Comparing the NEW Hotel Perks With Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World

For a long time, Disney World hotel guests have gotten perks like extra time in the parks, early access to dining reservations, and free Disney transportation.

Grand Floridian with Boat Transportation

Before Disney World shut down for the pandemic in 2020, the extra park time for hotel guests was called Extra Magic Hours. Now, Disney is going to use two different systems to replace this perk: Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours.

So what exactly is the difference between the old program and the new ones? Let’s take a look.

We’ll break down each of the perks for extra park time, looking at what is included in each and who qualifies for the benefits. At the end, we’ll look at how this affects Disney World guests overall.

Extra Magic Hours

Extra Magic Hours was the old system where all Disney World Resort guests (and those at a select other hotels) could come early or stay late at a Disney World park.

Heading Into the Magic Kingdom

The qualifying hotels included:

— Walt Disney World-owned resorts
— Walt Disney World Dolphin & Swan Resorts
— Shades of Green
— Disney Springs area hotels
— Four Seasons Resort Orlando

Four Seasons

If you were staying at one of those hotels, you could either arrive early or stay late at a select Disney World park, depending on when the Extra Magic Hours were. There was a set schedule, and just one park would get extra time each day. Usually that park would have an extra hour (or sometimes two hours) either before the park opened or after it closed.

All four Disney World theme parks participated in Extra Magic Hours.

EPCOT at night

The following rides were open at each of the parks during the evening Extra Magic Hours, with a bit fewer being offered during the morning ones:

Magic Kingdom:

Astro Orbiter
Barnstormer
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Country Bear Jamboree
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

“it’s a small world”
Mad Tea Party
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan’s Flight

Pirates of the Caribbean
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain
Swiss Family Treehouse
Tomorrowland Speedway
Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid

EPCOT:

The American Adventure and American Heritage Gallery
Disney-Pixar Short Film Festival
Epcot Character Spot
Frozen Ever After
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
Living with the Land
Mission: SPACE

Mission Space

O Canada!
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Soarin’ Around the World
Spaceship Earth and Project Tomorrow
Test Track
Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Alien Swirling Saucers
Muppet*Vision 3D
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash

Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
Tower of Terror
Toy Story Mania
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Animal Kingdom:

Avatar Flight of Passage
Dinosaur
Expedition Everest
Festival of the Lion King
It’s Tough to be a Bug
Kali River Rapids (Seasonal)

Kali River Rapids

Kilimanjaro Safaris (closing early)
Na’vi River Journey
Primeval Whirl
TriceraTop Spin

Early Theme Park Entry

Early Theme Park Entry is the new system for morning Extra Magic Hours, and it’s already started in Disney World. With this perk, guests at all Disney World hotels, plus a few select other hotels, can go into all four Disney World parks a half hour before they officially open.

Main Street, U.S.A. in the morning

This perk is open to guests at all Disney World Resort hotels, plus:

  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels
  • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
  • Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World® Resort
  • Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
  • Waldorf Astoria Orlando
  • B Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando
  • Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
  • Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando
Shades of Green

Guests need valid theme park tickets and reservations to enter the parks early, and there are special entrances at the parks for qualifying guests.

The biggest differences between Extra Magic Hours and Early Theme Park Entry are that (1) the new program applies to all four Disney World parks every day instead of just one, and (2) guests get just a half-hour extra before park opening instead of a full hour (or two).

Animal Kingdom Entrance

Like Extra Magic Hours, only certain rides are open during the extra time. Here’s a complete list:

Magic Kingdom 

  • “it’s a small world”
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
  • Beauty and The Beast Sing-Along
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Seas with Nemo and Friends

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ™
  • Toy Story Mania!
Toy Story Mania

Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • DINOSAUR
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • TriceraTop Spin
TriceraTop Spin

Early Theme Park Entry has the same rides open in Magic Kingdom as those open for Extra Magic Hours. For EPCOT, the new system includes Mission: Space and Beauty & the Beast Singalong (which Extra Magic Hours didn’t), but they don’t include Living With the Land.

Living With the Land

For Hollywood Studios, the new system has two more rides than the old: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Runaway Railway opened just before Disney World shut down for the pandemic last year, which is when Extra Magic Hours ended. But Rise of the Resistance had been open for a few months and was not included in the Extra Magic Hours at that time. Since Early Theme Park Entry has started, Rise of the Resistance has used a standby line instead of their original virtual queue, which might be why it’s included in the new system but wasn’t in the old.

Rise of the Resistance Queue

For Animal Kingdom, the new system doesn’t have Kilimanjaro Safaris or the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail open early, but Extra Magic Hours did include those.

