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!

PhotoPass Visiting MK 7929352177 400x600 - Disney After Hours (dates, cost, how to plan your time)

Early Morning Magic vs. Disney After Hours

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

EMMvsAfterHours 600x600 - Disney After Hours (dates, cost, how to plan your time)

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30 Comments on "Disney After Hours (dates, cost, how to plan your time)"

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I called about the AP discount. Guest services said anyone holding a discounted ticket must also have a valid AP assigned to them. So, I couldn’t buy discounted tickets for members of my party that are not AP holders.

I hope someday I will get to do this

In order to get the discounted tickets for the after hours party, only one member of the party has to be an AP holder.

Is there any special merch for sale during the After Hours, any special maps, etc for scrapbooking? Also, is there a limit to the snacks and drinks?

No special things that I can remember, and no limit to the snacks/drinks. Stop at every kiosk if you’d like!

I see a lower ticket price for annual passes listed but am not clear if everyone buying a ticket would need an annual pass for the discount or just the person doing the purchasing.

Hello! I’m wondering if you recall how quickly these sold out last time or if they sell out at all? We are going back and forth and wondering if we can make the decision to go the week we are there. Thanks!

Okay, so I have seen conflicting things about how early you can enter the park. Some people claim as early as 4? Is that possible?

Some separately-ticketed events allow you to enter at 4:00, but this one is 7:00.

We are arriving March 7 and were planning to go MK our first full day on the 8th. Was intentionally planning this as the parks will get busier later in our stay due to the increase in spring break crowds. This is the first I’m seeing that there is after hours option on the 8th, thus wondering if the park will have additional traffic that day and it’s a bad idea to go to MK that particular day??? Thanks much!

Shouldn’t impact crowds in a big way. Be sure to check out recommended parks for each day on the March dashboard – https://wdwprepschool.com/march-at-disney-world/

Have a fantastic trip!

how are these tickets purchased?

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

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?

You do not have to exit/reenter.. If you have the lanyard, you can ride the rides and get the snacks… You just need to have the lanyard. We have made dinner reservations for the back of the park, because last year we did waste 1/2 hour of our time fighting the exit crowds leaving the park, as we made our way inside.

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

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?

I went the Disney After Hours in February. You won’t notice any crowd change the night of the After Hours. There are not that many tickets sold to the event. I haven’t found the exact number sold each night, but I have read others speculate it’s around 1,000. When I went, I don’t think I saw much more than 100 people, much less a thousand!

Last year, they told us is was ~2500 Tickets sold for the after hours event.. It’s literally an empty park. And the staff is so nice.. Passing out ice cream bars and waters and sodas willy nilly.. The ride operators, just say stay on, if you want! They let us ride on thunder mountain train car as they backed it into the parking spot for the night.. and we rode seven dwarves like 7x in a row without getting off…

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.

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… Read more »

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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