Extra Extra Magic Hours Disney Hollywood Studios
Extra Extra Magic Hours at Disney Hollywood Studios
Extra Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios currently start at 6am and go until 9am. This extra early Disney experience is free for hotel guests. In the first 90 minutes of the extra, extra magic hours, I completed every ride in Hollywood Studios excluding Smugglers Run. This post details my experience with the Hollywood Studios extra, extra magic hours. We also provide recommendations and suggestions if you want to ride Smugglers Run during this time.
What Are Extra Magic Hours?
Extra magic hours allow Disney hotel guests and guests staying at Disney partner resorts access to the theme parks before the general public. Guests are able to experience most rides. There are also select characters that are available to meet. For my extra, extra magic hours, Toy Story characters were available to meet. I started seeing them out around 7am. In Galaxy’s Edge, Rey and Storm Troopers were roaming the land. Shows are typically not available during extra magic hours. For a current list of rides available during extra magic hours, click here for Disney’s website.
What Are Extra, Extra Magic Hours
Morning extra magic hours typically start an hour before park open. With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios, Disney added additional extra magic hours which they call extra, extra magic hours. Currently extra magic hours start at 6am and last until 9am. These special hours are currently scheduled through November 2, 2019. But, we hope that Disney will continue these early hours through the opening of Rise of the Resistance and the holidays. The extra, extra magic hours are a huge benefit to hotel guests.
Who Can Go To Extra Magic Hours
Any guest staying at a Disney-owned hotel has access to extra magic hours. In addition, guests staying at Disney partner hotels have access to extra magic hours. The Swan and Dolphin is our home hotel, and is an example of one of the partner hotels that has access to extra magic hours. For a full list of the hotels that get extra magic hours, click here.
Is It Worth Waking Up For This?
100% YES! The extra, extra magic hours are amazing, and the three extra magic hours felt very similar to an after-hours event. The big difference, these three hours are free. Guests can experience all of the rides at Hollywood Studios with no wait and no Fastpasses. While getting to the park at 5:45am means a really early morning, we feel it is completely worth it.
Even if you do not want to do all of the rides, you can do the rides that you want multiple times. This saves guests from waiting in line during normal park hours. Also, these early hours provide a unique theme park experience. The park is not busy, so it is really fun to explore the park with no crowds. This normally only happens if you are at an after-hours event or if you stay well after park close. Lastly, you get the unique experience of being in the park as the sun rises. This means you get to see everything with the lights on when you arrive and then experience the park as it wakes up with the sun.
What We Did
Our strategy was to ride as many rides as we could excluding Smugglers Run. We are lucky and have ridden Smugglers Run in Disneyland and Disney World prior to our early morning adventure. So for us, we wanted to focus on Toy Story Land and the other rides at Hollywood Studios. If your priority is to get on Smugglers Run, this information should still be helpful. However, also read our section about Smugglers Run below.
Getting To The Park Early
We were staying at the Swan and Dolphin hotel this trip. We left our hotel at 5:30am and rode the boat to Hollywood Studios. We arrived at Hollywood Studios at 5:45am. The bag check had little to no wait when we arrived and we were inside the park and queued up by 5:50am. We would recommend arriving to Hollywood Studios at 5:45am. This can be a bit trickier to time if you are at a hotel that requires a Disney bus, but give it your best shot.
The line for Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land form on the main entrance street (Hollywood Boulevard). Keep to the right side of the street for Toy Story and left for Galaxy’s Edge. If you want to start off with Tower of Terror or Rockin Rollercoaster, you can go past Starbucks and to the right onto Sunset Boulevard. However, we only recommend going this way if you do not care about Galaxy’s Edge or Toy Story Land. If there is a bit of a crowd, do not worry. People will split off and it most likely isn’t as bad as it may look.
Toy Story Land
Disney made the announcement and started letting guests walk towards the lands at 5:55am. Again, if you want Toy Story Land, at the Chinese Theater, follow the cast members and crowd to the right. As you enter Toy Story Land. People looking to ride Slinky Dog will be told to keep to the right. We highly recommend going to Slinky Dog Dash first. I entered the Slinky Dog queue at 6:02am and was on the ride by 6:06am (basically a walk on). By the time I got off, the posted wait time for Slinky was 10 minutes. If you want to ride Slinky again, we say go for it. The line will not be shorter than it is right at the start of extra, extra magic hours.