Extended Evening Hours

Extended Evening Hours is the new system for the evening Extra Magic Hours. This perk is available for guests staying at a Disney World Deluxe hotels, Deluxe Villa hotels, or one of these other hotels:

  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
  • Shades of Green
Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Construction

Disney World Deluxe and Deluxe Villa hotels include the following:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Disney’s Yacht Club
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

If you’re staying at one of these hotels, you can stay at a select Disney World theme park for an extra two hours after its closing time. We’ve got ALL the Extended Evening Hours listed here (and updated as Disney releases more dates and times).

Magic Kingdom

So far the participating parks are just Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, and the extra hours take place on Mondays for EPCOT and Wednesdays for the Magic Kingdom. There are fewer days with the evening hours than there were with Extra Magic Hours (only two days a week), and two of the four parks are not participating so far.

EPCOT World Showcase

Like the other two perks, Extended Evening Hours has select rides and attractions open during the extra time:

Magic Kingdom

  • “it’s a small world”
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • The Barnstormer
The Barnstormer
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Space Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

EPCOT

  • Beauty and The Beast Sing-Along
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Soarin’ Around the World
Soarin’
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends

The Magic Kingdom attractions are the same for Extended Evening Hours and the evening Extra Magic Hours. But there are fewer EPCOT rides open for Extended Evening Hours than there were for the Extra Magic Hours. The new system is missing the Disney Pixar Short Film Festival, the American Heritage Gallery, the EPCOT Character Spot, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, Living With the Land, O Canada!, and Turtle Talk With Crush.

Turtle Talk with Crush

Some of those attractions haven’t yet returned (like the EPCOT Character Spot), but a couple of them are pretty popular rides that are currently open during normal hours (like Living With the Land).

How Does It Affect Us?

So how does the change from Extra Magic Hours to these two new systems affect us?

It’s Harder for Non-Resort Guests to Plan

With Extra Magic Hours, guests not staying at a qualifying resort could avoid whichever park had the extra hours to also avoid larger crowds. And even if you were staying at a qualifying resort, you could choose to give up the extra time in order to get lower crowds in the other theme parks.

Animal Kingdom

Now, since Early Theme Park Entry applies to all four Disney park every day, there probably won’t be the concentration of crowds in one park each day.

However, with Extended Evening Hours, there may be larger crowds in Magic Kingdom or EPCOT on the days that those parks get extra time, and we may see more guests Park Hopping to those Parks in the afternoon so they enjoy an extended block of time through the evening and into the night. So you can still use that schedule to avoid those parks and the crowds if you’re not staying at a qualifying hotel.

Early Theme Park Entry Is Shorter

Extra Magic Hours gave guests a full hour before park opening, whereas Early Theme Park Entry only gives a half hour before park opening. That’s really not much time to enjoy the lower crowds inside the park.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

With an extra half hour, there’s not enough time to do much except get inside and get in a line. You’ll be ahead of other guests, so you’ll get on at least one attraction a little earlier. But really Early Theme Park Entry just seems like a head start on getting in line for the popular attractions. It’s a good perk, but not really a lot of extra time to enjoy the parks.

Extended Evening Hours Is Exclusive

Only guests staying at Deluxe Disney hotels (and a couple of other hotels) get access to the exclusive Extended Evening Hours. So if you want to take advantage of two extra hours in some parks after closing time, you’ll have to pay quite a bit more than you usually would at a value or moderate hotel in Disney World. If you factor in the price difference, those extra hours are pretty darn expensive.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

But on the other hand, the more exclusive hours means a lot fewer people will be there during the extra park time. So if it’s worth it to you and in the budget, you can pay extra for time in the parks with much lower crowds.

You Don’t Have to Know the Schedule as Much

With Extra Magic Hours, you had to keep track of which park was opening early or closing late on a given day. The schedules are much simpler for the new systems.

Magic Kingdom

For Extended Evening Hours (so far), EPCOT gets two extra hours on Monday evenings, and Magic Kingdom gets two extra hours on Wednesday evenings. Early Theme Park Entry is even easier: every park gets and extra half hour before opening time every day. So there’s a little less planning involved in using the newer systems in Disney World.

There are both benefits and drawbacks to the new systems, and guests will need to decide what perks they want and how best to maximize them. Keep following AllEars, and we’ll let you know how these systems are working in the parks.

Click Here to See Which Disney World Hotel Perks STILL Haven’t Returned

Which extra hours perk do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

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3 Replies to “Comparing the NEW Hotel Perks With Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World”

  1. It’s so sad that Disney has become so money hungry. Not only do we have to pay extra for shorter wait times for certain rides, unless you can afford to stay at certain hotels, you miss out on extra magic hours at park closing. Disneyworld has always been a special place for my kids and I but it is definitely losing its magic😔

  2. Did I miss something or are ALL DISNEY RESORTS not included. My family will be staying at the Art of Animation in December and I don’t see it listed

    1. Hi! Art of Animation qualifies for Early Theme Park Entry, but currently Extended Evening Hours only apply for guests staying at Disney World’s Deluxe Resort hotels.