There is new rumor going around that Disney is eliminating Extra Magic Hours. This, simply because none are listed on the January 2016 park hours calendar just released. You can see the calendar here. I contend there is no merit to this rumor. If they were truly going to eliminate Extra Magic Hours, why would there still be a place for it designated on the calendar? Wouldn’t the words Extra Magic Hours just not be there at all? This calendar was technically released early. My feeling is they will be issuing a revised calendar in the next couple of weeks following the 2016 Package Rate release. ANYWAY, this rumor brought forth so many comments from Walt Disney World guests, which is the reason for this post.

In response to the story, many people claimed the Extra Magic Hours benefit is the ONLY reason to stay on Disney property and if they were to go away, they would no longer stay at a Disney resort hotel. What?! While I expected that from one or two people, I was shocked at the number of folks who agreed. Umm…I think we need a refresher course!

First let me say, I have stayed off property at a lovely resort and had a wonderful time. It’s just not the same and that has very little to do with Extra Magic Hours.

For guests who fly into the Orlando International Airport, the magic begins the moment you step off the plane! Disney’s Magical Express bus transportation (complimentary when staying on property) to and from the airport is an amazing way to leave reality behind and take that 30-40 minute, cool, comfortable ride to your resort while brushing up on what’s new and exciting around the Walt Disney World Resort via the welcome video that is shown. This is my favorite way to begin a Disney vacation. Road trips are fun too!

Once you arrive at your resort, the immersion into this fantasy world never ends. While each resort has it’s own unique flair and amenities depending on it’s category, you will find all your needs are met no matter what your budget. Food courts, gift shops, amazing pools, a full list of resort activities including pool games, campfires, and movies under the stars to name a few. When staying on property, you never leave the magic of Walt Disney World. Each resort has it’s own theme and whether it’s a Value, Moderate or Deluxe, they knock the decor out of the park!

Speaking of parks, when you are ready to start hitting the attractions, each resort has complimentary transportation to and from each of the four theme parks, two water parks and Downtown Disney (Disney Springs). You leave your car at the resort, don’t have to look for or pay for parking (which is hefty) and there’s no chance you’ll get lost on the way. At the end of the day, when your tired just hop back on the bus and it will take you “home”.

But these are just the conveniences really or priceless aesthetic benefits, that come with staying on property. There are also financial perks in the form of vouchers, coupons and discounts for all resort guests who book a Magic Your Way Package, they are:

  • Arcade Game Card – 100 points game play in arcades located in Disney Resort hotels. (One card per package).
  • Basin: 10% off entire purchase at Basin White at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Bass Fishing Excursions – 15% off the non-discounted price of a 2-hour Guided Bass Fishing Excursion or a Bass Nitro Fishing Excursion at select Walt Disney World marinas. Excursions include fishing equipment, rod, reel, shiners, artificial bait, nonalcoholic beverages and a 1-year membership to B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. One per package).
  • Children Activity Centers – 15% off the non-discounted hourly rates at the Children Activity Center located at selectDisney Resort hotels. Minimum charge of two (2) hours per child. Services available for children age 3-12. (One per package).
  • DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive Theme Park – Guests will receive two vouchers, each valid for a 1-Day admission (vouchers must be exchanged for tickets at DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park ticket window; valid for two tickets per package; restrictions apply).
  • The Hair Wrap Company – One charm with a value of $5.00 with a purchase of a hair wrap at select Walt Disney Worldlocations.
  • Horseback Trail Rides – 15% off the non-discounted price of the 30-minute trail rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground (restrictions apply). For reservations call 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529).
  • Joffery’s Coffee & Tea Company® – 20% off non-discounted purchases at locations in Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®,Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park,Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and the Downtown Disney® Area.
  • Miniature Golf – Guests will receive two vouchers, each valid for one round of miniature golf prior to 4:00 p.m. on one day at either Disney’s Fantasia Gardens or Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses (valid for two rounds of golf per package).
  • Spa Treatments or Salon Services – 15% discount on the non-discounted price of select 50 minute or longer Spa service or any Salon service at select Disney Resort hotels. (Hand and foot treatments are excluded. Age restrictions apply. One per package). For reservations call 407-WDW-SPAS (407-939-7727).
  • Sammy Duvall’s Watersports – 10% off the non-discounted price of all activities including parasailing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing trips at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (Subject to availability; excludes merchandise; restrictions apply. One per package).
  • Walt Disney World Marinas – 15% off the non-discounted price of any boat rental at participating Walt Disney Worldmarina locations. (One per package).
  • Walt Disney World Tours – 15% off the non-discounted price of the following tours at Walt Disney World Resort: EpcotEpcot DiveQuest Tour, Epcot Seas Aqua Tour, Behind the Seeds – A Special Guided Greenhouse Tour, The unDISCOVERED Future World Tour, Gardens of the World Tour; Magic Kingdom Park – Disney’s Family Magic Tour, Walt Disney: Marceline to the Magic Kingdom Tour, Disney’s Behind our Steam Trains Tour; Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – Disney’s Wilderness Back Trail Adventure.

Downtown Disney® Area Shopping and Dining

  • Arribas Brothers – 10% off purchases (excludes Aramani, glassblowing custom/special orders, Nao Collection by Lladró, Starlite Collection (Acrylic), Swarovski, The Arribas Collection and shipping charges; some other restrictions apply. Discount may not be combined with any other offer).
  • Basin – 10% off purchases.
  • Bongos Cuban Café® – 15% off food and nonalcoholic beverages and merchandise.
  • Curl® by Sammy Duvall – 10% off the price of non-discounted merchandise (excludes watches, sunglasses and electronics).
  • Fulton’s Crab House – 10% off food and nonalcoholic beverages.
  • House of Blues™ – 20% off food and nonalcoholic beverages; 10% off the price of non-discounted merchandise.
  • Little MissMatched™ – 20% off the non-discounted prices of merchandise.
  • Paradisio 37 – 20% discount on the purchase of food and nonalcoholic beverages during lunch.
  • Planet Hollywood® – Receive a $15.00 voucher valid for food and nonalcoholic beverages and one souvenir merchandise keepsake. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. (One per package).
  • Pop Gallery – 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise (excludes published artists and shipping).
  • Portobello Country Italian Trattoria – 10% off food and nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Something Silver® – 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise.
  • Splitsville Luxury Lanes™ – 10% discount on the purchase of food and nonalcoholic beverages; 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise; 20% discount on bowling, Mon.- Fri. from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (One per package; not valid with any other offers and discounts).
  • Wolfgang Puck Café – 10% off food and nonalcoholic beverages.

A flyer outlining all of these benefits can be found here.

Extra Magic Hours are an amazing perk, and I would be extremely disappointed and surprised if they were to be eliminated. I take full advantage of them using the park hopper ticket option each time I visit. But as you can see, they are definitely NOT the only reason to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Not by a long shot.