Strategies for Early Magic Hour at Disneyland Paris

Want to know the best strategies for Early Magic Hour at Disneyland Paris? Sometimes also called Disneyland Paris Extra Magic Hour or EMH, this is a special perk for those staying at an on-site hotel and for certain annual pass holders.  This hour is renowned for having lower crowds so is a great way to tick a lot of rides off your Disneyland Paris bucket list and get on those with typically longer queues. 

In this guide you will learn: 

  • the best strategies for using Early Magic Hour at Disneyland Park
  • the options for using EMH at Walt Disney Studios Park and 
  • how to use Early Magic Hours to meet specific characters. 

What is Early Magic Hour?

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View of the castle at Disneyland Paris during Early Magic Hours

Early Magic Hour at Disneyland Paris

Early Magic Hour, also sometimes called Extra Magic Hour or shortened to EMH, is a perk for guests who are staying on-site or are holders of Magic Plus and Infinity level annual passes. 

This perk is available no matter whether you are staying at the most expensive hotel, the Disneyland Hotel or the historically cheapest, Santa Fe. But for more information on picking best Disneyland Paris hotel for you check out this post. 

During this hour the parks open one hour earlier than for off-site guests. and select rides are operational. 

Note: Early Magic Hour is a perk for those who have booked a package of hotel and ticket through Disneyland Paris direct. Click here to check prices for hotel and ticket packages through Disneyland Paris. And is only available for Magic Plus and Infinity Level Annual pass holders only. 

Top Tip: When you book your hotel and ticket package through Disney you have park tickets that are valid for use on arrival and departure day too which means you have early magic hours on these days too. 

For instance, if you have only booked one night at a Disney hotel you will have two park tickets, or if you booked a 3 night stay you will have 4 days of tickets. 

Whenever we go to Disneyland we like to book a cheap off-site hotel the night before, and then get up early drop off our bags at our on-site and be in for Early Magic Hour. Then on our departure day we always make sure that we do not need to leave the area until after 11am at the earliest to make sure that we are able to use Early Magic on our last day. 

What rides are open during EMH? 

View of space mountain and buzz lightyears laser blast during early magic hour at Disneyland Paris

Early Magic Hour at Disneyland Paris

Now usually the rides are pretty consistent for EMH however there are always some exceptions and things that may be closed due to refurbishments. Therefore it is always worth checking the Disneyland Paris app for up to date information for your dates of travel. If the ride is listed as being open from 8:30am or the Magic Hour starting time then this will be open.

However in the main Disneyland park you can expect the following to be usually open:

  • Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains (snow White and the Seven Dwarves), Fantasyland,
  • Dumbo’s Flying Elephant, Fantasyland,
  • It’s a Small World, Fantasyland, 
  • Lancelot’s Carousel, Fantasyland,
  • Les Voyages de Pinocchio, Fantasyland,
  • Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, Fantasyland
  • Peter Pan’s Flight, Fantasyland, 
  • Big Thunder Mountain, Adventureland,
  • Pirates of the Caribbean, Adventureland, 
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast, Discoveryland, and
  • Star Wars Hyperspace mountain, Discoveryland

While in the Studios you can usually expect these attractions to be open: 

  • Avengers Assemble: Flight ForceRatatouille: The Adventure,
  • Cars Quatre Roues Rallye,
  • Crush’s Coaster,
  • Les Tapis Volants – Flying Carpets over Agrabah,
  • Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin,
  • Spiderman W.E.B Adventure,
  • RC Racer,
  • Tower of Terror, and
  • Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop

Are there character meet and greets during Extra Magic Hour?

The answer to are there character meet and greets during Early Magic Hours is yes and no. It very much depends on the time of year you are visiting and what characters you want to meet. 

Whenever you arrive at Disneyland Paris during Early Magic you will find Mickey and Minnie waving from the train station platform as you enter. So be sure to wave back and take a pic. 

Mickey and Minnie waving from train station platform during Early Magic Hour at Disneyland Paris

Early Magic Hour at Disneyland Paris

However, most meet and greets don’t usually start until after Magic Hour. We have however met Winnie the Pooh and Pluto during this time. 

