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Early Theme Park Entrance for Walt Disney World Resort Guests to Soft Open

Disney previously announced that the new early theme park entry program for Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resorts will soft open! The early entry program was originally set to begin with the onset of the 50th anniversary celebrations at the Walt Disney World Resort on October 1, 2021, but today emails went out informing Guests with check-in dates coming up next week that it will begin earlier.

Credit: Disney

The soft opening for early theme park entry will begin on September 26, 2021. This new early entry program will allow Guests staying at all Disney resort hotels and select third party options (think Shades of Green Resort and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts) early access into the theme parks by 30 minutes.

To use the service, Guests will need to have a valid theme park reservation for their first park of the day they are planning on visiting. When they arrive at the park entrance, they will see signs indicating an entrance for “Early Entry for Participating Hotels” and they can head into the park from there.

Credit: Disney

This service is a much-needed benefit to staying at a Disney resort, so its arrival a week early is sure to be a helpful one for Guests heading into the park next week. While the early entry is not quite as early as the program’s predecessor, Extra Magic Hours, a half an hour will certainly give resort Guests an advantage on riding popular attractions early on in the day before the long wait times set in.

Credit: Disney

The offering of a half hour but at any park of the Guest’s choice is also a more flexible option than having to figure out which parks allow early entry on certain days of your trip as was the way of Extra Magic Hours prior to the park’s closing in 2020.

Will you be taking advantage of early entry on your next Disney vacation?

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."