Walt Disney World opens more 'Disney After Hours' event nights

September 6, 2018, 1:03 PM · The Walt Disney World Resort has opened more nights for its "Disney After Hours" hard-ticket event at the Magic Kingdom.

If all you want to do at Disney is spend a day at the Magic Kingdom, Disney After Hours might be the most efficient way to do that. Tickets cost $125 plus tax in advance (with annual pass and Disney Vacation Club discounts available), which gets you into the park at 7pm during the day of the event. Then you can stay in the park for three hours after it closes to the public, enjoying all major attractions — and free soft drinks and Mickey ice cream bars — with a much smaller crowd.

The event effectively gives you between four to six hours in the park (depending upon its public closing time), during which you could be able to do as many, if not more, attractions than you could experience on a typically crowded full day, when you would be paying between $109-129 to visit the Magic Kingdom for a one-day ticket anyway. Throw in a few free $5 ice cream bars, and you can make this a deal.

Of course, you can reduce the cost of a single day at a Disney World park to as little as $45 by buying multi-day tickets, but as I wrote earlier, if you don't want to spend 10 days going to all four Walt Disney World theme parks and just want a single day at the Magic Kingdom instead (hey, theme park junkies, don't scoff — some people are actually looking for that), a night at Disney After Hours might provide a more enjoyable experience than dealing with the regular daytime crowds. YMMV, of course.

Here are the newly announced dates for Disney After Hours, with their "after-closing" hours. Tickets are available on Disney's website.

10:00pm to 1:00am:

9:00pm to Midnight:

8:00pm to 11:00pm:

Replies (18)

September 6, 2018 at 3:41 PM

we loved it!! only way to do magic kingdom!! note...Dont ride splash mountain first lol

September 6, 2018 at 5:02 PM

I agree, we just did the extra hours in August and unlike so many post online, it was totally worth it. The bonus aspect is they let you in a few hours before it starts, plus the limited ice cream, popcorn and beverages. The longest wait was maybe 7 mins for the Seven dwarfs coaster which was only once. There were even times when we went a few minutes without seeing anyone. I will only do after hours now.

September 6, 2018 at 5:08 PM

Loved it!!! Will only do after hours too. It was great! Went in August and rode Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Seven dwarfs mine train 3x along with the other rides. Great opportunity for night photos w/o anyone in the way too. Love that they let u in early enough for the firework show, a quick merchandise grab, and time to eat at the dining service restaurants.

September 6, 2018 at 7:11 PM

Just how far can Disney push the price of admission to the MK ? $125 +tax for 4-6 hours is absolutely staggering .... yet consumers will buy them !! We are already at $1000+ /year for the non-blackout pass, and it wasn’t that long ago we were shocked into disbelief when Disney’s single day ticket broke thru the $100/day barrier. Only last week my friend and I were contemplating when we’d see the $200/day ticket .... well, at $125 for 4-6 hours, we have in a round-about sort of way already broken that threshold.
Is there any price a vacationer would not pay ... from this it seems not.

September 7, 2018 at 6:28 AM

I agree,its the best time for hitting the rides with little or no wait. The "kiddie" count is low as its way past their bedtime after fireworks. I have to say Disney gets the volume of guest spot on. It means you can hit the big rides multiple times, meaning you take the focus off the rides and enjoy the many other experiences the park has to offer another day. Obviously its can be a very late night, so need to plan in when its best to do it, or work your schedule around it, so you can sleep in and have a late start. I cant blame Disney for charging for this now FP+ is such a headache, and you cant get multiple rides as there is "always" a standby line. It used to be free to Resort guests years ago.So its worth paying if riding the rides matters to you.

