Extra Magic Hours - When to Use & When to Avoid

by Mommy Frog on May 9, 2019 305

Hoppin' Good News: Walt Disney World is offering extra Extra Magic Hours every morning in September and October 2019. No doubt this is in anticipation of the additional guests that will be coming when Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Aug. 29, 2019. 

Here are the details for the extra Extra Magic Hours in fall 2019: 

  • Disney's Hollywood Studios - 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily. It includes Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land. (Please note that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.)
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom - 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily. It includes Pandora — the World of Avatar and other attractions throughout the park.
  • Magic Kingdom - 7 a.m.  to 8 a.m. daily. It includes favorites in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. 

These benefits are available to all on-site Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests as well as guests of Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Shades of Green Resort, Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels, Four Seasons Resort, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

As you hop deeper and deeper into your Walt Disney World vacation planning, you may see the 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 entrance

What Are Extra Magic Hours?

Extra Magic Hours are extended theme park hours available to Disney resort guests and some non-Disney 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 the regular Disney 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 to the schedule.

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 when entering the EMH park, while Disney Resort guests will simply tap their MagicBand/RFID ticket at ride entrances to verify that they are staying on-site. 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 - Epcot

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 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 Disney 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 - Hollywood Studios entrance

ONLY if you intend to visit during EMH. There is no benefit for showing up to a park with EMH if you don't actually attend during Extra Magic Hours. And don't froget, 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 the 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 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 EMH. 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 to Avoid the Park with Extra Magic Hours

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. There are a few exceptions, which we'll discuss below.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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: Disney FastPass+ FAQs and Strategies

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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101–150 of 151 comments
Nov 18, 2017 at 7:31 p.m. Jordan Says...

Hey there- love the blog!

Just wondering what you think we should do for our family trip August/September 2018. We were planning on staying in Cabana Bay for our whole trip and making our own way to and from Disney when we want to visit. However, do you think it’s worth the extra cost to stay at a Disney hotel for half our trip so we can avail of the on-site transportation and EMH? Are the EMH really worth it?

Thanks,

Jordan

Reply
Dec 22, 2017 at 8:26 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jordan,

You may find it's more convenient to stay at a Disney hotel for the Disney portion of your trip, especially if it's multiple days. I would highly consider it if it's more than a day or two.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 5, 2017 at 12:22 a.m. Kylie Says...

We are going to Disney World in January next year and I am confused when it has the closing time of a park at the same time as the fireworks or other night time entertainment. Is it that you can you stay in the park to watch the fireworks but the rides are just closed?

Reply
Nov 5, 2017 at 3 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kylie,

Yes, the entertainment will go on, but the attractions will close.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 6, 2017 at 6:58 a.m. Callie Says...

I hadn't thought about the parks swelling with people on EMH days until planning for our upcoming trip. We really did some great thrill rides with 5 min or less wait by taking advantage of AM EMHs (I haven't done PM due to babies), but I'll tell you why I "get it" about resort guests thinking EMH park is where they should be. We traveled with a big extended family group for birthday celebration/reunion, and we had dinner reservations together every day - so that way we were all together at least once daily. Our reservations coincided with the EMH parks, so even though a good portion of our group didn't want to get on a bus at 6am and beat the crowds, they still showed up at the same park - because 1) that's where the rest of the group was and 2) we had plans there at some point during the day. Now that I know this about the crowds, probably a better plan would do to breakfast at AM EMH parks - get those short lines to ride a few, eat, then head out to another less crowded park, or schedule dinners either at parks that do not have EMH or later dinners at parks that have PM EMHs (a lot of our group used those). And on top of that, let everyone know that if they aren't going to use the AM EMHs to not feel obligated to be with those of us who are- just park hop over for the character experience!

Reply
Apr 22, 2017 at 3:18 p.m. Terry Says...

