Last year I realized a childhood dream and stayed at a Disneyland Resort Hotel for the very first time. (Hey Ma, I made it!). We only stayed one night because it was significantly more than what we can really afford, nearly 3x our usual hotel budget but I was acting on a Disneyland Annual Passholder discount I couldn’t pass up.
This first stay at a Disney property was absolutely fabulous but of course there were several things I wish I knew before I booked. One of those things is exactly how Magic Mornings worked.
Magic Morning is a super awesome benefit that allows all Disneyland Resort Hotel guests to enter either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park 1 hour early every day of their stay. Folks who purchase a multi-day ticket with 3 or more days also get this benefit on one day of the ticker usage.
Prior to our arrival I had a hard time fully understanding how this thing worked. At check in it was only slightly de-mystified. Here is exactly how it works:
Only one park opens early each day. The park that does open early depends on the day of the week:
Disneyland Park: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Disney California Adventure Park: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
You need your room key to gain entry. Only one of us was asked to show a room key but we both had ours just in case!
You will need your key to access other areas of the park. Other people can enter the park before it really opens but will be held at barriers until the park officially opens. Your room key will allow you to also clear those barriers. There was a very small portion of the line inside Disney California Adventure with a Magic Morning sign and a Cast Member checking keys.
We used the magic hour benefit on a Wednesday and entered Disney’s California Adventure Park. We couldn’t get our act together and entered 30 minutes late but even so, it didn’t matter! The park was delightfully empty and In that half we hour we went on:
Toy Story Midway Mania (CC’s first time! Normally the line is WAY too long)
Pixar Pal Around ferris wheel
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
The park opened while we were on The Little Mermaid but it was still very empty afterward. We were able to get on Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! with no wait in line.
The Magic Hour alone was totally Worth the expense of staying onsite at the hotel. The extra 30 minute boost allowed us to do more in one hour in the park than we sometimes are able to in a whole day.
I highly recommend the splurge on either a 3 day ticket or more or a night at the hotel if you can do it. We will definitely be repeating our stay for at least one night, this time on a Monday night so we can go into Disneyland Park on Tuesday morning.