The Disneyland Paris Extra Magic Hour, or EMH, is one of the most magical times in the parks. With limited crowds and fast access to some of the most popular rides, it’s one of the best Disney perks around! We love to make the most of every EMH and wanted to share all our tips. From the best rides to spotting characters, this is our guide to everything Extra Magic Hour at Disneyland Paris.
What is Extra Magic Hour?
The Disneyland Paris Extra Magic Hour describes the hour before the standard park opening time when Disney Hotel Guests and Magic Plus and Infinity Annual Pass Holders are granted early access to the park. Both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park open their turnstiles one hour before the official opening time to allow their hotel guests and annual pass holders to experience the park before it gets crowded.
Extra Magic Hour is a benefit to hotel guests across the Disneyland Paris Hotels:
- Santa Fe – check availability and prices here!
- Cheyenne – check availability and prices here!
- Marvel New York – check availability and prices here!
- Sequoia – check availability and prices here!
- Newport Bay – check availability and prices here!
- Davy Crockett Ranch – check availability and prices here!
- Disneyland Hotel (closed for refurbishment during 2022/2023)
Click here to read our full guide to the Disneyland Paris Disney hotels and the benefits of staying onsite!
Two tiers of Annual Pass Holder are eligible for Extra Magic Hour
- Magic Plus
If you already have a ticket or an Annual Pass Holder you can reserve an onsite Disney hotel with a room only rate through booking.com – you will still have access to Extra Magic Hour as an onsite hotel guest. If you are a Magic Plus or Infinity Annual Pass Holders you can stay in any hotel and will have access to Extra Magic Hour.
Extra Magic Hour provides an amazing opportunity to experience the park at its quietest and allows guests to ride some of the park’s most popular rides with reduced queues.
Extra Magic Hour tip: when you stay at a Disney hotel and have booked a hotel and ticket package through Disney your park tickets are valid for both the day of arrival and departure. This means you will have access to Extra Magic Hour both these days. So if you are staying one night, you have access to Extra Magic Hour and the parks for two days.
What are the benefits of Extra Magic Hour?
- Shorter queues to some of the biggest Disneyland Paris Rides: there are some rides in Disneyland Paris that are guaranteed to have extremely long wait times. With limited numbers of guests granted access during Extra Magic Hour you can benefit from shorter queues during this time – these rides include Big Thunder Mountain, Peter pan, and Buzz Lightyear in the Disneyland Park and Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure and Crush’s Coaster in Walt Disney Studios.
- Walk on to some of the park’s most popular rides: we’ve walked straight on to Ratatouille, Toy Soldiers, Cars Quatre Rallye in Walt and Buzz, Carousel, Teacups, Pinocchio and Dumbo in Disneyland Park.
- Join the queue for Meet and Greets: if you really want to meet a Princess or say hi to Mickey Mouse then you can join the queue during Extra Magic Hour to save some time. Sometimes, there are meet and greets during Extra Magic Hour – we’ve met Winnie the Pooh and Stitch in action from 8.30am.
- Get some awesome pics of the castle: if you time it right, it’s possible to get a great pic of the castle with no other guests in sight.
What rides are open during Extra Magic Hour?
The ride openings during Extra Magic Hour are usually pretty consistent but they can vary day to day. There are two ways to monitor ride openings during Extra Magic Hour:
- Park map on Disneyland Paris app: when the park opens the park map will update with queue times on the Disneyland Paris app. If there is a queue time showing then the ride is open. We tend to check out the map in the days leading up to our visit so we can plan our Extra Magic Hour.
- Ride opening hours: if you click into each ride, the opening hours are listed. If the ride is listed as open from 8.30am then you can ride it during Extra Magic Hour.
We most recently visited Disneyland Paris in August and October 2022 so our experience is based on recent visits:
In the Disneyland Park Extra Magic Hour consists of the majority of the Fantasyland rides along with popular rides like Big Thunder Mountain, Hyperspace Mountain and Buzz Lightyear.