Hello! We are visiting Disney next week! :) I have a question about EMH, since we are not staying at WDW resort. I realize we would not be able to enter attractions during EMH, but would we be able to make purchases? Say we stay for the Extra Magic hours and walk around the world showcase. I did not see that detailed here, so thought I would check. Thanks in advance!

Reply
Apr 22, 2017 at 12:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Terry,

Since we stay at WDW using Extra Magic, we haven't thought of this. You should be fine to purchase food and beverages and gifts. Keep some cash handy!

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 16, 2017 at 6:20 p.m. Brad Says...

I am actually considering spending one night of an Orlando vacation (sort of an impromptu one at that) at a Disney Resort property specifically to take advantage of Evening EMH(running to midnight) at Magic Kingdom after spending most of the day at Epcot. Since I know I will be returning later in the year to visit Animal Kingdom, I opted to skip that. In addition, I plan to visit one of the water parks, so I figured the combined cost of a water park ticket and round of mini-golf more than makes up for the cost of the Park Hopper Plus add on. This article has been a lot of help planning my visits to Disney.

Reply
Apr 17, 2017 at 8:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brad,

Thanks for the kind words about our blog. We hope you have a great trip!

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 8, 2017 at 8:36 p.m. Cat Says...

During evening EMH do they still do the fireworks at MK? I've managed to get a Be Our Guest table reservation for 8.15pm but wondering what time the fireworks would be on as don't want to miss them if they are on? Can't find a time table for the shows so not sure?

Reply
Jan 9, 2017 at 3:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cat,

Depending on the day that you're visiting, yes, it's very possible the fireworks will take place on an EMH day. While Disney does not release the full schedule, you can get a head start on planning with their online calendar.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 14, 2016 at noon Liz Says...

Hello,

We are going the week after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27 thru Dec 2) Will it be a good week for the EMH? Especially for Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

Thanks in advance :)

Reply
Nov 16, 2016 at 12:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Liz,

If you are planning to attend the EMHs, then we'd recommend them (especially if you have park hoppers). The morning EMHs on the 1st and 2nd would be most recommended.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 22, 2016 at 2:27 p.m. Erin Says...

I’m wondering if your advice on EMH is any different if we are going on a “Lightest Crowds” day in late January? We are going for our first trip to WDW, 3 days, with a 4-year-old and 6-year-old.

I’d like to do Magic Kingdom on the Fri and Sun and Epcot on Sat. Magic Kingdom has morning EMH on Fri, but I've also seen that that Saturdays are the busiest for Magic Kingdom. So I’m wondering what might be more crowded, a Fri with morning EMH (the only EMH during our trip window) or a Sat? Thanks for any additional advice you can give!

Reply
Oct 25, 2016 at 12:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erin,

Look at the differences in the crowd level days. If Friday is a 4 and Saturday is a 6, then most likely Friday would still be a lower crowd day at Magic Kingdom than Saturday.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 14, 2016 at 4:26 a.m. BRANDY JONES Says...

I really am stuck. I have every day planned, reservations everyday even. Then they change my day at the MK to have EMH. I purposely made a reservation for Be Our Guest at 810 to be in the park early..now everyone will be there at the same time..what should I do? Any suggestions would help..this is my first time going btw.

Reply
Oct 21, 2016 at 10:11 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brandy,

I would consider changing your breakfast at Be Our Guest if your strategy is just to get in the park early, but it really depends on when you're visiting, how busy the park is expected to be, what FastPass reservations you have etc.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 10, 2016 at 7:12 a.m. Jean Says...

Hi, Just came across your blog, invaluable! Anyway we are arriving Disney 12 October for fortnight and have tickets inc 2 days disneyparks only. staying off site, would you rec either Friday 14th or Sat 15th to visit MK. Looks like closing time Friday 7pm and Sat 10pm! IS this to do with EMH for Disney resort guests on Friday?. Starting to go around in circles with all this info!! thank you.

