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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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
- TPG’s Ultimate Guide to Disney World
- How to Get Disney Benefits at Bargain Prices at Disney Springs Hotels
- The Best Points Hotels Near Disney World in 2018
- The Best Restaurants in Disney World in 2019
- How to Save Money Buying Discounted Disney Gift Cards
- How to Potentially Get More Than Half-Off at Walt Disney World Hotels
- How to Use Points for Disney Tickets
- Price Bridging: A Way to Save Money on Disney World Annual Passes
- 6 Things to Know About Disney World’s Minnie Vans
- The Top 5 Tips for Disney World First-Timers
- When are Disney World Monorail Resorts Worth the Price?
- What Happens at Disney World the Day After Halloween
- Monorail to Mickey: A Review of Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Magic on a Budget: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort in Orlando, Florida
- Like, Totally Tubular: Disney’s Pop Century Resort in Orlando, Florida
Featured photo courtesy of Summer Hull
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