Evening Extra Magic Hours Reduced in 2013

by on July 21, 2012 25 Comments

Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL)

The Evening Extra Magic Hours benefit for guests staying in Walt Disney World Resort hotels will be reduced from 3 hours at night to 2 hours at night beginning in January 2013. Confirmation comes from Walt Disney World’s website, which was updated to state the following about Extra Magic Hours: “Each day, one of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks opens one hour early or remains open up to 2 hours after regular closing time. Additionally, Disney Water Parks offer Extra Magic Hours during select times of year.”

This follows the removal of evening Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in February 2011, in favor of added morning Extra Magic Hours. No word yet on what, if anything, will be added to the guest experience in place of the cut Extra Magic Hours. Whether normal operating hours are extended to offset the decrease in Extra Magic Hours remains to be seen (and given the fluid nature of park hours it likely won’t be a question we can answer for months), but it appears likely at least for the Magic Kingdom. If this offset occurs it will benefit non-Disney hotel guests most.

This cut in benefits to on-site resort guests follows recent increases in Disney Dining Plan prices for 2013 and Walt Disney World Resort hotel price increases for 2013.

Posted on July 21, 2012

25 Responses to “Evening Extra Magic Hours Reduced in 2013”

  • Well doesn’t that suck. I’m glad we booked a 2012 trip instead of 2013 as we were originally planning. Sounds like Disney is taking more, more, more and giving the guests less. One of the reasons I liked staying on property was for the late EMH since I am a nightowl not an earlybird. Off site resort/hotels may be a more attracive option for future trips.

    • We also planned a Nov. 2012 trip and am glad to be able to take advantage of the evening EMH. January is our usual time, but glad it isn’t this year. Looks like staying off property is the better option now for us also!!

    • Exactly. One more reason to consider staying off property.

  • As someone who goes often, but does not stay on-site, I think this will overall not affect me, or even be beneficial. Look forward to the further analysis of how this should modify the planning and if the regular hours do increase…

  • From the Stats Team:

    Extra Magic Hour evenings have never been a large source of variability for attraction wait times. That is, the three hours of EMH evening look a lot like the last three hours of a normal day when it comes to wait times. So, we don’t expect a significant change to predictions for wait times for an Evening Extra Magic hour that lasts only 2 hours.

  • I am really upset about this. We have to go in the summer bc of my work schedule and rope drop + nap + Evening EMH is our touring plan. Im tired of it. What is the best way to reach Disney on this outrage anyway?

  • As a person who vacations in Disney yearly, this will drive me away.

    With this and X Pass, I think Disney is almost trying to drive people away.

    Who wants to plan what day and what time they want to go on an attraction six months out of vacation?

  • I’d rather have them reduce services than increase hotel, tickets and food again. This one won’t really affect me, so I’m ok with it. Sorry for the people it will affect.

  • Will you be updating recommended days in January as a result of the changes? The EMH days got switched around a bit also, didn’t they?

    • by David Davies on July 22, 2012, at 1:45 pm EST

      As Fred notes above, Evening Extra Magic Hours have historically not impacted wait times significantly, so the crowd calendar will probably not be impacted from this duration change.

      However, January 2013 is 6 months away, and Disney has not released EMH schedules for that month via any of the reliable channels we use. If the EMH dates or hours change, the crowd levels and park recommendations may change; that’s not an unusual thing when we’re making predictions this far out.

      Use the Crowd Tracker (http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/crowd-tracker) to be notified about changes for dates that concern you.

      • Thanks, I already have my days tracked on the Crowd Tracker! The January EMH hours are up on the Disney website calendar, but I think they are different from what the typical EMH pattern has been in the past (not the reduced hours, the actual days of the week), which is why I asked if there were going to be changes to the daily parks recommendations.

  • The last hour of EMH’s were the most magical. Just another sign that management is after the bottom line, no matter how much it degrades the guest experience.

  • Not very happy with this. They cut hours and increase park tix. Just another way for Disney to make more money. Take, Take, Take!!Like someone said earlier, maybe Disney IS trying to cut down on the crowds!!

  • Reminds me of the old story about how to boil a frog: Put it in a pot at room temperature, then raise the heat just a little at a time. The frog doesn’t know what hit it.

    That’s what WDW did with the DDP: in 07 the regular plan was $39.99/day with appetizer and tip. Then they took away the app + tip, but lowered the price. But never fear, they’ve jacked it up now to where next year it will be about $56.00/day.

    They’re doing the same with EMH. First they took away character greets. No big deal, right? Then they reduced monorail transportation. Now they’re reducing evening EMH by 33%.

    Can’t wait to see what cut comes next. BTW, the frog in that pot isn’t looking too good.

    • Agree 100%. I emailed Disney and complained. This is the first time I have felt compelled to do so, but seriously, is nobody expected to notice how much Disney has constantly been taking away from the guest experience, and instead raising cost levels? It’s greed in it’s worst form. It’s beginning to make WDW look less and less like the best vacation destination, and making “that other theme park giant” look more inviting. 🙁

  • Another way to look at it is with payroll. They could potentially shave off an hour of payroll per closing cast member per night and either use that money elsewhere in the budget, OR giving cast members the same hours, but start an hour earlier during the day allowing some extra coverage during park hours. OR cast members could use that extra hour after close to work on maintenance.

  • This really stinks. I just hope maybe they’ll keep the parks (esp MK and DHS) open an extra hour for general admission to keep the hours the same.

    And I disagree that the last hour of EEMH are slow. Everytime I’ve been to MK around 1am-3am, it’s been packed! Last spring break at 2:30am wait times were still 30-45 mins for the E tickets!

  • by Just some guy on July 23, 2012, at 11:16 pm EST

    I find it fascinating how with every price increase or change to some level of service there are so many posts from the outraged who will never go to Disney again!…and each year I see the attendance estimates and the numbers are always higher than the previous year. Likewise, this particular website’s traffic has increased tremendously.
    Someone’s still going to Walt Disney World. Someone’s still having a great time. 😉

    • I don’t think anyone is saying that it isn’t still a great resort. But it’s very evident that they are beginning to slowly take things away from the guest experience that were once given so graciously. It is what used to set Disney apart from some of the others out there. Now, they are just sort of “blending in” with the masses in the theme park industry.

  • Doesn’t affect me; I’ve been priced completely out of Disney for years now. 🙂

  • I can see why people are upset, but I don’t feel like I will be personally affected very much by this. Whenever we have been at EMH at night, the parks are empty, so I can see why they are cutting it. It is fun to be at MK at 2am, but it really is a little extreme sometimes. I always feel badly for the cast members who have to work so late too! I hope they do extend the normal operating hours to compensate somewhat.

  • i think they more hours they are open it is more hours for the people to work which i am sure some are happy to get what they can right now.

  • I have taken my son every year and stayed at disney hotels for the last 5 years. since he was 4, he wanted to stay up (he didn’t make until he was 6) for the extra evening hours until 2 – 3 am. NO more now. we may go back but not at the these sp called benefits… shame, all good things come to an end, welcome to wallstreet disney.