Early Morning Magic – Is It Worth It?
So, the big question. Is Early Morning Magic at the Magic Kingdom worth it? And that is a great question. We’re going to break it down for you. From what it is, how much it costs, how we used it and is it worth it?
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Fantasyland Fun Before the Park Opens
Make your Magic Kingdom morning more magical than ever with this limited-entry, first-access experience in the park. With the purchase of regular theme park admission and a reservation to Disney Early Morning Magic, Guests of all ages can be among the first to enter Magic Kingdom park.
Enjoy expanded Early Morning Magic, offering limited entry, early access to twice as many Fantasyland attractions!
Greet the day the early-morning-fun way with these 7 iconic Fantasyland attractions:
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Peter Pan’s Flight!*
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- “it’s a small world”
- Mad Tea Party
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
Enjoy breakfast at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, featuring scrumptious fare such as:
- Scrambled eggs
- Smoked bacon
- Breakfast potatoes
- Freshly baked pastries
- Cheese and cured meats
- Seasonal fruit
- Assorted juices
- Coffee and teas
Schedule and Pricing
On select Sundays and Tuesdays, the newly expanded Disney Early Morning Magic offering will take place from 7:45 AM to 10:00 AM. Admission is available for $79 per adult and $69 per child (tax not included). However, admission is also very limited, so be sure to book your reservation before it’s too late!
Regular theme park admission is also required.
- Official Check-in will take place near the far left Touchpoints of the Main Entrance to Magic Kingdom park beginning at 7:30 AM.
- Starting at 7:45 AM, event Guests will be admitted into the park and guided into Fantasyland. Guests arriving after 7:45 AM should check in inside the park on the Teacups bridge.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Princess Fairytale Hall, “it’s a small world”, Under the Sea ~ Adventures of the Little Mermaid and Mad Tea Party are the only attractions that will be operational during this special event.
- From 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, breakfast will be available at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café.
How much does Early Morning Magic Cost?
The first thing you need to know is the cost is an add-on to your normal ticket. Meaning you must first have tickets purchased in your account. With Disney’s new ticketing prices everything is a little different on that price. For this example, we will use what we paid. My wife and I hold annual passes but the kids do not yet (why? Because we buy annual passes during different times of the year so we don’t have to renew them all at once. We do ours in the fall and will add the kids in the summer). So the kids’ tickets that day were roughly (with tax) $383.62. That’s the get into the park at the normal time price that we started with for one day.
The cost of the Early Morning Magic ticket add-on was $388.75 for the five of us (or $77.75 with tax per person). I know it sounds crazy. Trust me, I know.
So that means the day’s ticket costs were (not including annual passes) a total of $772.37. Which sounds stupid. But read on…you’ll start to see that it can make sense for your family.
How long does Early Morning Magic last?
Early Morning Magic is only offered on certain days of the week. When we were there it was only on Sunday and Tuesday. The add-on gets you into the park at 7:45 am and it is over by 9:00 am. So, you do the math…that’s $388.75 for a family of 5 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
We will break down the cost further after we explain what all we did! Keep reading!!
How do I purchase Early Morning Magic?
We purchased online and yes it is a prepaid ticket. So have your credit card ready.
How far in advance do I purchase Early Morning Magic?
I would purchase it as far out as possible to guarantee availability. Remember that you must first purchase your regular admission tickets. We actually purchased our Early Morning Magic tickets on a Wednesday, just days before the Sunday it was for. I don’t recommend it but we were lucky.
How we used Early Morning Magic.
We got into the Contemporary on Saturday afternoon. Hung out close by, ate dinner at The Wave (which was surprisingly tasty…a review will come soon), watched the fireworks from the observation deck at the Contemporary and then got in bed early (10:30 pm early….you know…Disney early).
Staying at the Contemporary was awesome. If you haven’t done it before it is our favorite resort so far. The rooms are nice and walking to the Magic Kingdom makes it so much easier! Read our full review of the Contemporary here.
We got up at 6 am. Got ourselves ready. Got the kids up by 6:30 and were headed down the elevator by 7:12. We were at the security check to get on the monorail by 7:14. We were on the monorail by 7:17. This is where I got a little worried…you can walk to the Magic Kingdom in about 8-10 minutes but it is a pretty good trek. We felt we had plenty of time to get into the park even by monorail (which you should know makes the entire loop from the Contemporary, to the Polynesian, to the Grand Floridian and eventually to the Magic Kingdom….all in all about 20-22 minutes with no delays).
We got off the monorail at about 7:37 and had a short walk down the ramp and into the ticketing lines. There the cast members are directing Early Morning Magic to the left and dining reservations to the right (you can use dining reservations to get in ahead of the crowds – learn about that here). You get a special Early Morning Magic bracelet.
We were into the park waiting line just outside the gates of Mainstreet by 7:40. So that gave us 5 minutes to spare. This is what that area looked like at 7:40.
7:45 rolls around and we are off to Fantasyland. Which is to the right of the castle. See the image below and pay no attention to the red dotted line as it is the parade route.
