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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is Walt Disney World's new MyMagic+ a Extra Magic Hours Killer?

The wristband that on-site & AP guest will now use
By Ken Storey

Extra Magic Hours, those extra hours giving to Walt Disney World on-site overnight guests, seem to have been cut back over the summer months. The summers are typically one of the busiest times of year for the theme parks but this summer Magic Kingdom will not have any extra magic hours on Fridays. The park though will stay open an hour longer than usual, till 11p now, on Fridays. The only park that will feature any Friday Extra Magic Hours will be EPCOT from 8a till 9a. The Extra Magic Hours have been slowly cut back across the resort over the past few years.

Some point to the new RFID based MyMagic+ program as a potential Extra Magic Hours killer. The reason being that MyMagic+ can allow guest to virtually guarantee visits to the most popular attractions. Extra Magic Hours was a way to provide on-site guest extra time in the parks on the busiest days, due in part to the long lines and crowded areas that plague these busy days. The new program aims to eliminate these problems leading some to say the need for Extra Magic Hours just isn’t there anymore.

The MyMagic+ bands that all on-site guest will receive (day guest will receive a card but can ‘upgrade’ to the wrist band if they so wish) will allow for and link theme park entrance, FASTPASS+, interactive attractions such as Test Track, room charging, PhotoPass, and hotel room entry. The system, which cost between an estimated $800million and $1 billion, should help spread out crowds more evenly across the resort and cut down on the long lines that some rides now are overwhelmed with. While the program will take several months to roll out it should be in place for most guest by the end of May when the extra magic hours have been cut back. Extra Magic Hours are still listed for Magic Kingdom’s Sunday evenings and Thursday mornings over the summer. (For the best calendar of when EMH are happening WDisneySecrets.com has an excellent calendar, much easier to use than the official Disney Parks calendar.)

Will this cause you to now question staying at a Walt Disney World resort? Was Extra Magic Hours ever part of your vacation planning?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only reason we stay on site is extra magic hours. Our reason has less to do with lines and more to do with how HOT it is in July in Florida.