Walt Disney World expands its Disney After Hours events

April 2, 2019, 1:12 PM · Disney has added new dates, and a new theme, for its "Disney After Hours" special events at the resort.

Disney After Hours is a hard-ticket event at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios that gives you between four to six hours in the park, including three hours after it closes to the rest of the public. That means low-to-no waits on major attractions, plus Disney throws in free unlimited popcorn, ice cream, and selected soft drinks after the park closes.

We've said that the event offers a smart alternative to buying a one-day ticket to the parks, if you're only looking for a quick visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, given how much you can do during the event versus a full day at the park (and we mean "full" in terms of time and crowds).

The drawback is the limited time, of course, and the sense that some of the park is "closed" during the event. You won't find the shows, parades, and same atmosphere as you would by visiting when the park is open to day guests. However, Disney's now taking steps to address that with its Magic Kingdom "After Hours" events later this summer.

Disney announced today that it will introduce a "Disney Villains" theme to the Magic Kingdom's Disney After Hours events, on select dates between June 6 and August 8. On those night, Disney will send the Maleficent dragon float through the park as well as providing (unspecified) "villain-inspired additions" on the Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain rides. There will be villain-inspired special food and beverages for sale, along with event merchandise. And the highlight will be a new Disney Villains castle stage show, "Villains Unite the Night," featuring Hades and Meg from Hercules along with Jafar, Dr. Facilier, Maleficent, and more.

But don't plan on getting your selfies with any of these characters. Unlike at other hard-ticket events such as Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, there will be no meet and greets with the characters at this event. (This is where you might start thinking that the biggest Disney Villain here is whoever made that decision.)

Tickets for all but the Villains nights are $125 plus tax in advance and $129 on the day of the event. Discounted tickets are available for $95 to AP/DVC members.

The current line-up of dates for the events is:

*The May 1 DHS event includes special celebrations for the park's 30th anniversary that day and the May 4 event will be Star Wars-themed.

Tickets for all evenings are available on Disney's website or by calling +1-407-939-7795.

Replies (9)

April 2, 2019 at 1:45 PM

Genius!

April 2, 2019 at 1:50 PM

I see the success here. I also see the success of the Marathon weekends pulling people into the resort at like 3 AM.

So.. There should totally be a super early morning ticket. I bet you could offer it only to Annual Passholders and all you'd have to supply is coffee!

April 2, 2019 at 2:02 PM

I'm a little confused on why there would be a character driven event with no meet and greets. I'm not the type who usually wastes time posing for photos with characters, but that is an important aspect of these kinds of events to a lot of people. I remember there have been night time villain events in the past with redonkulous lines for meet and greets. Hard to believe there isn't a better way to manage this other than saying - no photo ops.

April 2, 2019 at 2:56 PM

Come a year or 2, I can see Disney becoming 24/7, with 2, 12 hour "day" tickets to cover all eventualities. They're getting close already.

RumbleMike .... Mmmmm, an early morning before hours with coffee ... I'd be there .... :)

April 2, 2019 at 8:15 PM

^I could totally get behind a full on after-hours night for Disney, especially if it isn't as crowded as during the day.

April 2, 2019 at 8:40 PM

@Makorider Honestly, being open 24/7 might be the only way for them to deal with crowds at this point. Families with children visit during the day, child-less adults visit at night. It's an idea that's needs to happen yesterday, but I know that keeping the lights on and employing people for twice as long, would eat into the bottom line too much for Disney's liking.

Also, selling alcohol in the park wouldn't be so much of a deal, when (almost) all the children are gone after 2 in the morning.

April 2, 2019 at 10:06 PM

Unfortunately, this tends to add to the problem of longer lines on days when there are high volumes. This is why. One the morning events, people were let in early, and despite it being only for set areas, like Toy Story Land, those guests were allowed to spill over pre-rope drop to other areas which increased the wait times almost instantly. The night events closed down the parks earlier, so the lines never had a chance to die down at the end of the day, and the park closed at 10 (Magic Kingdom), when it traditionally would have stayed open much later, and the regular guests would have been able to experience attractions with slightly lessened waits. I noticed you do not benefit from the go-to-the-pool-in-the-middle-of-the-day ploy to return to comfortable wait times like you were once able to. The FP+, the increased on site hotels, and all of these high dollar events have made WDW a chore and not much of a vacation. I love the parks, but it is a LOT of work. Vacations should not be like that.

April 2, 2019 at 10:29 PM

I don't really have the chance to visit WDW anymore, as I'm no longer an Orlando local, so the after-hours hard ticket events are increasingly attractive to me.

I'd rather spend 3 or 4 hours in a park with little to no wait times, get on all the attractions I care to ride, get some ice cream, cookies, or whatever else is included with the price, and leave with high energy and great memories.

I don't have time or patience to spend 13 hours in a park 80% of which is standing in lines. Plus, depending on the time of year, being in Orlando in the daytime can be awfully hot and uncomfortable.

I like these hard ticket events. I'm a fan.

April 3, 2019 at 7:28 AM

Gabriel, I agree, and I have done them. They are nice, but you don't get to experience all the attractions, only a select few. It can be somewhat odd seeing all the shops closed as well. I have said this before, for those people that really want to experience the classic Disney attractions- go to Disneyland. WDW is a long drive for me, so I have to fly, but the weather is always nice, and you do not have to contend with FP+.

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