Sleep on a vacation away from work and the everyday stresses of life is crucial. We hate to break it to you, but on a full Disney Park day at Walt Disney World Resort, typically, the alarm goes off super early, and heads don’t hit the pillow again until late at night.
But is the Disney perk known as “Early Theme Park Entry” worth paying the price of a Disney Resort PLUS waking up even earlier for? Let’s break it down!
It’s no secret that Disney’s former perk called Extra Magic Hours (EMHs) is gone. This was a daily perk that offered Disney Resort Hotel Guests an hour either in the morning or evening at a select Disney Park before or after the official Park hours.
Now that the Extra Magic Hour is gone, Disney is offering two extra perks for its Resort Guests, including Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.
Don’t Confuse with Extended Evening Entry
Extended Evening Theme Parks Hours are only available on select days at either Magic Kingdom or EPCOT for DELUXE Resort Guests. Yes, you’ll need to splurge for a pricey Disney Deluxe Resort Hotel to take advantage of Extended Evening Hours.
Who Is Eligible for Early Park Entry?
The good news is, besides Extended Evening Theme Park Entry, Disney offers Early Theme Park Entry for ALL of its Disney Resort Hotel Guests.
No matter which of Disney’s hotels you are staying at, registered Resort Guests are allowed to enter any of the Disney Parks on any day, 30 minutes before the official Park hours for non-resort Guests.
What’s Available During Early Entry?
During the early entry period, select attractions, merchandise, and food and beverage locations are operating, including the following at each of Walt Disney World’s Parks:
Magic Kingdom Park
- “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
- 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 Theme Park
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
- Na’vi River Journey
- TriceraTop Spin
Worth the 30 Minutes?
We’ve visited the Disney Parks as Resort Guests and have taken advantage of Early Theme Park Entry. We’ve also been to all of the Parks as non-resort Guests without the extra 30-minute perk. We must say – ABSOLUTELY – that 30-minutes is well worth the early arrival.
While Disney may allow all Guests to enter the Parks early, non-resort Guests are stopped at a certain point, while Resort Guests are allowed to walk through a special way. The crowd of non-resort Guests gets slightly ridiculous as people pile in, pushing to the front, waiting to catch up with the Resort Guests that are happily already on their way.
Not only do you avoid the non-resort crowd of people pushing to get in, but you’ll easily have a chance to enjoy one or two attractions before non-resort Guests arrive.
It’s Worth Being a Disney Resort Guest
Our recommendation is to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry if possible and stay at a Disney Resort… even if it’s in a tent at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground! It may only be 30 minutes, but we promise it feels like a couple of hours ahead of the rest.