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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Walt Disney World is adding another reason to stay at a Disney World Resort hotel this fall. Between Sept. 1 and Nov. 2, 2019, not only will you receive your typical Extra Magic Hours, but you’ll have access to even more of them than usual. They call it extra – Extra Magic Hours.

Typically, Extra Magic Hours allow your family to enter the park as early as 7am or 8am — depending on the time of year, day of the week and the particular park, or sometimes it means you can stay until as late as 12am or even 2am. With this special extra bonus coming this fall, you’ll actually be able to enter the three parks even earlier every single day of the week — starting as early as 6am. Not all rides will be open during those extra opening hours, but you’ll be able to experience many of them before the rest of the parkgoers even walk through the turnstiles later in the morning.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World / photographer Ryan Wendler)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World / photographer Ryan Wendler)

Here are the “extra” Extra Magic Hours for this fall:

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios — including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land attractions and more — from 6am to 9am daily (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity controls and open to the public on Aug. 29 at Walt Disney World)
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom — including Pandora – The World of Avatar and other attractions throughout the park — from 7am to 9am daily
  • Magic Kingdom — including favorites in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland — from 7am to 8am daily

Related: Best Credit Cards for Theme Parks

(Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
(Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Staying at a Disney World Resort hotel (or at least one with Disney perks) means you get free access to Early Magic Hours and you don’t have to necessarily spend the extra $79 to receive Early Morning Magic access at Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom or Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios. (Note: Early Morning Magic is different from Extra Magic Hours. Guests pay a per person fee to get into the park before opening hours and the package includes breakfast.)

Of course, the parks will be more crowded during those wee hours of the morning during (extra) Extra Magic Hours than the paid events. If you are feeling crazy, you can use the extra morning hours to try and ride every Disney World ride in just one day.

Eligible Disney World Resort Properties

This extra-extra benefit is available to those staying at all Walt Disney Resort hotels, Disney Spring Resort Area Hotels as well as Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Shades of Green Resort, Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

If you are looking to use points from any of the major loyalty programs, there are many participating properties.

Marriott Bonvoy Points

Use your Marriott points to stay at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. Both properties cost 50,000 points a night or you can use your annual free night certificate that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.

Families can use the annual night award that comes with the SPG Luxury Amex at the Disney Swan or Dolphin (image courtesy of hotel)
(Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel)

Hilton Honors Points

Use your Hilton Honor points to stay for free at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Waldorf Astoria Orlando, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace and Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Between the five hotels, the number of points required for a free night stay range anywhere from 29,0000 to 80,000 points a night, depending on the date and location. If you are staying at a Hilton property on an upcoming stay, make sure to have the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card as it will give you automatic Gold status. This status will give you your fifth night free on point reservations as well as complimentary breakfast.

Photo courtesy of Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
(Photo courtesy of Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace)

IHG Rewards Club Points

Use your IHG Rewards Club points to stay for free at the Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs Area. This property costs 40,000 points per night which means you can use your free night certificate that comes with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (certificate is capped at hotels costing 40k points or less).

The dining area of the Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs® Area (Lake Buena Vista, FL). (Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs® Area)
The dining area of the Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs Area. (Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs® Area)

Wyndham Rewards Points

Use your Wyndham Rewards points to stay for free at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista. The Wyndham Garden costs half the number of points at just 15,000 points a night and is our suggestion if you are looking to redeem your points.

Photo courtesy of Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs
Photo courtesy of Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs

Best Western Rewards

Use your Best Western Rewards to stay for free at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista. This property requires 20,000 points for a free night award.

(Photo courtesy of the Best Western Lake Buena Vista)
(Photo courtesy of the Best Western Lake Buena Vista)

All Other Properties

At all other Disney World Resort hotels, you can always use your Citi ThankYou points to book via the Citi travel site or use your Capital One Venture card and then utilize Capital One Miles to erase your stay.

Bottom Line

This is a great way to reduce your wait time and ensure you are able to see all of the rides at your desired WDW park. While there are many other benefits of staying at a true Disney World Resort property, such as FastPass+ ride reservations 60 days out and complimentary access to Disney’s Magical Express Bus (airport bus not included for resorts where you can use hotel points), this is definitely a huge perk to not miss.

Your family will have to wake up very early, but you can go take an afternoon nap when lines and temps are heating up (and when the afternoon showers come into play). With extra Extra Magic Hours, my family’s strategy would include being at the park from a bit before early access opens, get in as many rides as possible during the extra hours, take a siesta midday at the hotel and then head back to the park later when the lines and temperatures dwindle down again.

Learn more about planning a Disney World vacation

Jennifer Yellin covers family travel deals for TPG and blogs at Deals We Like. Follow her family’s adventures on Twitter and Instagram

Featured photo courtesy of Summer Hull

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