Reply
Sep 12, 2016 at 10:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jean,

This is a good question, and we totally understand the dilemma. That Friday should be less busy than Saturday, because of its shorter hours (even with the EMH). You would have three extra hours by attending on Saturday, but the crowds will also be busier. If you attend Friday, you will not get to stay for the fireworks, which you would have the option to view from inside the park if you attended on Saturday. You could, though, watch HalloWishes or Wishes from outside the park. It's really up to you and what your priorities are.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 29, 2016 at 8:02 p.m. Chris Says...

Trying to plan a 5day. 2 adults and a 7yr old boy. Thursday Nov 3-Nov 8th. I'm trying to NOT overdo it. Basic plan of attack is to go for AM EMH, leave at lunch, then go back to a park with PM EMH. The kid is an early riser just like his dad. My question is this - you'll notice that the Epcot half marathon is on Saturday Nov 5, so I'm viewing that day as an "AVOID EPCOT" day. So I'm trying to get all my Epcot in before Saturday. Long story short - do you think I'm crazy in scheduling Thursday the 3rd like this:

8am - Epcot EMH rides and fastpasses

11:30am - LEAVE.

12:55pm - Lunch at Mama Melrose in Hollywood (this is to get the vip fantasmic package)

2pm - back to relax at the Hotel

4pm - back to Epcot for the street performance shows - the kid will love Sergio and the Asian Acrobats.

7pm - back to Hollywood for Fantasmic 7:30pm show.

9pm back to Epcot for Illuminations show.

I'm staying at the Swan, so travel between Epcot and Hollywood should not take much time at all.

If it's actually feasible to get out of Fantasmic at 8pm, and make the Illuminations show at epcot at 9pm, I'd assume we can walk or take the water taxi from Epcot back to the Swan, and be in bed no later than 10. I'm trying to get these puzzle pieces together to make an efficient touring plan, but not overdoing it. You'll note, that I have no intention of doing any rides in the afternoon unless a great fastpass opportunity is there. The afternoon is basically shows and touring - no waiting in lines so the kid gets cranky. Mamma Melrose is already booked, so magic hours, lunch, and Fantasmic are the musts.

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 3:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris,

This sounds pretty ambitious, but with it being your first day of the trip, it's probably doable on adrenaline alone;) Sergio is awesome, but stressing the whole family out is not, so I would see how everyone is feeling once you get back to the hotel at 2 p.m. and then decide if you want to extend relaxation time before Fantasmic!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 3:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris,

This sounds pretty ambitious, but with it being your first day of the trip, it's probably doable on adrenaline alone;) Sergio is awesome, but stressing the whole family out is not, so I would see how everyone is feeling once you get back to the hotel at 2 p.m. and then decide if you want to extend relaxation time before Fantasmic!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 16, 2016 at 4:12 p.m. Stacey Says...

Hi! Thank you for your wonderful advice! We will be visiting Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios on Oct. 13-14, staying in a Disney Resort so we can use EMH, but only doing 1 park per day ticket. So, do we go to Magic Kingdom on Friday, Oct. 14th to use the EMH, even though a Friday might be more crowded than a Thursday? Or go Thursday and miss the EMH but hope the day is overall less crowded? Thank you! We'll go to Hollywood Studios on the other day.

Reply
Aug 16, 2016 at 1:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stacey,

Thursday should be a better day for Magic Kingdom. Both nights are having the Halloween party, and since only Friday is offering EMH, resort guests who are not going to the party will likely choose it for the longer hours.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 17, 2016 at 5:18 p.m. Stacey Says...

Thank you so much!

Reply
Jun 26, 2016 at 12:46 a.m. Florence Says...

We are planning to visit DHS on Fri 10/7 which closes to the general public at 7:30 but has EMH until 9:30. We are staying at a resort, so we can stay for EMH. Does this mean Fantasmic (the only showing is at 8:00) will be less crowded since it's during EMH? Do they scan Magic Bands as you enter Fantasmic to make sure you are legit being there? Or will there be tons of people still, including people who technically shouldn't be in the park?

