Menu
disney-early-theme-park-entry
Images Credit: Disney / Clipart

Only 30 Minutes? Is Disney’s ‘Early Park Entry’ Perk Really Worth It?

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!

spaceship earth epcot
Credit: Disney

RELATED: Old Disney Commercial Reminds Fans of All the Missing Magic

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.

seven dwarfs mine train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Credit: Disney)

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.

caribbean-beach-resort
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (Credit: Disney)

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

EPCOT

remy-adventure-attraction
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Credit: Disney)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

expedition everest
Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

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.

animal-kingdom-tree-of-life
Credit: Disney

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.

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, and weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.