Walt Disney World Resort is home to dozens of themed Resort hotels, from campgrounds to value hotels, moderate Resorts to luxurious Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas. Each has its own theming and amenities, but all offer exclusive perks like Disney transportation, free parking, and early Theme Park entry. Formerly known as Extra Magic Hours, Resort hotel Guests receive 30 minutes of early entry into Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney Resort hotel Guests received between one and two hours of extra time at assigned Disney Parks daily.
But one former Disney Cast Member says that Early Theme Park Entry isn’t worth the extra cost of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Sara (@the3.mouseketeers) shared her thoughts on what she called a “scam” on TikTok:
#stitch with @lilredmeanie surprise it’s all done for a reason and thats crowd control #magickingdomearlyentry #earlyentry #disneyworldhotels #waltdisneyworld #magickingdom #disneyworld #castmembers #disneycastmembers #disneycastmemberlife #disneycastmemberstories #excastmember
“I think it’s a total scam,” Sara said. “You are allowed into certain parts of the Park. I worked at Magic Kingdom as a Park Greeter, and we allowed you into Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. We had to scan you in, and people would come up and say, ‘Where’s the Early Entry line?’ Well, every line is the early entry line.”
Instead of paying for a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, the former Cast Member recommended saving money by staying offsite and waiting around Main Street, U.S.A., to do a “second rope drop” at Adventureland. “They’ve got everybody to the back of the Park whose Early Entry,” Sara explained. “Meanwhile, after the Castle show… you can walk onto everything in Adventureland… everything in Frontierland, everything in Liberty Square.”
“I know some people are going to be mad at me,” Sara concluded. “But… staying offsite has huge benefits.”
Is Walt Disney World Early Entry worth paying premium Resort hotel prices? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments.
Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks experience. No two experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.