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Old 05-26-2008, 12:48 PM   #1
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EMH - What's the latest strategy?


It's been two years since we've visited "the world" and we were wondering what the latest theory/strategy was for visiting a park on the designated Extra Magic Hour day. Is it best to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours or is it best to avoid the parks on their Extra Magic Hours days? I think the last time we visited it was advised to avoid those days, but I'm not sure what the latest strategy is. Anyone care to share their experiences? We will be visiting Disney World during Thanksgiving week.

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Old 05-26-2008, 01:10 PM   #2
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I am amazed at how many people and books proclaim that there is only 1 best way to handle a trip to DW. I am sure many many people have had amazing trips and didn't follow anyone's 'best plan' Nothing against your post, many books are sold on exactly this premise and I find it a bit deceiving.

With that said, we found that with morning EMH's people never made it on time. Didn't get up in time to get to the parks that early. If you really think you can be at rope drop like 20 minutes before the park opens so you are infront, the morning EMH can be a good timesaver Of course, there are others that say going to a park on an EMH day is a waste of time...it all depends on what you envision your trip to be.

I know lots of people, even those in my family that refuse to hit the parks before 11am and don't use the EMH's, morning or night. It makes for many long lines but they all seemed to have a great time in spite of the fact that they waited for about 90 minutes for most rides. Meanwhile my mom and I used every EMH, stayed up super late, woke up early and waited for no longer than 10 minutes for most rides. It made for little sleep, and LOADS of FUN!

My family thought we were NUTZ to live on 5 hours of sleep each night for 4 days though! To each their own!
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
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To me it's all abut whether or not your group can manage to hit the majority of the long wait attractions you want to do before lunchtime or so. Morning EMH at the MK just doesn't help us that much because, while yo can blitz through a lot of the popular attractions in the first hour and a half or so, things start to crowd up dramatically once the regular late-rising crowd hits the park in the late morning ... and our group just can't "do" the MK in a single, shortened day.

AK, DHS and even Epcot ... no problem. We're down to shows and stuff in the afternoons anyway and the extra hour is a bonus. We're early risers anyway so it's no struggle to be there at rope drop time.

Now ... you can spread the MK out over a couple of days and there's an infinite variety of ways to attack a touring plan to maximize your time on rides as opposed to on lines. But at the end of the day it's just simpler to tell people to avoid the EMH parks. It's a blanket generalization but one that's helpfull to a lot of people who can't get there at the crack of opening hour.
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:15 PM   #4
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Each EMH experience can be different.

I always go to AM EMH (virtually every day of the trip
that we did not do a PM EMH late the night before)...
never ONCE regretted an AM EMH... they are amazingly
empty and easy to ride the open attractions.
If that park THEN starts to fill 2 to 3 hours later...
Were happy with "doing" that park for the day and we
can HOP elsewhere or do lunch and take a rest until

PM EMH's are a mixed bag. I've been when they were
PACKED... but on other nights (sometimes within the
same trip), the crowds were basically so low that it
was like "free rides" on all the open attractions.

Those who have attended PM EMH's and say that "they
are TOO CROWDED" are right... but ONLY for the nights
they may have attended.
I can say, from personal experience, that they CAN be
EMPTY, or FULL or somewhere IN-BETWEEN for attendance,
often within the same week.

We went to PM EMH at AK on a Wed night and PM EMH at MK
on a Sun night (early Spring visit.)
The EMH's were so EMPTY that we could have stayed on many attractions and ridden around and around.
This included Splash, BTM, and Pirates (and many more) at
MK, and Exp. Everest, Kali, and Dinosaur at AK. And
the crowds during the DAY at these parks were very
LARGE... within the first hour of EMH, they simply

But, it can change so much (either way), that saying
it was "like X" on a given night, can be meaningless
on another night in the same time-period. So, you
simply don't KNOW unless you go. Its similar to saying
that you attended on a given night and it rained, so
guests should never go on that night because it will
probably be rainy.

The rule seems to be, it is far easier for guests to
STAY UP at the end of the day, than it is for them to
GET UP at the start of the day.

But, considering EMH's are FREE to attend... if its
busy, just people-watch or hit the exit (where ELSE
are ya gonna go at 10pm, anyway?)
But if its not busy... you're ALL SET for EXTRA FUN!

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Old 05-26-2008, 02:33 PM   #5
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When it comes to AM EMH my family and I like to go to the parks which have the 8:00 AM opening for the onsite guests, because it gives us the best chances to see some of the top attractions so we would be able to walk right on. Not to mention we get a jump on getting Fast Passes at the early times and before they run out. A great example of that is Soarin because of how popular it is.
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:34 PM   #6
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We've found that if you go in armed with a clear plan of attack, you can accomplish a LOT during the morning EMHs.

You can get in four or five key attractions in the MK, possibly more. And three or four in Epcot.

But we don't stick around much after the EMH ends. We'll bide our time for another hour or so, maybe two, and then depart for lunch and a swim, and return or visit another park in the evening.

I've never tried the evening EMHs. I have fond memories of the evening hours a few years ago, when you BOUGHT wriststraps to go into the MK after hours. You could WALK ON a lot of the rides, and there was NEVER a line for the characters. Crowds were sparse. You felt like you owned the place. Ah, those were the days...
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Greg K. View Post
I've never tried the evening EMHs. I have fond memories of the evening hours a few years ago, when you BOUGHT wriststraps to go into the MK after hours. You could WALK ON a lot of the rides, and there was NEVER a line for the characters. Crowds were sparse. You felt like you owned the place. Ah, those were the days...
I remember those, too!

We bought the wristbands for about $12, I think. I actually preffered them to the current evening EMHs. There was hardly ever anyone else there! LOL- that's probably why they changed it.


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Old 05-26-2008, 04:06 PM   #8
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When on vacation, I prefer to relax, not do commando. By not going to EMH, I can have a relaxing AM, get to the park of choice (the uncrowded one) and do all I want with ease and no pressure of meeting deadlines and timelines, nor concern with hopping out as it jams up. I like sunrises, but don't want to really see them on vacation. By heading to mostly green parks each day, I avoid the crowds that are at the red parks, typically the EMH ones. Works for me.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:13 PM   #9
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I can usually get my crew to a park by 9 but not by 8. We usually go to a park the day after they have EMH, seems to work ok for us. I'm thinking of trying extra evening hours at AK this trip, never done that there.
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