A Review of Early Morning Magic – Fantasyland

This is a guest post from Sarah Tavares. Follow her on Instagram. Here’s Sarah…

Walt Disney World recently introduced two Early Morning Magic ticketed events – one at Magic Kingdom, and the other at Hollywood Studios. Both include a buffet breakfast and pre-park opening access to select attractions.

I recently decided to try out the Fantasyland Early Morning Magic, which includes unlimited access to three rides – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh from 7:45 to 9 a.m., followed by breakfast at Pinocchio Village Haus from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

Here's how it went...

At $69 per adult and $59 per child pre-tax, plus the cost of admission to Magic Kingdom, it’s not a cheap ticket. It’s currently offered on Tuesdays and Sundays, which are not days Extra Magic Hours days at the park.

Reservations can be made online, similar to advanced dining reservations, or by calling 407-827-7350. Payment must be made at the time of booking.

My Early Morning Magic Experience

I arrived at Magic Kingdom at 7:10 a.m. and joined the line of guests queued on the left side of the park entrance with Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs). Early Morning Magic guests received wristbands and we were let into the park at 7:45 a.m. along with those who had dining reservations.

Early Morning Magic

As an adult traveling by myself (check out this great post about the pros and cons of solo trips), I only had real interest in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. After snapping a few castle photos, I jumped on the second train of the day at 7:57 a.m.

Early Morning Magic

After riding, we had to disembark the train, but were allowed to walk back in through a shortened FastPass+ queue and re-board, which took all of 40 seconds. The first ride was the only time I had to wait at all – in fact, I barely saw anyone again else as I proceeded to ride 7DMT nine more times between 8:03 and 8:40 a.m. (I took a selfie each ride to timestamp).

The last five or six rides only had one other parent/child and we got to choose our seats each time. For the record, the back mine cart is my new favorite!

After my 10th ride, I walked over to Winnie the Pooh at 8:45 and rode with no one else in site. Then, I walked over to Peter Pan’s flight. By then, guests who had ADRs were queued for the attraction, but not let on the ride. My wristband allowed me to board with zero wait.

Early Morning Magic

I hopped off at 8:55 a.m. and walked over to the Princess Fairytale Hall to meet all four princesses as the park officially opened at 9 a.m. I rounded out Fantasyland with it’s a small world and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid with no waits, took some photos at the Tangled Toilets before heading over for breakfast at Pinocchio Village Haus at 9:45 a.m.

Early Morning Magic

There were several families dining at the buffet, but the restaurant, which doesn’t officially open during regular park hours until 10:30, seemed pretty empty. The buffet breakfast was a nice surprise – the vegetable frittata, smoked bacon (the best I’ve had on Disney property) and chicken sausages were my favorites.

Early Morning Magic

There was also French toast, fried potatoes and onions, pork sausage, scrambled eggs, cheese/meats, pastries, fruit, coffee, tea, juices and yogurts/yogurt drinks. I grabbed a seat overlooking it’s a small world, had my fill by about 10:15, took a yogurt to go and also used a Ziploc bag to take a couple pastries to snack on later.

What I Liked

Who hasn’t fantasized about enjoying an empty park? There was something very special about having such exclusive access to the rides – Fantasyland was deserted and there truly were no waits whatsoever.

I visit WDW often, but I don’t imagine I’ve ridden Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 10 times total, let alone more than once or twice in one day! For me this opportunity alone made the ticket price worth it.

One Cast Member told me the record number of rides was 21 during the hour-long event! 10 was plenty for me J. 7DMT, and Peter Pan, often have queues posted at 60-minutes plus! You could spend an entire day waiting to ride them just a handful of times.

I also very much appreciated that the breakfast hours extended until 10 a.m. This, to me, made it a no-brainer to focus on attractions first – even after rope drop – before settling down and truly being able to enjoy my breakfast and not be worried about queuing for another attraction.

This is in stark contrast to the experiences I have had using an ADR to score early access to the parks and attractions when I usually feel myself rushing through breakfast to be among the first in line for an attraction. I was then able to visit less popular attractions at my leisure.

In fact, using FP+, I finished everything I’d hoped to do at Magic Kingdom and ate lunch by 1 p.m., grabbed a fourth FP+ for Expedition Everest and park-hopped over to Animal Kingdom.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • You need both an Early Morning Magic reservation and regular park ticket
  • You won’t be let into the park until 7:45, leaving you just over an hour to enjoy exclusive use of the rides
  • You can have breakfast anytime between 8:30 and 10 – I recommended waiting until after the park is open to maximize your ride times!
  • You will need to disembark the rides each time, but can re-enter using a shortened FastPass+ queue
  • If you are interested in 7DMT, make sure you know in advance that children in your party meet the height requirement (38”)! Seeing a child being turned away was awful.
  • One bummer was PhotoPass wasn’t operating on 7DMT (I am not sure if this was just the day I attended or if it doesn’t begin until the park opens).
  • If you opt for an ADR to enter the park early instead, you won’t be allowed to queue at the rides until about 8:45 a.m. and won’t be allowed on the rides until 9 a.m.

