Disney Extra Magic Hours Not So Magical

    Extra Magic Hours leave a lot to be desired.


    By Michael Menendez


    Two Friday’s ago, Disney’s Magic Kingdom did its annual 24 hour park opening, running from May 22nd- May 23rd, 6a.m.-6 a.m. While this is always a great way to save money for families as well as provide a late night adventure that cannot be experienced any other time of the year (especially for the nighthawks of the UCF community), something is left lacking on such a night at the other parks.


    One of the highlights of staying at a Disney resort is, beyond the obvious shuttles to and from the parks and other areas (such as Downtown Disney), the real kicker is “Extra Magic Hours,” a service that allows resort stayers to stay late at the parks after they close, offered exclusively to said stayers.


    On this night, though, the other parks (Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios) are open later as well, with Epcot staying open all the way until one in the morning. At a closer glance, though, is it really worth the resort stay for the night?


    I, staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, was is in walking distance of Epcot. Epcot, although one park, can be separated into two sections: The World Showcase-a replica of many different countries including landmarks and cuisine- and Future World, which is perfectly described by its title.


    What takes away from the magic of Epcot, though, is the fact that while the park is advertised as being open until one in the morning, not only are all food stands closed but the entire World Showcase as well.


    As an avid lover of anything Disney, I soak up what goes into the architecture and culture of Disney, on several levels. When half of Epcot is closed by 11, even though advertised to be open until 1, something is left to be desired. One of the best parts of Epcot is its offering of an ethnically diverse array of foods, something that couldn’t be taken advantage on this occasion.


    So was it worth it?


    With so much direct competition from Universal Studios, hot off their Wizarding World of Harry Potter openings, occasions like this are the opportunities to one-up their competitor, but only left me questing my annual pass.


    Outrageous prices abound, why not just stay at a cheaper hotel and go the parks for their normal hours? Questions like this are vital given the economic status. Maybe it’s time to convert.


    Michael Menendez is a student at the University of Central Florida, where he majors in journalism.