But if there is one of the big characters you want to meet such as Mickey Mouse, the princesses in the Princess Pavillon or Stitch then you may want to use your magic hour to queue for these. Some of these queues can get up to two hours long so it can be a time saving to start queuing for these experiences during magic time. 

What are the best ways to use Early Magic Hours?

So what is the best way to use EMH? Well, this is obviously dependent on who you are travelling with i.e. toddlers or adults, prioritising family-friendly rides or thrill rides or whether you want to meet characters. So we will give you a strategy for each of these by park. 

How to use Early Magic Hour with toddlers? 

view of fantasyland during early magic hour

Fantasyland in Disneyland Paris

If you are travelling to Disneyland Paris with toddlers you will want to prioritise the heights with little or no height restrictions. Therefore if the main Disneyland Park you are best to head straight to Fantasyland. 

We usually try and jump straight on Peter Pan’s Flight which typically has one of the longest queues in this park. Once we have ridden this we will try and get on as many fantasyland rides as possible usually in the following order:

  • Dumbo Flying Elephant, 
  • Lancelot’s Carousel, 
  • Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups,
  • Pinocchio followed by 
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. 

Then I will either move across to Discoveryland to jump on Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast or join the queue for either Mickey or the Princesses if these are a priority. 

While in the Walt Disney Studio’s Park I will head to the Ratatouille Ride before heading to the Toy Story area rides. 

How to use EMH for thrill rides? 

Hyperspace Mountain queue Disneyland Paris

Hyperspace Mountain queue Disneyland Paris

If you are wanting to prioritise thrill rides during EMH then you should either head to 

And depending on your wants I would either head over to the other during EMH or do the other lands in the area. 

While in the Studios park I would head to:

  • Crush’s Coaster – the ride with consistently the longest queue in this park, 
  • W.E.B Slingers 
  • Tower of Terror or 
  • Avengers Flight Force. 

How to use Early Magic Hours to meet characters? 

queue to meet Winnie the Pooh during Early Magic Hours at Disneyland Paris

Winnie the pooh at Disneyland Paris

Now I usually don’t prioritise meet and greets during EMH however it can be a good idea to join the queue for:

Other things to do during Early Magic Hour?

The other thing we like to do during Early Magic Hour is get a perfect family photo. The castle gets very crowded and it can be hard to get nice photos during regular operational hours. Therefore we also like to head to the castle to get that perfect instagram disney vacation snap. 

Disneyland Paris Early Magic Hour (EMH) FAQs

View of studios building at disneyland paris during early magic hour

Walt Disney Studios

Is extra magic time worth it Disneyland Paris?

Yes, 100% Extra magic time is worth it at Disneyland Paris. The queues for rides such as Crush’s Coaster, Ratatouille and Peter Pan’s Flight are often upwards of 90 minutes. During EMH we have either walked onto to these or got on them with around a 30-minute queue. Therefore it is well worth getting up to use this extra hour when the park is emptier. 

Does Disneyland Paris have rope drop?

Rope drop is an American term and something that happens in the California Park and at Disney World. At these parks, guests are traditionally allowed into the park but not into the lands which are barriered off by a rope. When the park is opened they drop the rope for people to enter. 

This does not happen in Disneyland Paris but EMH is basically the same thing so you can consider the tips on this guide our rope drop strategies. 

Is there food available during EMH? 

Cable Car Cafe Sign at Disneyland Paris

Cable Car Cafe Sign at Disneyland Paris

There are limited food and drink options during the park in EMH. Cookie Kitchen and the Cable Car Bakery on Main Street are usually open and Plaza Gardens is open for a character breakfast for those who have pre-booked. 

However, we recommend either having a very early breakfast or even better packing some snacks and breakfast to eat on the go before sitting down for a break once Magic Hour is open. 

Can you use Early Magic Hours if you are staying off-site? 

Unfortunately, you are not entitled to early magic hours if you are staying off-site. 


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