6 Reasons We Love Disney After Hours Events

Disney After Hours are hard-ticketed events that allow you to enter the parks after they have closed to the general public. This means that you get to hop on rides more quickly while experiencing a practically empty Disney World park.

Disney After Hours

We thought we’d share a few reasons why we believe that these relatively short events are well worth the money!

Right up front, we admit it — Disney After Hours are expensive! The tickets cost $129 per person and they only give you access to one park, either Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom, for three hours. But even though the price is a bit hefty, there are a ton of benefits.

1. Lower Crowds

You might not believe this, but sometimes when we attend After Hours events we almost get a little creeped out — the parks feel like a ghost town. There are so few people in the park that you feel like you and your family have the entire place to yourselves. This is the perfect time to take photos in around the parks without an insane number of other vacationers in the background. This also gives anyone who may be overwhelmed by noises and crushing crowds to experience the parks in a way that doesn’t cause them stress.

Since the parks are typically relatively empty during the event, everything feels much more chill and laid back. You won’t feel stressed like you do when you’re rushing to make a FastPass time.

After Hours at Animal Kingdom

2. Shorter Wait Times

We love Disney After Hours nights because they allow us to actually jump on big-name attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Flight of Passage with about a 10-minute wait. Honest! Slinky Dog Dash had a 10-minute wait at the Disney After Hours I attended earlier this month — I wish the photo I took of the sign had turned out! And you’ll be able to literally walk on most other attractions. Because of this, the three-hour time limit doesn’t seem that short. You should be able to ride everything that you want that is open during this time — maybe even multiple times.

I mean, how could you not be in love with that? There is really nothing better than hopping on an attraction without waiting to ride! Or being able to ride your favorite attraction over and over again if you wanted to!

After Hours at Hollywood Studios

3. Cooler Temperatures

No need to worry about melting and sweating when attending an After Hours event. The parks are usually (usually!) much cooler and less humid after the sun goes down, so you will not only be able to enjoy an empty park, but you will feel much more comfortable and less grimy when doing so!

4. Special Character Meet and Greets

Another great thing about this event is that you will still have the ability to meet some of your favorite characters. Disney keeps many of the meet-and-greets open so you’ll be able to meet Mickey and others without the super-long wait! You won’t feel nearly as pressured for time as you try to get all of the autographs and photos you want since there won’t be a demanding line forcing your time to be shorter.

Hello from Mickey during Disney After Hours

In addition, there are sometimes “themed” Disney After Hours events, like the “May the 4th” event, which featured so many Star Wars characters meandering around Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Star Wars Stormtrooper at Disney After Hours

5. Free Snacks

After running through an empty park to hop on all of your favorite attractions, you’ll likely be parched and in need of a something to munch on. Well, the good news is that Disney will provide you with free snacks! You will be able to get a yummy ice cream or box of popcorn. They also serve select bottled beverages. And if you’re still hungry, you’ll be able to purchase other, more substantial offerings at select locations throughout the park.

After Hours Free Snacks

6. Extra Magic

Here’s one more thing about Disney After Hours — you can also hack the ticket time a little to enjoy the parks a bit longer. Your ticket will actually allow you to enter the park at 7 p.m., even though the event itself doesn’t start until later (usually 10 p.m.). You don’t need separate admission along with the Disney After Hours ticket — so we suggest taking advantage of this. Make sure you check the details of your ticket as park hours may vary.

Disney has recently released additional dates into September for this event, plus an all-new Villains After Hours event will be starting soon. Make sure you check those out if you’re interested in this awesome opportunity!

Villains After Hours Concept Art ©Disney

Admission for Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be purchased in advance for $125 per adult or child, plus tax — or purchased on the day of the event for $129 per adult or child, plus tax. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of specially priced tickets for just $95 per adult or child, plus tax.

Admission to Disney Villains After Hours can be purchased in advance for $139 per adult or child, plus tax — or purchased on the day of the event for $144 per adult or child, plus tax. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of specially priced tickets for just $109 per adult or child, plus tax.

Disney After Hours aren’t for everyone, but if you’re with a group that doesn’t mind staying up past their usual bedtime and is willing to dish out a little more cash to knock out an entire park in three hours, then this is the event for you! To find out if they’re for you, check out a few guest reviews of the event.

Will you be attending an After Hours event on your next Disney World vacation? Let us know in the comments below! 

Click below to subscribe to the AllEars® newsletter so you don’t miss any of the latest Disney news!

Click here to subscribe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 Replies to “6 Reasons We Love Disney After Hours Events”

  1. Buyer beware… don’t believe these reviews (most of the time they received free admission for writing about it).
    At least for Hollywood Studios, the $300+ spent for my family of 3 (we’re AP holders too) was NOT worth it.
    The event started at 9:30. At 9:35 the wait times for the “big 4” (TOT, RR, Slinky, TSM) was 20 minutes. That was the LOWEST wait time for any of those rides for the entire night. Slinky was a posted 45 minutes (actual around 35-40) for the majority of the night. TOT was down off and on for a good 2.5 hour period. Toy story mania once had a posted wait time of 15 min but actual 30.
    So for our $300+ we rode Slinky 3x, Toy Story Mania 2x, Aliens 1x, and Star Tours 1x. Never had time to get to the other side of the park and didn’t want to risk it with Tower not working so much. Popcorn was not available at a good amount of the stands, we had a few waters that were barely cold, and a total of 3 Mickey ice cream bars.
    The kicker? This weekend has been “relatively” slow, much slower than I’ve seen in a while as far as crowd levels go.
    All in all it did not meet the hype written about in many of the blogs. We’ve done quite a few paid after/before events and this one was by far the worst and most disappointing.
    Didn’t mean to ramble on but hopefully this helps someone else in their decision – I wish I would have had a real perspective to go by.

    1. Hey Steve, sorry you had such a negative experience. Sounds like Tower of Terror being offline really affected the wait times for the other big attractions. When I went to the May the 4th Disney After Hours — which I paid for out of pocket — I had the exact opposite experience. I rode Star Tours multiple times with less than a 10-minute wait and had a 10-15 minute wait for Slinky Dog, pretty much walked right on to Alien Swirling Saucers. When I did the Magic Kingdom after hours last summer, I had a similar experience. I just wanted you, and everyone, to know that we DO go to media events where we’re guests of Disney sometimes and we make that clear in a disclaimer when we do, but most of the time we go on our own dime, simply because we DO want to give our readers as unbiased an opinion as possible. I mean, we love Disney, so some of that is bound to creep in to our writing, but we know how expensive it is and want to try to help you get the best value for your money.

    2. Allears does a fantastic job covering all things Disney. They are a top notch professional web site with an outstanding crew of writers and support staff. Their theme is “we love Disney” and there is nothing wrong with that. They are a Disney enthusiast site. So it should come as no surprise, that the majority of their website traffic is comprised of people who love Disney, visit frequently, and spend a lot of Disney dollars. These are the people who keep them in business. Because of this, and because they are themselves “Disney lovers” (again, nothing wrong with that) they are always going to see the Disney glass as half full. They write the articles truthfully, yet wearing the rose colored glasses of a Disney fan, always with the most positive spin (again, nothing wrong with that). Kinda like when people send out one of those Christmas letters every year telling everyone how perfect their children are. We all know they are not, but we smile and read it anyway.

  2. What isn’t mentioned is how Disney has reduced the hours for their guests who buy the multi day passes, staying on site with less hours to spend at the park. Evening Extra Magic Hours have been turned into ticketed events. Guest services is no longer what it was and I’m beginning to rethink our DVC, Annual Passes and multiple trips per year.