The All Things “EMM” Thread – MK/Fantasyland Early Morning Magic FAQs & More

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by GADisneyDad14, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
    The All Things “EMM” Thread – MK/Fantasyland Early Morning Magic FAQs & More


    The Magic Kingdom Fantasyland “Early Morning Magic” (“EMM”) event has been around since April 2016 and is often a topic of questions and discussion on the boards, so I figured it’s about time to start a dedicated thread to track/capture the latest information, dates, reviews, and experiences. So here goes!

    Before We Begin….EMM vs EMH – A Quick Clarification
    Although similar acronyms and easy to confuse, Early Morning Magic (EMM) is NOT the same as Extra Magic Hours (EMH). A quick explanation just so everyone is on the same page:
    • Early Morning Magic (EMM), the subject of this thread, is a separately ticketed upcharge (aka, paid) event that allows pre-park opening access to select (eg, three) attractions and includes a breakfast.
    • Extra Magic Hours (EMH) are the long-standing Disney-offered benefit where certain parks have extra hours available to WDW resort guests only. This thread is NOT about EMH. EMM in no way impacts MK EMHs.

    What is EMM?
    You can read the full event description and details from Disney here:

    In short, EMM is….

    • A separately ticketed pre-park opening event which allows unlimited access to select Fantasyland attractions from 7:45AM-9:00AM.
    • Open rides include:
      • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (7DMT)
      • Peter Pan’s Flight (PP)
      • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (WTP)
      • Note 1: In my experience the Carousel has also been open during EMM.
      • Note 2: I have, at times, also seen Tea Cups and/or IASW open at some point during the event – although these are not published offerings for EMM so YMMV.
      • Note 3: I wouldn't spend a second of EMM on any of these! :goodvibes
    • The event includes a breakfast buffet served at Pinocchio Village Haus from 8:30AM-10:00AM.

    When Is EMM Offered?

    • The million dollar question!
    • One of the more frustrating aspects of EMM since its inception has been the inconsistent trend of exactly when EMM is offered.
    • Please see Post #2 for a list of past and current EMM dates to get the full picture.

    When Does EMM Become Available For Booking?

    • The pattern is also inconsistent here too and can be frustrating for planners!
    • Sometimes they are released in batches a few months in advance, sometimes at the 180 day mark, sometimes in unpredictable and unexplained patterns!
      • Disney released a chunk of EMM dates for Jan- March 2018 on or around 10/9/2016
      • Starting with the 4/10/2018 EMM date, dates have been made available for booking at the 180 days in advance mark. This is the pattern for now. Until of course they do something different. :-)

    How Much Does EMM Cost?
    • Adults (9+): $69 + tax
    • Children (3-9): $59 + tax
    • The full cost is due at the time of booking
    • There are no AP, DVC, or other discounts available for EMM
    • Note: The cost of this event has remained unchanged since it was first introduced in April 2016

    Do I Need MK Park Tickets To Experience EMM?
    • Yes, you must have an EMM reservation AND valid MK park admission.
    • Your MagicBand (or other ticket media) will be scanned at the tapstyles before entering the park that morning.

    What Is The EMM Cancellation Policy?
    • There is a 1 day cancellation policy for EMM.
    • The full price will be forfeited if a guest cancels within 1 day or no shows for the reservation.
    • Note: There is language on Disney's EMM page that says "tickets are nonrefundable" - this is NOT accurate. If you go through the booking process and read the actual terms/conditions, it notes the 1 day cancellation policy.

    How Do I Book EMM?

    How Does It Work When I Arrive?
    • Disney has some pretty decent info on the “Know Before You Go” part of the EMM info page.
    • I would recommend arriving at the MK front entrance at/by 7:30AM(ish) at the latest. With travel time inconsistencies related to getting to the MK in the morning, you may want to play it safe and aim for earlier.
    • When you arrive at the MK front entrance, EMM check-in is (usually) all the way to the left.
    • This is also the same area where PPO ADR guests will be checking-in.
    • EMM guests are given wristbands to identify themselves.
    • You then proceed to the tapstyles where you tap/scan your park admission.
    • You are then held in the area in front of the gift shop just to the left outside of the entrance tunnel under the train station.
    • Both PPO ADR and EMM guests are all held in this same area – you’ll all be mixed together at this point.
    • At 7:45AM(ish), you’ll be let in and can proceed directly to Fantasyland (a CM in the hub area will likely point you to take the bridge towards Liberty Square and you'll take a right at Sleepy Hollow to follow the path to the left of the castle up into Fantasyland).
    • While it’s tempting to want to stop and get some Main Street/Castle pictures, you’ll likely not want to waste too much time as the clock is ticking at this point – any time you spend on Main Street/Castle pictures is going to eat into your ride time.
    • In my experience PhotoPass photographers have been out on Main Street at this time, but YMMV here as well because patterns can change.

