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Disney World's Extra Magic Hours

There are differing opinions on whether to take advantage of Disney World's Extra Magic Hours or to avoid them. Today I am going to share my experience and help you use them to your advantage.

Let's start off with: "What are Extra Magic Hours?"

Extra Magic Hours are an incentive that Disney World created for staying at one of the Disney World Resort hotels. During selected times, you may enter the designated park for that day either 1 hour before the regular opening or up to 3 hours after the normal closing.

Here is an example of the current Extra Magic Hour schedule being used. Each day there is at least one Extra Magic Hour park.


The prevailing advice is that the Extra Magic Hour Days are the busiest days for those parks and they should be avoided. For the most part, this is a true statement, but here are some exceptions that may be beneficial to you.

If you are an early riser, DO take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hours. This can really jumpstart your day and allow you to ride the most popular attractions, before the crowds start to build.

If you have the Park Hopper Option, or you are an Annual Passholder, then visit a different park during the day and hit the Extra Magic Hour Park in the Evening. Usually the later that you get into the extra 3 hours the lighter the park attendance gets. If you are a Night Owl, you can enjoy the park until the very end.

The third strategy to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours is to visit the park at opening. Stay until early afternoon, then go back to the hotel for a nap or some pool time and then return in the evening to enjoy the Extra Magic Hours. This helps you avoid some of the crowds and still get an extra long day at one of your favorite parks.

As I mentioned earlier conventional wisdom says to avoid the Extra Magic Hour park on their special days. If you wish to use this to your advantage, visit a park on the day AFTER it has held an evening Extra Magic Hour. If you get there right as it opens, this is typically the lightest crowds of the week for that park.

Whether you attend the Extra Magic Hour sessions or not, take the time to find out when they are held during your visit. Try employing one of the 3 strategies mentioned above to get the most out of this perk or use the “Visit A Park The Day After” method to minimize the crowds.

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