Disney Gets Rid of Early Park Access for Certain Hotels in 2024

in Walt Disney World

Family looks at a phone in front of Cinderella Castle

Credit: Waldorf Astoria

If you’re debating hotels for your 2024 Walt Disney World vacation, you may want to check out these last updates.

Since opening in 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort has added numerous hotels to its roster. It started out with just three: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Today, it owns and operates 28 across its Resort areas – although that number will soon drop to 27 with the closure of Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser in September.

Disney's Contemporary Resort at night with a monorail running through the lobby
Credit: Disney

Over the years, it’s introduced a multi-tier system to help Guests find a hotel in their budget. All of its 28 hotels are grouped into one of four categories – Deluxe, Moderate, Value, and Disney Vacation Club Villas – with the latter two typically racking up the biggest price tag.

Wherever you stay, however, you get to enjoy one massive perk: entering the Parks early. This used to be called Morning Extra Magic Hours, but this was discontinued when the Parks reopened after COVID. Instead, it introduced the concept of Early Theme Park Entry in October 2021 to mark the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge at night
Credit: Disney

Early Theme Park Entry offers Disney World hotel Guests the chance to visit a Park up to 30 minutes before it officially opens. The best part? You don’t even technically need to stay in a Disney hotel. Some Disney partner hotels also offer this perk, including B Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista, Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Waldorf Astoria Orlando, and Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Credit: Waldorf Astoria

But that may not always be the case. Disney has just updated its list of hotels offering early entry. While its own properties will give Guests access through to the end of 2024, these non-Disney hotels are now listed as providing access until the end of 2023.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t offer early access in 2024. However, with Disney constantly renegotiating contracts and deals with its neighboring hotels, it’s something worth bearing in mind if you’re weighing up a hotel to book for your 2024 vacation.

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