"Early Entry" for all Disney World theme parks requires a stay at one of those hotel/resorts

If you are hoping to score an earlier entry into one of the four Disney World theme parks, you will need to get up before rope-drop, and to do that, you need to stay at a Disney Resort or qualifying hotel.
Disney Resort Hotels. Photo credit: Brian Miller
Disney Resort Hotels. Photo credit: Brian Miller /

Getting to a Disney World park early can remove a lot of unwanted stress in your day. You may regret the longer stay at a park and your legs may not be thrilled but consider that a 30-minute head start is often enough to get you through at least one major attraction and put you in a position to nail down a second before anyone else gets into the parks.

At Animal Kingdom I recently opted to rope-drop with my 12-year-old son. We were not on the "early entry" guest list because we were not staying at one of the benefiting resorts. When the rope dropped we high-tailed it over to Pandora and jumped in line for Avatar: Flight of Passage. We still had to wait just over an hour.

While we waited, the reality of what 30 minutes can mean was hard to shake. As we entered the wait queue, guests were already getting off the attraction. Clearly, they either run a lot faster than I do...very possible, or were part of the early entry crowd...likely.

One question we get asked a lot at the parks is what hotel/resorts are included in the early entry bonus hours? Well, here you go.

Early entry can be achieved by staying at any of these resorts. These are resorts that are either Disney Resorts or on Disney property. For example, the Swan and Dolphin are not Disney Resorts but qualify given their locations.

Disney resorts
Disney Resort hotels. Photo credit: Brian Miller /

Disney's All-Star Resorts

  • Movies
  • Art of Animation
  • Music
  • Sports

Disney's Pop Century

The Campsites at Fort Wilderness

The Cabins at Fort Wilderness

The Wilderness Lodge

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Pop Century Resort

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House and Kidani Village

Disney Resorts
Disney Resort hotels. Photo credit: Brian Miller /

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Coronado Springs

Port Orleans and French Quarter and Riverside Resort

Beach Club Resort and Villas

Disney Resorts
Disney Resort hotel. Photo credit: Brian Miller /

Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Towers

Grand Floridian and Grand Floridian Villas

Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

The Yacht Club

Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas

Old Key West Resort

Saratoga Springs Resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel and Swan Hotels

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 (located on Disney property at Bonnet Creek)

Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista and Wyndham Lakes

B Resort Lake Buena Vista

If your resort is listed above, enjoy the early hours and sometimes after-hours perks of being on property. If your resort is not listed, you can check with guest services or call Disney directly to verify your hotel. Or simply ask your hotels guest services desk.

Busses are available early in the morning for property guests and many non-Disney resorts will also have provided early transportation. For those guests staying on the monorail loop, the monorail will be running early enough as will the Skyliner for those resorts, barring of course mechanical or weather issues.