Disney After Hours

Is Disney World’s Nighttime Special Event Disney After Hours Worth the Cost?

We all know that Walt Disney World’s theme parks are full of magical experiences. But did you know there’s a way to extend that magic into the nighttime? It’s true. A private event called Disney After Hours is held on select dates throughout the year at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks. It allows you to enjoy the rides after normal operating hours without the crowds.

Did you say “Disney without the crowds?!” Yes indeed!

Of course, it does cost extra and it isn’t cheap. However, this type of event may be worth splurging on if you wish to maximize your limited time and increase your Disney magic.

Below we explain what the Disney After Hour event is, how much it costs, which rides are included, and if it’s worth the money. So let’s get started!

What is Disney After Hours?

Disney After Hours is a fun way for you to enjoy a special evening event at Disney’s Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

As darkness envelops the park, and the lights begin to glow, here you’ll enjoy legendary attractions and entertainment long after the regular crowds have departed.

If you’ve ever dreamt of experiencing the magic after the crowds have gone, then here’s your chance!

Disney After Hours is a unique way to see one of these parks in a whole new light (or, should I say, darkness).

And the best part?

You’ll be among a limited number of Guests in the park since it’s a separately ticketed 3-hour nighttime event and most Guests don’t take advantage of it.

Why not?

Well, it’s a relatively new event so many people don’t even know it exists.

Other Guests just don’t want to spend the $129 or so and just stick to the normal operating hours.

What is Disney After Hours

Disney After Hours Attractions & Rides

With a valid Disney After Hours ticket, Guests can enter the designated park at 7:00 PM.  By doing so, you’ll be able to get a jump start on exploring the theme park as you’ve never seen it before.

The wait times for popular attractions are much more manageable, and Character Greetings are included.

What’s not to love?!

Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park

Nighttime at Magic Kingdom is an enchanting experience.

See the lands light up and enjoy exciting thrill rides and classic family-friendly Disney attractions.

Here is a current list of the Magic Kingdom rides that are open during the event:

  • Astro Orbiter
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney Princess Greetings at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain

Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

From Rivers of Light to Pandora – The World of Avatar, Animal Kingdom’s Disney After Hours event lets you experience the magic of nature and the enchantment of night.

Here is a current list of the Animal Kingdom rides that are open during the event:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • DINOSAUR
  • DJ Dance Party
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • It’s tough to be a Bug!
  • Mickey & Minnie Greeting at Adventurers Outpost
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Pandora Drummers – Swotu Wayä
  • Rivers of Light: We Are One
  • Tree of Life Awakenings
  • TriceraTop Spin

Select Snacks and Beverages are Included

As you enjoy the fun and festivities of Disney After Hours, remember to take a timeout to refuel (compliments of Disney).

Snacks and beverages are included with your ticket (ie, free), so get your money’s worth and fill your belly.

What’s included?

Free popcorn, ice cream novelties (Mickey Bars), and select non-alcoholic beverages are available at carts throughout the park.

Several Quick Service restaurants are open during the event so you’ll also be able to purchase food items there.

Cost of Disney After Hours

You can save on admission if you purchase your Disney After Hours tickets early.

Here are some tips:

  • Disney After Hours tickets may be purchased in advance for $129 (per adult or child, plus tax)
  • Tickets purchased on the day of the event will cost $139 (per adult or child, plus tax)
  • For Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members, Disney After Hours tickets can be purchased in advance for just $99 (per adult or child, plus tax)
  • A limited number of tickets are available for each Disney After Hours event
  • Disney After Hours rides, attractions, and entertainment are subject to change w/o notice
  • Ticketholders can enter the designated Disney After Hours park at 7:00 PM on the night of the event. See your ticket for event times because the opening and closing times tend to fluctuate (see below for 2021 Disney After Hours dates and times).

Need help planning and booking your Disney vacation?  Then please contact the commission-free Disney travel agents at The Vacationeer. They can help you with every step of Disney World trip, including creating your itinerary and making your Disney After Hours reservations. Click HERE for a free, no-obligation price quote.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Crowds are MUCH lighter
  • Lines for attractions are MUCH shorter
  • Popular Attractions and Character Greeting are included
  • No Disney Genie+ (so no planning ahead or reservations required)
  • Snacks are included (bottled beverages, popcorn, Mickey Bars ice cream)
  • DVC and Annual Passholders are eligible for discounts

Cons:

  • Disney After Hours tickets are around $129, which is in the same price range are regular, full-day theme park tickets
  • Expensive: Since the event is typically 3 hours long, then the cost per hour is much high compared to normal tickets
  • Disney After Hours is only available on select dates (see below)
  • Not all rides are open, especially in the Africa and Asia sections of Animal Kingdom
  • No Table Service dining options and only a select number of Quick Service restaurants will be open

Is Disney After Hours Worth the Cost?

