Don’t Make This Big Early Entry Mistake in Disney World

Disney World hasn’t had Extra Magic Hours since before the closures in 2020, but they have been replaced with a different perk. Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours have taken the place of Extra Magic Hours — at least for the time being.

Tower of Terror

We’re going to focus on Early Theme Park Entry, so if you want to know more about Extended Evening Hours, you can read about it here. Early entry into the parks works differently than Extra Magic Hours did (which we’ll get into in a moment) but it still gives you more time in the parks, which seems like a great opportunity, right? But there are some complications we want to talk about, so let’s get into it!

Early Theme Park Entry is available to all guests staying at Disney World hotels as well as select hotels on Disney World property and Good Neighbor Hotels (you can see the full list here). It allows you into the theme parks 30 minutes before they open to all guests. And, unlike Extra Magic Hours, it’s available every single day at all 4 theme parks.

Early Theme Park Entry in Tomorrowland

One of the most important things to know about Early Theme Park Entry is that it’s limited, meaning not all of the rides, stores, or restaurants are open and available. If you don’t know what’s open ahead of time, you could be wasting a big chunk of those extra 30 minutes walking to a ride that you can’t even get on!

Early Theme Park Entry

For example, in Magic Kingdom, let’s say you scurry back to Splash Mountain, thinking you’re smart to go there first and enjoy a short line instead of the popular rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. But, Splash Mountain isn’t open until regular park hours, so you just spent about 15 minutes walking to an area of the park you can’t even enjoy, and now you’re behind on getting to the rides you can actually get on.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

It happens to the best of us, but that’s why we’re here — to tell you what’s available so you don’t make this mistake. So, let’s take a look at ALL of the rides available during Early Theme Park Entry:

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
  • 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
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & 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
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

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

So, what’s are some notable rides that aren’t included? In Magic Kingdom, basically any ride that’s NOT in Tomorrowland or Fantasyland isn’t open yet. So, you can forget about trying to knock out Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean back to back!

Pirates of the Caribbean

In EPCOT, Living with the Land, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind aren’t available. Cosmic Rewind only uses boarding passes, so you wouldn’t be able to jump in line anyway!

Cosmic Rewind

Over in Hollywood Studios, it’s really just the shows and Muppet*Vision 3D that aren’t open yet. The rides most people will probably be speed walking to are Rise of the Resistance, Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith.

Ready to rock?

And finally, in Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Kali River Rapids don’t open until regular park hours, along with most of the shows. The safari is a good ride to do as early in the day as you can, especially during the summer, because you have a better chance of seeing animals active when it’s cooler out. So, a good plan might be to ride Expedition Everest and then be at Kilimanjaro Safaris so you can hop in line as soon as it opens!

Expedition Everest

It’s also important to note that a lot of food spots won’t be open yet during Early Theme Park Entry. So, we’d advise you to eat before you get to the park, unless you’re okay with waiting 30 minutes for some grub!

Another good plan to have during Early Theme Park Entry is to not go where EVERYONE else is going unless you get there right when they let you in. For example, you can probably do 2-3 rides in Magic Kingdom in the same amount time it would take you to wait for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

LONG lines for early entry!

In EPCOT, a lot of people will go straight to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After, so maybe visit Soarin’ and Test Track instead and save those other rides for later in the day, or even use Disney Genie+ for them!

We already mentioned the rides that most people flock to in Hollywood Studios, so over in Animal Kingdom, know that most people will probably go straight to Flight of Passage.

Flight of Passage

You CAN go to these rides first, and you might experience a lower wait time at them than you’ll see during the rest of the day, but you can also use Disney Genie+ or keep an eye on wait times to ride these later in the day. That way, you can really maximize that extra time you get in the parks!

Space Mountain Lightning Lane

Remember, you can’t Park Hop until after 2PM still, so if you get in Animal Kingdom at 7:30AM, you can only visit that park until 2PM rolls around. Make sure to plan accordingly!

So, make sure you keep this list of attractions ready so you don’t end up spending part of those 30 extra minutes walking to a ride that isn’t open! But, also know that since you’re already in the park, you can be the one of the first people at those rides when they actually do open, which can save you a lot of time, too.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Stay tuned to All Ears for more Disney World tips, tricks, and info.

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Which park do you like to use Early Theme Park Entry for the most? Tell us in the comments.

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