Staying at a Disney World Resort can be more expensive than staying “off property,” but they offer a huge perk other off-property hotels don’t: Extra Magic Hours.
On certain days of the week, Disney resort guests can enter the parks one hour earlier and stay up to three hours later than guests staying off property. They will not ask you to leave the park in the evenings if you are staying off property, but you will not be allowed on the rides, shows, or attractions. Why do they allow you to stay? Because you can still shop and eat, which can be a lot of fun!
All the theme parks offer some sort of Extra Magic Hours, as do Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beachwater parks.
To get on rides or into shows during Extra Magic Hours, you will need to show a Cast Member your ticket and your room key. Last summer, we left my husband in the room to relax, and I mistakenly grabbed his ticket. I had to go back to the hotel and get the right ticket so they would let me in. If you lose either of these two items in the parks, they do not take your word for it. To get through the entry gate during Extra Magic Hours, you’ll need a ticket and a valid room key. Most of the Cast Members we have seen were inspecting the room dates on our room keys. Whatever you have to do, you better have that room key and ticket in hand and on display.
How do you know when there are Extra Magic Hours? Here’s three ways.
1) Touringplans.com posts this information on their website.
2) Phone WDW information at 407-824-4321 or 407-939-6244. Press zero for a live Cast Member
3. Check the parks calendar at Disneyworld.com
So you will have to weigh your rooming options carefully. Staying on property is more costly than staying at a hotel off-property. But during busy times a year, those extra hours in the parks can make your added expense seem worth the effort. I have been at the Magic Kingdom at 2:45 in the morning, watching my kids go back through line after no-line with the only wait time being how long it took them to walk to the ride. And I will tell you, Extra Magic Hours are a wonderful thing; no wait, 70 degree temps. at night in June, yet it’s definitely more expensive. But how often do you go on a Disney vacation?
Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride, and we’ll see you up late for those Extra Magic Hours. At 1 a.m., you’ll find me walking slowly to the monorail! Very slowly…
See ya soon!