- November 2022 Extra Magic Hour open rides: Aladdin’s Enchanted Passage
- November 2022 Extra Magic Hour closed rides: Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones
November 2022 Extra Magic Hour open rides: Dumbo, Peter Pan, Lancelot’s Carousel, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups
November 2022 Extra Magic Hour closed rides: Casey Jr Circus Train, Le Pays des Contes de Fées, Snow White, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, Pinocchio
November 2022 Extra Magic Hour open rides: Big Thunder Mountain
November 2022 Extra Magic Hour closed rides: Phantom Manor
November 2022 Extra Magic Hour open rides: Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Orbitron, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain
November 2022 Extra Magic Hour closed rides: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Autopia
Walt Disney Studios
Extra Magic Hour restarted on October 1 in Walt Disney Studios (it closed during the summer months to allow for late opening of the Avengers Campus). During our most recent visits nearly all of the rides were open during Extra Magic Hour in Walt Disney Studios
November 2022 Extra Magic Hour open rides: Crush’s Coaster, Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure, Ratatouille, Toy Soldiers, Cars Quatre Raleigh, Flying Carpets, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, RC Racer, Avengers Assemble, Slinkydog Zigzag Spin.
October/November 2022 Extra Magic Hour closed rides: Cars Road Trip
Are there Characters/Meet and Greet During Extra Magic Hour?
Mickey Mouse, often accompanied by Minnie Mouse) greets guests from the balcony during most Extra Magic Hours so make sure to look up and give him a wave as you enter Town Square.
During summer 2023 we met Winnie the Pooh on the left of Town Square between the Storybook Store and the entrance to Liberty Arcade. In November 2022, Max was in the same spot. Stitch often greets guests during Extra Magic Hour and the queue is really short in comparison to later in the morning. The meet and greets opened at 8.30am.
Some guests take the opportunity to join the queue for the Princess Pavillion and Mickey Mouse as it often exceeds two hours as the day progresses. Both characters start greeting guests at 10am so you will still be waiting a considerable time.
How can I make the best use of Extra Magic Hour?
The best use of Extra Magic Hour is to take advantage of the lower queue times at the rides which generally have extremely long queue times for the rest of the day:
- In Disneyland Park these rides are: Big Thunder Mountain, Hyperspace Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and Peter Pan
- In Walt Disney Studios these rides are: Crush’s Coaster, Spiderman W.E.B Adventure
If you have younger kids then Extra Magic Hour is a great opportunity to ride some of the most popular rides for younger guests. Many of these rides are walk on during Extra Magic Hour:
- In Disneyland Park these rides are: Dumbo, Peter Pan Lancelot’s Carousel, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, Buzz Lightyear and Orbitron
- In Walt Disney Studios these rides are: Ratatouille, Toy Soldiers, Cars Quatre Raleigh, Flying Carpets, Slinkydog Zigzag Spin.
Here are some suggestions for rides to focus on during Extra Magic Hour:
Walt Disney Studios
- Extra Magic Hour Option 1: make a beeline for Crush’s Coaster.
- Extra Magic Hour Option 2: go straight to Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure
- Extra Magic Hour Option 3: start with Ratatouille and then check out Toy Soldiers before stopping at Cars Quatre Raleigh and the Flying Carpets.
- Extra Magic Hour Option 4: ride Avengers Assemble and RC Racer.
- Extra Magic Hour Option 1: Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear
- Extra Magic Hour Option 2: Peter Pan, Fantasyland and Buzz Lightyear
- Extra Magic Hour Option 3: Start queuing for Mickey Mouse, Stitch or the Princess Pavillion
How many rides can I ride during Extra Magic Hour?
As many as you can squeeze in! Here are some examples of what rides we managed during our recent Extra Magic Hour:
- Disneyland Park: Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Orbitron, Pinocchio, Carousel x 2 – adult and a 4-year-old
- Disneyland Park: Dumbo x 2, Carousel x 2, Teacups, Buzz Lightyear – adult, a 3-year old and a 6-month-old.
