Published on Saturday, July 14, 2012 14:27
Written by TravelingMom with Babies
Does taking your kids to Walt Disney World at 11pm sound like a crazy idea? What about staying until 2am? It may be but it will be the "magical" memory that will stand out for them from their trip. There are many benefits to staying in a Disney resort, but one of the most valuable ones is access to extra magic hours. Extra magic hours are when a theme park opens an hour early or closes three hours later but only Walt Disney World resort guests have access. While many folks take advantage of the early access very few take advantage of the late ones. It is absolutely worth a shake up in scheduling to go.
My 8 year old and I went as an extra treat after the whole family did the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios earlier in the day. With a newborn and a toddler for siblings he had been patient with the kiddie rides so I determined that the late bedtime was worth it. He squeezed in a nap earlier in the day to earn the privilege.
Upon entering the Magic Kingdom I was struck by how much more serene it was. During extra magic hours only a limited number of rides are open. You can always ask a cast member earlier in the day for a list. They tend to be the popular rides. We were able to ride Splash Mountain four times in a row with no wait- even getting our own "log" two of the times. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was done three times back to back. The 8 year old pronounced it "awesome"!
If I had known ahead of time that the lines would be so short we would have had the whole family nap midday and all come back for extra magic hours. The toddler would have been thrilled with no lines on the kiddie rides.
Things to remember:
* You need to bring your room keys. Have each person keep them easily accessible- you have to show them to a cast member to ride the rides. It's how they verify that you are a resort guest.
* Take a nap. The extra magic hours are only worth it if everyone isn't a cranky mess.
* Get out of the park in a timely fashion. The transportation only runs for 1 hour after the parks close.
* Get a list of what rides are expected to be open. Figure out where they are on the map. Ride any rides that are close together back to back in order to maximize time and lessen walking.
* Most of all ENJOY! Disney is magical when it's all lit up at night. If you are going to buy an official Walt Disney photo nightime is the time to do it.
For More Disney advice see:
Southern Traveling Mom's "Do I Need a Rental Car at Disney?"
Pets and Service Dog Traveling Mom's "Disney World in 7 Hour Flori-Day"
Las Vegas Traveling Mom's "Top 5 Tips for Luxury Disney Travel"Nasreen Stump is a freelance writer and social media consultant who lives in Vermont with her husband, 8 year old, 21 month old, dog, house rabbit and a newborn on a 10 acre homestead. Find food recipes and Vermont life at her website ramblingstump.blogspot.com. Check her out on Twitter @ramblingstump