Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Extra Magic Hours

Recently, I emailed with a friend about planning a WDW vacation.  In my email, I told her to look at the park hours for each day of their vacation and plan around extra magic hours.
thanks to www.swandolphin.com for the image
Extra Magic Hours (EMH) are exactly what it sounds like- extra hours of magic in the parks offered to resort guests.  If you are staying on Walt Disney World property, you can enjoy EMH.  Each day, one park is open early or stays open late for guests to enjoy extra time in the parks with lower crowds on specific attractions.  During EMH, not all areas and attractions will be open.  You can get a guide for the EMH attractions when you enter the park.  If it's a morning EMH, the park is open 1 hour before regular park opening.  If it's evening EMH it will be open up to three hours after regular park closing.  In the summer months, the water parks may participate in EMH too.

I guess there are two thoughts about EMH: 1) Go to the park offering EMH and 2) Don't go to the park offering EMH!  Some people believe that the EMH parks are busier on those days because everyone staying at the resort goes to that particular park.  I have not found that to be the case when I've visited the parks.  But, if you have park hopper passes, you can hop to the park with morning EMH, hop to another park during the day for lower crowds, then hop to another park with evening EMH!  Play the system, if you like, and take FULL advantage of your park hopper option!

I particularly like the morning EMH because a lot of people sleep in on vacation and aren't willing to get up that early and it tends to be cooler in the mornings.  But, I also like the evening EMH for the same reason!  The sun is down, so it's not as hot.  Towards the end of the evening EMH the park has cleared out quite a bit since people are worn out from the long day at the parks and are ready to hit the sack to prepare for the next day's adventures!


  1. We have never stayed on property, therefore haven't been able to utilize EMH. Our next trip we are staying on property, so I am excited about using the EMH's during our trip!

  2. We used the evening EMH at Epcot after the fireworks and wondered how they'd work it since non-park resort people would still be there. The way it works is that at least one person in your party shows a room key for you to get on the attraction. So be prepared for that. Just FYI.

  3. We take advantage of both early and late. Not back to back:P I love late EMHs. Rides are a walk on after 10 usually. You're right most people sleep in on vacation or they're enjoying a long character breakfast. Mornings are worth it if we leave the park by 11:00.

  4. I too take full advantage of EMH! I love being in the parks late at night!

  5. Good tip Kay! :) I didn't think of that one.

    Amanda- I enjoy the EMH. Makes me feel special to be on property!

    Deb, I totally agree with you!!

  6. Occasionally we do AM EMH...but last time we did MK I was disappointed that all of Frontierland, Adventureland and Liberty Square were closed. We were hoping to get a few rides on BTMRR, my daughter's fav. You can do a lot in that time though...the park is very empty!! We have yet to take full advantage of PM EMH. Our kids are young (8 and 3) so they just can't stay up...and frankly, neither can we. In Disney, we are up early and in bed early.

    For the most part, we plan our days by picking the parks that have neither EMH that day. Seems to work well and I believe that's what Touringplans.com recommends.