- Walt Disney Studios: Ratatouille, Toy Soldiers, Cars Quatre Raleigh x 2, Flying Carpets, Slinkydog Zigzag Spin, RC Racer – we let our 3 and 4-year-old decide what to ride during this EMH and Dave and I jumped on RC Racer without the kids when there was no queue!
Extra Magic Hour tip: rides which are closed during Extra Magic Hour start to open up from around 9.20 onwards. It also takes about 10 minutes for the guests entering at 9.30am to start arriving at the rides in high numbers. We use this time to join the queue for other rides like Autopia, Phanotom Manor and Pirates of the Caribbean or, if your in Fantasyland, then Casey Jr and Le Pays des Contes de Fées are walk ons at that time.
Is there food available during Extra Magic Hour
Food is quite limited during Extra Magic Hour. Some options are:
- Have breakfast in your hotel at 7.30am before Extra Magic Hour
- Stop at Starbucks or McDonald’s in the Disney Village
- Cookie Kitchen on Main Street usually offers window service during Extra Magic Hour – they sell awesome chocolate-filled Mickey Mouse beignets,, croissants, cookies and muffins.
- Character breakfasts need to be pre-booked and take place at 8.15am and 9.45am. However, you must be a Disney hotel guest to enter for the 8.15am sitting and you will miss Extra Magic Hour if you reserve the first sitting.
Most of the food places don’t open until later in the morning with many opening at 11/11:30am.
Is there any other way to access the park during Extra Magic Hour?
The only other way to access the main Disneyland Park prior to opening is if you have a Gold Disney Pass, the Disneyland Paris annual pass. It is available to purchase through the Disneyland Paris France website, right-click to translate to English. The Gold Disney Pass includes access to Extra Magic Hour as one of its benefits.
Can I access Extra Magic Hour if I’m staying offsite?
Previously it was possible for all ticket holders to enter the park from 8am if they were dining at Plaza Gardens for the character breakfast at 8.15am. However, this dining slot was only ever intended for Disney hotel guests and in recent months this rule has been strongly enforced – we dined at the 8.15am sitting during July 2023 and had our Magic Pass (issued only to Disney hotel guests) multiple times on entry..
Guests staying at Disney Hotels can make reservations from the time of booking their hotel stay while reservations open 3 days in advance for everyone else. If you spot a photo of the castle with no one else in the shot, it was likely shot during breakfast entry – click here to check prices!
Accessing the park during extra magic hour
When you check into your Disney hotel you will be issued with a Magic Pass – the Magic Pass serves as your room key, identification for entering hotel facilities and as your park ticket.
To access the park during Extra Magic Hour:
Walking to the park: if you are a guest at Marvel, Newport Bay, Sequoia, Cheyenne or Santa Fe then you can walk to the park in 10 to 20 minutes depending on which hotel you are staying in. There are two security checks that hotel guests can use and both checkpoints are located close to the entrance to the Disney Village: the first is located in front of the Marvel and is the easiest entry point for guests of the Marvel, Sequoia, Cheyenne and Santa Fe and the second is between Newport Bay and the Disney Village. The security checkpoints open at 8am – it is pointless arriving too early as before 8am as you will just be standing around waiting for security to open.
Entering the park: during Extra Magic Hour, hotel guests can enter the Disneyland Park through one of the side entrances. During our most recent visits (August and October 2022) the entrance on the left side was open both times and the entrance on the right side was open on the latter visit. Join the shortest queue!
At Walt Disney Studios all guests queue in front of the entrance.
After entering the park: keep an eye out for Mickey Mouse on the balcony in Town Square – he welcomes guests to the park during Extra Magic Hour and waves everyone off when the park closes. Stop in front of the castle for some photos when it is quiet and then make a beeline for your favourite ride.