Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort for your Disney vacation has some perks to making your trip more magical. I recently had the opportunity to take advantage of one of their newer incentives for staying on property.
In addition to early admission 30-minutes prior to opening for resort guests, Disney recently announced Extended Evening Theme Park Hours for Deluxe Resort guests. On select dates, guests who are staying at a Deluxe Resort or Villa, including the Walt Disney World Dolphin, Swan or Reserve, and Shades of Green, a resort for military personnel, are eligible for two extra hours in Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
This trip we stayed at the Boardwalk Villas, one of the Epcot Resorts so we had easy access to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival, one of our favorite events this time of year.
This stay granted us access to bonus hours with reduced attendance at Magic Kingdom from 9 to 11 p.m.
Disney’s Enchantment, the newest evening fireworks show began at 8 p.m. and shortly after it ended, many guests started exiting Magic Kingdom. I thought this was a perfect time to get in line and get our photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle adorned with its 50th Anniversary décor before the PhotoPass photographers called it a night.
After waiting way too long for that magical shot, we headed to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a family favorite. We practically walked right on. From there we went right across to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train advertising a 35-minute wait. The actual wait time was just under 20 minutes.
We walked on an empty Prince Charming’s Carousel, then we were off to Neverland as we entered the line for Peter Pan. This was close to 15 minutes. We decided to make our way to Haunted Mansion which had a 5 min wait. By now, it was about 10:30 p.m. and we headed to Tomorrow Land to walk on Buzz Light Year and get in line for Space Mountain which advertised a 10-minute wait. I‘d guess this was closer to 5 minutes. By the time we finished it was just before 11 p.m., and unfortunately didn’t have time to get in line for another ride.
Overall we were pleased with what we were able to accomplish in less than two hours. The lines were comparable to some of the after-hours events we’ve attended like the Disney Villains After Hours and more recently the Boo Bash. Those are separately ticketed events, typically for few hours with added treats (like unlimited Mickey Bars, popcorn and bottled beverages) although you are traditionally able to get in a couple hours before the event begins and the other guests leave the park.
I feel like anytime you can roam Magic Kingdom at a reduced capacity is a bonus. We enjoyed these extra two hours to ride more attractions.
There are other advantages to staying at Disney’s Deluxe Resorts. They are usually located closest to the theme parks, typically offer additional transportation options, and have multiple dining options including table service and food courts. If the cost of spending several days at a Deluxe Resort is a deterrent, consider a split stay in which you stay 4 or 5 days at a Value or Moderate category resort and then move to a Deluxe Resort for 2 to 3 days. It’s a great way to see more of what Disney has to offer.
For more information about the Extended Evening Hours or to preview upcoming dates, visit: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/extended-evening/
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