(Article last updated: November 30, 2018)
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.
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 midnight or 1 a.m. (ending time varies by date).
Like other separately-ticketed events, you'll be able to enter before the official party start time and there will be a Cast Member at the front of the park with a sign directing guests where to go.
You'll scan your MagicBand or ticket and receive your special "After Hours" lanyard at that time.
Already planning to be in Magic Kingdom? No worries. You don't have to go all the way back to the front of the park to check-in.
You're able to pick up your After Hours lanyard at stations in the park, like this one in Tomorrowland.
(These Cast Members were the BEST! So much fun!)
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 7:00, the event doesn't begin until 9:00 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.
What about food?
You'll find that most of the regular Table Service and Quick Service locations aren't open (although there will be a couple spots like Main Street Bakery that are) but that may not be necessary since the event includes unlimited ice cream treats, popcorn, and bottled beverages.
You'll typically find these at the carts and kiosks spread throughout the park so if the line looks long at one it might be worth it to hold off and try the next one you come across.
Disney After Hours dates and times
The time for each Disney After Hours event at Magic Kingdom depends upon the date (as shown below).
These are the dates the event is being offered in 2018:
- Thursday, June 28, 2018¹
- Saturday, June 30, 2018¹
- Saturday, July 7, 2018¹
- Monday, July 9, 2018¹
- Saturday, July 14, 2018¹
- Saturday, July 21, 2018¹
- Saturday, July 28, 2018¹
- Saturday, August 4, 2018¹
- Saturday, August 11, 2018¹
- Thursday, August 30, 2018²
- Thursday, September 20, 2018²
- Monday, December 3, 2018¹
- Monday, December 10, 2018¹
These are the dates the event is being offered in 2019:
- Monday, January 7, 2019³
- Thursday, January 17, 2019³
- Thursday, January 24, 2019³
- Monday, January 28, 2019³
- Thursday, February 7, 2019³
- Thursday, February 14, 2019²
- Thursday, February 21, 2019²
- Thursday, February 28, 2019³
- Thursday, March 7, 2019²
- Thursday, March 21, 2019¹
- Thursday, March 28, 2019¹
- Thursday, April 4, 2019¹
- Thursday, April 11, 2019¹
¹event takes place from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
²event takes place 9 p.m. to midnight
³event takes place 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Attractions & Character Meets
Definitely the main focus of Disney After Hours is the ability to ride lots of attractions and see some select characters with little to no waits.
As you can tell by the list below, the majority of the park will be open making it easy to see and ride all of your favorites.
Here's what you can typically find available:
Main Street U.S.A.
- Meet Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Haunted Mansion
- The Barnstormer
- “it’s a small world”
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Meet Ariel in her grotto
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight*
- Meet Disney Princesses in Princess Fairytale Hall
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
*Peter Pan's Flight will be under refurbishment and NOT open on January 7, January 17, and January 24 in 2019.
And here's what's NOT available:
- Happily Ever After (nighttime fireworks show)
- Most character meets not listed above
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- The Hall of Presidents
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Carousel of Progress
Disney After Hours cost
Effective for all dates after September 20, 2018 there is a slight ($6/ticket) price increase:
New advanced purchase price for tickets to this event are $125 (same price for adults and kids) so it isn't cheap, but might be worth it for many people. If available, same-day tickets are $129 plus tax.
Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members can purchase tickets for $95.
How to get tickets
When it comes time to purchase tickets you have a couple of options:
You can purchase them from a travel professional like the agents at Perfect Story Travel. Just indicate in the notes field that you'd like to buy Disney After Hours tickets and one of the amazing agents there will get back to you ASAP.
Or, if you'd rather, tickets can be purchased online or by calling 407-827-7185.
Who should attend?
Although the price sounds high for just 4-6 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!
Early Morning Magic vs. Disney After Hours
Can't decide which paid event to do? Here's a comparison chart to help.
Video: Why Disney After Hours is my favorite event
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