Are Disney’s After Hours Events Worth It?



Christmas tree at magic kingdom

Each year Disney offers select After Hour Events that allow guests to enter the parks after the normal park hours are over. This means that most guests have left the parks and the only guests remaining are those who have opted to pay for a special ticket for the After Hours Event. Are After Hours Events worth it though? Below, we’ll explore the events, what they offer and if they are a good value for you and your family.

What Are After Hours Events?

After Hours events are specially tickets events that Disney offers throughout the year at different parks. These events begin after the regular park hours and usually last three hours each night they are offered. 

There are two main draws for these After Hours events. The first perk is lower occupancy  which means less crowds and lower attraction wait times. Additionally, all after hours guests also enjoy snacks and drinks

What After Hours Events Are Offered?

After hours events vary throughout the year. For the remainder of 2019 and into early 2020 there are four different After Hours events being offered. Three are at the Magic Kingdom and one is at Animal Kingdom.

After Hours at Animal Kingdom Park

everest at night in animal kingdom park

Disney is currently offering After Hours at Animal Kingdom on select dates through March 2020. Tickets for this event are $129 per person (adults and children) and allow guests to enter the park starting at 7PM. The actual event begins at 9PM and ends at midnight. 

During this special event, guests can enjoy the following attractions:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Pandora Drummers
  • Expedition Everest
  • Dinosaur
  • Rivers of Light
  • Tree of Life Awakenings
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • And more

Additionally, all guests receive complimentary ice cream, popcorn and select beverages!

After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park

magic kingdom after hours

Currently, there are Magic Kingdom After Hours tickets available for select nights through January 2020. These After Hours evenings do not coincide with any other special events at Magic Kingdom, like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary or Very Merry Christmas, which we’ll discuss in further detail below. Tickets for After Hours at Magic Kingdom are $129 and allow guests to enter the park as early 7PM while the official event starts at park closing and continues for 3 hours. As closing time for the park varies depending on the date, the event time varies as well. Check the calendar at this link for information on specific dates and times for After Hours at MK.

During Magic Kingdom After Hours guests can enjoy 25 of Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions as well as Meet & Greets with Disney’s favorite characters and complimentary ice cream, popcorn and select beverages. A few of the attractions available at this event are:

  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 
  • Space Mountain
  • Princess Greetings at Fairytale Hall

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

maleficent at mickey's not so scary haloween party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is an extremely popular event that invites guests to dress up and come out to the Magic Kingdom for a night of ghoulish fun. The event is held on select nights from late August through early November each year. From 7PM to Midnight (entry begins at 4PM) guests will get to enjoy most of Magic Kingdom’s attractions as well as a special Halloween fireworks show, stage shows, parades and other performances with characters dressed in Halloween costumes. Additionally there is trick or treating around the park where you’ll get to pick up tons of free candy and treats.

Pricing for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary varies depending on the day you choose to go. Currently prices range from $79 to $115 for adults ($74 to $110 for children) if purchased in advance. Tickets purchased on the day of the event are an extra $10. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

toy soldiers at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Similar to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place at the Magic Kingdom on select evenings throughout the holiday season. Each year the event is held on select dates from mid-November through December. The event starts at 7PM and continues on until midnight with entry for ticket holders beginning at 4PM. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party puts everyone in the holiday spirit with special holiday fireworks shows, dance parties, parades and performances throughout the park. Additionally many of the regular park attractions are open during the event so you can enjoy your favorite rides and shows as well. All guests are also treated to complimentary cookies and hot cocoa!

Tickets for this event range from $99 to $139 for adults ($94 to $134 for children) if purchased at least one day in advance. Tickets purchased the day of are an extra $10.

Discounts

For all those Annual Pass holders and/or Disney Vacation Club owners, you’ll be happy to hear that you receive discounts on all of the after hour events listed above. 

Annual Passholders receive a $30 discount on After Hours events at Disney and a $5 discount on the Halloween and Christmas parties. 

DVC owners can purchase tickets to After Hours events for a discounted price of $95 and receive a $5 discount on the Halloween and Christmas parties. Additionally DVC owners attending the Halloween or Christmas parties get early entry to the park starting at 2PM.

Are the After Events Worth It?

Our honest answer is, it depends. If you’re like me and you’ve been to the parks more times than you can count I would say yes, the after hours events are worth it. Considering that only a select number of tickets are sold for these special events, guests get to enjoy less crowds and lower attraction wait times. This is a huge plus for those who don’t necessarily want to visit all of the park’s attractions but just their favorites in a shorter amount of time. Each of these after hour events provide guests with at least 5 hours of time in the park, if you take advantage of the early entry times, which is plenty of time to enjoy your favorite rides, eat some yummy snacks and check out a few of the special events happening around the park.

If you love Halloween or Christmas (or both), the themed parties are a great deal of fun for the whole family and are definitely worth checking out at least once or twice. Experiencing the special decorations, shows and yummy treats are a great way to start (or end) the holiday season. 

However, if you’re an annual passholder and can visit the parks any day you choose, I might be hesitant to spend an extra $75+ for the After Hours events but still might consider the holiday parties since they are a fun and different experience than a normal day at the parks. 

Hopefully, the details above helped you decide for yourself if Disney’s after hours events are worth it. Click the following link for more information and tickets for special events held throughout the year at Disney World.

Guest Author

Katherine Rand

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