September 7, 2018 at 8:55 AM

Yet another Disney "cash grab". It may be "worth it" to attend these exclusive hard ticket after hours events, but at what point do they lose their value? The MNSSHP and MVMCP used to be seen as some of the best hard ticket events of the year with short lines and exclusive shows and parades to draw interest from frequent visitors looking to keep things fresh. However, these after hours parties are almost as overcrowded as a summer weekend with lines for the most popular attractions stretching even longer than they do during a normal operational day (with no FP to help guests out), and exclusive attraction and unique character meet lines stretching for hours.

What might seem like a great value today with relatively empty parks will eventually turn into another overcrowded night with guests paying a premium for the "privilege" to stay a few hours after the official closing, buoyed by the notion of unlimited ice cream, for whatever that's worth. This expansion is no different than Disney's other upcharge initiatives (like the $250 "media day" ticket, obscenely-priced dessert parties, and extra FP+ selection for guests staying on Club Levels by paying an extra $50) to increase overall revenue at any cost. Sadly, the Disney Drones soak this up, and seem to have no problems overdrawing their bank accounts to feed the whims of the Mouse. I doubt that money, or lines of credit, will ever dry up, but it is getting close to the point of insanity.

September 7, 2018 at 9:06 AM

Let's see. Sleep until 10 AM. Order a room service breakfast. Lounge around the pool or do something else low stress on property, maybe play some Goofy Golf. Have a late lunch. Clean up. Show up at the park at 7 PM. Go on the attractions like it was in the 1970s with little to no wait. Head to Disney Springs after park closing for a nightcap or late night snack.

This sounds like an awesome vacation to me. What's not to like about this?

Whoever thought this concept up should have their pay doubled. It's brilliant.

Maybe it could be expanded to Epcot, DHS, and the non-animal parts of AK.

September 7, 2018 at 10:03 AM

I don't think a lot of the fanbase or GP realize that when you're running a public company there is a lot of pressure to make more money than you did the year before as that's what everything is benchmarked against. With Avatar opening last year and Star Wars opening next year I think this is a soft year attendance wise for WDW, so having so many upcharge events is something they are going to do to try and make up for that lost revenue. The same thing happened before Avatar opened we saw all sorts of crazy things like Harambe Nights and in park cabana's. I think when Star Wars opens there will be significantly less of this kind of stuff.

September 7, 2018 at 10:04 AM

Totally agree Russell ..... the Halloween and Christmas parties at Disney were awesome at the start. Fewer people, plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the nighttime festivities, now it's the same hell-on-earth as is the MK on any given day, but you're paying double/triple the price for that privilege !! For sure, the extra hours event nights will eventually be the same, so Disney will then add even more extra hours events in (maybe ?) the mornings, so those of us wanting to visit for a day will arrive at 9am to find the park already jam packed. It won't be long before visiting Disney will be a complete waste of time and money unless you are staying in and/or around WDW. But then, maybe that's where this is all leading ?

September 7, 2018 at 10:46 AM

That's the thing the_man, the driving force of a business the size of Disney is the bottom line. What might be a nearly empty park today for a $120 after hours event will turn into another shoulder to shoulder encounter for 5 hours at $150 or more 3 years from now. Disney has established such high expectations from its shareholders (somewhat like Apple) that they cannot stomach the thought of flat or mere 2-3% growth curves expected from a mature/blue chip business. They will always reach for that next 5%, even if it doesn't make sound business sense, thus building in the necessity to build another 5% the following year. This is represented in the expanded dates for the upcharge parties and expanding calendar for the seasonal events (Halloween in the middle of AUGUST?????). At some point they will run out of day in the year and hours in the day, so the only options to grow will be to increase the prices or increase the number of people they let in, which is what has already happened to the seasonally themed parties. Disney is so drunk on growth that they can't say "no" to allowing an extra 1,000 people into the park for an after hours party.

The beat will go on, and Disney's greed and desire to continue to overreach their unsustainable growth curve will create some sort of reckoning in the not so distant future.

