Bust out the coffee, it’s going to be a late night! Definitely fun, but late nonetheless. For the past year, Walt Disney World has been testing an event called Disney After Hours at the Magic Kingdom. Disney After Hours is a hard ticket event where guests have access to the parks, as you guessed it, after hours. The event is a success! So much so that Walt Disney World is extending and expanding Disney After Hours to include Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios beginning December 2018 and running through April 2019. What is Disney After Hours? Is it worth the additional cost? Let’s break it down!
What is it?
Similar to Disney’s Early Morning Magic events, Disney After Hours gives guests access to a theme park with low crowd counts. No need to bust out your frogger skills to avoid strollers or scooters at these events, ankles rejoice! Disney will not release the total amount of tickets available for these events, but we’ve heard the wait times for most rides are around the 5 to 10 minute mark. After the park closes for the night, guests who have purchased a Disney After Hours ticket have full access to the park for 3 hours. A majority of the attractions are open, as well as character meet and greets, and an unlimited amount of select food items are included (popcorn, ice cream, and nonalcoholic beverages). Tickets are a $125 per person when bought in advance, not including tax. For the exact dates for each park check out the following link. Please note that no additional theme park admission is needed for the event.
The Disney After Hours events are a little different at each of the three parks, mainly what is available for food options. For example at the Magic Kingdom besides popcorn and ice cream, the only other food option open (for purchase) would be the Main Street Bakery…caffeine and sugar will keep us going! Whereas, at Hollywood Studios, they will have select quick serve locations open, like, Woody’s Lunch Box to purchase food.
At all of the parks, the shows will not be open during the Disney After Hours events. Which to us makes perfect sense, as you’ll only have 3 hours….no reason to sit in a 20 minute show.
The Big Question! Is It Worth It?
When you look at the overall cost of the ticket, it’s definitely not cheap, it’s the same price as a one day ticket to the parks. For the right situations, though it is definitely worth the cost. Here are the different scenarios where we think the cost makes the most sense:
- Swapping a day in the park for a Disney After Hours night. We’ve reviewed all the feedback from people who have attended the event and they all say it’s amazing. The biggest thing we took away was that unanimously they all said they were able to ride joust about everything at the Magic Kingdom in the 3 hours. Additionally, you are able to enter the park at 7 pm to watch Once A Upon Time before the park closes. If you’re only planning to do 1 park per day it definitely may be worth seeing if a Disney After Hours is going on, then you could spend the day over at Disney Springs, pool day, golfing, checking out the hotels, etc.
- You’re looking to avoid the crowds. What is great about the Disney After Hours events is the extremely limited number of people in the parks. If you or someone you’re with does not handle crowds well (for any reason), we would recommend checking out these events. It’s a great to enjoy Walt Disney World in a less hectic environment.
Overall, we see the value in the Disney After Events. They may not be for everyone, but they definitely provide a great value for what is included, especially when you’re able to ride all the attractions and have snacks.
To us, this seems similar to the DVC Moonlight Magic events which are DVC perks which are similar to the Disney After Hours Events. We took 8 of our family members to this event and were able to hit all rides multiple time in the Animal Kingdom including Pandora. This was a fantastic perk we look forward to again!
How Long Will These Be Available?
At the moment, events are scheduled through April 2019. However, we expect Walt Disney World to continue to offer these events going forward. The current trend is they schedule events out in 4 month blocks, and usually make an announcement about the next block being available about a month before it begins. Definitely keep an eye out on our social media, as we’ll sharing the announcements when they happen.
Looking even further into the future we could see Walt Disney World expanding the Disney After Hours Events to Epcot when the new Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ratatouille rides open in the coming years. Additionally, we could see a special “land” only Disney After Hours event created when Star Wars Galaxy Edge opens in late fall 2019.
The Disney After Hours Events are definitely a good thing. They do not affect the overall experience of any guests coming in during the day, and they are open to everyone who wants to partake. What do you think? Are the Disney After Hours events something you would attend? Let us know below or on our Facebook Page!