This is what the crowds look like getting to Fantasyland.
All the other lands look like this leaving Fantasyland the only place you can head to. Which should be obvious but you know…
I am going to give you the quick (no-frills) list of what we did, how many times we did it and in the order we did them. Then we will talk more about each ride and the waits.
7:45 AM Walk to Fantasyland
7:48 AM inside Fantasyland making our way to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train (along with most everyone else)
7:52 AM on the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train for ride 1
8:00 AM on the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train for ride 2
8:10 AM on the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train for ride 3
8:20 AM on the Winnie the Pooh ride
8:23 AM to Peter Pan’s line
8:30 AM on Small World / off by 8:46
Back to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train
8:51 AM on the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train for ride 4
8:57 AM on the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train for ride 5
9:05 headed to breakfast at Cosmic Rays
Let’s break it down now. Everyone heads to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train first (so did we). It takes about 10 minutes to get through the line queue and ride the ride to completion. When you get off the ride there is an exit (like normal) just don’t go all the way through the exit. They have opened up the rope to come back in the ride! Just keeping looping it there until your heart is content. We rode it 3 times in a row. There was no wait for Winnie the Pooh and we could have looped it without exiting if we wanted. But we moved on to Peter Pan as those waits get crazy. We rode Peter Pan just once because we wanted to get in Small World and get back to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. Let me caution you here. Small World took 16 minutes to ride. That is a lot of time when you only get 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can do this one later. We did not ride the Carousel although some were already. You can catch it later in the day. We then went back to the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train for a back to back ride. The wait was even smaller by this time as we ended up looping in in about 6 minutes compared to the 10 minutes per ride it took earlier in the morning. This was all due to the wait time of the queue. Everyone went there first and then to others. Very few seemed to come back to it.
When we were headed back to the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train (for rides 4 and 5) we noticed a long line of people beginning to form (this was about 8:50 AM). We found that it was the line of early dining people. Those are the people who got in early via a dining reservation and have now completed their morning meal and are waiting for the park to officially open. They aren’t able to ride anything but they are able to be the first to ride when the park opens at 9 AM. There were enough people in this line to immediately take the wait time to 60 minutes. 60 MINUTES!!!! And the park had just opened. Sorry rope droppers….you’ll have to wait on the early diners.
As we got off the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train at 9:02 or so we saw the Cast Member walking the front of that line up to the ride entrance and into the queue. The line that followed was backed up all the way to Dumbo…yes…Dumbo. We encountered numerous people running up only to see that the ride was already up to 60 minutes…
As we walked from the Tea Cups ride area towards Cosmic Rays (for our breakfast) the crowds were still pouring in.
We then went into Cosmic Rays (only open to Early Morning Magic goers – via the bracelet you got earlier). There was a small line of about 5-8 families per line. We ordered within minutes and then grabbed a seat (of which were 50% still open) and casually ate our breakfast.
The food was solid. Bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, a fruit bar, pastry bar, toppings bar, orange juice, apple juice and all you care to enjoy. You also get Dasani water bottles which are great to have with you the rest of the day.
We finished up and felt like we had conquered the day. And it was only 9:45 AM.
But what about the price tag?
Let’s discuss that a bit. We paid $388.75 for the Early Morning Magic access. If you have ever eaten breakfast at the Magic Kingdom (or anywhere for that matter) you’ll quickly notice that it can be pricey. Our family of 5 usually spends about $150 for breakfast. If we were eating at a buffet (very much like Cosmic Rays breakfast for the event) let’s say like the Crystal Palace, that price tag would be about $200 (roughly $40 per adult and $25 per child) with tax and tip.
Start Price – $388.75
Breakfast – $200 (for a comparable breakfast)
That leaves a balance of $188.75 or $37.75 per person…which at least makes more sense.
Perhaps you can’t see breakfast as a separate cost and you would have skipped breakfast or eaten something you brought with you.
$388.75 divided by the minutes you get with low crowds = $5.18 per minute or a $1.04 per person per minute.
How about breaking it down per ride? We rode 8 rides before 9 AM.
$388.75 / 8 rides = $48.59 per ride for the family or $9.72 per person per ride.
Both of those scenarios don’t account for breakfast. But you’ll have to decide on your own if it is worth the cost.
Is It Worth It?
For us YES. A resounding yes. Do you like waiting in line? Do you like navigating through the large crowds to go anywhere? We don’t. We love no crowds and looping our favorite rides endlessly and then enjoying breakfast while everyone else is rushing into the park. Our kids are 9, 6, and 4. They won’t be this young forever. The experience was magical and uninterrupted access to the most magical place on Earth (our opinion). We left breakfast feeling awesome. We still had Fast Passes for later in the day. It was amazing. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
You can also enjoy Early Morning Magic at Hollywood Studios. There is a similar event called Magic After Hours for some parks as well. Which would you want to hear about first? Comment below or tell us about your Early Morning Magic experience.