Dad is Retiring!

We’ll be closing this site on December 31, 2020.

As of June 2, 2020, we’ll no longer be updating content. But don’t worry - Dad’s friends can still help with all your Disney dreaming, planning, and booking needs!

Thank you for your support of Dad’s Guide to WDW for the past 11 years!

Morning Extra Magic Hours. Worth it?

by Kerr
(Windham, NH)

 284  3  0  299  0


“Hi Dad,

We are headed to Disney November 26th through December 2nd. We are staying at the Wilderness Lodge. There are a few mornings that offer Extra Magic Hours and I see conflicting information. Some say avoid Extra Magic Hours. Some say go. I don’t know that even with Park Hoppers I want to jump around at midday. Thanks so much.”

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a great thing to ride during morning Extra Magic Hours

Morning Magic Hours is a great time to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Photo by Judd Helms

Well Kerr, I agree that there is conflicting information about whether or not to use Extra Magic Hours. Part of that is because it depends a little bit on when you are going. If you’re going during busy, busy, busy times, then Extra Magic Hours is almost essential that you go to the Morning Extra Magic Hours during the busy, busy times, because you get that hour when there’s nobody in the park.

Dad’s Extra Magic Hours page

Just to give you an idea, a couple of years ago, I went to EPCOT on an Extra Magic Hour day. I got there a little late, and I got there at 8:20. Extra Magic Hours started at 8:00. In the first hour I was in the park, I did Test Track, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ all three in one hour. Exactly, almost to the minute. One hour.

Then, I took a little break. That was 9:20. At about 10:00 I decided I’d go try it again. At 10:00, it took me an hour to do Test Track and Mission: Space. Now, this is going through the green line, not the long line. The short line at Mission: Space and this time I had a FastPass.

I had a FastPass for Test Track, a short line for Mission: Space, and that took an hour. Then I go over to Soarin’ and the line for Soarin’ at the time was an hour and a half, so that just gives you an idea, and this was not during a busy time of year.

This was kind of a slow day at EPCOT, so that kind of gives you an idea of how important that Extra Magic Hour can be. It’s just essential that you use Extra Magic Hours when it’s busy, during the busy times of year. The really busy. The heavy to extreme crowds. During the light crowds, it doesn’t matter. September, this month, you can walk on to a lot of rides. I saw pictures in middle of the day of parks when there’s nobody around. September, it doesn’t matter if you use Extra Magic Hours or not.

Dad’s Crowds page

Now, the big question is, and this is when you’re going, do you use them when you have moderate crowds? I like Extra Magic Hours. We’re going to go in the end of October, 1st of November and we plan our trip, which day we’re going to be in the parks, around Morning Extra Magic Hours. Morning Extra Magic Hours that you get the most bang for the buck out of. We plan our trips to use those early Extra Magic Hours.

We planned our trip around EMH, even though we’re going at a moderate time. We typically don’t have Park Hoppers. I don’t like park hopping. It’s not my favorite thing. I like to plan my day to be in the same park all day. Part of that is because of the transportation. It can take an hour to get from one park to another. Even from Magic Kingdom to EPCOT.

We had this happen before. We’re in the Magic Kingdom. We’ve got a dinner reservation at Via Napoli. How long does it take to get from Fantasyland to Via Napoli? It took 45 minutes, so you’ve got that transportation time, and sometimes that’s a good thing to get away and to get out of the parks and get transportation, but … I’m not a fan of park hopping for park hopping’s sake. Now, we’ve had Park Hoppers lots of times where we’ve done multiple parks in a day. That’s fine, but my planning strategy is to plan everything to be in the same park for a day.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

Using the Extra Magic Hour, you go in the morning. By mid-afternoon you’ve got most of the rides done. You’re just there for the shows. Watch a couple of shows. When you’re ready to leave the park, leave the park and go to a different park. I do suggest that you use Extra Magic Hours when it’s moderately busy too.

There’s just so much you can do in that first hour. That morning Extra Magic Hour is just gold. It really is gold. Planning gold. Yeah, you can skip it. Yeah, you can go to another park. But that Morning Extra Magic Hour is just pretty Magic. I can’t tell you how important that is.


 284  3  0  299  0


Return to Ask Dad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 × five =