We have a reservation for the Brown Derby+Fantasmic Package, but I really don't want to use 2 table meals each for this if it isn't necessary. Advice???

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 1:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Florence,

There is only one Fantasmic! showing right now for that date. Everyone, even those staying off site, can stay for it, so I don't think it will have a huge impact on lowering crowds.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 10, 2016 at 8 p.m. Chara Says...

Hello-Thank you for all your helpful info! We are visiting Disney World from 5/15 thru 5/22/16. I do not know how to determine if we should go to the park WITH morning magic hours, or AVOID that park. We really WILL show up for the 8-9am magic hours, but if the park is super crowded the rest of that day--is that worth it? For instance, on May 20th, Magic Kindgom has magic hour from 8-9am. SO do we want to go to the magic kinddom that day? Or avoid it like the plague? thanks!!

Reply
May 17, 2016 at 3:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chara,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Are you staying on-site and do you have park hoppers? If the answer is yes, then we say go for MK with EMH.

If you have Magic Your Way tickets, and you will be there for EMH (and would take a break during the afternoon or just know that it will be busy), then that is up to you.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 21, 2016 at 8:04 p.m. Mitch McD Says...

Hi, I am planning a 7 day trip with my family but we are staying only one night at one of the Disney World Resort Hotels (the remainder will be spent with friends). Would we be able to use our EMH on any day of the week? Or just the day we check in?

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 2:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mitch,

Your day of check-in and check-out.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 20, 2016 at 9:25 p.m. Rebecca Says...

We are going to Disney World in October and I noticed that there are EMH posted already on the My Disney Experience app. Are those definite for October? I know sometimes they can add EMH but are the hours posted going to stay the same? I've made some dining reservations but I didn't know that EMH are already posted and I still have time to change things around dining reservations.

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 2:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca,

These are always subject to change, but usually EMHs get added not taken away.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 6, 2016 at 2:42 a.m. Susanne Says...

Hi, this will be the first time going to Epcot when the candlelight processional is on. Do you find that whoever the guest is for that night sometimes affects the crowd level? Because I am thinking that obviously some speakers are more popular than others and also since HS closed Osborne Christmas lights that the candlelight processional may be even more crowded. Or maybe this might be balanced out since AK will have all their new nighttime attractions. Will this all be calculated into your crowd calendar and if so when should I check back? I'm looking at being in the parks Sunday, November 27 through Friday, December 2.

Reply
Apr 21, 2016 at 3:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Susanne,

Holidays Around the World does certainly bring a crowd to Epcot, especially when popular celebrities will be narrating. However, a number of people wait in line to see the processionals, so the crowds might seem a little less an hour or so prior to each showing. Traffic flow through the America Pavilion can be tricky as the performers arrive at the stage though, so give yourself time if you're traveling through before or after showtimes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 1, 2016 at 8:50 p.m. Cary Says...

Can you tell me when hollywood studios typically offers EMH? I know MK usually offers them on Wednesdays.

Reply
Apr 4, 2016 at 1:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cary,

Usually Fridays, although that is subject to change.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 21, 2016 at 5 p.m. Kathy Says...

Hi, We'll be heading to Disney in early May, staying off site, and just made breakfast reservations for the Akershus in Epcot. The only option the site gave us is 8:05am, which we're fine with, but it looks like Epcot does not open until 9. Is this only for EMH users or is there special access just to the restaurant for off site guests? Thanks! Kathy

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kathy,

This is early access to the park, so enjoy!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 18, 2016 at 5:40 p.m. CA Tourist Says...

We arrive at MCO at 11:00 pm and are staying near the hotel. The next day we check into a Disney resort hotel. Can we use EMH on that morning if check-in is 3:00 pm?

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 8:24 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Yes, you can!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 4, 2016 at 1:52 a.m. Nicole Says...

Hello!

We've had 2 spontaneous trips to WDW in the last 3 years, first as a family of 3 and then as a family of 4 and both times reaped the benefits of MK evening magic hours!

