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Old 09-28-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
Abchoi
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Extra Magic Hrs during January travel

Extra Magic Hours (nighttime) - good, bad or irrelevant for travel in January?

This my first trip since I was a teenager & the very first for my husband & 2 children (5 & 8). Here's why I'm asking the Q . . . the parks close earlier in the winter than in the summer, so it would seem that EMH (nighttime) would be quite beneficial, especially if we "lose" park time by returning to the resort midday to rest. However, the unofficial guide to Disney warns visitors to stay away from EMH parks because it draws so many people to those parks...but I'm wondering if this issue is as relevant in the winter as it is in the summer when the overall crowd levels are half what they are in the summer.

Now that I've made my resort reservations, I'm preparing to make dinner & character meal reservations and I want to get a sense of whether I need to stay away from certain parks on certain days...or not.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:06 AM   #2
Robo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abchoi View Post
Extra Magic Hours (nighttime) - good, bad or irrelevant for travel in January?

This my first trip since I was a teenager & the very first for my husband & 2 children (5 & 8). Here's why I'm asking the Q . . . the parks close earlier in the winter than in the summer, so it would seem that EMH (nighttime) would be quite beneficial, especially if we "lose" park time by returning to the resort midday to rest. However, the unofficial guide to Disney warns visitors to stay away from EMH parks because it draws so many people to those parks...but I'm wondering if this issue is as relevant in the winter as it is in the summer when the overall crowd levels are half what they are in the summer.

Now that I've made my resort reservations, I'm preparing to make dinner & character meal reservations and I want to get a sense of whether I need to stay away from certain parks on certain days...or not.

Thanks for your help!
The first thing you need to know is that PM EMH drops to just TWO hours instead of THREE hours beginning this January.
That will mean that the two hours of PM EMH will likely be busier than later PM EMH's used to be.

--------

Otherwise, in general-

Never attending EMH's because they will be "too crowded or overly-stressful,"
is like never eating grapes because they will be "too sour."

CAN be that way.
Doesn't HAVE to be that way.

Each EMH experience can be different.

We always go to AM EMH (virtually every day of the trip
that we did not do a PM EMH late the night before)...
never ONCE regretted an AM EMH... they are amazingly
empty and easy to ride the open attractions.
If that park then starts to fill 2 to 3 hours later...
We're happy with "doing" that park for the day and we
can HOP elsewhere or do lunch and take a rest until
later.

PM EMH's are a mixed bag. I've been when they were
"packed"... but on other nights (sometimes within the
same trip), the crowds were basically so low that it
was like "free rides" on all the open attractions.

The rule seems to be, it is far easier for guests to
STAY UP at the end of the day, than it is for them to
GET UP at the start of the day.

Generally speaking:
Expect a PM EMH which begins before 10PM to be much busier than one that begins much later.
Expect the first 90 min. of PM EMH to be much busier than the last 90 min. of PM EMH.

Those who have attended PM EMH's and say that "they
are too crowded" are right... but that may have been only on the nights
they have attended.
I can say from personal experience that EMH's CAN be
virtually empty, or overly full... or somewhere in-between for attendance,
often within the same week.

On one particular trip, we went to a PM EMH at DAK on a Wed night and a PM EMH at MK
on a Sun night (early Spring visit.)
Both of those EMH's were so empty of guests that we could have
stayed on many attractions and ridden over and over.
This included Splash, BTM, and Pirates (and many more) at
MK, and Exp. Everest, Kali, and Dinosaur at AK.
What's interesting is that the crowds during the day at these parks were
pretty heavy... but, within the first hour of EMH, those crowds simply
"evaporated."

However, the crowd situation at PM EMH can change so much (either way,)
that saying it was "like X" on a given night, can have little relation
to another night in the same time-period. So, you
simply "won't know unless you go."
It's similar to saying
that you attended on a given night and it rained, so
guests should never go on that night because it will
probably be rainy.

But, it can all boil down to your particular timing.

If you just consider that EMH's are FREE to attend...
You might just take a chance.
If it's too busy, just people-watch... or hit the exit.
(Where ELSE are ya gonna go at 10pm, anyway?)

But, if its not busy... you'll be ALL SET for EXTRA FUN!

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
Waddler
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I've been to EP and MK evening EMH in late January many times, and it has always been a good experience. There are a lot of people in the parks at closing (for Wishes or Illuminations), but the wait times during EMH are very short.

The typical mid/late January crowd includes a lot of families with stroller-aged kids. I think most were spent by early evening. Temps in the 40's also deter a lot of people. (Bring hats and gloves for nighttime!)

With the low crowds, you might even find that you get your fill by the time the park closes.

YMMV.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
Abchoi
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EMH - thanks

Thanks for the info - especially the January-specific info. I am aware that EMH days can mean lots more people at the parks. I just wanted to get a sense of what it meant for January. Thanks!
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