    How Many Tickets Are Sold For EMM?
    • No one knows for sure, or if they do they aren’t saying.
    • Estimates around here have been in the 200ish range, which seems about right to my untrained eye, or maybe a little more.
    • To me, the event does feel “small” and “personal” – although the time does go very quickly.
    • While you’re certainly not alone, it’s a rather intimate, unique experience for sure.

    How Are Ride Lines?
    • In my experience….
      • PP and WTP are consistent straight walk-ons
      • 7DMT is the obvious more attractive draw
    • 7DMT waits can vary…
      • At best it’ll be walk on or close to walk on
      • At worst, it’ll be a 2-3 train wait, in my experience
    • You do have to get off and then get back on the rides, no continuous riding.

    How Is The Breakfast?
    • Very subjective of course, but I actually think the breakfast is pretty reasonable for Disney buffet standards… decent quality and variety. I put it in the “good, not great” category of Disney dining. Others may have a different perspective.
    • In my experience, the CMs at the breakfast have been incredible… some of the best we’ve experienced in any restaurant/dining/special event setting at WDW (and I’ve had the same feeling at several EMM events). Many seem to really enjoy working this event, and it shows.

    What Should I Do When The Park Opens At 9AM?
    • Around 9AM(ish), you only have a minute or so before the rope drop crowd hits Fantasyland and the calm/serenity you had enjoyed for an hour immediately vanishes.
    • Breakfast is served until 10AM, so many people will dart off to other parts of the park to hit a few rides while waits are really low, then come back for breakfast.
    • Personally, I like to book it to BTMR, then backtrack to things like Splash (maybe) and HM, then hit breakfast closer to the 9:45-10AM mark.
    • While the breakfast does end at 10AM, in my experience they don’t immediately clear the items or kick you our of Pinocchio Village Haus… so you have a bit of flexibility here. Although that doesn’t mean you can show up at 10:15AM and expect to be fed.

    Does EMM Sell Out?
    • To my knowledge, no one keeps accurate track of this level of detail so I’m not sure if it’s possible to give a solid answer.
    • Anecdotally, the event doesn’t tend to immediately sell out….but dates can and certainly do sell out… so if it’s important to you, best to go ahead and book.
    • Like with any ADR or special event, people change plans all the time – so if EMM appears to be sold out on your preferred date, keep checking periodically.

    Are There Any Charachters At EMM?
    • No, there are no characters available during EMM.

    Does EMM Affect Park Crowds?

    • In my opinion, no – the EMM ticket count is just too small to materially impact park crowds in any sort of noticeable way for non-EMM guests.

    Wasn’t There A Hollywood Studios EMM At Some Point?
    • Yes, there was a short-lived version of EMM at DHS mid/late 2016. It was a similar format but also featured special character greets.
    • Despite seemingly positive reviews around here, the event was never offered again past the original chunk of dates.

    What Did I Miss?
    • If I’ve missed anything that would be helpful to include as a common FAQ or reference for folks, please let me know!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018 at 10:18 PM
  2. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
    EMM Past & Current Date Information

    This post will cover PAST and CURRENT EMM date information. "When is EMM offered" is perhaps the #1 most common question for many folks trying to plan their visit. The quick answer is that - since inception - the pattern of when Disney has offered EMM has been a bit all over the place, as you can see in the tables below.

    Note, I spent more time than I should admit checking these dates and cross-referencing with lots of sources to make sure I have correct information. I am reasonably confident in this data as a whole, but it's possible I've missed a date or two. If you attended a date that I don't have here, I'd love to know about it so I can update my info!

    All of that being said, there are a few consistent times where you are likely to NOT see EMM offered:

    • Dates/times of year where pre-9AM regular park openings are more common
    • Holiday weekends or dates immediately around holiday weekends

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018 at 8:41 AM
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  4. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
    The "Official" EMM Guest List

    I'm going to do a little experiment here and see if keeping a "guest list" for EMM has any value for folks. There might be too many dates / too few DISers for it to work, but I'll give it a shot.

    If you'd like your name added, don't hesitate to let me know either via PM or posting on the thread!

    ****2018 EMM Guest List*****

    Tuesday, January 9, 2018


    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    Tuesday, January 23, 2018

    Sunday, January 28, 2018

    Sunday, February 4, 2018

    Tuesday, February 6, 2018

    Sunday, February 11, 2018

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018

    Tuesday, February 20, 2018


    Tuesday, February 27, 2018

    Sunday, March 4, 2018

    Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    Sunday, March 18, 2018

    Tuesday, March 20, 2018


    Sunday, March 25, 2018


    Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    Sunday, April 15, 2018

    Tuesday, April 24, 2018

    Sunday, April 29, 2018

    Tuesday, May 1, 2018

    Tuesday, May 8, 2018


    Sunday, May 13, 2018

    Tuesday, May 15, 2018


    Sunday, May 20, 2018

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Sunday, June 10, 2018


    Tuesday, June 10, 2018

    Sunday, June 17, 2018

    Sunday, June 24, 2018

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018 at 9:33 AM
  5. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
    Links to Reviews / Experiences

    Sometimes threads like these can get long and cumbersome to navigate to find current info. I'm going to use this post to link to posts with detailed reviews, experiences, or valuable info. I'll populate this as we go along.

