Thursday, July 24, 2014

Disneyland Extra Magic Hour

On Walt Disney World Vacations, I always recommend taking advantage of the Morning Extra Magic Hours - especially for families with young children that tend to rise early anyway!  Those first hours when the crowds are minimal make touring much more pleasurable and it's usually possible to ride 4 or 5 attractions before the park opens to everyone else!  But, Disneyland's hours were slightly different...

Disneyland Extra Magic Hours

What Is Extra Magic Hour?

With Extra Magic Hour, an early admission option, registered Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests enjoy—during every day of hotel stay—admission to select attractions, stores, entertainment and dining locations in Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park for one full hour before the parks open to the general public on select days.

To enhance the early entry experience, it is strongly recommended that Guests arrive at least one hour and 15 minutes prior to regular park opening.

Be Our Guest 

Extra Magic Hour is one of the many benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel and is only available for Guests who book and stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel.

Schedule for Extra Magic Hour

The current Extra Magic Hour schedule allows registered Resort Hotel Guests access to one park on these select days:

Disneyland Park: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Disney California Adventure Park (including access to Cars Land): Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

Good Neighbor Hotels Magic Morning Early Access

Receive one Magic Morning* early admission into selected attractions at a designated theme park. Valid with Disneyland Resort Park Hopper souvenir tickets of 3-Days or longer.  Only for Disneyland Park mornings.

Know Before You Go

For admission, each registered hotel Guest (ages 3 and older) must have a valid theme park ticket and active hotel room key card.

Applicable days and times of operation and all other elements including, but not limited to, operation of attractions, entertainment, stores and restaurants and appearances of Characters may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Subject to capacity, cancellation and other restrictions.

Disneyland Extra Magic Hours - are they necessary?

When I was there, we took advantage of the morning hours because we could.  We stayed at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel with easy walking access to both Disneyland and California Adventure.  But, unlike Walt Disney World, I don't think they are a must!

Our first day - 

We started around 9:30 am, after checking into our hotel, grabbing a green juice (there is a Jamba Juice right outside of the Grand Californian in Downtown Disney).  We used our optimized Touring Plan to guide us from attraction to attraction and did just about everything on our plan by around 3:30 p.m.!  

Our second day -

We read the sign wrong and woke up early to visit California Adventure early to find that it was Disneyland that had the extra magic hour again that day.  So, we mosied around Main Street, U.S.A. to find that the stores were closed (talk about not being at Walt Disney World!).  We took tons of pictures (all of the Windows - that series will be coming back soon!) and left the park to start the 8 a.m. day at California Adventure to be among the first in Carsland!

Our third day -

We started our day with the morning extra magic hour for California Adventure and headed, with everyone else, to Carsland.  And Radiator Springs Racers was closed.  The fastpass machines don't open until actual park opening...  we didn't know what to do with ourselves!  So, we shopped and bought our boys presents from Radiator Springs.  The attraction was down for hours - and we ended up going back to Disneyland before the fastpasses were being handed out!

My conclusion?

Sleep in, take advantage of a nice breakfast or morning exercise class (Grand Californian offers a morning power walk thru California Adventure select mornings), and don't rush!  Disneyland is a much more laid back park.  Crowded thanks to the locals, but without the insane wait times (aside from Radiator Springs Racers) that you will find on crowded days in Florida!

Do you use extra magic hours?  Do you prefer morning or evening?  Email me at for more personalized planning advice and free travel planning!

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