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    Early Theme Park Entry

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Disney ended the long-running Extra Magic Hours in 2020. The successor "Early Theme Park Entry" program begins in 2021, sharing some characteristics with its older sibling but also having many differences.

What Early Theme Park Entry?

Early Theme Park Entry is a perk for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotels plus the Swan and Dolphin hotels, Shades of Green, the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, and the Bonnet Creek Resort hotels. (See the full list here.) These resort guests may enter any Disney World theme park 30 minutes earlier than the official park opening time. (Note that this may be extended to 60 minutes during busy times of year. Click on a date on our Crowd Calendar for specific timing.)

How does Early Theme Park Entry Compare to Extra Magic Hours?

The old Extra Magic Hour system was only at select parks on select days, while the new Early Theme Park Entry is every day at all parks. However, the old system offered more time (1 extra hour in the morning version or 2 extra hours in the evening) on the select days and parks where it was offered; Early Theme Park Entry is usually only 30 minutes and only takes place in the morning, prior to the park's official opening.

Where both systems are similar is that they both allow Disney resort hotel guests access to the popular rides before the park is open to all guests. If you arrive early enough to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry, you should be able to have at least one ride on a busy attraction with a relatively low wait.

What's Required for Early Theme Park Entry?

A Park Reservation and valid admission are required to enter the park, and your admission must be associated with an appropriate hotel stay in My Disney Experience to get access to attractions during Early Theme Park Entry; other guests are held outside the park (or at least outside the part of the park where ETPE attractions are operating) until the official park opening time.

How to Get the Most Out of Early Theme Park Entry

  • Make sure you check the Crowd Calendar to see what parks are the best to visit. With Early Theme Park Entry being offered every day at every park, the Crowd Calendar is the easiest way to see which parks will be least crowded.

  • Even with the ability to enter minutes before park opening, we still recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes before Early Theme Park Entry starts. That way you will be near the front of the crowd and ready to go in case the gates open a little earlier than expected.

  • Immediately after entering the park, head to one of the busiest rides. If you are near the front of the crowd you will have virtually no wait when your first attraction begins operation. After experiencing that attraction, you will have time to get in line for another busy ride. The wait will be a little longer, but still better than if you were to wait until after official park opening.

Is there something like this at night, after the park closes, like the now-defunct Evening Extra Magic Hours?

  • Effective October 2021, Disney offers Extended Evening Theme Park Hours for guests staying at Deluxe, Deluxe Villa, and select other hotels. On select evenings at select parks, eligible guests may enjoy attractions for two hours after the park's official closing time.

Last updated on February 17, 2022