Disney After Hours (dates, cost, how to plan your time)

Disney After Hours is a private event at Magic Kingdom offered on select dates. It's not cheap, but it might be worth it for many people.

Here's info on what it is, how much it costs, who should plan to attend, and a suggested itinerary if you plan to go.

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What is Disney After Hours?

Disney After Hours is a separately-ticketed event (meaning it's a ticket that is purchased separate from regular park tickets) that allows people to enter Magic Kingdom at 7 p.m. and stay until 11 p.m. or midnight (ending time varies by date).

There are a limited number of tickets sold which means one thing: no waits.

Seriously, the park is almost empty and kind of eerily quiet. And you can walk on rides, meet characters, and enjoy treats and bottled beverages (they're included with the ticket!) as you walk through the park.

Though the ticket allows you to enter at 7, the event doesn't begin until 8 or 9 which means you can do things between 7 and the event starting time that aren't available during the party. Most importantly, that includes fireworks and attractions that won't be open during the event.

Disney After Hours dates

These are the dates the event is being offered in 2018:

  • Friday, January 19, 2018*
  • Friday, January 26, 2018*
  • Tuesday, January 30, 2018*
  • Thursday, February 8, 2018*
  • Thursday, February 15, 2018**
  • Thursday, March 1, 2018**
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018**

* event takes place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
** event takes place 9 p.m. to midnight

As a reference, it was held on January 20 and 27, February 2, 9 and 16, and March 2 and 9, in 2017.

Disney After Hours cost

Tickets to this event are $119 (same price for adults and kids) so it isn't cheap, but might be worth it for many people. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members can purchase tickets for $89.

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 407-827-7185.

Who should attend?

Although the price sounds high for just 4 or 5 hours in the park, I'd suggest it does make sense if you think of it in terms of number of attractions rather than number of hours. You can get more done at the event than you could in a whole day at Magic Kingdom.

For that reason, I'd highly suggest it for people who have short trips and want to fit in as much as possible because it's a really great way to do that.

Planning your time

Here's how I'd plan to spend time at this event.

  • Arrive at Magic Kingdom just before 7:00 so you can enter the park as soon as you can.
  • Visit any attractions that won't be open during the event.
  • See the fireworks.
  • Spend most of your time visiting attractions and meeting characters, picking up snacks at kiosks throughout Magic Kingdom as you go.
  • Grab a bottle or two of beverages to take back to your hotel.
  • Have a PhotoPass photographer snap your pic on Main Street on the way out. Gotta take advantage of having almost nobody in the park to clutter up your photo!

Disney After Hours

Early Morning Magic vs. Disney After Hours

Can't decide which paid event to do? Here's a comparison chart to help.


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Kelly N

I was wondering about the logistics of this night. If I am already in the park that day, do I have to exit and come back in? I see in the pictures a lanyard. Are those given at the front gates?
Thanks!
Kelly

Jeanne

I arrived at 3pm last year and went to town hall to pick up the lanyard. My guess is if you arrive later they may have them by the front gates. I did not have to exit or re-enter

Jennifer Harper

We are planning to be in Magic Kingdom January 25th and 26th for our first trip and had planned to stay at least one night until the fireworks. Our kids will be 1 and 5 so we will definitely not stay late at night. How do you think this After House party might affect crowds for these days? We’re trying to figure out which day to stay for fireworks. Do you think it would be wise to see the fireworks on the 25th and head out early on the 26th?

Marianne

We arrive an January 19 and have purchased tickets for Disney After Hours for the 19th. (Thank you for the great information! We learned about After Hours through wdw prep school)

Hoping to gain some advice. My assumption is that the After Hours tickets are an extra ticket in addition to the six-day hopper passes we’ve bought. Would you recommend that we use the After Hour tickets the first day and then use the rest of our tickets for the remaining 6 days of our trip? Or should we jump right in upon our arrival and use our first day of our 6-day hopper during the day on the 19th, take a break when we can check in and then head back to MK later in the evening for the remaining time with our after hours event tickets? The alternative would be explore the hotel/Disney Springs on the first day until our room is ready and then head to MK for 7 p.m., and use the remaining 6 day hoppers straight through to our departure date.

I would take a break after you arrive and then head to MK that night for the event. Travel days are always pretty tiring so you’ll appreciate having a bit of downtime before a late night, I think. What an amazing way to kick off a trip!

Katie

Do they have this during the summer months? This look amazing!

No, they haven’t offered it in the summer. They only offer it during the less busy months of the year when Magic Kingdom closes early and it gets dark earlier. During the summer, Magic Kingdom is open later to accommodate crowds and to wait for it to get dark for fireworks.

Connie Ketterer

Are all the rides open or is it limited

Hi, Connie – As the post says, not all rides are open during the party so I recommend riding those after entering at 7, but before the party officially begins at 8 or 9 p.m.

Mirandy

how are these tickets purchased?

Under the “Disney After Hours cost” heading, there’s info on where to purchase.

amanda

Do they list the rides that are open anywhere?

They should have that info available as the dates get closer. I believe they only had a few rides closed last time. The only one that mattered to us was the TTD/PeopleMover so we rode that right after we arrived.

Anna

Do they have dates for this during December? If so any from the 16th-the 22nd?

All of the dates for 2017 and 2018 are in this post. It’s just something they do at the beginning of the year.

Scott Weinfeld

I plan on coming early in the day. Inhave to exit and re enter the park

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