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BREAKING: “Early Theme Park Entry” Replacing Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World

Since the start of Walt Disney World’s phased reopening, Extra Magic Hours have been suspended due to restricted hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it seems this resort guest benefit won’t be coming back at all—at least not in its previous form. “Resort Guest Early Entry” will soon be replacing Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World.

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As part of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will be able to enjoy 30-minute early entry to any theme park, every day.

According to Disney, the new early theme park entry benefit helps them better spread visitation across all four theme parks, while providing added flexibility by giving guests extra early park time on each day of their vacation and in the park of their choosing. Please note that guests need valid admission and a park reservation made via the Disney Park Pass system to enter a theme park.

Extra Magic Hours were first introduced in the early 2000s as a complimentary benefit for Disney Resort hotel guests. Hours were released as part of the park operations calendar, with a specific park or time slot (be it Morning or Evening) and time frame (one to several hours) indicated. Guests would then plan their visits around Extra Magic Hours to maximize their time in the parks. This new option, which has no official start date as of publishing, will allow guests additional flexibility in choosing which park they’d like to get a head start at, however that does come at the cost of reduced early entry time, down to just 30 minutes from at least an hour.

Other popular benefits for Disney Resort hotel guests have also been modified or suspended:

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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James S
James S
12 days ago

30 minutes doesn’t seem like much of a benefit.

Tom Corless
Admin
11 days ago
Reply to  James S

I mean, that could save you hours at Flight of Passage or Mine Train.

Robert
Robert
11 days ago
Reply to  Tom Corless

I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm… but, having participated in EMH at Animal Kingdom before back when EMH was actually magical, it took at least 30 minutes just to get to the actual entrance of the ride queue from where the line was redirected into Africa.

Unsatisfied Customer
Unsatisfied Customer
12 days ago

So the thing every park guest can already do, starting before official opening hours, will now be limited to Hotel Guests only, making park touring markedly worse for non-hotel guests and basically no difference for Hotel guests other than they ALSO permanently lose the actual hour (enough time to get through a second or 3rd attraction) of exclusive access they used to have in addition to the included transportation from the airport.

Bob Chapek, ladies and gentlemen. A modern, soulless corporate humanoid with ZERO in common with Walter Elias Disney. Death by degrees.

Last edited 12 days ago by Unsatisfied Customer
Candy Harp
Candy Harp
12 days ago

I hope this is temporary. I know my family like many others enjoy the extra hours after park closing because our children are older. The mornings are usually crowded with families with smaller children. They took away free parking for resort guests now a reduction in extra magic hours. Not much incentive to stay on property anymore, it feels like the “magic” of Disney is being reduced as well. Makes me very sad.

Unsinkable Mongala Millie
Unsinkable Mongala Millie
12 days ago

Between this and canceling Magical Express what are the pluses of staying on property again?

To quote Julia Roberts, “Big mistake. Huge!”

RebeccaMcK
RebeccaMcK
12 days ago

Hopefully all rides will be open early, too, and not just a small selection of things. It’s only a half hour before official park open anyway. Once we know I can maybe delete all my touring notes about extra magic hours and probably early magic mornings or whatever, if they never return.

Jacob Noyes
Jacob Noyes
12 days ago

Do we know when it goes into effect?

Prince Naveen
Prince Naveen
12 days ago

Can’t say I hate the idea totally, although it is certainly a downgrade from the EMH program we saw pre-COVID. And the name “Early Theme Park Entry” is just boring and dull. No magic. But, again, that’s Disney thing as of late…to take away the magic.

Question for avid fans… is this a throwback to what Disney did back in the 90s with early entry to ANY theme park on ANY day (as long as you were staying onsite)?

Last edited 12 days ago by Prince Naveen
Cate
Cate
12 days ago

Because covid is nocturnal. Somehow crowds earlier in the day is safer than nighttime. I guess vampires are an issue or something.
For real though, they want us used to curfews and want to restrict our movements at night when we are less visible.
Wake up.
Over 99% recovery rate for most. Stop letting the gov’t and big tech control you.

Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown
12 days ago

Wow so all the things that made disney world more attractive and resort like are gone. I visited Disneyland and this is how it was setup. No transportation, no airline checking, no magic hours (1 hour early park entry instead). I bought into dvc because of all the extra one gets with wdw and it feels like a vacation truly set apart from the rest. These new changes make it basically no different than any other theme park I could visit from a customer service perspective. Not to mention wdw is so big what does 30 mins early entry really… Read more »

Mike
Mike
12 days ago

Pointy headed managers running numbers in excel without thinking about the real ramifications to guests experience and customer service.

Ezra
Ezra
12 days ago

Do we know which hotels will be included?

Mike
Mike
12 days ago

I’ve been visiting Disney since 1958 and a DVC member since 1995. While change is inevitable, the heart of Disney has grown cold. Walt has been forsaken. Disney is becoming another corporate amusement complex. This saddens me greatly. The 50th anniversary celebration trip will be my last.

Kim Harrison
Kim Harrison
12 days ago

As a wheel chair user they just made it next to impossible to get from the airport to resort. Ride shares have little to NO accessible vehicles, can’t rent a car.
So it’s a definite no you’re not welcome they are telling those with physical disabilities
They seriously didn’t think this one thru. Out money will be spent where those with disabilities have fair and equal access

Eileen
Eileen
12 days ago

I agree completely. These are the special “Only Disney” things I used to enthuse about. I feel so sad. I used to love my DVC membership.

Sam
Sam
11 days ago

He’s called Bob Cheapskate for a reason.

Michael N.
Michael N.
11 days ago

Complaining about Disney being a big company interested in making money is like complaining about the weather. What’s the point? With Disneyland closed for an entire year (could any of us have imagined that?) and other parks reducing capacity, is eliminating a free airport shuttle that surprising? Cost cutting is inevitable. Personally, I’d rather complain about movie rides at Epcot or Star Wars land being tied to the mediocre sequels (Walt would have built Ice Planet Hoth Land).