We know that many of you planned your Disney World vacation BEFORE the Galaxy’s Edge dates were released, so we want to do our best to help you navigate and alleviate the stress of some of those crowds! If you’re a morning person then you’re in for a treat with new EXTRA Extra Magic Hours! Not sure what that means? No problemo — we’re gonna tell you all about it!
Regular Extra Magic Hours allow Disney World hotel guests to access the parks with low crowds first thing in the morning to enjoy the cooler temps, shorter lines, cool photos with fewer guests, etc. Now…you HAVE to be staying at a Disney resort in order to have access to these Extra Magic Hours. This is one of the many perks that Disney puts in place to get you to stay at one of their hotels over off-property hotels.
So, what are Extra Extra Magic Hours and why were they created? Well, Disney often has Extra Magic Hours, but these are typically just an hour or two in the morning or evening at the parks. Extra Extra Magic Hours are additional park hours that have been added for resort guests DAILY.
Our guess is that Disney has done this to try to alleviate some of the Galaxy’s Edge crowds since an insane amount of guests will be heading to the parks for the opening of the new land this fall. Galaxy’s Edge is set to open on August 29th, which is why the Extra Extra Magic Hours will be offered every day starting September 1. They will continue until November 2, 2019, at the following theme parks and times.
Okay friends, so the park that will be affected by the Extra Extra Magic hours the most will be Hollywood Studios. This park is going to be open at 6:00 AM and the EXTRA hours will last until 9:00 AM DAILY in an attempt to alleviate some of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge crowds.
The catch is that these hours come so dang early you will literally have to get up around 4 or 4:30 in the morning if you want to rope drop this park to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land attractions and more. Of course, people are going to flock to Galaxy’s Edge during this time, which makes total sense as the crowds will be substantially lower during the extra magic hours in the morning than they will be when non-resort-guests are allowed to visit later in the day. Disney has noted that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity…meaning that it isn’t guaranteed that you will get in!
We’re speculating that this might also shift some of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios crowds in the afternoon as we’re guessing that people may leave the park to go somewhere else when the hours are over to avoid the incoming non-resort-guest visitors.
And note that lines to enter the land should still be expected. It’s easy to assume that the later it gets in the morning the larger the crowds will be. BUT as we said above, MAYBE, just maybe, Extra Extra Magic Hour crowds in Hollywood Studios will leave when the hours are over and free up space for those waiting. But, we’re guessing that it’s still gonna be an “early bird gets the worm” thing for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. If you’re PUMPED for Galaxy’s Edge and want to learn more about the upcoming land — click here!
If you’re a morning person I think this can be really useful for you, even if you aren’t interested in Star Wars. Everyone will likely be heading straight for Galaxy’s Edge, so if you visit the other locations you will likely be able to knock out the rest of the park before Studios officially opens.
Animal Kingdom will also be getting a few Extra Extra Magic Hours. Starting on the same dates, Animal Kingdom — including Pandora – The World of Avatar and other attractions throughout the park — will be open for these extra hours from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM daily.
This is going to be a GREAT opportunity to hop on Flight of Passage as we assume that most of the crowds will be rushing to Galaxy’s Edge. Take advantage of this system, folks, and use these hours to your advantage! It should be much simpler once Galaxy’s Edge opens to knock out big-ticket attractions since most people will choose to knock out Studios during that time.
Magic Kingdom will also be getting these Extra Extra Magic hours. Disney has said that the attraction will include favorites in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The park will be open from for these extra hours from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM daily! I’m thinking this will really be a great time to enjoy Magic Kingdom crowd-free. You might even be able to get a few photos in front of the castle without hundreds of people in the background!
We also think that it might be a good idea to get a mid-morning advance dining reservation at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. This will give you a nice break after the Extra Extra Magic Hours and will allow you to chill a bit before a crowded afternoon!
So, what about Epcot? The Epcot Food & Wine Festival will already be driving crowds through the roof from 11AM to closing at this park. And though Epcot isn’t receiving the morning magic hours, it might be a great park to hit first thing in the morning while folks are doing Extra Extra Magic Hours in other parks and before food booths open.
We really think this will be a good time to get in a couple popular rides like (Test Track and Soarin’, in that order if you ask me), and start the day with (possibly) calmer crowd levels. Then you will be able to hit the Food and Wine booths as soon as they open (11AM). This will leave you with the ability to escape the park in the afternoon/evening to head elsewhere.
A Few Closing Notes
Our guess for what is going to happen throughout Disney World overall once these hours are implemented is that there will be more park mobility. We assume more people are going to be going from park to park with Park Hoppers as they try to navigate crowds while maximizing Extra Extra Magic Hours.
And a few things for you guys to note: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dates occur during this time, meaning the party will clear out Magic Kingdom on select nights. So, make sure you are making time for a Magic Kingdom night if you are not attending a party. We also think that the Party might actually be a good way for you guys to get in more rides with smaller crowds. This will be really useful for you, especially if you have a really tight schedule during your vacation!
Also, often late night hours are good times, too, so you night owls aren’t totally out of luck! Maybe try hitting up an Extra Extra Magic Hour park, taking a nap, and then going out again in the evening, so you can still get your well-deserved beauty sleep!
So, if you aren’t a Star Wars family, we really think that these Extra Extra Magic Hours will be useful for you! And if you are, you already know…get there early and may the Force be with you. (:
When is your next Disney vacation? Are you going to be affected by Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge crowds? Let us know in the comments below!