With 2 small children, we left during the afternoon for naps then headed back to the park after dinner for the fireworks and then rode rides until 2 am. We have been able to ride almost every ride in the park that we were interested in riding (on both trips) and really want to do the same this June as a family of 5- especially with our youngest only 6 months in June.

Will there be extra magic hours added in June? The only days currently scheduled for evening EMH at MK are Wednesdays. Our other trips were in March and April and the evening EMH were on Sundays. I will be so disappointed if we can't spend our nights running around MK like in the past!

Reply
Mar 16, 2016 at 2:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nicole,

They could be, but we don't yet know. I would check back mid-April.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 16, 2016 at 6:15 a.m. josie Says...

HI I will be traveling to us in mid November to early December. Will be staying at Orlando for 5 days from 4th dec till 9th dec. i'm planning to visit Disneyworld for the first three days then followed by USS for the last two days. Is it advisable if to stay at Disneyworld resort first then after that check out and check in at USS resort for the last two nights? Or should I just chose one of the resort instead? By the way jus a few piece of information about me. We are a family of 3 with one 7 years old daughter, We are not really into those thrill rides but more of taking pic with character and those rides more suitable for my daughter. What is a better way to plan our days at the theme park?

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 11:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Josie,

By USS, do you mean Universal Studios or something else?

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 1, 2016 at 10:10 p.m. Kim Says...

Which do you think is better:

1. Attend extra magic hour in the morning but get fast passes starting at about noon at a different park.

2. Attend extra magic hour in the morning and get fast passes for the EMH park starting at about noon.

We intend to spend most of the day at a park that doesn't have EMH that day. Just trying to figure out how to best use my fastpasses.

Thanks for the help.

Reply
Feb 2, 2016 at 8:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kim,

This depends on which park you are starting in and which you are hopping to. If you would be hopping to a park like Disney's Hollywood Studios or Epcot that has fewer options and often run out of FastPass availability in the afternoon, then I would suggest booking in the second park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 10:16 a.m. Kate Says...

If a park has EMH is the morning, does that still mean the park is busier than usual in the evening? I am not staying in a disney hotel so cannot make use of EMHs, but my schedule means I would like to catch the Epcot illuminations on a day that Epcot has EMH at 8-9am - bad idea? (would spend the rest of the day at another quieter park, just going to Epcot for the illuminations). Can probably do some rescheduling if it means that Epcot at 9.30pm will be significantly busier than a day with no EMHs and make it an unpleasant experience.....

Reply
Nov 17, 2015 at 4:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kate,

That shouldn't be too bad. Evening EMHs tend to have the bigger impact on crowds, and if you are just hopping in for IllumiNations, it shouldn't be a big deal.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 12, 2015 at 2:07 p.m. Josh Says...

Staying off property but have breakfast reservations at Be Our Guest at 8:05 AM. Park hours say 9am - 10pm so I assume the 8-9 is EMH that day. Will I still be able to get in staying off property? (We have magic bands as I have stayed on property in the past)

Reply
Nov 17, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Josh,

The park may not be hosting EMH — breakfast reservations often open before the parks do. You won't have an issue getting in early, but you can check to see if it's an EMH day on our Crowd Calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 5, 2015 at 5:34 p.m. Anna Says...

We are going on a land/sea vacation. Will be at the parks on Feb 14-17. Which shows High Crowd levels. I am not purchasing park hopper becuase last visit 2 yrs ago we never used them. I do want to make the most of each park, so the EMH hours are so appealing, but combined with High Crowd levels is it just plain silly (stupid) to go to the EMH parks?? We have one day in each park. My children are 12 and 8 and we do not generally leave the parks for breaks. What order do you suggest? Maybe AK, HS, MK, EP?

Reply
Nov 10, 2015 at 1:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anna,

It will be busy no matter what, and if you plan to use EMH, then going to those parks will give you a little bit of less-crowded time. If you are not going to EMH, do not go to those parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 3, 2015 at 4:23 p.m. Hazel Says...

