Extra Magic Hours discontinued and will be replaced by Early Theme Park Entry

Jan 11, 2021 in "Extra Magic Hours"

Posted: Monday January 11, 2021 12:14pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today announced that it will discontinue Extra Magic Hours to be replaced with Early Theme Park Entry.

Debuting later in 2021, Early Theme Park Entry will give Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests 30 minutes early access to any theme park, every day. In a statement Disney said that the change will allow a better spread of visitation across all four theme parks and will give guests better flexibility.

At its peak, Extra Magic Hours offered 3 hours of extended operating hours in the evening after regular park close, and an hour in the morning before park opening. However, the option was restricted to a specific theme park on a specific day. Extra Magic Hours were suspended along with the COVID-19 shutdown, and did not resume when the parks reopened in July 2020.

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Kobe!!25 days ago

Bus drivers or bust!

Queen of the WDW Scene25 days ago

The CM's online and over the pone are notorious for knowing nothing. I would go by what Disney officially puts out.

Weather_Lady25 days ago

I was "chatting" (via the Disney website chat feature) with a CM about some questions for our planned August 2021 trip, and asked if the "Early Park Entry" perk (initially touted in January of this year as coming "soon," but now described by the Disney website as arriving, "later this year as part of The World's Most Magical Celebration," to wit, October 1, 2021 and the 15 months thereafter) would possibly have begun by the time we travel. The CM said they'd been told in no uncertain terms that it would not be introduced until sometime in 2022. Should I put any stock in this whatsoever, or are the website CMs simply the online equivalent of a chatty bus driver? While I wouldn't usually give much thought to small policy changes, this factor may well make the difference between my family keeping our onsite booking or changing to an offsite stay, so I'm particularly interested in divining the answer ahead of time, inasmuch as it's possible to do so. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resort-hotels-benefits/#/drawer=drawerMoreParkTime

havoc315Mar 15, 2021

Well, then we should know pretty soon. Summer "special offer rates" are usually released between March and early April. People would be expected to book their summer plans starting now. And considering it takes several weeks to re-launch any hotel and/or entertainment.. We would expect to see the resort re-openings announced no later than early April (right after Easter perhaps).

MansionButler84Mar 15, 2021

I can’t see them turning guests away. I suspect they will accelerate resort reopening and add more to the parks if bookings increase.

havoc315Mar 15, 2021

Considering that in normal operation, on an average day, they are operating with about 60% attendance.... They likely would rarely have to turn anyone away from any park at that level over the summer. But the real issue is whether they will quickly enough staff back up to be able to manage that level. They can go three ways at this point for the summer: 1. Go to a 60% capacity or so, which is really normal summer operations. Bring back staff, especially entertainment, so you can actually operate at a normal level. 2. Go to 50-60% capacity... but keep a lid on staff. Contain costs until 10/1.. making for long lines and pretty miserable summer touring. 3. Only increase capacity very slowly.... 40% by memorial day... 50% by July 4th, 60% by September 1st.... and slowly staff up.

pdude81Mar 15, 2021

This assumes they continue the mask required policy at WDW (study was based on all students/teachers wearing masks). But 3ft instead of 6 would have a big impact on capacities.

MansionButler84Mar 15, 2021

At 3 feet, they could likely reintroduce most of their entertainment and double capacity. At 65 or 70% capacity, they’d basically never turn anyone away since internationally travelers will be excluded for much longer. Only having Americans visiting will never reach 70% of NYE capacity. I suspect we will see dramatic changes in how the parks are managed this summer.

havoc315Mar 15, 2021

It would enable immediate and dramatic changes at WDW... though whether they have the staffing (and spend the money to bring back staff) for it is another question. Not only would it mean queues that no longer need to stretch around the whole park, it would eliminate any reason against most fireworks, Fantasmic, entertainment etc. (Not hard to seat around the Fantasmic stadium with 3 feet between families. Just seat every other row, and 2 empty seats between families... same goes for all entertainment).

dreday3Mar 15, 2021

Well of course it doesn't make sense. But doesn't meant they couldn't try. So they won't, question answered.

MansionButler84Mar 15, 2021

Do you really think they can say, “3 feet is safe for your children but not you”? That doesn’t make any damn sense. Kids and teachers/staff can be 3 feet apart for 7 hours inside a building but must be 6 feet apart at the beach? They will use this in their continuing battle with teachers unions to get schools open (the current goal) before they can guarantee all teachers are vaccinated, but rules for schools can’t only apply to schools unless the CDC wants to be viewed as politically-motivated rather than science-based.

drizgirlMar 15, 2021

Funny how that works.

dreday3Mar 15, 2021

I'm just confused if they are going to announce 3ft for schools only, or 3ft for all!

MansionButler84Mar 15, 2021

And, like clockwork, Fauci announced that he‘s now aware that 3 feet is as good as 6 feet and is in daily talks with the CDC director. Here is the study they’ll use: https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciab230/6167856 It was completed in Massachusetts so we know we can trust it.