When To Take Advantage Of Extra Magic Hours 

how to take advantage of extra magic hours

Extra Magic Hours sound great, they’re extra and they’re magic, what’s not to like? While Extra Magic Hours can be a terrific perk for guests staying onsite at one of Disney’s resorts or participating hotel locations, there are some situations when it might be best to avoid this perk. Here is an overview of when to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours and when it might be best to avoid them.

What Are Extra Magic Hours

Before we begin with our strategy, let’s review what Extra Magic Hours actually are. Extra Magic Hours are extended park hours that are available to guests staying at a Disney Resort or a participating partner hotel. Extra Magic Hours can either take place before regular park opening or after regular park closing and varies from park to park. Extra Magic Hours are not available every day of the year but rather when Disney feels it would be advantageous to offer resort guests extra time at the parks. Click the following link for Disney World’s park hours calendar which lists both regular and Extra Magic Hours schedules.

Which Hotels Offer Extra Magic Hours?

Extra Magic Hours are available to guests staying at any Disney World Resort or Hotel. In addition, guests staying at the following non-Disney hotels may also take advantage of Extra Magic Hours.

  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Shades of Green® Resort
  • Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando
  • Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
  • Waldorf Astoria Orlando

How Do Extra Magic Hours Affect The Parks?

Combined, Disney World hotels have a total of approximately 30,000 hotel rooms. Considering occupancy per room is likely two or more guests this means a large number of visitors are eligible for Extra Magic Hours on any given day. When these thousands of hotel guests hear the words “Extra Magic Hours” they often tend to believe this is where they should head for the day. While it makes perfect sense why hotel guests would want to take advantage of this extra perk, this does mean that the park offering Extra Magic Hours tends to be busier than usual. 

When Should I Take Advantage Of Extra Magic Hours?

If you have the choice, try to schedule your trip to avoid visiting a Disney park that is offering Extra Magic Hours unless you intend to visit the park during the actual Extra Magic Hours. Guests not eligible for Extra Magic hours cannot ride the attractions in the park during this time. Therefore during the one or two hour duration of the Extra Magic Hours you may enjoy smaller crowds and shorter attraction wait times. 

However, keep in mind that there are some instances when crowds and hotel occupancy are very high. During these times attraction wait times may be very long even during Extra Magic Hours. This generally tends to occur during evenings in the Summer and on holidays. 

TIPS To Enjoy Extra Magic Hours

  • Evening Extra Magic Hours (i.e. 9PM to 11PM) tend to attract more visitors than morning Extra Magic Hours (i.e. 8AM to 9AM).
  • Extra Magic Hours can be a great time to park hop. Head over to Extra Magic Hours before or after you spend the day at a park that does not have Extra Magic Hours.
  • Whether you’re driving, taking the monorail, riding a bus or gliding to your destination on the Skyliner, be sure to account for travel time between parks. 
  • Use the Disney Park Hours Calendar to your advantage to plan your visit to the parks that do not have Extra Magic Hours. 
  • Keep in mind that if you are not eligible for Extra Magic Hours you may not enter the park after regular park closing or before park opening. If you are already inside the park once Extra Magic Hours begins you will not be asked to leave but you will be ineligible to experience rides, shows and other attractions. 

Keep these tips in mind when deciding if and when you should take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Visit Disney’s Extra Magic Hours Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

To book an Extra Magic Hours eligible room or for discount park tickets you can fill out a contact form with DVCShop Rentals, and we’ll have an agent reach out to you.

Katherine Rand

DVCShop Editorial Team

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