A few months ago, Disney announced that there would be extra Extra Magic Hours from August 29th – November 2nd, 2019 at several Walt Disney World parks. It is a fantastic benefit for those staying onsite, with daily Extra Magic Hours for three different parks – Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. For both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom parks, the extra EMH is from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. each day through November 2nd, 2019. And Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens at 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. each day for EMH starting on September 1st (through November 2nd). Each of the three parks has select attractions open at that time, including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
We were so fortunate to be offered a one-night DVC reservation at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge from a friend over the night of August 30th, so I was able to experience the extra Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom on the second day it was available. I love early mornings in the Disney parks, and now hope we’ll book a night or two at a hotel in October to take advantage of this benefit again. Here is what I experienced yesterday!
Staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, I had planned to take a bus so it’d be faster in the morning. But the bus stop directed me to the boat dock, so I headed there. I thought I might end up being at the park later than 7:00 a.m. (I wasn’t). It didn’t take long for the boat to show up, but it was dark outside and the boat driver said he almost didn’t stop. About 10 more guests showed up quickly after I did, so we had a relatively busy boat for being 6:40 in the morning.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at 6:30 a.m.
Roaring Fork has special hours due to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening.
Sunrise on the boat.
Arrival to the Magic Kingdom was easy, and everyone was kept in the area between the Mickey floral and turnstiles while waiting. I thought maybe we’d go onto Main Street just a little early but that didn’t happen. At 7:00 a.m., we were let in.
Guests arrive for 7:00 a.m. entry.
Entering the Magic Kingdom turnstiles.
Guests wait to be let into the park.
My experience will be a little less busy than you may encounter, in part because it is off-season now and also because we have a threat of a hurricane still of this writing. But having extra early EMH in three different parks should help spread the early morning crowds out through November 2nd, 2019.
Main Street vehicles were around Town Square for guests.
Another two vehicles are in the photo.
Not all of the lands are open to walk around. I spent a fair bit of time taking pictures on Main Street, and there were several vehicles available to take at 7:00 a.m. Then I had to get my MagicBand out a second time (and eventually a third time) to show I was staying onsite. The first time had been before the turnstiles, and the second time was when I’d arrived to the end of Main Street – before the hub – and I was directed to check in on the right even though I wasn’t entering any other land at that time. From there I went to the hub for great pics of Cinderella Castle with no guests. And then I had my band scanned a third time when I went to Fantasyland. This may be the normal experience for EMH, but I haven’t done EMH in quite some time.
Main Street a few minutes after 7:00 a.m looked much busier than 15 minutes later.
This was taken around 7:15 a.m., I didn’t wait for the photo but there was sometimes a short line.
And by 7:20 a.m., crowds had thinned out on Main Street.
Guests were being sent in the directions they needed to go, like for breakfast or the extra Extra Magic Hour.
There were very few guests here in front of Walt and Mickey and Cinderella Castle.
An empty shot of Cinderella Castle.
Ride times were really low – for example, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was 20 minutes, and the Winnie the Pooh and Buzz Lightyear rides were walk-ons when I walked through Fantasyland around 7:30 a.m. I wasn’t planning to ride anything except the People Mover, but rode three attractions.
There was a 20 minute wait for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Walk-on for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
View into Tomorrowland from the People Mover.
Tron construction from People Mover.
At 8:00 a.m., the crowd entering onto Main Street wasn’t bad. I planned to leave the park at 8:30 a.m. and I left a few minutes later. If I wasn’t photographing, I would have been able to experience a lot more attractions – photos and video took up most of my time. That said, I still rode Buzz Lightyear, Wedway People Mover and Winnie the Pooh and also made two Main Street Bakery Starbucks stops and visited Snow White on the way out of the park. I wasn’t in any hurry to do anything and yet experienced much more than I would have a couple of hours later. We sometimes go to the Magic Kingdom at normal opening time and generally we get an hour of fairly light crowds (if there is no EMH), although a ride like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train gets busier quickly.
Snow White was by herself when I stopped by.
And I was out of the park actually at 8:40 a.m and onto a boat a minute later.
Having early morning extra hours is a terrific benefit for resort guests in the next couple of months and I recommend it.
Here is the information on the extra Extra Magic Hours and who is eligible. I mentioned onsite Walt Disney World resort guests but there are some other hotels included too, including Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
August 29 through November 2, 2019
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park—including Pandora – The World of Avatar and other attractions throughout the park—from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM daily
- Magic Kingdom park—including favorites in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland—from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM daily
September 1 through November 2, 2019
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios—including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and more—from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily
The Extra Magic Hour benefit is also available to Guests of Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Shades of Green® Resort, Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels, Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando.