Decoding Disneyland: Magic Morning vs. Extra Magic Hour

This is the second installment in our new series all about theme parks! Click here to read the first post in our series!

When planning a trip to Disneyland, there is so much to do! Between deciding which resort to visit, doing advanced dining reservations, and the incredibly large amount of “do this, not that” on the internet, it can quickly become an overwhelming experience. Especially for first time visitors, it can be difficult to understand certain aspects about theme park policies and offerings.

One thing that visitors have an incredibly difficult time understanding at the Disneyland Resort, is the difference between Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour. Otherwise known as the privilege to enjoy the theme parks for an hour earlier than the scheduled park opening. A simple concept which is convoluted due to the fact that they are very different offerings with nearly identical names.

So in the hopes to save you some of your precious vacation time, and most likely a heap of confusion, I decided to lay out exactly what these two offerings are and how you can get them.


Let’s start with the more confusing of the two: Magic Morning at Disneyland Park.

Magic Morning is included with select 3 day or more tickets that are purchased prior to arrival to the theme parks. I make it a point to say “select tickets” because most promotional tickets do not include magic morning.

The easiest way to find out if your ticket has a magic morning included is to read the ticket itself. Whether you have a paper, plastic, or digital ticket, if a magic morning is included, it will say on the ticket somewhere.

Currently Magic Morning is only offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (subject to change) so there is a bit of room to decide which day you would like to use it on since you will be visiting the parks for three days or more.

Now that’s clarified (I hope), we can talk about Extra Magic Hour.

The only visitors who receive Extra Magic Hour are guests staying at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels: Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and Paradise Pier Hotel.
It does not matter which type of ticket you have, as long as it’s valid for theme park entry the days you wish to visit.
Extra Magic Hour does change throughout the week because it is offered at both theme parks, just not on the same day. Currently the schedule goes like so, but it is subject to change (and during high peak season it does… a lot):

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday: Extra Magic Hour is offered at Disney California Adventure Park.
  • Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday it is offered at Disneyland Park.

Also, unlike at Walt Disney World, Extra Magic Hour is only available for an hour prior to scheduled theme park opening for the general public. So don’t expect to be playing the night away at the California parks.

I hope that this helps any of you who may be struggling through the grueling task of planning a Disney vacation, may the force be with you!

Do you have any burning questions about planning your Disney vacation? Anything confusing the absolute crap out of you? Think that I am absolutely full of it? Please leave it in the comments below!

As always my friends, don’t forget, anyone can travel.



©Bree and Arielle Travel 2017





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