From 31 December 2015 Hilton Orlando at Lake Buena Vista will no longering be offering EMH to guests.

Reply
Oct 27, 2015 at 8:56 p.m. Jim Says...

We will be staying on site at WDW in early January. In the past we've always taken advantage of EMH. This time with crowds mostly low, my thinking was we may try to go to the park with evening EMH the next morning. For example if MK has EMH on Wednesday we would go Thursday morning. Thoughts?

Reply
Nov 2, 2015 at 8:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jim,

Will you have Park Hoppers? If you have Park Hoppers, then you could head to the park with EMH for just the EMHs. If not, I think your plan to avoid the EMH park is fine.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 27, 2015 at 11:22 a.m. Rebecca M Says...

Hi. Thanks so much for your helpful blog. I have a question. We'll be staying at a Disney resort to take advantage of EMH, but since we have to pick some of our FastPasses (at a specific park, of course) in advance, and might have some booked for the morning, what if we pick "wrong" and the EMH end up at a park we'd planned to visit on another day? EMH gives us more time on the rides, but so would our Fast Passes -- which should we choose? Is the secret to only pick FP in the afternoon so that you can park hop if necessary?

Reply
Aug 27, 2015 at 9:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca,

You can check out the Crowd Calendar to see the EMHs and park hours so you can plan accordingly. We like FP+ for late morning or afternoon. If you plan to park hop, I would plan your FastPasses for the second park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 20, 2015 at 7:34 p.m. Tina Says...

I'm planning my disney trip for Feb 2016 - mainly just making restaurant reservations. But the reservations would highly depend on which theme park we go to each day. So here comes my question. I know there would be more people in the part if there's EMH. From what I heard, some of the popular attractions would usually have a really short lineup or no lineup at all if you go in early. For example in Magic Kingdom, most people would be heading to Fantasyland and Frontierland would be quite empty and you can get on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad without much of wait. Is this also true while there's EMH? I know there's a Magic Kingdom Welcome Show in the morning before the park opens, so if there's EMH, does it happen during EMH or actually before it?

Reply
Aug 26, 2015 at 8:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tina,

I am a little confused by your questions. During the actual EMH, say, a morning EMH, the crowds would be quite reasonable during that time. The problem is that later in the day, you have on-site guests who didn't attend EMH heading to that park just because they feel like that is where they are supposed to go for the day, and this makes that park more congested than it would be without the EMH. In Magic Kingdom, the crowds during EMH will be quite dispersed, but with most new attractions in Fantasyland, many guests would be heading there first.

On days with morning EMH at Magic Kingdom, there isn't a Welcome Show.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 3, 2015 at 8:51 p.m. Jen Says...

I'm heading to Orlando for a conference and bring along my husband and 2 yr old daughter since I'll have downtime. Unfortunately, this is during the last week of June/4th of July week. We're staying off property near the Convention Center - so I'm figuring an hour and a half each day from door to door? The only early morning free is also an EMH at MK - and we have 8:15 a.m. CP reservations. Will we be OK getting in to the CP by 8:15 if we arrive to MK gates around 7:45...and can't participate in EMH since we are off-property?

Reply
Jun 8, 2015 at 12:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

How long it's going to take you to get to Disney World from the Orlando Convention Center depends on what time of day, but I think that would be a good ballpark if it's not rush hour to get you from the hotel and at the park gates if you're thinking time to and from. As far as your reservation, you'll have no trouble getting in for your reservation even if you aren't staying off-site. Just know that the park will likely be much busier in the morning with the extra resort guests.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 31, 2015 at 2:09 a.m. Frank Says...

We are staying at Hilton Orlando Buena Vista, what proof do you need to show to ride rides during extra magic hours? And do all the kids have to show individual proof or is it like the old days of parent shows room keys? Thanks.