September 7, 2018 at 12:04 PM

The unhappy truth is this, if prices remain low, more and more people will come. If the prices go up, people will still come. Disney is just too fixated in people's minds. Yes, you can blame corporate greed, but the fact is, people want more Disney.

The only way to get back to comfortable crowd levels is to build more parks, especially in California. But Iger wants to maximize every square inch before expanding. But if he was going to do that, there are two decisions I don't understand. Putting Star Wars in Disneyland and the Tron Coaster in Magic Kingdom, two parks which already have more than enough attractions.

Star Wars really should have gone into a third park, but barring that, it could have replaced Paradise (now Pixar) Pier and Tron Coaster could have gone into Epcot. Yes, there would be many issues to put Star Wars in DCA, but if you wanted to spread out the crowds, DCA really needed something, and not just lipstick on a Pixar pig. And Tron would have been a better fit than Guardians in Epcot.

September 7, 2018 at 4:03 PM

I absolutely agree with Disfan. I wish they would look into a 3rd US location to help ease the crowds a bit. The money and interest is there. I think a 3rd location in the Midwest would be amazing, I'm biased being from MN, and while our weather wouldn't sustain a year round park the Southern parts of the Midwest would.
Eventually there will be a tipping point where the higher costs won't offset the crowds and they will need to do something as they continue to build new "lands".

September 7, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Apparently there is a market for it, even for those who are "overdrawning their bank accounts", whom ever they might be.
Seems a little futile to call out those that do find value or purpose in it. Guess I really can't relate to pondering what, when, why or how people spend their money.

September 7, 2018 at 4:58 PM

"Drunk on growth" is the perfect description.

September 7, 2018 at 8:18 PM

The HATERS keep hating after being told, FIRST HAND, it’s worth the cost of admission.

September 7, 2018 at 8:56 PM

I don’t really care what the “After Hours” event will become in three years. My wife and I attended last week and it was amazing in all the ways already described. It was the best time we have had in MK in years. The fact that the same value may not exist in the future does not negate the fact that it does exist, in a very big way, right now. Good things are not often meant to last. Such is a life. But for now, “After Hours” is a good thing and I encourage anyone interested to enjoy it. There’s no need to hate on those of us who enjoyed the event as it currently stands. Theme parks are about fun and enjoyment. Let’s remember to have some every now and then.

September 11, 2018 at 8:29 AM

I don't think it's "hating" on these events or the people that attend them to project an existing pattern on these. I also didn't say they weren't a good value right now. However, it's very clear that Disney is following the same mold with these that they did with the seasonal after hours parties, and based on the expansion and now overcrowding of those events, it's very easy to see what will happen to these events as well. Disney cannot help themselves, and will eventually see the $$$ generated from these events, and will continue to expand the dates, increase the admission cost, and slowly increase the number of tickets available to each of these events.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with these events TODAY, but as has happened with the MNSSHP and MVMCP, Disney will continue to expand the dates, jack up the price, and overcrowd the parks, slowly chipping away at the value and enjoyment of these generic after hours events. By all means, enjoy them while you can, but understand that the expansion of these is a clear indication that these will end up just like the seasonal parties, which while still holding some value depending upon your individual situation, have significant lost their value and enjoyment level in a mere 3-5 year span. Disney couldn't limit themselves with those parties (events used to "sell out" all the time but the MK remained very manageable, but now only a couple of peak days "sell out", and even parties in early September and mid-November are shoulder to shoulder with longer attraction lines during the parties than during the normal operational day). It is an inevitability that Disney will eventually start increasing the number of guests they allow into these, even as they increase the prices and number of dates.

Again, these parties may represent an excellent value today, but don't come back here crying when you're pay $150 to attend an after hours event in 2021 and can only get on 4 or 5 rides over the 4 hour exclusive park time.

September 12, 2018 at 9:44 PM

@Russell Meyer — You raise a valid point, but while extrapolating offers a strong predictive measure, you know it is NOT an absolute. As such, why are you presenting it as such?

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