Understanding EMH, Extra Magic Hours, at Walt Disney World

4 theme parks 1
4 theme parks 1


Understanding EMH, Extra Magic Hours, at Walt Disney World

I am gearing up to make my Fastpass+ selections for my trip soon, but I became very confused.  What in the Walt Disney World does Extra Magic Hours and Early Morning Magic mean?  Better question, why do these two terms affect me in my plan-making?  Simple answer, they both give you extra time in the parks!

EMM stands for Early Morning Magic and EMH stands for Extra Magic Hours, yet they are two totally different experiences for guests! Let’s dig into the specifics of Extra Magic Hours.  You can find the benefits of EMM here.

Extra Magic Hours is a perk for guests staying at the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, the Swan, the Dolphin, Shades of Green, the seven Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels and the two Bonnet Creek Resort area Hotels.  The best thing about EMH is it is FREE to guests staying on property!  On selected days of the week, Disney resort guests will be able to enter a Disney theme park 1 hour earlier or stay in a selected theme park about 2 hours later than the official park-operating hours.

In order to take advantage of this perk, guests must have a valid admission ticket or MagicBand wristband.  Guests taking part in EMM and EMH are required to show their Disney resort ID or MagicBand scanned when entering the park offering EMM and EMH.

Morning Extra Magic Hours are offered at all four theme parks throughout the year at Disney’s discretion. Several days of the week, guests staying at the resorts listed above are invited to enter a designated theme park 1 hour before the general public. During this hour, guests can enjoy selected attractions opened early just for them.  During EMH, the Magic Kingdom has the most attractions available during this time, with seven attractions in Fantasyland available.  In contrast, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the fewest rides overall available.   During holiday periods and summer, when Disney hotels are full, getting in early makes a tremendous difference in crowds at the designated park.  Often times during the busy season parks can be at capacity by 10:00 am making EMH extremely valuable.  We suggest arriving at the gate 3o minutes before EMH opening in order to take full advantage.

Extra Magic Hours in the evening are a bit different.  Guests will be asked to show your Disney resort ID or MagicBand to experience rides or attractions.  On specified nights for about 2 hours after a select park closes to the general public can take advantage of EMH.  Evening Extra Magic Hours are offered at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Evening EMH sessions are more popular to guests for several reasons, which causes them to be more crowded.   Guests taking part in evening EMH will find the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios to be more crowded than Epcot.  Reports show evening EMH crowds can be just as large as those throughout the day and still show long lines for attractions.   However, a plus to evening EMH is there are more attractions operating during evening EMHs than during the morning, plus, certain fast-food and full-service restaurants remain open as well.

Given all of that, I definitely will be taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours during our trips!  How about you?

Understanding EMH, Extra Magic Hours, at Walt Disney World 1

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Jessica Jones


  1. EMH evenings are almost non-existing with the “new greedy” PAY extra for night time access. And people still go….amazing !!

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