We’re Disney fans. I grew up going to the parks and enjoy visiting them as often as I can. Since we’ve had kids, it’s rare that Jon and I get to go on rides together and even more rare that we get a date night at Disney. So when we were invited by Disney to check out Disney After Hours, I jumped at the chance! After experiencing the event myself, I couldn’t wait to tell y’all about it! It’s an absolutely amazing experience like no other. Read on to learn about our night, how to do everything that’s offered, and my pro tips if you’d like to make this dream a reality!
Disney After Hours guests are allowed to enter Magic Kingdom before the park closes to regular guests, so we took advantage of that. We had a FastPass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train so we jumped on that and the Disney After Hours event officially began shortly after we got off the ride.
One of the coolest parts is that they only sell a very limited number of tickets to the exclusive event. It took a while for the park to clear out because there weren’t check points (like at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party) but when it did, we were shocked at how empty it really was. I’ve never seen the Magic Kingdom with this few people in it. It was actually quiet. Everywhere! I can’t even really put into words how incredible it was to see this amazing place that I’ve known my entire life in a completely new way, without any distractions.
We took things fairly slowly, trying to take it all in as well as popping over to Instagram and Facebook for some live videos and stories. All in all, we rode 11 rides, met four characters, and ate four novelty ice creams, a popcorn, and had four bottled beverages between us (all included with the ticket price)… Not a bad night’s work!
The attractions were all zero wait with the exception of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain, which both had about 5-10 minute waits. It was absolutely amazing to be able to ride the most popular rides without having to stand in line.
I know there are plenty of people out there wondering if this event is worth the money and I can tell you it absolutely is. I would do this again in a heartbeat. Think about how much you would spend on a regular date night. Depending on the occasion and what we do, we average about $75-$100 on dinner and drinks and $50-$100 on an activity. This experience is completely worth the price because you get to see the Magic Kingdom like you’ve never seen it before. If you’re a Disney fan, or just love a great date night, Disney After Hours is for you.
So you want to do it all? Here’s how…
Could you do all 26 open attractions in the three hours of the event? Maybe, but it would be pretty tight. Don’t be a hero. Take the time to enjoy the park while it feels empty. Notice things you’ve never seen before even if you’ve been there hundreds of times.
If you want to do all of the attractions, get to the gate at 7:00 (this means getting to the TTC by 6:30) and book some FastPasses ahead of time. I would suggest The Barnstormer, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and The Jungle Cruise. Between 7:00 and 10:00, do your FastPass rides and in between, do the attractions that will take more time than a ride like the Country Bear Jamboree, the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Swiss Family Treehouse, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Fill any remaining time before 10:00 with rides that have short waits like “it’s a small world” and Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid. Then, once the event officially begins, do the “big” attractions that would normally have long waits like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and so on.
If you’re able to make all 26 happen in the 6 hours you can be there with your ticket to Disney After Hours, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
- The event takes place on select nights now through September 2018. This is not the first time Disney has held an “After Hours” event and I’m sure it won’t be the last, so if you can’t go during this time frame I’d suggest keeping an eye out for future events!
- Tickets are $119 in advance, $124 on the day of the event. If you’re an Annual Passholder or a DVC Member you can purchase tickets at the discounted rate of $89! Children and adults 3 and up need a ticket.
- The ticket price includes a lanyard, popcorn, ice cream novelties from snack carts, and bottled Coke products throughout the park.
- Disney After Hours runs 3 hours after park closing, but guests who purchase tickets for it can arrive as early a few hours early and enjoy the park for even longer!
- 26 attractions are open during the event. The only rides that were not open were Walt Disney World Railroad, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, Liberty Square Riverboat, and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Several shows and experiences were closed, but there were plenty of places to meet characters and get to see our favorite shows like the Country Bear Jamboree and the Enchanted Tiki Room.
- Make this a night without kids under 6 or 7 years old if you can. It would also make a great girls night out! You’ll have way more fun if you don’t have to worry about kids being too tired or having to baby swap so everyone can ride.
- Go before 10:00 and snag a dinner reservation in the park. The only restaurants open during Disney After Hours are Casey’s Corner and Main Street Bakery, but you won’t want to slow down to eat when you only have 3 hours in the park!
- If you’re staying at the Grand Floridian, the Contemporary, or the Polynesian, you should know that the monorail does not run after the event is over. You’ll need to take a bus back to your hotel.
- Keep your eyes open for fun extras, like the custodians who put on an impromptu show for us in Liberty Square!
Have you ever gone to Disney After Hours? Tell me your favorite thing about it in the comments!
Disclosure: Disney graciously provided the tickets for us to attend this event, but the opinions are entirely my own.