Takeaway

Early Morning Magic in Fantasyland was absolutely worth it for me as a solo adult. One consideration I made was the alternative way to enter parks early – through ADRs. These reservations come at a price that can add up to almost the same price as an EMM ticket.

Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, the priciest option, runs ~$63 per adult and ~$38/child. Alternatively, being able to enjoy a great breakfast after enjoying unlimited rides at a relaxing pace in a non-crowded environment was wonderful.

And, if you’re interested in meeting characters, it’s easy to queue as the park opens and miss longer waits later in the day (meet Cinderella and other princesses at PFTH in lieu of CRT or Pooh and friends near the attraction instead of dining at Crystal Palace).

If you love the rides offered during EMM and were considering an ADR for early entry to the parks, I think it’s worth considering to add some extra magic to your next trip!

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Leave a Reply

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Daniel

This is an EXCELLENT and thorough summary of the event. Just bought my tickets for August and very much looking forward to it. THANKS!

Lindsay

Hello! Love the Podcast and website!

Is the welcome show still at regular park opening times during these ticketed EMM days? What about access to Main Street shops (and coffee!!) as per the new procedures?

Thanks!

Jaclyn

I was planning to start my day in fantasyland, and I now see it is an EMM day, do you think there will be more of a crowd in fantasyland because of that? Should I start my day elsewhere?

Elizabeth

Love your site! When I was planning our June trip early this year I saw options for this at Hollywood Studios… now I don’t see that offered. Do you know anything about it being available at that park? It seems the only option to get in early is the DJ breakfast.

Katy

Love this site! Thanks for all this amazing info!

Do you think they will still be doing this event this time next year?

Tonia

Thanks! Really, really great for this first timer. I just wanted to confirm that the breakfast meal is included in the price of the ticket for EMM? And that it’s not available to purchase/book online?

Janet

Thanks for the expert advice, it is much appreciated. We are doing this in two weeks and wondered about transportation from our Disney resort to the MK that early in the morning? We are staying at POFQ. Thanks for your recommendation.

Elliott

How did you get a FP+ for Expediton Everest in AK before you left MK? Even with a Hopper I thought that, after using your first three, you couldn’t book FP+ for a different park other than the one you are located in at that time?

Elliott

Good to know! I was probably reading one of the OOOLLLLDDD posts on this website. My 8yo daughter and I are going to Disney for the FIRST TIME next April 6-14, 2017, and I am obsessed with your blog and podcasts. Question two…. How does it work when Magic Kingdom sells Early Morning Magic tickets for a day that already opens early for resort guests via Extra Magic Hours? For example, I want to purchase Early Morning Magic Tickets for Sunday, April 9, 2017, which is already an Extra Magic Hour day for resort guests for free anyways?

Elliott

Thanks again for all you do! Will there be a review of Hollywood Studios’ EMM event coming anytime soon?

Elizabeth Darling

Is this another of the 6 month early to get the reservation. I can’t seem to see any options for my dates, but I am 5 months out in March 🙁 I was able to get a dinner reservation for the BoG so that is a consolation.

Melanie

I am doing the early access on November 8th. I am staying at the Boardwalk. What would be my best bet for transportation? Do they allow you to park at Contemporary and walk over? I heard the monorail is closed down a lot on Tuesday mornings and the ferry doesn’t open until after eight?
Thanks a bunch 🙂

Jeannie

If you have tickets through a Disney package can you still have this opportunity? We just went in September and are planning another trip very soon and this is a great idea!!

Anna Loughridge

how do you go about GETTING the ticket? I am going in February 2017- when do these tickets become available? thanks for the info!!!

ps. i love WDWPrepschool! haha

Kim

I got so excited when I saw that it is currently offered on Sundays and Tuesdays, because Sunday is our first full day at WDW and is one of our MK days. It would be perfect! Unfortunately, it looks like it’s just Tuesdays in November. Sad panda.

Sara

Makes more sense to do EMM for $70 (with a buffet meal and 3 rides) than to eat at CRT for $63 each…

When you compare the numbers it looks like a better deal – though I still think the price is way too high. But then, I remember visiting for less than $30 a day when I was in high school.

Susan

How do you graciously get kicked out of the park following breakfast? Typically the special ticket events are in the evening and the wristband proves you paid, but you could just remove this wristband and stay the rest of the day. Sounds like a fun way to spend the morning on departure day.

Sara

You aren’t kicked out after breakfast. You must have a park ticket in addition to the Early Morning Magic ticket.

Susan

Just reread the article and now I understand. It’s too bad things are getting more and more expensive at the parks. It’s an extra $70 on top of paying to get in at over $100/day.

What rides do they open up at Hollywood Studios?

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