hour at 8 a.m. but that's fine. So the issue is that I'm staying with my mom at her timeshare on the 13th through the 17th and checking in on the morning of the 17th at the Grand Floridian until the 19th. Will we be able to use the magic hour on the 14th? We already customized our bands and should be getting them soon and all that but I'm not sure if I have to wait until the 17th when I check in to the Grand Floridian or if I can use it on the 14th. Thank you so much

Reply
Apr 10, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

Extra Magic Hours can be used starting from your first day at check-in. So, you'll have to wait to use them until your check-in at Disney's Grand Floridian! You should also check to see which parks are offering (and what time) Extra Magic Hours during your stay.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 6, 2018 at 4:06 p.m. Serena Says...

Hi! I'll be in disney in the last days of April and early May. We have planned our trip thinking that going to the parks taking advantage of EMH would be a great idea but we don't have park hoppers. Will we be too affected?

Reply
Apr 6, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Serena!

Taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours is a great idea regardless of whether or not you have park hoppers! Just make sure you arrive on time for the EMH on the days the parks open early to make the most of it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 22, 2018 at 5:20 p.m. Jen Says...

Hi there.

Can we use EMH on the date (morning) we check into our Disney hotel? We plan on arriving very early and leaving our luggage at our hotel (assuming our room won’t be available. Will we still be allowed into the park for EMH that morning?

Thanks!

Reply
Mar 29, 2018 at 10:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

Yes, you'll be able to use EMH on the day you check in!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 17, 2018 at 5:11 a.m. Jen Says...

Hi, we’re off-site guest. As I understood we could stay at MK in evening MH not to ride but just for seeing the water electric parade. But as for morning MH? Could we get in being off-site for shopping and meet and greet or it will be closed for us?

Reply
Mar 19, 2018 at 10:22 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen!

As off-site guests, you are technically able to stay in the parks for evening extra magic hours if they are already in the park before it closes to off-site guests. You are correct - you are not able to ride anything or meet characters, but can stroll, eat and shop. It does not work this way for morning EMH - you must be a resort guest to be allowed in the park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 22, 2018 at 1:36 a.m. Morgan Says...

I also have a question! My boyfriend and I will be driving to magic kingdom. We are staying off site but want to stay for MH to just walk around and enjoy. Since we are driving, will we be able to get back to our car even if we stay for EMH?

Reply
Apr 23, 2018 at 8:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Morgan!

While we don't endorse staying for EMH if you're not staying onsite since it's not technically allowed - yes, you will be able to get back to your car.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 16, 2018 at 12:44 a.m. Rachel Says...

We are staying off-site for our June trip. I’d like to use the evening emh June 12 at Epcot and June 13 at MK so I booked a campsite for checking in June 12 and out June 13. Would that work?

Reply
Mar 16, 2018 at 1:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rachel!

Yes it will.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 14, 2018 at 1:58 a.m. Mindi Says...

Hi! I could use some help. We will be there May 24-31. We wanted our last day (31st) to be MK so we booked dinner at BOG for 4 of us before park hours came out. Now that day is an EMH. Would you cancel the reservation and go on a less busy day? I'm trying to decide what is more important - less crowds vs BOG since it is nearing summer crowds and there are no more BOG reservations that week. Thank you for your help!

Reply
Mar 16, 2018 at 1:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mindi!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts that most days of your visit will be fairly crowded. While Extra Magic Hours certainly do bring in more people, we don't think it's a substantial enough difference to cancel Be Our Guest over. Keep that reservation and enjoy dining in the Beast's castle. Try the grey stuff...we hear it's delicious ;)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 9, 2018 at 9:58 p.m. melissa hernandez Says...

Is a trip during Thanksgiving completely not worth it? It seems to be the only week my family is available to go.

Reply
Mar 12, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa!

It is totally still worth it! We just recommend being a bit more strategic with your FastPass+ and dining reservations to make the most of your time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 1, 2018 at 2:31 p.m. Catherine Says...

Hi! We are going to Magic Kingdom for 2 days, the only 2 days we have at Disney. I have managed to get an early morning spot for Cinderella’s Castle breakfast on a day there are morning magic hours. We are not staying on site, does that mean we could wander round for a bit before our reservation but not be able to go on and rides? Can’t wait for our trip from England ????. Thank you!

Reply
Mar 5, 2018 at 1:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Catherine!

That is correct. In our experience, Magic Bands are checked to verify resort guests before riding any attractions. However, this downtime will be perfect for shopping and some cute photos!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 26, 2018 at 3:35 a.m. Rbutler0920 Says...

I am trying to plan our schedule for a trip Sept 8-16. We normally visit MK on Tuesdays and Fridays because they are recommend slow days. We usually skip all EMH days. However, this year I am trying to plan around MNSSHP and EMH and it is getting hard! MK Tuesday and Friday both are predicted morning EMH and MNSSHP I’m not worried about MNSSHP bc I heard it is actually makes the crowd lower during the morning, but will the EMH make it busier than normal? It is still saying they will both be the lowest MK day of our week. Do you advise sicking with those days or switching? We are not planning to park hop. Also, the day I would like to go to HS has morning EMH, should we try to avoid that, or do you think it will help us get though Toy Story Land? Thanks!

Reply
Mar 6, 2018 at 10:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Extra Magic Hours do tend to bring in more crowds than parks with regular hours, but you are correct about MNSSHP days being less crowded in the mornings. So if you take both factors into consideration, they should cancel each other out and lead to a pretty moderate day in terms of crowds. You can check out our Crowd Calendar for details. As for Hollywood Studios, taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours is your best bet for checking out Toy Story Land! Just be sure to arrive around 45 minutes ahead of the EMH opening in order to be at the front of the lines.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 22, 2018 at 3:19 a.m. GoofyDad Says...

Wow! What a fantastic website. Two questions.

(1) Is visiting a park the day after EMH a good strategy? I'm thinking that if a lot on-site guests go on an EMH day, fewer would go to the same park on the following day.

(2) What percentage of park visitors are on-site vs off-site.

Reply
Feb 21, 2018 at 10:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

We can't give you an exact answer on percentage of on vs. off-site park visitors, but we can tell you that your plan sounds great! You're right, EMH days bring in a lot of resort guests to that park in particular, which means they'll be headed elsewhere the following day. Good thinking :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 16, 2018 at 7:13 p.m. Shellie Says...

We are staying off-site most of the time, except for the day of our arrival and only staying on-site that one night. We purchased tickets from this site rather than with a room package. Would we be able to use the EMH at wherever they have it that night without having tickets through WDW?

Reply
Feb 20, 2018 at 10:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shellie!

Yes, you'll still be able to take advantage of EMH for the day you're staying on-site! You'll receive MagicBands at the resort and the bands will be scanned during EMH.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 11, 2018 at 8:28 a.m. Anissa Says...

Hello, just wondered if I can have some advice please? We are planning a trip for December 2018 (27th - roughly 5th) and looking to visit both Disney & Universal. We are looking to either try to stay on site at both resorts (split 50/50ish) to get the most out of extra hours & parking etc but trying to plan from the UK is a bit of a headache. In your opinion do we gain very much from the extra hours vs staying off-site and buying separate tickets and parking? Thank you ????

Reply
Feb 13, 2018 at 9:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anissa!

Great question. We absolutely recommend staying on-site at both Disney and Universal. There are tons of perks including transportation and extra hours ... not to mention, these hotels are all gorgeous and so much fun. The extra hours help you get more done in the parks and avoid crowds for a bit, which is especially important when visiting during a busy time of year!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
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