My short answer is that it depends on the situation. Before I get into the details, here’s a rundown of what Early Morning Magic at Hollywood Studios worked out for us.
We arrived very early because we had a 7am start time. At time of publishing, the official website was only offering a 7:30am start time, but they often add a 7am as time draws closer. Pro tip: whether you have 7 or 7:30, if there is a 7am time slot, you CAN arrive at 7 and be let in. They will not make you wait until 7:30. So keep an eye on the options and be there for the earlier time if it opens up. We pulled into the parking lot at 6:30am and discovered a small added bonus–it was so early, there was no one collecting parking fees. Because we were staying in a condo, we should have had to pay to park. But it appears that parking for free is an added value to the Early Morning Magic events.
We got inside and got checked in and were given wristbands that allowed us into breakfast and Toy Story Land.
We were allowed into the park at around 6:50 and walked back to the restaurant where breakfast was served at the ABC Commissary. Some people chose to get right in line for Toy Story Land but on days when they have a 7am start, you have plenty of time to head over to breakfast first.
There are hot items and you have to get in line for those. There are also cold items on a buffet–fruit and croissants and other quick breakfast items. We decided to eat quick items off the buffet and then get in line for Toy Story Land at 7:25. This plan worked out perfectly for us. We ate just enough to get us through for awhile, because you are allowed to go back all the way until 10am. So we planned to return and get hot food later.
On our morning, Slinky Dog was having some issues and unfortunately didn’t open right at 7:30. We boarded for the first time at 7:51. This was still a lot better than you’d ever get during regular park hours, but considering we only had 90 minutes, it was kind of a bummer to waste 20 of them waiting on technical issues. We probably should’ve gone and done something else, but we were too excited.
By 8am, we were riding Alien Swirling Saucers. And at 8:05, we road them again.
We boarded Toy Story Mania at 8:15. Some of the group went back to do Slinky a few more times, but my little guy said once was enough. They were able to get in two more rides.
We road Aliens again at 8:30.
And Toy Story Mania again at 8:45.
At 8:59am, we were allowed to use our wrist bands to enter the Fast pass line for Toy Story Mania. The regular crowds were already making their way back to Toy Story Land at that point and so it was 9:12 before we were boarding the ride.
At that point, the crowds were becoming intense in Toy Story Land and we decided it was time to get out of there. We split up–some went to sign up for Jedi Training Academy and the rest of us went to save a table and start ordering hot food at breakfast at ABC commissary. The kids were able to get into Jedi Training despite having to come from the back of the park to get in line, but they got the last few spots in the absolute last time slot of the entire day. So be careful with that–if Jedi Training is important you, you may have to leave Toy Story Land a little early, giving up a few minutes of your time without lines.
You can get in for breakfast until 10am, so you do have time to run over and sign up for Jedi Training or do Rock n Roller Coaster, or one other attraction that you’d like to do early while there is no line. Just make sure you are in ABC Commissary by 10.
We ate a nice hot breakfast and enjoyed sitting down and relaxing for a bit. One other thing to know–if you ask for a Coke or other soda, they will give it to you. But it is not on the menu so you have to ask. Cokes aren’t cheap at WDW so grab one for “free” while you can!
We headed out into the park at 10:30 and continued making our way through around for the rest of the day feeling very relaxed and unstressed because we had gotten Toy Story Land “out of the way”. We weren’t stuck in long lines and worried about FastPasses. We stopped to see shows, and we leisurely met characters. We had FastPasses for some of the minor things and overall just enjoyed the rest of the day moving around at a slow pace.
And thing is, we were there on Thanksgiving week. Hollywood Studios was CROWDED that day. Unbelievably crowded. But we didn’t feel it because we had such a huge head start on the crowds.
So is it worth it?
If you are traveling at a high crowd time and Toy Story Land is a priority for you, absolutely. We were able to get in seven total rides in Toy Story Land with essentially no waits. Wait times are always high at Toy Story Land but particularly during a holiday week. So we saved a lot of time–riding standby, I’m not sure we could have managed seven rides in that land by the time the park closed at night.
And breakfast is a good value–because you can go back in after the park opens to the general public, you can really break it into two meals. We ate at 7 and then again right before 10. We counted that as an early lunch (we had been up since 5 after all!) and then ate an early dinner later. So we got two meals out of the deal.
So as long as they are offering the 7am time slot, Toy Story Land is your priority, and you are expecting high crowds, yes, it is absolutely worth the cost. The rest of your day will be so easy and unstressed and you will get to watch all the frazzled families who are checking the app and saying, “The wait for Slinky Dog is WHAT?” and smile to yourself, knowing you already got three rides on it.