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Interesting post about EMH's

New Windsor, NY
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Interesting post about EMH's

What is the Effect of Extra Magic Hours Have on the Parks?

A lot of people go to Disney World with very little knowledge about how to tour efficiently or what to expect from the various attractions, rides, restaurants, and such. However, one thing just about every person staying on Disney property knows about is Extra Magic Hours. It’s one of the biggest selling points of staying on Disney property and just about every travel agent uses Extra Magic Hours to convince people that a Disney vacation package is right for them. On the surface it makes a lot of sense. You’ll hear promises of “zero waits,” “private access” and “exclusive time in the Parks.” The truth of the matter is that there are about 25,000 rooms on Disney property under the ownership of the Walt Disney Company, plus the Swan, Dolphin, and Hilton hotels, which add another 3,000 rooms or so. In total, about 28,000 rooms have access to Extra Magic Hours on any given day. If we assume there’s an average of three people per room, that’s at least 85,000 people with the same “private access” to the attractions during Extra Magic Hours. While not every Disney resort guest goes to the Park with Extra Magic Hours each day, a lot of them do because they think that it’s Disney’s way of telling them where they belong. The additional crowds lengthen the wait times at the rides and attractions throughout the day and actually make the Park with Extra Magic Hours more crowded than it would be on a day without Extra Magic Hours.

Disney is very good about keeping the occupancy rate at its resorts high. Over the last four quarters, Disney resort occupancy has hovered between 80% and 82%. If occupancy is down, Disney offers discounts to fill the rooms. In other words, when the crowd calendar lists a 7 or higher as the overall crowd level, the crowds are coming from outside of Disney World. On-site occupancy is relatively stable throughout the year. Since only people staying at Disney-owned resorts, Swan, Dolphin, Shades of Green, and the Downtown Disney Hilton can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, there are always about 68,000 people (assuming three people per room and 80% occupancy) that can take “take advantage” of them, even if the overall crowd level is rated at just a two or three.

The fact that the Disney resort crowd level is similar throughout the year causes Extra Magic Hours’ crowds to be substantial during the entire year. Because the Park hours are usually shorter during slower times of the year, Extra Magic Hours remain popular because Disney resort guests will feel like going to the Park with the longest hours is the “best bang for their buck.” It seems like going to Hollywood Studios when it’s open from 9am to 11pm (8pm to 11pm with Extra Magic Hours) makes a lot more sense than going when it closes at 8pm to everyone. However, as I will explain below, the additional crowds often lead to longer lines and a less ideal touring experience.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

I've had mixed results from EMH (always the evening option; we are lazy on vacation). On my last trip evening EMH at DHS allowed us to ride TSM with only a few minutes wait, but evening EMH still had 30 minute waits for Soarin' at Epcot at almost 11:30 PM.

Recently I was trying Touring Plans' customize-your-plan tool, and saw that the wait for soarin would be shorter during regular hours, even with an hours-after-rope-drop entry, than at 11 PM during EMH. This really surprised me, but your post makes it make much more sense.

The on-site resorts great theming and service will keep me coming back, even if some of the other benefits aren't as great as they sound.

thanks for posting

pa
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2. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

Look forward to hearing the rest

Our Experience is quite Swell, we Do enjoy lower crowds and short wait times and I highly recomend evening extra Magic Hours ( experienced based on visiting the Parks every month with the exception of July, several times a year, for the Past 40 years, of course there haven't been extra magic hours for 40 years, they weren't always offered, weren't even needed once upon a time )

Athens, GA
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3. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

I have had mixed results with Extra Magic. If Magic Kingdom has EMH until very late, like 1AM or later, it is usually pretty quiet in that last hour to 2 hours, especially after the last fireworks show (we even experienced this just before Christmas when the crowds were horrendous, but it was open unti 2AM). We have ridden Splash Mtn 3 times in a row without exiting late! Epcot EMH, since it only goes to 12 and has a limited number of rides, has not been great for us. We couldn't get on Test Track without a 1.5 hr wait, even during EMH.

We tend to avoid EMH, except for late night at MK. There is just something so great about being in the park that late when it is near empty!

Manchester N.H.
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4. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

Totally agree with Towniemel...Late night at Magic Kingdom is so much fun,as long as you're not super tired. I don't know why,but it feels like a totally different place,when it's quiet,and "late late." It's a really good time to ride Haunted Mansion,and POC!!

Go for it,if you can!

Horsham, United...
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5. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

moose, can't sleep eh??? or just got in from a night on the tiles???

NJ
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6. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

We do like the morning hour. We are always able to get in a bunch of rides in that hour or ride the same ride several times. We are not late night people, so we really don't use the late hours.

Elk Grove Village...
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7. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

I agree wholeheartedly with the premise that the parks with Extra Magic Hours are more crowded during the day. However, we have had very good experiences during the EMH themselves. We have found that wait times are lower, typically MUCH lower than they are during the day. During our last experience at the night time EMH at Magic Kingdom, we averaged more than 5 rides per hour during the 3 hours of EMH.

This is part of the reason why we always add the Park Hopper option to our tickets. That allows us to enjoy the reduced crowds of the EMH themselves but to spend the rest of the day at a park without the added crowds during the rest of the day day that come along with the park having EMH.

Manchester N.H.
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8. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

Hiya USLovers~~~~~~~~no tiles last nite,but did have 3 cups of tea. (Loose leaf,cuz I'm living on the edge) tee hee hee ;+)

Speaking of tea.,and especially for you U.K. Disney visitors. If you're visiting Animal Kingdom,you might want to stop at the "Tea Company." You'll get a nice strong cup. ((Moose likes the way she "saved" the post.))

wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/diningdetail.cfm…

Edited: 08 March 2012, 16:19
pa
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9. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

I Love the Tea Company

Hi ya moose :)

Fort Worth
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10. Re: Interesting post about EMH's

We love both morning & evening EMH! Agree with Gleece; it's all about the "park hopper". Doesn't matter to us if all 85,000 eligible guests show up, for EMH. It's still far fewer guests, than the parks hold. As we tend to travel during the busy seasons, there is a huge decrease in crowds, once the off-site guests have departed.

Those were the days, PartyPa! I remember them well!