PHOTOS: Early Theme Park Entry At Disney World Just Got A MAJOR Update!

Besides the Festival of the Holidays and after-hours events, the holiday season brings another thing to Disney World: big crowds! There are plenty of ways to dodge the holiday crowds, but one of the standout methods is taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry.

It gets pretty crowded at Disney World during the holidays!

Early Theme Park Entry is a perk for Disney World Resort Hotel guests that allows you to beat the crowds by entering the park half an hour early and today, it just got even better.

Starting today, Disney will start Early Theme Park Entry even earlier! From December 19th to January 3rd, Disney World Resort Hotel guests can enter the theme park an hour before park opening, giving you plenty of time to ride the hottest attractions and get a head start on your Disney day.

EPCOT Crowds during Early Theme Park Entry

Not every attraction is open during Early Theme Park Entry, but big-ticket rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Flight of Passage are available, giving you an easy way to hop on these super popular rides without using Genie+ or Individual Attraction Selection!

Rise of the Resistance is an Individual Attraction Selection on the Disney World App, which means it’s a very popular ride!

With holiday crowds and long lines on the rise, this extra time in the parks is really going to come in handy and, along with more attractions being available on Genie+, will hopefully lead to some shorter lines for Disney World guests. In the coming weeks, we’ll see the full effects of this change.

Would YOU wait 140 minutes for Jungle Cruise?

We stopped at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to check out how Early Theme Park Entry was gonna go, and here’s what we found. Unfortunately, one of the hottest tickets in Studios, Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, wasn’t available for Lightning Lane all morning. The stand-by line for Rise was steady at about 150 minutes.

Screenshot from My Disney Experience app

However despite the lengthy Rise queue, we were able to get on other attractions fairly quickly. Tower of Terror saw a 5 minute stand by queue.

Tower of Terror during Early Theme Park Entry

Rock n Roller Coaster also had a short line. It took us about 7 minutes to board, including a shortened pre-show.

Rock N Roller Coaster Queue During Early Theme Park Entry

As for the crowds, there was some congestion on the way in, but nothing too crazy.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Entrance During Early Theme Park Entry

Once inside the park, things were calm and spread out! Sunset Boulevard was basically empty.

Sunset Boulevard During Early Theme Park Entry

When it got closer to the normal opening of the park, things were a little busier, and we decided to get in line for Slinky Dog Dash before the official park opening, which had a 50 minute queue.

Toy Story Land Before Opening

Things were a bit busier than when we first arrived, but overall we only waited for Slinky for about 30 minutes.

Slinky Dog Dash queue

Ultimately, we were able to get on several popular rides with super short wait times! Make sure you use this extended perk before it changes back on January 3rd! On January 4thEarly Theme Park Entry will go back to being 30 minutes before park opening, but it could change again in the future. If anything happens, you’ll hear about it here first, so stay tuned here for more!

4 Pay-Per-Ride Attractions Will Be Available WITH Genie+ for a Limited Time in Disney World

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What do you think about this change? Let us know in the comments!

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