If you are like me then you don’t get to go to Disneyland as often as you would like. That makes every precious hour that much more important. So what is an extra hour worth to your vacation? There are two types of added hours for guests to the Disneyland Resort.
Extra Magic Hours
Are you staying on site at one of the three Disneyland Resort Hotels (Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa) with admission to Disneyland? Then you have access to one of the best perks of the Disneyland repertoire: Extra Magic Hours.
For each day during your stay, you have access to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park (dependent upon the day of the week, see schedule below) for an additional hour in the morning. Basically, the parks open for hotel guests only, one hour early. This early hour grants you access to select attractions and entertainment, dining, and shopping. The park will seem almost empty as you and a few of the other hotel guests take advantage of this hour to hit those E-ticket attractions that normally have long lines. Attractions like Dumbo, Space Mountain, and Star Tours at Disneyland are often open and with lines less than 15 or 20 minute. Other attractions are walk on. Over at Disney California Adventure you can look forward to short lines on Soarin’, California Screaming, and Radiator Springs Racers, while other attractions are walk on.
How do you go about using this perk? It is very easy. Arrive at the park which will be participating in the Extra Magic Hour that day about an hour and 15 minutes before the scheduled park opening hour. So, if the park is scheduled to open at 9:00 a.m. to the general public, then you should arrive at the gates at about 7:45 a.m. To enter the park, you and each member of your party aged 3 years and older will need to present a valid theme park ticket and an activated Disney Resort Hotel room key card. Once you enter, you can walk down to the hub and explore the open attractions and other diversions.
So, which park is open on which days? (Keep in mind that things are subject to change.)
Disneyland Park: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Disney California Adventure Park: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
* Extra Magic Hour at Disneyland park is held at the same time as Magic Mornings (please see below).
So, you are staying off site, having selected one of the good neighbor hotels, other area hotels, or are staying in a vacation stay or with friends and family, fear not, you might be eligible for Magic Mornings.
Magic Mornings are an option for those guests of the Disneyland Resort who have valid tickets of three days or more (individual tickets of one or two days cannot be combined to participate in this perk). For each three day or more ticket, you will receive ONE magic morning entry to Disneyland Park. Like with the Extra Magic Hours, Magic Mornings allows you to enjoy select attractions, dining, shopping, and entertainment.
How do you go about using this perk? Arrive at Disneyland Park main gates about an hour and 15 minutes before the scheduled park opening hour. So, if the park is scheduled to open at 9:00 a.m. to the general public, then you should arrive at the gates at about 7:45 a.m. To enter the park, you and each member of your party aged 3 years and older will need to present a valid three day plus theme park ticket that has not used a Magic Morning before. You will then be able to enter the Disneyland Park and explore what the morning has to offer.
Disneyland is open for Magic Mornings every Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. (Subject to change.)
A word of advice: If you are planning on using your Magic Morning on a Saturday, you might want to hop over to Disney California Adventure at around 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. during peak times if you have purchased the park hopping option. Disneyland is often busiest on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in peak season and the park can become crowded from 11:00 a.m. until after the fireworks. Often Disney California Adventure is less busy on these days.
If your visit is a limited time experience, make sure that you take full advantage of the Disneyland Resort Early Admission offerings. I know that it is a highlight of my family’s time on our Disneyland vacations.
All the details in this article are accurate as of the time of its writing. Make sure to check the Disneyland Resort website (or ask at your hotel desk) for most up to date information.
What are your best tips for utilizing Extra Magic Hours or Magic Mornings? Share in the comments!