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New ‘Disney After Hours’ Provides Loads of Nighttime Fun at Walt Disney World Resort

Charles Stovall

by , Public Relations Manager

Certainly the Magic Kingdom is fun during the day time, but at night, there is a special kind of “magic” – pun intended – that happens, with everything lit up. From the colorful spires of Cinderella Castle to the twinkling lights of Storybook Circus in Fantasyland, the park comes alive in a very unique way.

My favorite is Dumbo, the Flying Elephant at night. The view is just breathtaking.

Starting today, guests will have the opportunity to experience more of that nocturnal splendor and enjoy more time in the park with “Disney After Hours,” a special, ticketed event at Magic Kingdom taking place on select nights throughout April and May.

This event will enable participants to enjoy more exclusive time in Magic Kingdom – with quicker than typical access to popular attractions like Space Mountain and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and character greetings like the ones in Town Square and Princess Fairytale Hall. Ice cream novelties and bottled beverages also will be available for guests during the three hours of the event. [NOTE: Disney Resort Guests will continue to be able to enjoy Extra Magic Hours, while this new event takes place on different dates and is another option for enjoying Magic Kingdom.]

“Disney After Hours” is a three-hour event that will take place once the park closes on the following dates:

  • April 14, 21 and 28
  • May 5, 8, 12 and 19

A separate event ticket is required for “Disney After Hours.” Guests can check in starting at 7 p.m. each night, with the event hours from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. Pricing is $149 plus tax for both adults and children (ages 3-9).

FYI: Admission to this special event is limited. You might want to hurry and book tickets ASAP. To purchase tickets, guests may call 407-827-7185.

Comments

  • Many of the same things can be said of the normal tickets. The park hours can be long, but not many stay for the entire duration. Still no word on the “limited” number of people allowed. I remember when we were all VIPs.

  • Guests are permitted to check in at 7 pm for this event. That means that they will be able to enjoy 7 hours of Magic Kingdom time, which is more than many guests spend there for a normal day. The last 3 hours will have special meet and greets, unlimited ice cream, and drinks in addition to the far lower crowds and the pure magic of being in the park very late at night. The value here is tremendous, especially when you factor in the feeling of Disney magic that comes with being a VIP, which is exactly what events like these feel like. A special event is not supposed to be inexpensive. It is not supposed to be a money-saving scheme. These events are meant to give those who want to do something extra and feel a bit more special an opportunity to add to their vacation. I suppose it is all subjective, but to me, Disney just keeps getting better, more beautiful, and with better experiences, especially for families who do not want just the “normal” experience.

  • I’m a DVC member and been going since 1971. I agree with the two most recent comments. The advantages of staying in the Disney bubble are diminishing quickly. It really feels like we’re just customers now, not guests.

  • We’ve been to WDW many times and are considering a trip next January. We always stay on site, but this gives us less incentive to do so. Disney prices keep increasing and service and quality keep decreasing. And don’t get me started on the decline of dining since you started offering “free” dining. It’s disappointing.

  • Somebody has to pay for the cost overruns at Shanghai Disney and it looks like it’s down to us.

  • My husband and I are thinking about getting tickets for this event, but we really want to know what “limited number” is being referenced. The last hard ticket event we attended was the Villains Unleashed and those tickets were also “limited.” During the several hours we were there we only were able to do three of the special things and not meet any characters because of the 5 hour waits. How limited is this going to be? If it’s the same limit that the Villains event had, we’re going to pass.

  • What exactly does “bottled beverages” mean? Sounds like alcohol. I hope not. I like my alcohol but there was always something innocent about the MK and Walt kind of wanted that way.

  • At that time and at that price, I figure it will weed out a lot of families traveling with kids. Adults traveling without kids being able to have a few hours in the park to themselves…worth every single penny! Tickets purchased, one month to go, can’t wait!!!

  • its getting very scary, more and more extra charges, more and more taken away,I can’t wait till all the new stuff opens up and spreads out some crowding hopefully . The United States could probably use an additional Disney world

  • The Christmas and Halloween parties started out like this and were nice but now they pack so many people in I will never do it again. It’s sad to see the parks close so early on many nights, I’ve been to Epcot and it’s packed at 9 pm. Why would you close??

  • Does this mean that the Magic Kingdom will close earlier for regular paying guest? For example close at 10 pm instead of 12 midnight?

  • There will be no need to put a “limit” on tickets sold as the price will naturally do that.

  • If after hours makes the stock pop, than it sounds great to me!!

