Diswithkids Disney Blog

Walt Disney World Hours and Extra Magic

[fa icon="calendar"] Tue, May 06, 2014 @ 09:26 AM / by Becca Bell

Becca Bell

 Walt Disney World HoursIf you are new to planning a Walt Disney World vacation there are a lot of things you may not be familiar with.  Once you have sorted out what a Base Ticket is verses a Park Hopper Ticket and about a zillion other options you will start to realize that there are even more details you need to navigate.  Don't worry, we're here to help!  If you have a question about park hours, Extra Magic Hours, Times Guide, or anything related to your "time" at Walt Disney World, just ask!

If your family is flying to Walt Disney World, make sure you know what time your flights depart and plan accordingly.  I have missed my flight because a family member got lost when returning the rental car.  Another time my loved one felt they needed to finish the dishes before we left for our trip.  The dishes can wait, your flight will not and if you miss it, you miss part of your vacation!  Utilize your alarm clock (and cell phone), allow for traffic jams, don't worry if you forgot something (you can buy it when you get there, unless it's a family member, don't forget them), and know where you are going if you have to return a car or catch a bus. Make sure you are checked in for your flight AT LEAST 1 hour prior to departure. If you are flying during peak travel times like the December Holidays or Spring Break, make that 2 hours prior to departure. Save time by getting your boarding passes online 24 hours prior to departure.  This includes your flight home too. Disney resort castmembers will help you with your return boarding passes and your magic express transportation time back to Orlando airport.

When we go over your dining reservations, fast pass picks, and touring plans we will let you know when the parks are open on the days of your vacation.  This will help you plan your time at the parks. We'll let you know when you should arrive for your dining reservations and how much time you should allow for traveling from your resort to the parks to the rides and so on.  On certain days certain parks offer Extra Magic Hours, but these hours are only available to guests who stay on Disney property in a Disney Resort only.  These hours are usually an hour prior to the parks normal opening in the morning or an extra hour or two after the parks closing in the evening.  Park hours do vary throughout the year, for example, the parks are open longer in the summer than they are in the winter.

Extra Magic Hours can be an important part of your vacation.  I always recommend taking advantage of the Extra Morning Hours if you are able to get your family up and out the door in time.  While other families are sleeping in or still getting ready you can take advantage of the parks not being as crowded as they will be when everyone is awake and allowed to enter.  Since you arrived early you may want to schedule a trip back to your resort for a quick nap in the middle of the afternoon.  Then head back at night to enjoy the Extra Evening Hours, again these hours are only available to guests who are staying on Disney property so the crowds do tend to thin out a bit during these hours. Extra morning and Evening hours vary between parks to make sure you have Park hopper passes if you plan visiting more than one park each day.

Each day you will find a Times Guide in the lobby of your resort and at the park entrances.  These guides inform you of the park hours, show times, parade times, and character greeting times.  You will even find a Times Guide with hours for all the parks (including the water parks), Downtown Disney Area, Miniature Golf, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Disney's Boardwalk Area.  These guides help you maximize your time in Disney. If you have questions, loose your schedule or need an update, you can always visit guest services in the park or stop by an information kiosk for the latest news.

There is so much to do with your "time" in Disney!  Stay on Disney property and utilize the Extra Magic Hours and for some additional magic ask cast members about character greetings that are not listed on the Times Guide!

Managing your time and planning your schedule will certainly help you get the most out of your family's Disney World Vacation.  We have tips, programs and apps to make life easy and help you get the most magic possible.  We can also save you LOTS of time by making your dining reservations in advance and baby sitting your reservation for any sales that you may qualify for, even after making your deposit.

Topics: Disney Vacations

Becca Bell

Written by Becca Bell

Mother of two, lover of all things Disney and family travel agent at Vacationkids.com. In her free time Becca can be found either running her kids to activities or running a marathon