those of you joining me from THE DISNEY FAITHful and those of you just hopping
aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail!
This month the
Teal Loop is discussing more Disney controversies.
I’d like to
discuss Disney’s Extra Magic Hours!
If you visit
the official website, Disney.go.com, you will see that, naturally, guests are
presented with a number of perks designed to persuade them to spend their
vacation dollars on-site by booking their stay at a Disney resort. One of these
resort-guests-only perks is Extra Magic
Hours at Walt Disney World resort hotels and Magic Morning Early Entry at the Disneyland resort hotels.
touted as a major perk of staying on-site: “extended theme park hours
that give you additional time in select Disney Parks with valid theme park
admission.” So, essentially, you’re getting
more “bang” for your theme-park-admission buck.
a no-brainer, right?
answer is: It depends!
Let me tell
you how my family started out as EMH users and eventually converted to EMH avoiders.
I used to be
a big believer in EMH, especially years ago when, like Disneyland, the perk was
limited to early admission to a different park each day. Our children were
small, so we knew we were planning to hit each park early and then head back to
our resort after lunch so the kids could nap. Then, in the evening, we would
hop to a non-EMH park for dinner and the nighttime fireworks or entertainment.
worked well for us because of the simple fact that most guests – especially as
their vacation progresses – find it difficult to get up early and make it to
the park at rope-drop. So if, say, the EMH Park for the day was the Magic
Kingdom, we would arrive at 8am and pretty much have enjoyed all of Fantasyland
at a leisurely pace by nine. Interestingly enough, guests would still be
arriving just before what would have been the “regular” opening time and after! By lunchtime, there was a noticeable
increase in the crowd level but – no matter! After lunch we were out of there!
well for several years until…
Magic Hours schedule changed! No longer did the parks taking
turns opening one hour early. Now there was this mish-mosh of one park
opening an hour early one day, and the following day another park would stay open
three hours later. Well, naturally the evening EMHs worked
well for folks who like to sleep in, but we found that the benefit of the additional
hours was cancelled out by the huge
increase in the crowd level. (Evening Extra Magic Hours are understandably popular!)
staying out late the night before, added to the fact that our children had
aged-out of afternoon naps, often made it difficult to get everyone up and out the door for rope-drop the following morning. Soon
we discovered that we had better luck avoiding the EMH parks!
So, here is
where the controversy comes in: are EMH parks always the place to head when you
want to get the most for your Disney dollar?
The answer is really a both a yes and a no.
traveling with young kids I’d say, yes. Definitely hit the early morning EMH Park,
but plan to high-tail it out of there after lunch. If you have teens then
perhaps you can entice them to getting up each morning by promising a “sleep-in”
morning somewhere in the middle of the trip, followed by a visit to the park
with evening EMHs. If you’re travelling without kids then you have more
family, it is important to avoid crowds because of my son’s sensory issues
related to his autism. We find that “reverse
psychology” works best. Most resort guests will instinctively head for the EMH Park,
so that is the one we avoid.
As with most
things in Life, there isn’t one clear-cut solution to fit everyone’s needs. So
I say, play with it. Do some experimentation of your own and find out what
works best for you and your travel party!
The Many Adventures of a Disney-Lovin’ Spectrum Mom is not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company or Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates. All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to Disney Enterprises, Inc., its subsidiary, affiliated and related companies, as the case may be. For the official Disney website, visit disneyparks.disney.go.com