Mar 112015

When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! – Jiminy Cricket


Q. We will be arriving at WDW April 2 for Spring Break. We are staying on-site for our first night, then leaving and staying off-site for the next 6 nights. We have already received incentives (MagicBand) for at least staying on-site for the one night, however, is Walt Disney World going to let us partake in the Extra Magic Hours? Because technically, we will be off-site the actual day we are going to Magic Kingdom. (Submitted by Maegan D.)


A. Hi Maegan!

Ah…the rules of what can happen and can’t happen with a MagicBand can be very confusing. I absolutely get that!

So, here’s how things will work for you with Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours are actually tied to your resort stay, not your MagicBand. So while you’ve been giving a free MagicBand to use during your stay and your MagicBand will be able to be used to gain entry into the park, the system at the turnstiles will have the data that shows how many days you are staying on property. This means that you’ll have access to Extra Magic Hours for only the one night you are staying on-site. If you tried to use your MagicBand on that day, the turnstiles will glow green and you’ll be able to gain entry.

The bad news is that once you check out of your on-site hotel, you’ll lose your privileges for Extra Magic Hours. If you tried to enter a park with your MagicBand on one of the days when you are staying off-site, you’ll be met with a blue Mickey at the turnstiles and the Cast Member will see that you will not be able to enter the park.

MagicBands certainly add a sense of confusion to what we’ve always known has been. Things were more cut and dry with a Key to the World card…they were issued with the dates they were valid and that was that. Unfortunately, there is no date imprinted on a MagicBand because they can be reused, so while a MagicBand is considered to be a Key to the World, they also have other perks that aren’t tied to a resort stay. I know the rules of how things work are certainly blurry, but I really do hope this helped explain things just a bit better!

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  2 Responses to “Give a Little Whistle – Tackling Your Disney Dilemmas – 3/12/15”

  1. While this answer addresses park access on days with Extra Magic Hours, it fails to address access to RIDES during late Extra Magic Hours — if you happen to already be in the park when Extra Magic Hours start, will you still be able to ride the rides? With the old Key to the World cards, you could stay in the park, but they would check the dates on the card to see if you were eligible to ride the rides at each of the rides during Extra Magic Hours (& that applied to Cast Members, as well). However, I don’t know if you have to use your band at every ride if you don’t have Fast Pass+ because I normally don’t ride any rides that I don’t have a Fast Pass+ for because I hate standing in line.

    • Hi Eric!

      So, if there are evening Extra Magic Hours and you are standing in a line as the clock strikes closing time for day guests, you will be able to ride the attraction. IF you are not standing in line as the park closes to day guests and you want to ride an attraction, your MagicBand will be scanned at the touch points and if you are staying on-site and your park tickets are connected to your reservation, you will be granted admission–a green Mickey. If you are not staying on-site, you will not be permitted to ride–a blue Mickey.

      In addition, FastPass+ reservations cannot be made during either morning or evening Extra Magic Hours, so you would be standing in a standby line during Extra Magic Hours.

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