Disney Adds a New Perk For Some Hotel Guests

Magic band Scan early Theme Park Entry
Credit: Disney

Staying at a Disney owned hotel comes with many perks: dining plans, free parking, the ability to immerse yourself in the magic, transportation and proximity to the Parks, and extra time in the Parks. Not to mention the incredible theming that Disney Resorts have to offer. We love staying “on property” in Disney owned hotels 

 Sometimes, though, you need to tighten the purse strings just like a little on your vacation budget. Disney Resort hotels aren’t cheap and one of the best ways to experience the magic on a budget is to stay elsewhere. That means giving up some perks, but luckily more hotels than ever are being offered a perk that makes staying off-property just as magical! 

Early Theme Park Entry

Credit: Disney Parks

Disney’s Early Theme Park Entery is a perk that allows Disney Resort guests access to all 4 Disney World theme parks 30 minutes before the Parks open. This replaced Extra Magic Hours which went away in 2020. Extra Magic Hours used to rotate a park to open an hour early and close 2 hours later for resort guests.  Staffing issues and operating costs forced a cut back of this perk. The upside to Early Theme Park Entry is not being beholden to Disney’s schedule. Instead of going to whichever park they deemed to be the Magic Hours Park of the Day, you can take your pick from any of the 4 on any given day. 

Recently,  Disney began allowing a select few off-property resorts to receive this benefit. This comes in handy for those tight budget trips where Disney owned hotels just aren’t a possibility. Everyone wants to feel like they’ve gotten the most bang for their buck. Early Theme Park Entry helps you do just that. 

Drury Plaza Hotel early Theme Park Entry

Credit: Drury Plaza Hotel

Now Disney has added one additional hotel to the mix! We noticed today, while planning a quick trip down to Disney for Halloween festivities, that the Lake Buena Vista Drury Plaza Hotel at Disney Springs has been added to the list of included hotels. This adds a nice mid-range option (real world mid-range, not Disney mid-range) to the list. 

Curious about which hotels qualify? All value, moderate, deluxe and Disney Vacation Club Walt Disney World Resort hotels are included. Currently  the list of non-Disney owned hotels includes: 

  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
  • B Resort & Spa
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando
  • Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando
  • Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando
  • Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World® Resort
  • Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
  • Waldorf Astoria Orlando
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
  • Wyndham Lake Buena Vista


This is an exciting addition to Disney’s offerings and we hope they stick around. It’s nice that guests of all budgets can take advantage of this incredible perk. Keep in mind that this list is subject to change without notice so make sure to check Disney’s official website before making reservations. 

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.