When it comes to your Walt Disney World vacation, there are a lot of benefits to staying on property, but perhaps the best benefit of all is the benefit of getting the Extra Magic Hours. If you have never stayed on property before at Walt Disney World, the extra magic hours are extra times that a park is open on a given day or night that only Walt Disney World resort guests can utilize. The key is that only one park a day will have either morning or evening extra magic hours, not all of them, so you should use this as a means to decide which park you want to see on a particular day of your vacation. If you stay off property, you aren’t allowed to get the extra hours.
When it comes to extra magic hours, the debate rages over which is better — morning extra magic hours, or evening? In this writers opinion, the evening extra magic hours win hands down! The biggest reason for this for me is that morning extra magic hours are only for one hour early, so if your park opens at 9:00 AM, and it has morning EMH, then it will open at 8:00 AM. However, if your park has evening EMH, and it closes at 11:00 PM on that particular night, the evening hours will allow the park to stay open until 2:00 AM the next morning! This is because the evening EMH are for three extra hours, not just one.
The photo at the beginning of this post was taken on the first time that my family had ever experienced evening extra magic hours. On June 20th, 2010, the Magic Kingdom had evening extra magic hours, so we decided that our daughter was old enough to experience the thrill of that, and we stayed out late. Little did we know that Mickey and Minnie were going to be paying the park a visit, and we were able to see them while they were riding the Dumbo ride with two very lucky guests! This picture was taken on June 21st, 2010, at 12:06 AM, during the extra magic hours window.
Obviously, evening extra magic hours are not for everyone. If you have small children, then it’s a no-brainer that you are going to utilize the morning extra magic hours rather than the evening. However, if that is not a factor in your decision, give the evening extra magic hours a try. The park is less crowded, the night weather (even during the middle of summer) is quite enjoyable, and the park you are visiting takes on a special magical vibe that can sometimes be missing when it’s 100 degrees at 3PM and the crowd calendar has the crowd level at 8.0 out of 10! We had a great time that night, and I look forward to the next time we can enjoy an evening extra magic hour time slot!
The best place to discover what the hours are for Walt Disney World (and also which park has extra magic hours on a given night) is to check out the Disney World Park Hours.
However, this is just this writer’s opinion, so tell me, which do you prefer?
- Ride Along with Mickey & Minnie – 39 Days Til Disney! (mydreamsofdisney.com)