disney after hours

(Article last updated: April 5, 2019)

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 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.

After Hours entrance sign

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!)

After Hours check in

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.

Disney after hours snacks back of lanyard

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
  • Thursday, May 2, 2019¹
  • Thursday, May 9, 2019¹
  • Thursday, May 16, 2019¹
  • Thursday, May 23, 2019¹
  • Thursday, May 30, 2019¹
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019*
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019*
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019*
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019*
  • Monday, July 1, 2019*
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019*
  • Thursday, July 18, 2019*
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019*
  • Thursday, August 1, 2019*
  • Thursday, August 8, 2019*

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.
*NEW! Disney Villains After Hours (more info on what that means below)

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

Adventureland

  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Enchanted Tiki Room

Frontierland

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • Country Bear Jamboree

Liberty Square

  • Haunted Mansion

Fantasyland

  • The Barnstormer
  • Dumbo
  • “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

Tomorrowland

  • 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

Fantasyland

  • Enchanted Tales with Belle

Liberty Square

  • The Hall of Presidents

Tomorrowland

  • 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.

After hours front of lanyard

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

Disney Villains After Hours (NEW for Summer 2019)

Disney Villains After Hours

For a limited time, Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom is going a bit more...sinister.

This summer in June, July, and August, Disney After Hours is getting a Villains theme. You'll still get all the regular stuff included (like access to attractions, free bottled beverages and ice cream treats, etc.) but in addition to all of that you'll also have a few fun extras:

  • New Disney Villains stage show – This new show called "Villains Unite the Night" will star Hades and Meg from “Hercules” with some special appearances by Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent
  • Maleficent the Dragon –  Maleficent the Dragon (which is the super popular float from the Festival of Fantasy parade) will be found creeping through the park and breathing her scary fire 
  • "Villanous Enhancements" to attractions: Both Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain will get some fun villain-themed additions for these special nights
  • Special food & beverage offerings -In addition to the free goodies, guests will find an assortment of specially-themed items available for purchase all inspired by some of your favorite villains like The Queen, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Hades, Dr. Facilier, and even Emperor Zurg
  • Villain-themed merchandise – Event specific merchandise will be available for purchase

NOTE: One thing will NOT be available, though: special villain character meets.  

And, for added fun - much like with Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, for this special event guests are encouraged to "feel free to show off [their] sinister side by dressing in attire inspired by [their] favorite baddie."

Prices for this enhanced version of Disney After Hours is slightly more expensive:

  • $139 (plus tax) for tickets purchased in advance.
  • $144 (plus tax) for tickets purchased on the night of the event.

Discounts are available, though. Guests that have Annual Passes or are members of Disney's Vacation Club can save $30/ticket (making the total with discount $109 plus tax).

Tickets for this new offering go on sale April 29.

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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