When Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, it returned with many perks and features not available. One of the historical perks of staying at a Walt Disney Resort hotel was the ability to get early park admission. This benefit has returned for on-site hotel guests.
In previous years, the on-site resort guests would have early entry to one park each day. In the new version of early park entry, all four parks are open a half hour early.
Currently, it is too soon to know everything regarding how to use this perk to your advantage. Also, it is a bit too early to know how guest without early park entry should handle this. However, we have learned a few things about the procedure at EPCOT. On days where EPCOT officially opens at 11:00, you can expect a huge crowd at official opening.
Based on the first few days of early park entry at EPCOT, guests are divided at park entry. At the main entrance to EPCOT, guests with early park access were directed to the right side with other guests being directed to the left. There were cast members with signs indicating this.
While in the resort guest queue before entering the park, you should expect cast members to scan your band or ticket media. This is done to speed up process and confirm your park reservations. You should expect a large amount of people waiting for park opening. Yet, the resort guest entry queues have not been excessive so far at EPCOT.
Opening procedure will be slightly different each day. During the two days evaluated so far, the resort guests were allowed inside EPCOT around 10:15 on average. They were allowed to enter any attraction queue available or “ropedrop” merchandise stores/popular restaurants.
On both days evaluated, at exactly 10:30, the attractions open for early park time allowing guest on attractions.
The current attractions open during early entry are:
Beauty and The Beast Sing-Along
Frozen Ever After
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Soarin’ Around the World
Standard efficient park touring theory would advise you to visit either “Frozen”, “Soarin” or Test Track first. The queue will shorter before non-resort guests enter. As a resort guest, you should be able to enjoy at least one attraction during the 30 minutes of early entry. You should also have time to enter the queue of another attraction with current procedure at EPCOT. This could change but so far non-resort guests were not allowed inside the park until actual official opening time.
As Walt Disney World attempts to show the value for their on-site hotels, the early park entry benefit could be useful. If off-site guests are not allowed into each park until official opening, then this perk could save time. It will be valuable at EPCOT but would also expect it to be more valuable at parks that open earlier in the day. Only time will tell. However, if you are planning a Walt Disney theme park day, this early park entry procedure could be worth it to you.
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Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.