Disney World reducing evening "extra magic hours" for resort guests

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Walt Disney World plans to reduce the amount of extra time it gives hotel guests in its theme parks, scaling back a popular perk designed to entice travelers into choosing resort-owned hotels over cheaper, off-property competitors. Disney on Tuesday would not say why it is cutting back on the extended hours, which the resort markets to travelers as "Extra Magic Hours."

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Raven-Phile's avatar

It doesn't really bother me much, because I always found EMH to be insanely crowded, and we were always too worn out to stay for the entirety of the late ones, anyway.

This does not deter me from staying on property at all.

Jeff's avatar

It has been hit or miss for me, but I've had a lot of walk-on rides during those hours. I can't say it wouldn't at least partially affect a decision to stay there.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Yeah, I was there about 3 years back, and MK was open 9am to 3am. As I was leaving about 1:15 am, I was able to witness parents at the gate pushing sound asleep kids in strollers into the park, and many very tired and cranky kids being pulled along.

I have worked many long days in my tenure, but some of those days seem excessive in pushing the staff, let alone wear and tear on equipment.

I enjoy the perk, sometimes getting a late dinner in, but its not a deal breaker to where I stay. Its a perk, just that.

Last edited by Agent Johnson,

I kind of agree. While we got to do so much extra stuff during Extra Magic Hours at night, the average Disney guest doesn't stay later than the regular closing time. The parks were absolutely dead during EMH. Nice for us, but very cost ineffective, I would imagine. Plus, taking off one whole hour off the end of the night? Not a big deal.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Does this start right away or in January? I will be at Disney the 3rd week of August and was planning on using the later hopurs as I have older children.

I'm almost 100% certain this is starting with next year's operating calendar. And honestly, I could see this ending up changing again, just like their hours constantly change from what's reflected on their operating calendar 6+ months out. I can tell you what the hours are anticipated to be even farther out than that, but its pretty much pointless because there's a relatively high chance they will get tweaked anyway.

Original BlueStreak64

Will the new super fast pass/reservation system have any impact on how much people are concerned about the extra magic hours?

rollergator's avatar

YEARS ago, I remember taking my sister back to MK for some "extra magic." She inquired if the empty, cool, beautifully-lit parks with walk-on rides was similar to what we get during ERT, and I told her it was pretty-much identical (only not every park is WDW, LOL). She told me she had a better understanding of why I travel to coaster events... ;~)

Walk forward about a decade to a couple years ago, and Jill and I tried doing an on-site for the EMH (day of check-in and day after). The night at MK was so ridiculously crowded we had about a 40-45 minute wait for Space Mountain, pre-rehab, when entering around 1:30am (we're night owls, so that wasn't an issue for us). The lines elsewhere in the park reflected the same crowd levels - there was virtually no reduction in crowds from daytime hours.

In summary, this perk wasn't effective any longer. 20 million on-site rooms means too many guests with EMH access. Maybe they'll think about offering more EMH to just the priciest resorts?

Don't be surprised down the not so long road to see some sort of perk for DVC members.

I was afraid of that...even more "But we're DVC!" remarks headed to a CM near you.

Original BlueStreak64

There is really no reason to be in a theme park at 2:30am...

rollergator's avatar

If you're in FL in the summer, I'd say there's more reason to be there at 2:30am than there is at 2:30pm. During the day, I go outside in spurts from June thru September...

kpjb's avatar

I don't think I've ever used the extra hours. We never park hop, and I generally choose what park I'm going to based on where I made food reservations for that day.


Lord Gonchar's avatar

kpjb said:

I don't think I've ever used the extra hours. We never park hop...


If anything we avoid the park that's offering EMH based on the idea that, at the very least, other non-hoppers looking to do EMH would be at that park.

Nope, no reason to be inside a park at 230am. Maintanence has a boat load of stuff to do. However, the pools are open at the hotels. You will find me there.

Jeff's avatar

I don't care what maintenance has to do. I like being the parks late.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

rollergator said:

If you're in FL in the summer...

There's your problem right there.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

I've only been to WDW a few times but never stayed on property. EMH has been a red flag for me to avoid that park at all costs. We tend to plan far in advance so it isn't a problem.

I like the morning extra magic hours for one reason. It prompts us to go to another less busy park instead.

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