Are Extra Magic Hours worth it?

Are Extra Magic Hours worth it?

by Kim
(Woodstock, IL)

I have noticed looking at crowd control days that the days the parks have Extra Magic Hours they're more crowded. Is it better to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours and go on those days or avoid them and go on a day they're less crowded? We will be going 1st week in June when almost everyday is red or yellow on the crowd meter.

I'd worry more about these guys

Storm Troopers from Star Wars Weekend

Photo by Scott Smith

Dad’s the Early Bird Catches the Mouse Answer


Thanks for this great question. It’s tricky to know whether Extra Magic Hours are worthwhile at all times of the year. In peak season, it’s no question. But whether it’s the best use of your time at less busy times of the year is really up to your family – are you morning people, are you planning to Park Hop, and do you have a touring plan?

The first week of June is a great week to go to Walt Disney World. (once Gay Days are over. Gay Days brings a lot of crowds to the parks.) The weather is nice but not too hot yet, and the crowds are light to moderate. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a PLAN to tackle the parks with, but it does make things easier.

Dad’s June Crowd Calendar

Extra Magic Hours are a great added value perk available only to guests who stay on property at a Walt Disney World resort hotel. Extra Magic Hours can be a great use of time, if you use them right. Morning Extra Magic Hours are always a better use of time because most people don’t get out of bed early enough to take advantage of them – it’s as close as you can get to having the park to yourself.

Dads's Extra Magic Hours page

Evening Extra Magic Hours are still good, but they are more crowded, and a late night means you probably won’t be up early, and Dad’s best advice is to ALWAYS get to the park early whether it’s an Extra Magic Hours day or not. As they say, the early bird catches the Mouse!

The Extra Magic Hours park of the day does tend to be a little more crowded, but if you have a Park Hopper pass you can have the best of both worlds by visiting a less crowded park for most of the day, and slipping in to the busier park just for Extra Magic Hours and that wonderful quiet morning time. But frankly, for the time that you’ll be visiting, the extra bump in crowds on an Extra Magic Hours day should barely be noticeable.

Whether you take advantage of Extra Magic Hours or not, and whether you Park Hop or avoid the Extra Magic Hours Park altogether, the best way to beat the crowds is to have a great PLAN. The folks at – or you can even create your own customizable version with the attractions you’d like to see and the hours you plan to visit!

Dad’s Page

One thing I might mention is Star Wars Weekends are happening at that time and Disney Hollywood Studios will be packed on Friday through Sunday. Just a heads up.

Dads's Star Wars Weekend page

Dad's Bottom Line

Kim, you’re planning to visit Walt Disney World at a pretty low-key time of year. Whether you use Extra Magic Hours or not, you should be able to see everything you want if you get to the parks early. Have a great time!

Comments for Are Extra Magic Hours worth it?

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Feb 13, 2013
Extra Magic hours
by: Jason

We went to WDW last June for the first time. We went right after Gay Days and the crowds were not unbearable. Yes there were many people but it was not bad and wait times were not crazy. We also took advantage of extra magic hours and we learned that the extra magic hours were the best at night. Most people are gone and we were able to ride the rides over and over again without wait! The extra magic hours in the morning however were not worth it. We ran into areas of the park that were closed even during extra magic hours in the morning. I wouldn't recommend the early morning magic hours. The extra hours at night are well worth it!

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