    1/16/2018 - @Scooter2376
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018 at 9:37 AM
    ConnecticutNonna likes this.
  6. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
    (Holding this post for future use, just in case!)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  7. hiroMYhero

    hiroMYhero I'm satisfied with my care... Moderator

    Dec 20, 2014
  8. ConnecticutNonna

    ConnecticutNonna DIS Veteran

    Jun 19, 2015
    We've been to 2 EMM at MK and 1 at HS, we also found the food and staff at PVH to be excellent!
    We actually arrived 15 minutes late our 2nd time at MK and still got to ride 7DMT ELEVEN TIMES in a row, PP, and WtP each once, made it onto BTMRR twice. (We were first in line, and went immediately back in line.) It was so worth it!
    Huge disappointment that they are no longer doing HS, although the buffet kind of sucked, spending our morning at Star Tours was incredibly worth it. DH and DGS spent a lot of time on TSMM as well. (not my fav...)
    Our dates were weekdays in mid December last year, so that may have been why we were so lucky to get so many attractions done.
    We will absolutely do it again, although now that the word is out, methinks it will be more crowded next time.
    Sparkle on!
    My3SweetSuns and GADisneyDad14 like this.
  9. ConnecticutNonna

    ConnecticutNonna DIS Veteran

    Jun 19, 2015
    Also, I tried to get tickets for our upcoming trip and there is absolutely no EMM the week of March 7 -14, 2018. (our dates are Wednesday - Tuesday) but tgat whole week is blank, Sunday - Saturday. Weird
  10. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
    I know, it's an odd missing week in the March pattern, right? I get not seeing dates around Easter, that's a no brainier. But that one week is weird. My only guess is that it's a statistically higher spring break week for a large population base?
    ConnecticutNonna likes this.
  11. Surgie2

    Surgie2 DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2016
    @GADisneyDad14 These posts are incredibly helpful! Even though I already have this booked I am so glad to have all of this to read through before May! Thank you for taking the time to do this.
  12. KrazeeK120

    KrazeeK120 DIS Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    This is a great thread!! We went to EMM in May and loved it! I’m hoping the event continues into October next year so we can do it again!!

    Could we consider making this thread a sticky so it doesn’t get buried?
  13. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

    Nov 29, 2015
    Yes. I'm a Texan and that's our spring break week every year. I think it's a common spring break week in the South.
  14. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2014
    Good to know, that’s got to be a big part of it, I would think. I wish ours was then... first week of April in 2018 for us, which is also the week after Easter this year.
    ConnecticutNonna likes this.
  15. 22Tink

    22Tink DIS Veteran

    Apr 25, 2015
    Great info! Do they ever add extra dates? It’s not available at all during our March/April trip. I know it's Easter and spring break but is there any hope?
  16. kmc8826

    kmc8826 Mouseketeer

    Jan 7, 2017
    The pattern seems to be to not have it during super busy or potentially busy times. I am far from an expert but I have never noticed dates added. I think they don’t have it during busy times because they usually adjust the opening hours and have MK open earlier.

    We did the HS EMM in October of 2016. I loved the option of characters it was a lot of fun. Finally worked it out trip wise and D9 and I did EMM at MK for the first time in August. There was a minor snafu with 7DMT running from the start but it ended up overall a positive experience. The 5 of us are doing it on January 28. (Yes I am doing DAH and EMM in one trip...we will be spoiled and not be able to handle MK during normal hours with typical crowds!)
  17. 22Tink

    22Tink DIS Veteran

    Apr 25, 2015
    That makes me sad. I'd love to do this but I guess we can put the money towards another dessert party or something instead. I hadn't even heard of EMM until I'd already booked our trip. Better luck next time I guess!
    ConnecticutNonna likes this.
  18. ConnecticutNonna

    ConnecticutNonna DIS Veteran

    Jun 19, 2015
    But, that week in March is NOT the busiest week. It is the beginning of the spring break crazy, but each week thereafter is worse.
    It IS odd...
  19. ConnecticutNonna

    ConnecticutNonna DIS Veteran

    Jun 19, 2015
    If your dates are late March into April there ARE dates available. There's only one week in March with no dates...
  20. 22Tink

    22Tink DIS Veteran

    Apr 25, 2015
    The only date available during our trip is our arrival day. :worried:
  21. Getoutyall

    Getoutyall Earning My Ears

    Apr 10, 2016
    When I go to buy tickets it says it's a nonrefundable, nontranserable event. Up above you said you can cancel 24 hours in advance. Is this something new?

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