Extra Magic/Magic Morning

Hey all-
We’re heading down to DL on May 10/11. We’re staying off-site and because we’re only doing two days, we don’t get the Magic Morning hours.

According to DL’s calendar, the hours for the days we’re there are as follows:

May 10
Disneyland: 9AM-10PM
DCA: 10AM-9PM (Extra Magic, 9AM-10AM)

May 11:
Disneyland: 9AM-11PM (Extra/Morning, 8AM-9AM)

Given that we’re offsite, what do you think is gonna be best bang for our buck in terms of crowds? I’m inclined to do DL on the 11th but I’m worried that coming in after extra/morning hours will mean we’re stuck in some lengthy lines right from rope drop.

Thoughts? 9-11 sounds way more fun than 9-10 but if that extra hour is actually going to be lost to standing in line, I’m not sure it’s worth it…

Since we have annual passes, we are not eligible for early morning when we stay off-site. Instead, we go to the opposite park. So we go to the park that does not have early morning, so that we are not at a disadvantage at rope drop.

1 Like

I have to agree with Imbc, your best bet is to RD the opposite park. I guess it will really depend on what your must dos are. If you aren’t looking to spend much time in Fantasyland and plan to FP Space Mountain/Star Tours, it doesn’t really matter.

We usually don’t use our EMH because we don’t like Star Tours and can easily pull a FP for Space Mountain during the day. We always start in adventureland, then work through New Orleans Square, Critter Country, and Frontierland. Then hop over to tomorrowland, FP space mountain, ride Buzz, check the line for Matterhorn, etc. Then we leave everything in Fantasyland until after dark. If you have small kids, or plan to spend lots of time in Fantasyland, then do it the opposite day of EMH at RD. Ride Peter Pan first.

1 Like

Like @lmbc we have APs so no early entries for us either, so our strategy is also to start at the park that doesn’t have the entry.

However, there are certain conditions where your original plan would work really well:

  1. You really will use that extra operating hour in DL on May 11th
  2. You are ok with potentially missing out on (or waiting a longer wait) for the following: Nemo Submarines, Autopia, Matterhorn, Alice in Wonderland, Teacups, Dumbo, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride & Peter Pan. All of these attractions are open during EE and will have lines built up already by the time reg RD comes and don’t have a FP available to use for later in the day. Some of those lines may have lower wait times in the evening especially the Tomorrowland attractions during parades & FWs and most of the Fantasyland ones after FWs. (not Peter Pan or Alice though).

If you stick with your plan, for DL I would RD the west side of the park. You can either start in Adventureland with Indiana Jones & Jungle Cruise (save Tiki Room for later) and then go to Critter Country and work your way back to center doing Critter Country, New Orleans Square, Frontierland, rounding up your first half of the day with Tiki Room that you skipped earlier. Or another option, you can head straight back to Critter Country for Splash first, then work your way back to center, this time sending a runner to pull a FP for Indy before you finish New Orleans Square (right before getting into line for Pirates is a good time where you would be fairly close). Adventureland might be a little more crowded by the time you get to it after New Orleans Square but still early enough where wait times aren’t an issue, just the fact that Adventureland is a really narrow, tight space in DLR and takes very few peeps in it to feel crowded. I would make sure you take advantage of FPs for your midday hours (Buzz, Star Tours, Space & Big Thunder all have them and Matterhorn may possibly have a FP by then if it’s done with the refurb) & also try to do more walkthrough/sitting down/people eater attractions like Tiki Room, explore Toon Town, Small World, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Innoventions building, Monorail, Path of the Jedi movie, Mickey & the Magical Map show. If you don’t take a midday break back at the hotel anything that lets you sit down is a great opportunity to provide rest. Then in the eveninyou can fit in what you didn’t get to in Fantasyland, Tomorrowland depending on if you want to see parades/FWs. Our very favorite thing is the Soundsational parade in DL so if you are parade people, definitely work it in your afternoon.

As for DCA, the best game plan that I know of (that works either for RD or behind the early entry crowds) is what we Liners call “The Gabe” (named after the Liner who originally thought up this brilliant order): At RD go straight to Toy Story MM 2x, then Cali Screamin’ 2x, Mickey’s Fun Wheel (aka Mickey’s Wheel of Death named for the swinging side, you can do like we do and only do the non-swinging side, provides a fun birds eye view of the parks that the kids just love), then go back for an RSR FP with zero wait (vs. RD where there will be a line that forms immediately). This start gets you done with the back of the pier fast with no back-tracking to it for anything. This is especially valuable because Toy Story & Fun Wheel lines can build and stay long(er) all day.

By your dates though, Toy Story will have a FP (starts tomorrow April 6th!) so there’s a big unknown there about how it will affect the FP patterns for all the other attractions. Next time we go, we will probably still start at Toy Story because the back of the pier is also an area that gets hot and doesn’t have much cover from the sun, so another reason we like to be done early and get to more shaded areas. If I were you, I would definitely stalk the chat on the Lines app and any other forums you follow for DL to get info on how that FP is changing the game, especially since you will be going so soon after they roll it out.

Any other specific questions, just ask away! I love giving touring advice (if you couldn’t tell) and love to help others plan :slight_smile:


We purchased 3-day passes from Tickets@Work last year for our Aug’ 2016 trip to Disneyland, where we stayed off-site. For some reason, these tickets allowed us Two early-entry / magic-morning’s (or whatever they call them in DLR vs. WDW).

I am not quite sure how we got this (my wife smiles very nicely), but we were there early and were able to take advantage.

Thank you! I think we’re gonna RD the opposite park this time but you’re right to remind me to keep an eye on how Toy Story FP affects things…that could very much change the way I usually tour DCA!

1 Like