Getting Into the Magic Kingdom Early
Who doesn?t want to get into Magic Kingdom early? Well, besides me on day 5 of our Disney vacation…at that point…I need a little help to get out of bed. You know what I mean. Magic Kingdom is the epitome of the Disney experience. Let?s talk about how to get in early at different levels of cost and strategy…including some ?free? methods.
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How to get in as early as possible for ?free?.
This method is referred to as a ?rope drop?. It boils down to this:
- Get up early ? view what time the park opens online or in the My Disney Experience App and make sure to be in the first wave of guests entering the park on a given day. We recommend getting in line at least 1 hour before the park opens to be among the first guests who are running to their favorite rides.
- Be sure to check to see if there are EMH – Early Magic Hours offered to guests staying at a Disney Resort. If the park you want to go to on the day you plan to ?rope drop? is offering EMH then don?t bother. You?ll get in early still but the lines will already be full of people staying at a Disney Resort.
- Disney Parks allow you to enter the main ?Hub? before the park actually opens so if you get there early and make your way to the Hub you can essentially be ahead of all those people still trying to get in and thus get low wait times for your favorite attraction.
How to get into the Magic Kingdom early through advanced dining reservations.
This is by far my favorite method when you aren?t staying onsite or if you are staying onsite but there aren?t any Early Magic Hours on that particular day. Dining reservations open 180 days out from any given day. So that means (if you are a planner) you can decide what park you?ll visit in advance, grab a reservation for breakfast and get into the park ahead of the general public and enjoy breakfast while you wait.
What restaurants are available?
- Crystal Palace – a favorite of ours. You can read about that experience here. Meeting characters is a great way to start off any day! Our kids love that aspect!
- The Plaza – great if you want a nice benedict for breakfast (as well as other options)
- Be Our Guest – which is beautiful but we HATE the ordering experience…picture a slow-moving line that builds anxiety…
- Cinderella?s Royal Table – awesome experience but it is a 2 credit restaurant for those on the dining plan and it is prepay for those not on a dining plan. Which can be a lot of funds to put out months in advance.?Meeting the princesses all in one place is a nice addition! And it is a great way to start off any day! Especially if you don?t have to wait FOREVER later in the day to meet one of the princesses.
What time can I get in?
The times you can get in,?differ from day to day so check the My Disney Experience app but a good rule of thumb is you can enter up to an hour before the park officially opens. Which means you?ve gone through bag check and are ?ahead? of the general public for the most part. Getting an earlier reservation helps you get in, get through breakfast, and out while still being ahead of those coming in to wait in the hub.
How much does it cost?
Great question! If you are on the dining plan it will cost you credits depending on which restaurant you choose.
On the Dining Plan the quick math would be:
- Crystal Palace Character Buffett – 1 credit per person no matter who wants to eat or not.
- The Plaza – one credit person, you can choose who is going to eat or not (or if you?ll pay out of pocket for the little ones (see our Disney Dining Plan hack here)
- Be Our Guest – only one credit per person in the mornings, you can choose who eats or not in the mornings.
- Cinderella?s Royal Table – 2 credits per person, no matter what.
Paying Out of Pocket the quick math would be:
- Crystal Palace – preset pricing based on age of kids and adult. Family of 5 = over $200.
- The Plaza – spend as much or as little as you want.
- Be Our Guest – spend as much or as little as you want.
- Cinderella?s Royal Table – prepay. Family of 5 = $250+
How to get into the Magic Kingdom early through Early Magic Hours (EMH)
This is only for guests staying onsite at a Disney Resort. It is a great option to get in early without paying for dining reservations or for the early access ticket (which we will discuss next).
How does it work?
Early Magic Hours are offered to guests staying onsite. To use Early Magic Hours simply monitor which parks will be offering Early Magic Hours on any given day. All parks do NOT offer this daily. Some will offer it, some will not. Some will offer it as Early Magic Hours (before the park opens to the general public) and some will offer it Extra Magic Hours (hours for guests after the park closes to the general public).
How much does it cost?
Now, this method is technically also ?free? but you are paying a premium to be at a Disney Resort so we didn?t quite put it in the free rope drop method.
Magic Kingdom Early- Ticketed Event: Early Morning Magic
Fantasyland Fun Before the Park Opens
Make your Magic Kingdom morning more magical than ever with this limited-entry, first-access experience in the park. With the purchase of regular theme park admission and a reservation to Disney Early Morning Magic, Guests of all ages can be among the first to enter Magic Kingdom park.
Expanded Early Morning Magic
Enjoy expanded Early Morning Magic, offering limited entry, early access to twice as many Fantasyland attractions!
Greet the day the early-morning-fun way with these 7 iconic Fantasyland attractions:
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Peter Pan?s Flight!*
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- ?it?s a small world?
- Mad Tea Party
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
Enjoy breakfast at Cosmic Ray?s Starlight Caf?, featuring scrumptious fare such as:
- ?Scrambled eggs
- Smoked bacon
- Breakfast potatoes
- Freshly baked pastries
- Cheese and cured meats
- Seasonal fruit
- Assorted Juices
- Coffee and teas
Schedule and Pricing
On select Sundays and Tuesdays, the newly expanded Disney Early Morning Magic offering will take place from 7:45 AM to 10:00 AM. Admission is available for $79 per adult and $69 per child (tax not included). However, admission is also very limited, so be sure to book your reservation before it?s too late!
How much extra does it cost?
Keep in mind you already have regular theme park admission (so this is in addition to normal park access). Our family of 5 would cost an extra $388.75 on a given day but that does include breakfast…if you are a ?glass half full? type person. It is also ADVANCED pay. Which means pay at the time you book it…months in advance in all likelihood.
? Official Check-in will take place near the far left Touchpoints of the Main Entrance to Magic Kingdom park beginning at 7:30 AM.
? Starting at 7:45 AM, event Guests will be admitted into the park and guided into Fantasyland. Guests arriving after 7:45 AM should check in inside the park on the Teacups bridge.
? The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Princess Fairytale Hall, ?it?s a small world?, Under the Sea ~ Adventures of the Little Mermaid and Mad Tea Party are the only attractions that will be operational during this special event.
? From 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, breakfast will be available at Cosmic Ray?s Starlight Caf?.
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