Extra Magic Hours (EMH) is a great perk for guests of the Walt Disney World Hotels. (Hey, they pay enough they out to get some perks.) Disney hotel guests can get into the parks one hour before or up to three hours after the rest of the world. Cool.
EMH is available at all of the theme parks and even the water parks.
Here’s a tip from Dad – If you aren’t eligible for Extra Magic Hours, avoid the park where the early EMH happens. That will be the most crowded park of the day.
How Extra Magic Hours Work
It’s real easy. Stay in a Disney Hotel. Go to the park early on the early day or stay late on the evening day. All you need to get in is your MagicBand. Simple.
OK, I guess it’s a bit more challenging than that …
You have to be staying at one of the Disney Hotels (or a partner hotel) to be eligible for the program. Here is a list of the resorts you can stay at and be eligible –
- Walt Disney World Hotels
- Shades of Green
- Swan and Dolphin
- Disney Springs Hotels (B Resort & Spa, Best Western Lake Buena Vista, DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Holiday Inn Orlando, Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista)
What hours are the parks open?
Typically the parks open at 9:00 am, but some days the theme theme parks open as early as 8:00am Eastern Standard Time. To which I’m sure you’re saying…
You gotta be kidding, Dad. You want me to be in the park ready for the Rope Drop at 7:00 IN THE MORNING????
Yes, I want you to be ready to enter the park as soon as it opens. That means, through security and standing at the gate with all the other Early Birds (a smart man said the early bird gets two in a bush or something like that).
When a park has Extra Magic Hours you can get in to the park 1 hour prior to the scheduled opening time. When a park has late Extra Magic Hours you can stay up to 2 hours after the park “closes”.
Early – if you have park hopper passes, get to the Magic Kingdom early, experience Fantasyland or Tomorrowland with small crowds. Keep moving until the park fills up and pop on over to another park. Early Extra Magic Hour at Epcot is really helpful. If you can get Soarin’, Test Track and Mission Space done before the crowds get there and it doesn’t matter how many people show up later.
Evening – This is bonus time. If you don’t have an early morning planned the next day, enjoy yourselves. As the day gets later, the crowds will get smailer. There is nothing more exciting than riding Space Mountain at 2 in the morning when no one else is in the park. (Yawn)
Attractions that are open
Here are the attractions in each park that are open during both early and late Extra Magic Hours.
The Magic Kingdom has the most to see and do so it has the most attractions open. Early EMH is great for families with smaller children.
The Magic Kingdom is the park where EMH helps the most.
- Astro Orbiter
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Carousel of Progress
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- The Barnstormer
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- It’s a Small World
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Space Mountain
- Mad Tea Party
- Meet Ariel at her grotto
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- Town Square Theatre
Evening – the same as above plus,
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station
- Pete’s Silly Sideshow
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Haunted Mansion
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Enchanted Tiki Room
Epcot EMH is mainly about Future World (that’s where all the rides are). You will save lots of standing in line by using Extra Magic Hours in Epcot.
- Frozen Ever After
- Meet Anna & Elsa at Royal Summerhus
- Spaceship Earth
- Living with the Land
- Mission Space
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Evening – All of the above, plus,
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
- Character Spot
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Gran Fiesta Tour
- American Adventure
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
In Disney Hollywood Studios you’ll find all the big line attractions open during EMH.
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania
- Aliens Swirling Saucers
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Star Tours
- Muppet*Vision 3-D
Evening – same as above, plus
- The Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Disney Junior Dance Party
Yes, the animals get up this early (and some even stay up late). Kilimanjaro Safari after dark is something to be experienced.
- It’s Tough to be a Bug
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
- Expedition Everest
- Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
- Primeval Whirl
- Triceratops Spin
- Kali River Rapids
Walt Disney World Crowds
Extra Magic Hours is all about missing the crowds at Walt Disney World. EMH is one of the top tools for dealing with small and large crowds. For more information about avoiding Walt Disney World crowds bop on over to …
You probably don’t need EMH in Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Those parks don’t take a whole day even when it’s busy, but they will help. If you want to see the shortest lines of the day, use Extra Magic Hours.