Disney After Hours events are a relatively new thing that Disney World has started to do. I believe it was around the beginning of 2018 when Disney World started to offer a hard ticketed, limited attendance event to anyone who was willing to cough up the extra cash for it. What started at just Magic Kingdom has now spread to both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios as well. After attending one of these events last month, I’m here to share my thoughts on After Hours.
After Hours, for me and my boyfriend, was a Christmas gift from my parents. With such a short trip to Disney World (5 days, 4 nights, and 3 park hopper tickets), I really wanted to make sure that we maximized our time there and got to experience everything that we wanted to. This was going to be our first trip to Disney World together and, as two avid Disney fans, we really wanted to make sure it was extra special. Not to mention, I just needed that perfect castle pic, too.
Our After Hours event took place on a Monday night. For us, we were able to get in the park as early as we wanted since we had our park hopper ticket already for that day. All we had to do was head to one of the in-park locations to get our wristbands for the night. Having that park hopper to get in early was a really good thing for us, and it really helped us get everything we wanted done that night. However, if you don’t have either a Magic Kingdom ticket or a park hopper ticket, you won’t be able to enter for your After Hours event until 7:00. If this were the case for us, I don’t know how I would have felt. We would have gotten from 7:00-11:00 only for the night. Keep an eye on this when you purchase your After Hours tickets. If you go at a time that is typically warmer, the parks tend to be open later. You will always be able to get in at 7:00 (as of now) for the event, but how late your event goes really depends on the time of the year. I have seen some events that are as late as 1:00 AM. 7:00-1:00 AM is a good 6 hours of park time. It may be worth it for you to avoid a normal, daytime ticket altogether and just opt for the After Hours ticket that day instead.
Crowd level for this event was awesome. Even though many people who had attended After Hours events in the past said it was busier than usual, I still thought that being able to walk on virtually every ride (and wait maybe 5-10 minutes for Mine Train) was a huge plus side for this event. It’s not often that you can walk right onto Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain without a Fastpass. I really do think that we probably got more done as far as attractions go at this After Hours event than we did the full day that we had at Magic Kingdom later in the trip.
After Hours is a really good idea for people like us. What I can’t imagine is spending that kind of money on the event when you go with a larger group or as a family. It’s significantly harder to coordinate where to go next when there are a lot of different personalities that you have to cater to. When it’s just one or two of you, like us, it doesn’t take a lot of decision making time when choosing where to go next. It’s also a really late night event. Like I said, ours only went until 11:00 at night, and even I was ready for bed after that. I can’t imagine a kid being able to make it until 11:00, 12:00 or 1:00 am for that event. And, honestly, if you don’t plan to make use of all the time you have there, I really don’t know if spending the money is worth it.
All in all, I REALLY loved the Disney After Hours event and I’m looking forward to doing it again. When you are taking a short trip to Disney World, I think you really get good bang for you buck when it comes to the event itself. Especially when you throw complimentary ice cream novelties, popcorn, and coke products into the mix. To be honest, free stuff always makes everything better! I wanted to share my thoughts on these events because I know that, when planning a Disney vacation, people really want to know what others think. But YOU know the best how this event will work for you.
Have you been to an After Hours event? Tell me about it! Did you think it was worth the money? What would you change?