Reply
Jun 3, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Frank,

You will need to present your room key along with tickets. I would ask for a room key for each person just to be safe, although I am sure the kids will be fine.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 6, 2015 at 4:21 p.m. G Says...

I will be visiting Disney in August. What proof will Disney require that we are staying on resort in order to utilize extra magic hours? We are staying on a Disney resort for the 1st half and then will be off site in the 2nd half. If we use magic bands for our tickets, they will probably automatically know we're not staying on resort if we try to come the 2nd half, right? If that is the case, can we keep the tickets separate? Would that even help?

Reply
May 11, 2015 at 7:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi G,

Purchasing extra tickets will not help as Disney will use your MagicBands as proof.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 3, 2015 at 12:23 p.m. jmic Says...

We will be at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista from Thursday to Sunday and the one reason I selected the hotel is for its extended hours at the park, but I am torn with going to Magic Kingdom on a Friday that has a yellow indicator and Saturday which has a red indicator (high traffic) because of the extended hours in that park that day. (the entire reason for picking the hotel) We could essentially be very satisfied with our day on Friday and not need extra hours and not be over crowded. Just need a push in the right direction. Should I brave the crowds for 2 extra hours at night?

Reply
May 8, 2015 at 9:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

When are you visiting and do you have Park Hoppers? This would help your best course of action.

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 12, 2014 at 12:12 p.m. melissa Says...

Hi, trying to fit everything in to our first trip to disneyland, we have a 3 day pass, still not sure whether to do a hopper pass or early morning ticket, as we dont get in on our first day to lunch time second day we have a full day and night and third day we will leave before 4. We are planning on staying at the disneyland hotel. Do you think I should pay the difference for hopper pass and get early entry or just 3 day pass and whatever the hotel offers. Thanks mel :)

Reply
Nov 12, 2014 at 10:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa,

You have to decide whether it is worth the cost for you. I would look at the park hours for your first day and which park you are headed to. For example, if you are headed to Disney California Adventure on that first day, but it closes early, then it might make sense to get the park hoppers. Also, do you want to experience Fantasmic? Since the show is not held nightly some times of the year, you might want the hoppers to make sure you get to see it on one of the nights while you are there.

Best,

Leap

Reply
Jun 25, 2014 at 3:35 p.m. EMB Says...

...what forms of proof do they see that you are staying on property?...is that your magic band?

Reply
Jul 14, 2014 at 2:50 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi EMB,

Yes, they would use your MagicBand as proof.

Best,

Leap

Reply
May 25, 2014 at 6:16 p.m. DISNEY WORLD LINKS | Grandpax2's Disney Links Says...

[...] http://blog.undercovertourist.com/2012/02/extra-magic-hours-when-to-use-when-to-avoid/  [...]

Reply
May 21, 2014 at 8:42 p.m. WALT DISNEY WORLD LINKS | Grandpax2's Disney Links Says...

[...] http://blog.undercovertourist.com/2012/02/extra-magic-hours-when-to-use-when-to-avoid/  [...]

Reply
Apr 29, 2014 at 1:57 p.m. Tips for Meeting Elsa and Anna at Disney World Says...

[...] you are a resort guest, this gives you an opportunity to get a jump on the crowds. We generally don’t recommend visiting a park on EMH days because of the extra crowds that come with it, but if Elsa and Anna are a priority, then this is a [...]

Reply
Feb 20, 2014 at 1:15 p.m. Best Time to Visit Disney World in 2014 Says...

[...] entire week, which park you visit on any given day becomes more important. We generally recommend skipping the park that hosts the Extra Magic Hour/s, since it elevates the crowd level the entire day (as opposed to just the EMH). During the busiest [...]

Reply
Dec 2, 2013 at 5:32 p.m. April Says...

I am a relative rookie to WDW and am trying to understand EMHs. Does your *note mean that anyone who has a paying ticket can enter the park during EMHs however not ride the rides? If that is the case, wouldn't it benefit to enter during those hours simply to be in the park and near your ride when EMHs end? It is my sons 6th bday the 1st day we are going (we have 3day park hopper) and I was thinking I could use that time to take him to get his birthday pin at guest relations & take pictures? Thank you for your advice!!!

