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Disney in a Minute: What is Early Entry?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

Over the years Disney World has had a number of number of ways for guests to garner a little extra time in the theme parks. A current iteration of this concept is “Early Entry,” a perk for guests staying at Disney resort hotels.

Guests of the Disney hotels are allowed to enter all four WDW theme parks 30 minutes prior to other visitors. While this may not seem like much, our research has shown that this tiny head start can reap major time savings benefits. Be aware that many, but not all attractions are open during the Early Entry period.

When you arrive at the WDW theme parks prior to rope drop, you’ll see signage directing resort guests to a special Early Entry line. At that line, cast members will scan your hotel key (in the form of a card, MagicBand, or MagicMobile code) to verify that you’re staying at a Disney hotel. Off-site or local guests will be held at a different location until half an hour after resort guests have been admitted.

For more about Early Entry including what rides to target, see: Ahead of the Pack: Making the Most of Disney World Rope Drop.

Note: For Early Entry purposes, Disney resort guest is a wider category than you might expect. In addition to the obvious resorts on WDW property, Early Entry privileges are also allowed for guests of these hotels: Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, 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, and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista. This list changes periodically, so please confirm when booking your accommodations.

Have a question about a Disney term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming Disney in a Minute segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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