  • At first blush $149 seems to be a high price to pay for three hours of extra Magic. However you are getting not only those three hours but also the ability to enter the park at 7pm and enjoy the nightly entertainment offerings like the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes, A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, Fireworks display. Like having the use of the Blue Fairy’s wand the crowds will disappear at the start of the event and you won’t need to worry about scheduling a FastPass or being crowded out of meeting and greeting your favorite Disney character. Walt Disney World already offers VIP Tours of the Park for those Guests wanting a more personal and intimate experience; This offers all of that and more. The Walt Disney World Experience is what you make it, this is just one more offering to help make those memories extra special.

  • Without publicizing the limit it is impossible to assess the value. We used to go to the special holiday after hours events and over time they became more and more crowded to the point where the value degraded. Publicize the limit – if the event truly has a meaningful limit – and you increase the value. Hide the limit and you create suspicion that the limit is fluid based on actual ticket sales. The limit should result in lines never to exceed 5-10 minutes or some metric like that. I don’t mind charging for value but be transparent. Thanks!

  • Not quite sure I’m understanding this correctly, as the article says you can “check in starting at 7pm each night, with the event hours from 11pm- 2am”. Does this mean you also get the hours from 7pm- 11pm to enjoy in the park? It sounds like you can join the masses in the park from 7-11pm for 4 hours, and then also get the additional 3 hours with a very small group of people after the masses leave…………….. so it sounds like you actually get 7 hours in the park. Is that correct, or am I not understanding this correctly? I think $149 is a lot more reasonable for 7 hours than for 3 hours though.

  • Why are we not getting an answer as to how many tickets will be sold for these events? Reasonable question considering the cost. Thanks!

  • I feel as if they some how attach the option reasonably to your ticket it will work. Like a parkhopper ticket is 155 per day, for an extra 20 you can stay in the Magic Kingdom park for an additional three hours. So if you purchase nine day/park hopper the adjustment is as follows….for three extra night hours in MK for those 9 days, this makes more since economicly.

  • I am usually the first to jump in and defend Disney with their new plans and ideas, but I’ve got nothing for this one. As a DVC member and an annual passholder, I am very disappointed in Disney not only coming up with this idea, but implementing it. The cost to go to the parks are already high; now there is this event for 3 hours only and it costs more than a whole day does. The only “magic” in this scenario is money disappearing from a wallet.

  • Given the large increase in annual passholder fees, this seems high price to pay for 3 hours. The point of being a passholder or hotel guest is to get the free magic hours. So much for magic.

  • I think the real Disney magic is the company’s ability to keep pulling these upcharge events out of their hat.

  • I am very excited for this. From what I have read, even if there were no Disney after Hours, the parks would still be closing at the normal time. This is just 3 hours extra after those closing times. This did not take away any EMH times. I would also like to know what the limited amount sold is but I do not believe they tell us this for the halloween parties either. I am hoping for some rare character meets other than the princesses that you can get during the day or the ones that are in town square. Will there be more information coming out about these nights before the dates?

  • This is not s new thing. They used to do it back in the 90’s and stopped it at some point. Back then it was called an “E-ride night” available certain nights and only if you stayed on property. It was $20.00 a head. $150.00 is rediculous.

  • I really do not think you will receive any benefit to this. During high peak times Disney always stays open till 1am or later and the crowds always die down after the second night parade and fireworks. I am not reading anything special or different offered about this after hours event except the high price. This event is 3 hours long and it cost more then a whole day at the park. I would not pay it.

  • Based on my family’s experiences visiting in April or May, you’re not exactly waiting in the longest lines earlier in the day, either. Throw in FastPasses, and I’m not sure quicker access to attractions is really worth $149.

    For people to whom money is less of an issue, it could be popular, though.

  • I still think that it is better to pay more to stay on Disney property and use all the EMH offered rather than paying this charge to get into only MK at night. Yes it is 3 hours but they don’t really offer much by way of special events. At least with other hard ticketed events there are special fireworks, dining options and rare characters offered. Don’t get me wrong …if you are staying off property or on a limited schedule then this may be a great thing if you really want more time in Magic Kingdom. Just not sure with the limited services and no mention of how many people they are letting in it truly is worth the price. Not yet anyway. If someone comes back with great feedback or Disney steps up their game with this…maybe…maybe next time around I will try it.

  • Which bottled beverages would be offered? I hope you would have Sprite Zero, since it is caffeine free, and folks would need to get to sleep quickly when they get back to their rooms or homes, since it would be so late.

  • I heard the limit would be 3000 guests. Not sure if that’s correct. Also I would probably do this if there was a AP discount. Quite silly there isn’t. There are AP discounts for halloween and christmas parties, so why not this?

