Early Theme Park Entry Details for Disney Resort Guests

Early Theme Park Entry Details for Disney Resort Guests

Early Morning Theme Park Entry is a new perk reserved for Disney Resort guests and guests staying at select Good Neighbor hotels.  And with the change of Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom comes a slew of things to consider. Especially if you’re planning to get people-free photos or get to the parks extra early. Here are all the details about the Early Theme Park Entry so you can decide whether or not you want to get up early on your vacation. 

disney castle and carousel

What is Early Theme Park Entry at Disney World?

Early Theme Park Entry at Disney World allows guests to arrive early at the theme parks during days when Early access is offered. Disney Resort Guests can arrive early to any theme park 30 minutes before posted opening hours. Check the Disney World 5 Day Calendar for time details for each park

  • get access to rides before the crowds arrive
  • take advantage of emptier busses
  • enjoy an emptier park

Has Disney Early Theme Park Entry Changed?

YES! Before the Early Theme Park entry, there were Disney Extra Magic Hours that showed up sporadically across the Disney calendar. Early Theme Park entry is available every day. 

Who Can Use Disney Early Theme Park Entry?

Disney Resort Guests. If you’re wondering how Disney knows if you are staying on-site or not, you can look to your MagicBand and all the RFID computer coding involved with that little device. If arriving in the morning, your MagicBand or MagicMobile Wallet, linked to your My Disney Experience Account ( which stores your resort information) will tell them if you’re allowed to be in early.

Which Disney Resorts Include Early Theme Park Entry?

All guests staying at any Walt Disney World Resort are eligible to enter the parks early when Early Theme Park Entry is offered. Check out our Disney Resort Reviews to choose your best stay. 

Disney Good Neighbor Hotels with Early Theme Park Entry

If staying at one of the following Good Neighbor Hotels in Disney Springs you also get this perk.

When Do I Need to Leave My Resort for Early Theme Park Entry?

Plan to leave your resort at least 90 minutes before the start of Early Theme Park Entry at your chosen park. Whether you’re taking a Disney Bus, the Monorail, Boat or walking, this will allow for about 30 minutes of transportation time before waiting at the park gates. The lines get VERY LONG very fast for guests arriving for Early Theme Park Entry. As such, if you hope to be anywhere near the front of the line at the gates, you need to be there extra early. 

Since Early Theme Park Entry is available at every Disney Theme Park for Disney Resort guests, you can arrive at any time as long as you meet the requirement of being a Disney Resort guest. If you’re using a Rope Drop Strategy for your favorite ride at any park, we highly recommend arriving at least 30-60 minutes before your Early Park Entry Time. So if the park opens at 8 am, and you’re allowed to arrive at 7:30 am, we’d say aim for a 6:30 am or 7 am arrival at the gate. This will help get you closer to the front of the gates, and at the head of the crowds when you race walk to your favorite ride.

What Time is Disney Early Theme Park Entry?

Early theme Park Entry Times are in the Mornings, 30 minutes before scheduled park opening. Get up early enough to be at the gates at least 30-60 minutes before park opening. Regardless of which park you’re visiting. Early Theme Park Entry only works if you’re able to be there early enough to make it worth it. What ride are you rope-dropping? What are you hoping to do by being there early? A 30-minute lead time isn’t a long time. Make a plan and be there early, because the crowds will be right on your tail.

What Rides Are Open During Early Theme Park Entry?

The rides that are open for Early Theme Park Entry are different for each park. And not all the rides in the park are open. As such, after looking at this list you may question if you really want to get up early to beat the crowds to the front gates! Here are the Disney Early Entry Rides available for each Park. The Most Popular Rides to aim for, which will have long lines later, are highlighted in BOLD.

Magic Kingdom

Only Tomorrowland Area Rides and Fantasyland Area Rides are Open


  • “it’s a small world”
  • The Barnstormer
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid


  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress


  • Beauty and The Beast Sing-Along
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World 
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 
  • Toy Story Mania!

Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • TriceraTop Spin

Is Early Theme Park Entry Worth it?

You only have to consider a few things to see if the effort is worth it for you and your family/fellow vacationers. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Are you good at getting up early? So you can arrive 30-60 minutes ahead of your Early Theme Park Entry time so you can maximize your morning?
  • Are you at Disney mainly for the rides?
  • Is there one ride that you absolutely MUST DO and need to rope drop at the opening?
  • Do you hate lines? And don’t plan on buying the Disney Genie+ Lighting Lane Service?
  • Did you fail to book an early in-park dining reservation for breakfast that would get you closer to line entrances than the incoming guests at regular park opening?

If you answered YES to these questions, then grab a pen and paper and check out Disney’s Park calendar in the link above so you can start planning your 15-hour days… you are built to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry.

If you answered NO to these questions, then you should look at the Early Theme Park Entry as a perk as opposed to a plan to maximize your Disney vacation. As a perk, Early Theme Park Entry is a delightful, nice surprise that allows you into the park a little earlier

Are Extra Magic Hours the Same as Early Theme Park Entry?

No. Extra Magic Hours is the term used for parks staying open a little later. They are not specific to any certain type of guest and are available to everyone. To make things more confusing, Extra Magic Hours are not the same as Extended Evening Hours, which are specific to Disney Deluxe Resort Guests. Don’t get these confused with the simply early opening or late closing at the Disney Parks. Early Theme Park Entry hours are always free and just a simple time change in open hours.

All about the Walt Disney World Early Theme Park Entry for Disney Resort Guests #waltdisneyworld #disneyvacation

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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