Are Extra Magic Hours Worth Staying On Site?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by mmmhf, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. mmmhf

    mmmhf Earning My Ears

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    Hi everyone! Sorry if already posted but I can't really find the answer i am looking for. New to posting but been lurking for a while. My family (me, DH, DD-7, DS-6) are going to Disney June 2-13, 2013. We can't decide if we should stay on site or at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. I have looked at all the options and I know about the discount that will be released to the general public on January 3. Even with that discount and including paying for parking, we would still come out around $200 cheaper to stay at WBC than a value. We would stay moderate or deluxe so WBC is a better monetary value for us. I can't decide what to do. We always drive to the parks so the transportation is not a factor. The only thing causing me to pause is losing extra magic hours. Are the extra magic hours worth it for that time period? We have always stayed on site but for a ten day trip I just don't know if we can handle that cramped of a space.

    We have rarely used the extra magic hours (never use morning extra magic hours) and rarely evening, but we have always been during cooler, less crowded times (October/November). This is our first summer trip so the crowds and heat are making we wonder if we would want to use EMH. We are planning on visiting the water parks and all four parks plus a trip to Sea World and maybe universal. We are go all day kind of people but I think midday breaks may be necessary due to the heat. So again will we need the extra magic hours? I am using touring plans and EasyWDW to plan touring days and they seem to recommend avoiding extra magic hours. Confused. Please help!

    Also, how do dining reservations and extra magic hours work? I have a couple of 8:15 reservations but if they add morning extra magic hours on that day will I lose my dining reservation since I am not an on site guest.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. bauer1168

    bauer1168 DIS Veteran

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    I personally love EMH, if you can get up early enough for AM EMH you should be able to do a lot as people are more likely to sleep in than get up early.
    People have posted here about their trip to MK Christmas Day. Yes it was very, very busy, but it had an AM EMH at 7am. People who went at that time on Christmas Day said they were able to get a lot done for the first 2 hours or so.
    I'm also a big fan of evening EMH, if you can stay for the duration, the last hour can be great if say, MK is open until 1,2,3AM, even if it has been crazy busy at the parks.
    I'm a big believer in getting to a park at RD, grabbing lunch at 10:30-11AM, then depending on how busy it is, leave around 1PM. That may depend on whether you want to see 3PM parade. Then going back around 5PM for the rest of the evening after a nice break/power nap.
    Just incase you aren't aware, evening EMH will be reduced from 3 hours to 2 in 2013, this may or may not affect your touring plans.
    Hope this helps and you have a great trip! :D
     
  4. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

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    We love EMH and usually stay late at least a couple of nights. The kids remember the park almost empty and being able to "stay up late". Once we were there till park close at 3AM. It will depend on if you think you will actually use the hours or not. If you are going when at busy times, I would say use them and get the must do's in with AM EMH and then use whatever PM EMH you feel comfortable. If going at the slower times, it may not be as important.

    With your trip in the summer, PM EMH would allow you to tour when the sun is down and less crowded. I would say for an extra $200 it would be worth it to stay "on site". Have a good trip.
     
  5. *NikkiBell*

    *NikkiBell* The WDW Merchandise Walking Bible Moderator

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  6. FiggieFan

    FiggieFan DIS Veteran

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    We avoid EMH because more people typically go to those parks on those days. We usually go to the parks that don't have EMH on a given day. Not sure about the reservation question.
     
  7. mmmhf

    mmmhf Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for all the answers and the blog link. I am still undecided but I looked at times and EMH are only until 10, 11 or midnight and not every night like peak summer. That negates the up until 3 am option, which I think we would definitely enjoy. So may be leaning toward Bonnet Creek. Thanks again.
     
  8. bcrook

    bcrook DIS Veteran

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    I think EMH work best if you can hop. I like to go to the EMH morning park and leave to a different park without EMH around 11:00 or noon. The only evening EMH I like is MK in the summer because of the late close 2:00 am at times. But with the change from three hours to two hours evening EMH -- I am not sure.
     
  9. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy We are family.

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    I always stay onsite, but always prefer the low crowd parks so as to get more done, with less crowds.
     
  10. Ryansdad0727

    Ryansdad0727 DIS Veteran

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    Disney usually changes the schedule anywhere from 1 week to 1 month in advance. Early June is not the most crowded time but look back at previous years on wdwinfo to see if the park hours were extended for those dates. EMH may run into the early morning hours.
     
