Hiya, Mousekefriends! Have you heard of Extra Magic Hours? Chances are, if you’re a “Disney vet”, you’re so familiar with the term, that you refer to it as EMH. Well, I do anyway! Extra Magic Hours are available only to Disney resort guests on select days and the parks alternate, so more than one park won’t open early each day. The same goes for evenings as well, it’s usually just one park that stays open late for resort guests. On an Extra Magic Hour morning, the selected park will open an hour before the scheduled time and for evenings, the selected park will stay open a couple hours past the scheduled closing time. Again, this is ONLY for resort guests and have I mentioned it’s FREE?!? As if you needed yet another reason to stay on property, right?
Now, down to the nitty gritty – which will work best for your family? I’ve got a family of “early risers” who tend to be up by 6:30am no matter when they go to bed (seriously, they never sleep in!), so for us, it makes sense to be in our room around 9pm each evening which in turn means that the evening EMH are usually out of the question. If (and this is a huge if), we are able to get everyone out the door for early Extra Magic Hours, then we definitely do so. If your family happens to be the type to stay out late, then taking advantage of the evening hours would work best for you. If you like to burn the candle at both ends (we do this when we travel kid-free) – park hop! Take advantage of the early morning EMH at one park and then hit up the evening EMH at another!
Now, during the peak seasons (spring break, summer, Thanksgiving week, or Christmas/New Year’s), the parks with Extra Magic Hours do tend to become packed as the day goes on. A great way around this would be to only visit the busy parks if you intend to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours offered. For example, hit up the early morning EMH at one park and then leave mid-day just as it starts to get crazy, take a break at your resort, and then head somewhere else for the evening (we will almost always choose Epcot!). On the flipside, you can visit a less busy park during the day, such as Animal Kingdom (this park gets no love, but it deserves it!), and then shoot over to Epcot for their evening EMH. With a little planning, even during busy times of the year, Extra Magic Hours are an awesome little perk that allow you more time to soak in that Disney magic!