One of the major perks of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel is the Extra Magic Hours. On select days at different parks Disney hotel resort guests are allowed into the parks either earlier in the morning or later at night than non Disney guests. Now Disney has just announced that it will be cutting the evening hours from 3 to 2 Extra Magic Hours. The changes will start in January 2012. They haven’t yet confirmed whether these changes will be permanent.
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What difference will the shortening of the Extra Magic Hours make to Disney guests? The final hour of the late Extra Magic Hours are reported to be the least crowded (so of course making them the most advantageous for those guests who want to stay out for the final hour). The Extra Magic Hours system was introduced to give Disney resort guests the luxury of experiencing the parks with less crowds. But with ever extra minute the park is open the operating costs for Disney increase, and that last hour was the least cost effective as it attracted the least guests.
We doubt very much whether the loss of that final Extra Magic Hour will make any difference to Disney World hotel resort occupancy. The Disney World resort hotels are still some of the very best in the world and compete well on price with many of the local competitors particularly when you take into account the Free Dining packages which are offered for many dates of the year.
Really it is part of a bigger problem which Disney is working to put right. The lines are getting longer at the parks and no one wants that. Disney is investing $1 billion in the Next Generation Project. Not many details are yet known about this but it is thought to include a new system for Disney resort guests to book ride times on theme park attractions before they leave home and to check into the hotel and get their room keys in advance. The experience in line will also be enhanced with interactive lines for some attractions.
Disney World constantly works to upgrade and enhance the guest experience. The $425 million expenditure on the new Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom certainly shows that. But should they have taken away that Extra Magic Hour? What do you think? Leave us a Comment Below
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