  11. larryz

    larryz A few of my favorite turrets... DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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  12. JAG107

    JAG107 Mouseketeer

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    I'd take the hotel you want at the price that makes you happiest over EMH. We always stay onsite because we don't drive, like the Disney hotels and are now DVC owners. EMH is never a concern for us as we rarely get up for RD, let alone an hour earlier! The PM EMH is tough as we have small kids. Touring plans usually says to avoid the parks with EMH those days, logically more on site guests will be going to those making them more crowded. MK til 3am was fun before we had kids and it may be a plus to be out after sundown if you're going during summer though. Also don't know if you'll have to pay for parking or not if you stay offsite, don't know if that's a factor for you costwise. I think either way you'll have a great experience!
     
  13. mmmhf

    mmmhf Earning My Ears

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    I didn't think to look back! Thanks! Will definitely do that.
     
  14. bcrook

    bcrook DIS Veteran

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    Bonnet creek is great, and they have shuttles. I wouldn't chose on site just for EMH. There really should other good reasons for that decision. That is completely opposite advice from Larryz lengthy reply! :)
     
  15. roost0524

    roost0524 Earning My Ears

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    EMH are not all they are cracked up to be, and often have long lines. We have stayed on site for the past few trips, but find ourselves using EMH very rarely. We stay on property for many other reasons, but EHM are really just a nice benefit if we happen to be awake while they are going on. I would not plan my trip based on being able to use them. If you get up early, you will get the same effect.
     
  16. vdoucet78

    vdoucet78 Mouseketeer

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    We usually avoid EMH even when staying on-site. We find the added crowds are not worth the extra hours. We do them every now and then, but not enough for it to make our decision to stay on-site. That being said, we love staying on-site for other reasons! Of course, it's just me and DH right now. If we have kids, I'd consider staying offsite for the extra space and second bathroom!
     
  17. kaligal

    kaligal DIS Veteran

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    No.

    Go to Bonnet Creek. :)
     
  18. nw2this

    nw2this Earning My Ears

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    I was also confused about why touringplans.com didn't recommend parks with morning emh so I e-mailed them and they explained that you do get more touring time using emh but that most folks can't do them because they are offsite or don't do them because they don't get up early enough. They have to make one recommendation that fits the majority of their readers and subscribers. For the majority the better choice is the park with lower daily crowd levels and emh parks will have higher crowd levels after emh are over.

    So if you are in the minority who will get there early enough or use the evening hours, stay onsite.
     
  19. bauer1168

    bauer1168 DIS Veteran

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    As a PP stated, Disney usually will change their operating hours. So expect them to extend their hours. I'm pretty sure they do it for every month.
     
  20. Sphinx610

    Sphinx610 DIS Veteran

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    No I don't think it's worth it for the emh alone, as you may not use them or they may not be available at the park you want on the day you want; but it is worth it for all the other reasons staying on site is great. It's personal preference due to your specific situation. If you feel that EMH is the only perk that's worth staying for, and you think you will use emh, consider it as one of your pros on the pro/con list. No one can really answer this for you. Some ppl on here are avid off-siters and some are avid on-siters. So you will get opposing positions.

    Personally, I wouldn't even consider offsite. To me the resorts are each unique and it is part of the Disney experience. Plus, the ease of booking the trip- everything is seamless from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave. I love the KTTW & like that it is all integrated- including charges. I hate driving, especially to unfamiliar places and then paying to park in a sea of cars, taking the tram... ugh... Oh what was that? You will drop me off at the front gate? Yes please! ;) I fly there, so the Magic Express is another thing I take advantage of. (And, however small, i love the resort mugs! Lol) I don't use the EMH much. I have little ones and can't do the evening hrs and I'm so not a morning person. Lol I don't think we get there bf 10:30! Ha! Thats just me & my situation though...

    But yeah all we can give you is our personal opinion. And you know what they say about opinions... ;)
     
  21. mmmhf

    mmmhf Earning My Ears

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    Lol! I agree. I was honestly surprised by the number of people in here who would rather stay on site value than offsite anything just to be part of the magic. It's one of the reasons I am so torn about staying possibly staying off site. I'm afraid it won't feel like we are in Disney at all.

    I do love the convenience of the KTTW card. I just keep imagining my family in all that space. Anyone every rented DVC points? Maybe that's a happy trade off. Is it too late to check into that for a june vacation? I just can't justify rack rates for even a studio much less a two bedroom. ;(
     

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