Reply
Dec 2, 2013 at 7:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi April,

Unfortunately to enter the park during EMHs, you will need to show proof you are staying at the resort. One possible way around this is if you had a dining reservation before the park opened.

Hope this helps!

-- Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 26, 2013 at 3:21 p.m. Kristin Vigil Says...

We use EMH as described in the article. I like having the flexibility of a hopper pass. And when the crowds get large we like to leave and do the pool or other things. My kids do much better when the lines are shorter during extra magic hours. The best always seems to be when we can get in to Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning! We always see lots of Animals that way.

Reply
May 28, 2013 at 7:27 p.m. MC Doyle Says...

Was wondering if the colors are adjusted on your calendar? Like if the whole week is green, and the day is green but a park is red....is it really red? Or is that just in comparison to the total expected visitors to WDW? Can we expect the spring break wait times when a park is highlighted in red in September? Or is it just going to be more crowded than the other parks in a relatively uncrowded time?

Thanks!!!!

Reply
May 28, 2013 at 8:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hey MC,

The park colors are independent of the daily crowd recommendations. Thus, Magic Kingdom may be red (not recommended in comparison to the other parks that day), but the overall daily rating may be green.

The better predictor of crowd levels is the number given on a particular day (between 1 and 10).

Here is more information:

http://blog.undercovertourist.com/2011/12/leaps-crowd-calendar-helpful-tips-by-leap/

-- Leap

Reply
Apr 23, 2013 at 1:06 p.m. The Secret to Avoiding Disney World Crowds Says...

[...] Extra Magic Hours – If you are staying in a Disney Resort, Disney has a really nice special for you. Are you ready for this? You get the park all to yourself just for staying in a Disney Hotel. Yep, just you and the thousands of other Disney Hotel guests. On select days, you can enter one of the parks up an hour before and up to two hours after the park opens/closes to the public. This really can be a great perk and will definitely help you avoid Disney World crowds. (When should you not use Extra Magic Hours? Check this post.) [...]

Reply
Jan 15, 2013 at 7:01 a.m. Top 5 Reasons to Stay in a Disney Hotel Says...

[...] Are you tired of fighting all the crowds at the parks? If you are staying at one of the beautiful Disney Hotels, you can get in the park before or stay after everyone else has to leave. It’s Magic. (No, it’s Extra Magic Hours.) [...]

Reply
Jan 2, 2013 at 7:27 p.m. Planning for Disney World in January Says...

[...] full list of closings and refurbishments here. As reported back in July, starting in 2013, evening Extra Magic Hours have been shortened to two hours from three for those of you staying at one of the resorts. We [...]

Reply
Nov 6, 2012 at 7:24 a.m. Thanksgiving Planning for Disney World, SeaWorld & Universal Says...

[...] of low wait times on rides and fewer crowds. Generally, we recommend you avoid the Disney park with morning Extra Magic Hours — even if you’re staying on [...]

Reply
Nov 1, 2012 at 1:35 p.m. Planning for Walt Disney World in November Says...

[...] [...]

Reply
Aug 31, 2012 at 9:20 p.m. What to Expect at Walt Disney World in September - The Frog Blog: travel tips from the family frog at Undercover Tourist Says...

[...] hours on certain days (Magic Kingdom is open to 11 p.m. on a handful of dates, not including Extra Magic Hours). So it’s conceivable with the lower crowds that you could enjoy the morning in Epcot, for [...]

Reply
Jul 27, 2012 at 8:41 a.m. A look back at this week’s Disney and related news - The Frog Blog: travel tips from the family frog at Undercover Tourist Says...

[...] park crowd levels, the Extra Magic Hours has perhaps as many detractors as it does fans. Here are our guidelines for when to use it and when to avoid [...]

Reply
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