Extra Morning Hours - Is It Worth It?

I’ve been to WDW four times now, last being back in 2012…well before the new FP+ system and new attractions in several parks. In the past, I used a planning service called TourGuide Mike and one of the main planning principles he used was to avoid going to parks for Extra Morning Hours. The logic behind it was that everyone staying on site (30,000 hotel rooms) would all be going to that park strictly for that one extra hour of morning access, which would end up crowding up the park and making the extra hour useless by having more people there than would normally be.

I’ve always used this principle and not go to parks that have extra morning hours, but would go for Extra evening hours when available, and my plans have always been very efficient.

My plan is to continue to avoid parks with EMH’s (at least not before early evening) and go to another park to avoid crowds.

I would like your opinion on this approach, and whether or not this concept still is sound advice given the restriction on FP’s and addition of insanely popular attractions (FOP, SDD, 7DMT…etc).


Overall, I think that works as well as any strategy. However, not everyone rope drops EMH. If you think about it, the 30,000+ people may be getting there right at the time it opens, and fewer are getting there extra early. Mind you, I am not typically a rope dropper. My teenager and husband both like sleeping in just a bit. However, we decided to RD AKL on 12/24 which turned into an EMH morning prior to our trip. We went about an hour earlier than that and were able to ride the most sought-out rides by doing so: DD rode FoP and DH and I rode NRJ. The park was busy all day, but we had FPs for the must-dos beyond Pandora rides. However, it was Christmas Eve, and everything was busy.

Those are my thoughts and experiences; but it’s hard to say. It may work to RD EMH on those days because everyone else is taking the strategy of avoiding the EMH parks. Who knows?


I think it depends on what type of WDW “tourist” you are. We have always preferred EMH mornings to evenings as they seem less busy (with the exception being EP). However we also are a rope-drop family, so we prefer to arrive well before a park’s “official” opening, ride as many rides as we can until about lunchtime, then head back to the hotel for a short rest and/or swim so that we can return to a park in the evening and saunter our way through doing whatever we please. So we can gain quite a bit of ground if we use those EMH mornings effectively.

That being said, we will also consider…as suggested by the UG2WDW book, avoiding EMH parks also. For us, it just depends on the park offering the EMH and how we typically spend our day.

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I agree that most onsite guests will choose the park with emh as they feel they are getting the best bang for their buck. I’ll also add that most guests are not experienced RD’s. If emh starts at 8am, most guests feel arriving by 8am is good enough. Pulling into the parking lot at 7:55 for an 8am emh is not effective. Just stay in bed or skip that park altogether. I find arriving early for emh and being amongst the first 100 gives a distinct advantage over the average guest who arrives at 8am and doesnt get into the park until 8:15 and in line for their first ride by 8:30. By 8:30 ive already rode 2 headliners and on my way to my next ride as lines are already building.

It helps to have PH. Best advice is to take advantage of the emh by being amongst the first 100, knock out 4-5 rides with little to no wait, then hop to a park without emh that has a low CL.


The conventional wisdom has always been to avoid a mEMH Park if you were not going to take full advantage of it. That being said, I ran a test where I compared a comprehensive MK touring plan that was starting at normal park hours on a mEMH day vs non-mEMH day with the same CL. The difference in total wait time between the plans was minimal. In other words, have a good plan and it really doesn’t matter.