Is Disney After Hours is worth the money?

The answer to this depends on a few factors like:

  • Who you are traveling with?
  • What are your priorities during the vacation?
  • What is your budget?
  • How long is your vacation?

Here are a few possible reasons why Disney After Hours is right for you:

  • If you are only at Disney World for a few days and want to get as many rides in as possible. This allows you to experience the popular rides at night – without waiting in the long lines –  so that your regular days are free to see and do other things. It’s especially good if you wish to experience Magic Kingdom without the crowds.
  • Disney After Hours is great for those who don’t like planning ahead or just book their trip on short notice. Since many of the popular Genie+/Lightning Lane attractions are crowded during normal operating hours, these nighttime events allow you to just waltz into the park and go on the popular rides without any advance reservations.
  • You are night owls and the sound of going on rides when it’s dark out – and maybe sleeping in the next morning – sounds like fun.
  • Experiencing Disney After Hours means that you won’t worry about the sun, and the temperatures are most likely cooler than during the daytime.
Is Disney After Hours worth it

Decision Time: Is Disney After Hours Worth It?

In summary, yes, it is expensive, but the extra cost may be worth it.

If you fit any of the criteria listed above, then we say “go for it!”

Think about replacing a day at Magic Kingdom with a Disney After Hours date for Magic Kingdom.

This will allow you to experience all of the popular rides without the inconvenience of long lines, Disney Genie+ worries, hot temps, etc. And the cost of unlimited Mickey Bars, popcorn, and bottled drinks can really add up so this can be a significant saving (remember: these are totally free at night).

Families with teenagers may like the late nights, while young parents may prefer to bring their children to Early Morning Magic instead.

If you are staying in Disney World for a week or more, then Disney After Hours may not be worth it because you’ll have plenty of time to explore the park – and ride all the rides – over the course of your stay.

It also may not be the best if you have a large group.

Why? Well, because it’s costly and most people will want to be at the parks during the day.

But again, every group is different so all these issues should be debated before you book your trip.

2021 Disney After Hours Dates and Times

Disney After Hours dates

The time for each Disney After Hours event at Magic Kingdom depends upon the date (as shown below).

Disney After Hours Schedule

2021 Disney After Hours Boo Bash Dates and Times

Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash will be held in Magic Kingdom and run from 9:30 PM to 12:30 AM on these dates:

  • Tues August 10, 2021
  • Tues August 17, 2021
  • Fri August 20, 2021
  • Tues August 24, 2021
  • Fri August 27, 2021
  • Tues August 31, 2021
  • Fri September 3, 2021
  • Sun September 5, 2021

Disney After Hours Boo Bash will be held in Magic Kingdom and take place from 9:00 PM until midnight on the following dates:

  • Tues September 7, 2021
  • Fri September 10, 2021
  • Sun September 12, 2021
  • Tues September 14, 2021
  • Fri September 17, 2021
  • Sun September 19, 2021
  • Tues September 21, 2021
  • Fri September 24, 2021
  • Tues October 5, 2021
  • Fri October 8, 2021
  • Sun October 10, 2021
  • Tues October 12, 2021
  • Fri October 15, 2021
  • Sun October 17, 2021
  • Tues October 19, 2021
  • Fri October 22, 2021
  • Sun October 24, 2021
  • Tues October 26, 2021
  • Fri October 29, 2021
  • Sun October 31, 2021

2021 Disney Very Merriest After Hours Dates and Times

This holiday event debuts on Nov 8th and will take place on select nights through Dec 21. More information will be released soon!

Enjoy your Disney World vacation!

We hope our Disney After Hours guide helps you decide if this event is worth the money.

For more useful Disney World information, please review some additional pages on MagicGuides like our  Club Level at Disney World, Disney World History, Walt Disney Quotes, Disney World Strollers, and RunDisney Marathon articles.

If you need help planning and booking your magical Walt Disney World vacation, then please contact our friends at The Vacationeer. Their services are always helpful and totally free of charge!

Thanks for reading and we hope you have a magical Walt Disney World vacation!