Early Theme Park Entry Replaces Extra Magic Hours

The pandemic brought the end of many things at Walt Disney World, one of them was the beloved Extra Magic Hours program which extended the park operating day for Disney’s hotel guests by one or more hours before or after regular park hours for other guests.

A version of that program will return in 2021 called Early Theme Park Entry . Billed as being part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the new program will offer Disney Resort hotel guests (and other participating hotels) 30-minutes of early entry to ANY Disney World theme park, EVERY day.


If you remember, this was an option given in a WDW survey sent out last fall.


Ooh, I like this better than EMH!! Spreads out arrival crowds :slight_smile:


I am trying to imagine the crowds 30 minutes before opening…


The real question (for me) is if this will be in place before our spring break trip. We’re considering switching to offsite…this might be enough to keep us onsite.


I wonder how this will work with the whole “once parking is open the parks are open” thing.


The Disney Parks Blog entry on this says “Coming Soon” - unfortunately I don’t think that has much meaning coming from Disney :joy:

I am dumbfounded at the ending of magical express. On the one hand, no more getting to the airport 3 hours early. On the other hand, not looking forward to paying for car service, especially with a wheelchair. :confused:



The Brightline train is expected to be there. Not sure if it’ll be something you have to pay for or Disney will have some kind of deal to give comp passes.

That is highly unlikely to be free. Plus Brightline only goes to Disney Springs. You’ll still be on your own to get to your resort since you can’t take luggage on internal buses.


I assume for now this means the end of possible EMH for the evenings? I think I enjoyed those more than the morning ones.


This is how Disneyland Paris used to do it, right?

I don’t know about you guys but I get to the parks about 1 hour before they open. So this does nothing :woman_shrugging:


They will have to have separate lines for resort guests and early arriving ticket holders. They do this now right. Ok before :crazy_face:

I think the switch to on-site guests getting early access to all parks is a very wise decision. For one, the planning around which park had EMH on which days was quite a chore, and I can see how both on-site and off-site guests would prefer the flexibility this provides. Also, before you could have all the on-site guests targeting the same park for EMH, which reduced some of the benefit it offered.

The reduction to 30 minutes still gives on-site guests the head-start…and the fact that you, as an on-site guest, will be less in need to park-hop to now avoid the higher crowds, you might actually gain more time as a result.

This is a decision I can get behind fully. I think it is a win-win-win situation.


This is a good point…although, if I had to guess, I think Disney might be planning to offer more after hours events and parties in the evenings, so now they won’t have to juggle around evening EMH.


With two teens in tow now, I would prefer the evening hours.


Brightline will be available late 2023 at the earliest.

Plus imagine having to drag all your luggage from MCO to a station, onto a train, off the train and then what? How do you get from DS station to the resort?

And of course somehow you’ll have to buy a ticket for the train. And wait for one which could be 2 hours away.

The train might work for some, eventually. Anyone with young kids, luggage, ECVs or wheelchairs, international guests or anyone arriving during the night will likely beg to differ.


That would be good! I would plan a trip with only buying after hour event tickets! During the day we could sleep in and go to the pool. :thinking:

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Of course. They can charge extra for those. With $5 discount for onsite guests.