  • To me, this sounds like a Very Merry or Not-So-Scary for springtime…which would be cool, if it offers rare character greets (like those events do) or springtime theming to the decorations, food, and character attire. Are those elements part of the plan? If not, this wouldn’t hold the appeal for me that the other events do.

  • The more expensive it is, the less crowded it is. Works for me!

  • Hmm, sounds like a strange idea to me. What exactly does $149 get you? Given that it is only 3 hours, I would hope every single attraction, shop and restaurant is operating and that there is a hard cap of no more than 15% of the park’s maximum capacity. I would also hope that this includes food and other special experiences.

    I also doubt too many will pay this without knowing in advance what the cap is and what attractions will be operating.

  • What attractions will be operating during this event?

    During Extra Magic Hour events, only a limited number of attractions are open. This is an extremely high cost if only a few rides will be operating.

    • During this special event, a very limited number of guests will have access to more than 25 of the Park’s most popular attractions for three hours after the park’s normal closing hours, with little to no wait.

  • So, in April of 2015, I would have been able to pay for regular park admission and be in the park until 1am (and have very low crowds the last several hours). This year, I have to pay an additional $750 for my family of 5, for pretty much the exact same experience? I’m not sure what the value is here. Plus, if I don’t pay this extra charge, I have a lesser experience (three fewer hours in the park) that the same time last year.

  • Also interested to hear exactly how many tickets Disney plans to release for each night. If it will be the same as for the Halloween and Christmas Parties, I will definitely pass. Too crowded. Would also need to see a list of exactly which attractions will remain open. Too little info to put out $300 for two people for 3 hours!

  • I think this sounds like an excellent value for folks who may not visit often (or at all). From what I’ve read on this article, the event begins at park close, but you may enter beginning at 7pm. So you would get 6-7 hours with very short lines and unlimited ice cream and drinks… it would cost $40 more than a regular ticket and you could avoid the extremely crowded lines. Sounds cool. I also doubt that Disney will announce just how many people will be allowed in the event… theme parks don’t typically advertise their capacity.

  • I’m with Amanda Stein – looking for other information about nightlife at another kingdom…..

    As for how limited will the crowds be? I’m pretty sure the price is going to be the thing that limits the crowd.

    It looks like extra magic hours for those who are not staying in Disney Resorts at a high cost. Is this pretty much what it is?

    Is there any other benefits besides the hours being late like extra magic hours and less people in the park (due to gigh cost) so therefore shorter lines?

    Is there any benefit to attend these nights over juat attending on regular extra magic hour night for somebody staying in the resort?

  • I have a 14 Day Ultimate Ticket over our stay which includes some of these dates, do I need to buy more tickets so I can get access to this? Not that I would, but id love to go in when its less busy… I’m hoping the Ultimate Ticket covers it!

  • While interesting, the information that people seek for those dates is the AK hours and schedule.

  • Does the $149 cover admission to the park that day at 9:00am, or whatever time the park opens? If not, it seems like a poor value compared to, say, the holiday-themed after-hours parties. If so, then I guess it could be worth it, but not for annual pass holders.

  • Will there be more benefits released in the near future? This seems incomplete.

  • Can you please expand on the number of tickets to be sold? Add in the fact that it’s non-refundable, without that info the event is not terribly tempting. I would want assurances that it is significantly lower crowds than during the day or during a party.

  • Wow! For that price it should include dinner & unlimited wine from Be Our Guest!

  • While the idea of an uncrowded Magic Kingdom is very appealing, especially at night, I’m afraid the price here is too high for me.

    I’m hoping, though, that some other night time activities at another Kingdom will have their details released soon as well. It would be great to have some Light shed on that subject.

  • Unless I read something wrong, the cost of being at Magic Kingdom from 9am – 11pm (14 hours) on April 14th is $110. The cost of being at MK from 11pm to 2am (3 hours) on that date is $149.

    I’d be surprised if this event is popular, but you never know.

  • What about rare character meets? This doesn’t seem worth it.

  • Will there be any bonus merchandise available?

  • How much of the park will be available during that time? Are there any special fireworks or shows scheduled?

    • All Magic Kingdom Guests, including event Guests will be able to enjoy the regularly scheduled nighttime entertainment offerings such as the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes before the park closes.

  • “FYI: Admission to this special event is limited.”

    How limited? If this is to be sold as a an event with “quicker than typical access to popular attractions” I think it’s fair to let us know what the cap will be before we buy tickets. Thanks!

  • How many tickets will be sold per night?

  • What will be the “limit” on crowds for this event?

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