DISNEY PARKS

Extra! Extra! Read All About the New Magic Hours!

To combat the extraordinary crowds expected for the much anticipated opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios, Disney has announced a limited time offering of EXTRA, EXTRA MAGIC HOURS being added to ALL FOUR THEME PARKS!!

Walt Disney World is encouraging Guests to stay on property if you plan to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (opens August 29) with this incredibly amazing incentive! 

Extra Extra Magic Hours are different than the usual Extra Magic Hours offered throughout the year for those staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Here’s the breakdown and how it works:

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Daily from August 29 – November 2, the park will open for Extra, Extra Magic Hours from 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM. This will include access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. Note that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be subject to capacity. So although you may get into the park, you may need to wait in line to actually get into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (and that’s not guaranteed). Disney will be controlling and monitoring the traffic flow in and out of the new land very closely. Be prepared for a lot of waiting!

Also note that from August 29 – 31, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open to ALL GUESTS (whether staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or not) at 6:00 AM.  Extra, Extra Magic Hours will not be offered on these days. 

ANIMAL KINGDOM
Daily from August 29 – November 2, from 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM includes Pandora, World of Avatar and other attractions.

MAGIC KINGDOM
Daily from August 29 – November 2, from 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM includes attractions from Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

EPCOT
Epcot will still be offering Extra Magic Hours as usual on select days only, not daily.

This is an absolute game changer and incredibly awesome for anyone planning a trip to Walt Disney World from August 29 – November 2.  Typically Disney only offers Extra Magic Hours in one park per day, either in the morning or later in the evening, with everyone funneling to the same place to take advantage of the extra time. It can get crowded and defeat the purpose of having the extra time to get more things done. Now with the new offering, EVERY SINGLE PARK will offer these magic hours. Disney hopes that Guests will take full advantage of these hours and visit other parks, alleviating some of the pressure expected at Hollywood Studios.  

On the West Coast, Disneyland is offering a reservation system for the first month of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens on May 31. This is Walt Disney World’s version of that. I believe the crowd levels with be exponentially larger at Walt Disney World than Disneyland (although I may be underestimating the Star Wars fanbase), so Disney had to come up with a more reasonable solution to combat the crowds and distribute the traffic flow throughout the parks. 

If you are staying on-property, it will make planning your days a bit easier as you won’t need to book around the Extra Magic Hours for any given park. Some families take full advantage of the extra hours, some avoid them and visit another park. Either way you do it, knowing that Extra Magic Hours will be offered daily during this time will make it easy to plan your days. Unfortunately, using rope drop strategies to maximize your time in the parks during these extended hours will be difficult as there really won’t be a “rope drop”. So I recommend you get to the park when it opens if you want to take advantage of the major attractions. You can also book FastPass+ 60 days out of your vacation as well. So you will have the opportunity to ride the major attractions if you are able to get a FP+. Keep in mind that during Extra Magic Hours, FastPass+ is not available. 

If you are staying off-property, you are at a slight disadvantage, as Hollywood Studios will only be opening at 6:00 AM for ALL GUESTS August 29 – 31.  After that, the Extra Extra Magic Hours will only be available to Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests. If you can sneak in a night or two of your stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, even if it’s at a Value Resort hotel, that is one way you can take advantage of these extra hours. By doing so, you’ll also be able to book FastPass+ 60 days out from your trip.  I would strongly recommend you book now if that is what you decide! Rooms will fill up quickly as the opening date draws closer.

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