Since we come down pretty frequently, one ride on Slinky was good for me. I tried to ride Alien Swirling Saucers next, but the ride was down. The cast members working said it is normally running at 6am. Not riding aliens second actually worked out okay because I ended up riding Aliens later in the morning and it was still only a 5 minute wait. So after Slinky Dog Dash, I rode Toy Story Mania. This ride was a walk on and I was off Toy Story Mania at 6:18am.
Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster
After finishing Toy Story Land, I walked over to Tower of Terror. There was no wait for Tower of Terror. Guests still watch the preview show before heading down for the ride. The ride was not full and if you time it right, there is a chance you could have the ride to yourself. When I walked on there were two groups with me. I was off of Tower of Terror by 6:41am.
Next up was Rockin Rollercoaster. For this queue, the cast members left the doors open for the pre-show. This meant that you could walk right to the ride. When I got to the queue, there were a lot of open rows, so I asked for the last row. Two kids near me said they had just ridden Rockin a couple minutes before and they were the only ones on it. Like Tower of Terror, it is probably luck whether or not there will be other people on with you. But either way there was no wait. I was off of Rockin Rollercoaster at 6:50am.
I then walked over to Star Tours. This is the Star Wars ride that is not located in Galaxy’s Edge. Star Tours is probably the least popular ride that is available during extra magic hours and I mostly wanted to ride it so that I could say that I did all of the rides. If there are any rides you want to do more than once, we recommend doing them before heading over to Star Tours. I was off of Star Tours at 7:05am.
The last ride I had to do in order to complete them all was Alien Swirling Saucers. So, I walked back over to Toy Story Land. At this time, the Toy Story characters were out meeting guests and the wait for Slinky Dog Dash was now posted as 40 minutes. This is still not too bad compared to what it typically is during normal park hours, but I much prefer the 2-10 minute wait right when the park opens. As I mentioned above, Alien Swirling Saucers had a 5 minute wait when I arrived around 7:18am. I was off of Aliens at 7:23am. This meant that I completed all of the rides in Disney Hollywood Studios (excluding Smugglers Run) by 7:30am.
Our Suggestions If You Want To Ride Smugglers Run
While I did all of these rides, Jeff was taking photos in Galaxy’s Edge. Jeff walked slowly and behind the crowd because he didn’t care about getting on Smugglers Run. When he arrived at Smugglers Run at 6:05am, the ride had a posted 50 minute wait. If you want to ride Smugglers Run, we feel that you have two choices.
One option is to get to the park by 5:45am (or earlier) and walk with the front of the group and right onto the ride. This requires making sure you that are at Hollywood Studios early. This is the least risky option if you want a guarantee ride on Smugglers Run with a short wait.
We would probably recommend option two. Here we would do all of the rides excluding Smugglers run as many times you want when you first arrive. You could follow a plan similar to what we mentioned above. Then, make sure to enter the queue for Smugglers Run around 8:50am. This will ensure that you are in line before the general public enters the park.
This option is also a good one if you arrive to Hollywood Studios at open and you are a long ways back in line. So far, the wait for Smugglers Run later into extra magic hours hasn’t been too bad. The first wave of people goes through the ride and the line dies down before the general public is let in at 9am. Often between 7:30-8:50am the wait can be 25-40 minutes. We have friends that have done all of the other rides and jumped in for Smugglers right at 8:50am and had less than a half hour wait.
So if you are okay with a bit of a gamble and a bit of a wait, we would do all of the rides we mentioned above and then go for Smugglers Run towards the end of extra magic hours. The tradeoff is that there is a chance that more people head that way and you end up with a long wait for Smugglers Run. If you do this strategy, DO NOT arrive at Smugglers Run right at 9am or just after 9am. At 9am, the general public has just arrived and the line will most likely be very long.
Our Overall Recommendation
Our best recommendation is to wake up early for these extra, extra magic hours. Most of the rides have little to no wait. Also, there are so few people in the park that it is a really magical way to experience Hollywood Studios. If you have a vacation scheduled during the time that Disney is offering these extra early hours, take advantage of it. We really hope that Disney continues to offer these hours after Rise of the Resistance opens and during the holidays. If you have any questions or if you have any experience with the extra, extra magic hours at Hollywood Studios, please leave us a comment below!
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