One of my all time favorite things to do at Disney Parks has always been to make the most of Extra Magic Hours. Its a blessing to have that extra time, making it easier to pace yourself when you are in the parks because you’ll know you’ll have more time to enjoy what you love most.
But if you are a parent, you may have discovered the hard way that if you make the most of Extra Magic Hours, payback can be awful the next day. And lets be honest you may already be having a hard to spending LOTS of time with your family on vacation anyway. Some seasons of parenting are harder than others.
When it comes to Tweens, staying up late, much later than bedtime, is beyond fun for them because its a sign they are getting older and can do things they weren’t able to do in the past. So if you have the chance to make the most of Extra Magic Hours its a very good thing.
A fun way to kick off your special night of Extra Magic Hours can be to reserve a spot for Epcot’s Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party or The Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Party. Both offer incredible seating for both special events and are full of sweet treats and refreshments the entire family will love.
On this particular night, we stayed in Epcot for the evening Extra Magic Hours which run from 9pm to 11pm with limited rides open. There’s no question its awesome to ride some of your favorites just one more time ~ for us it was another chance to ride Test Track so we could experience the thrill of the track in the dark!
We literally closed the park down after making Captain EO our last stop.
I can promise you that your kids will just love walking out of the park at closing because it leaves such a magical impression. I asked my tween and her friend what they thought was so much fun and they said it has everything to do with how incredibly beautiful the park is after dark ~ the lights are amazing ~ and how neat it is to hear the music that so often you miss during the busy crowds all day. And for me Epcot is truly the most magical after dark (yes I’m totally biased thanks to my WDW College Program days) but I digress!
If you plan to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours after dark, schedule this when you can take the next morning to let your people sleep in. Make the most of this special time with your tween. They’ll think its the bomb that you let them stay up this late! Be careful on the late night sweets but popcorn always goes a long way to keep people happy!
A few facts about Extra Magic Hours:
- Extra Magic Hours are only available to registered guests at Walt Disney World Resort Properties.
- Animal Kingdom Extra Magic Hours are limited to early morning openings but the perk with this is often the animals are out and about which is wonderful since that’s so much of what this park is all about.
- The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios offer Extra Magic Hours both in the morning and at night depending on the day.
- Both Epcot and Hollywood Studios offer Magic Hours that aren’t too late from 9pm to 11pm. This can be much easier to manage than Magic Kingdom Hours that can last well beyond midnight.
- Magic Kingdom Extra Magic Hours gives you time to ride in the evening and with so many attractions outdoors its truly magical. Our favorite has to be The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ~ SO much fun and when you get the Memory Maker Photo Pass package you will also get great pics of your late night ride!
- You can catch Fireworks at 10pm the Electric Light Parade at 11 (so much less crowded!) and then keep on going until your people need to stop!
If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World with a tween, staying late is a good thing so be sure to check the Disney Parks calendar to help you plan ahead and make the most of these special hours in each and every park. Tell me…
What is your family’s favorite Extra Magic Hours activity at Walt Disney World?
No matter who you take on your next trip to Walt Disney World, it all begins with a magical plan. Check out our Disney Tips Pinterest Board for all kinds tips you might love our Disney Vacation Planning Tips playlist over on YouTube to help you with the finer points. Finally for that ultimate packing list, visit our FREE Printables Library where you’ll find our two page form with all the reminders you need for both you AND your kids to pack up and go.
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!