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 and without the crowds. Yes, 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 its 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 when Disney’s crowds clear, 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 its a separately ticketed 3-hour nighttime event and most Guests don’t take advantage of it. Why not? Well, its 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 managable, 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 will be open to purchase food items during Disney After Hours.

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 2020 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.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Crowds are MUCH lighter
  • Lines for attractions are MUCH shorter
  • Popular Attractions and Character Greeting are included
  • No FastPass+ (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 the 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
Disney After Hours dates

Is Disney After Hours Worth the Cost?

The question of whether Disney After Hours is worth the money will depend on a few factors like who you are travel with and your priorities, budget, and length of 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. Many of the popular FastPass+ attractions are completely booked 60 days out, so 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, FastPass+ 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 its 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.

2020 Disney After Hours Dates and Times

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

2020 Disney After Hours Dates

JANUARY

  • Monday, January 6, 2020 (event takes place from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.)
  • Monday, January 13, 2020 (event takes place from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.)
  • Friday, January 17, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Monday, January 20, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Thursday, January 23, 2020 (event takes place from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.)
  • Monday, January 27, 2020 (event takes place from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.)
  • Friday, January 31, 2020 (event takes place from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.)

FEBRUARY

  • Monday, February 3, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Friday, February 7, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, February 10, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Friday, February 14, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, February 17, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Friday, February 21, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, February 24, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Friday, February 28, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)

MARCH

  • Monday, March 2, 2020 (event takes place from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.)
  • Friday, March 6, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, March 9, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, March 16, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, March 23, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Friday, March 27, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, March 30, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)

APRIL

  • Friday, April 3, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Sunday, April 5, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Friday, April 10, 2020 (Disney Villains A. H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, April 13, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Friday, April 17, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, April 20, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Friday, April 24, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, April 27, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)

MAY

  • Friday, May 1, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Friday, May 8, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, May 11, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Thursday, May 14, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, May 18, 2020 (event takes place from 9 p.m. until midnight)
  • Friday, May 22, 2020 (Disney Villains A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, May 25, 2020 (event takes place from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.)
  • Friday, May 29, 2020 (Disney Villians A.H. takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)

JUNE

  • Friday, June 5, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Friday, June 12, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Friday, June 19, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Friday, June 26, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Monday, June 29, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)

JULY

  • Monday, July 6, 2020 (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • Friday, July 10, 2020  (Disney Villains After Hours takes place 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)

AUGUST – DECEMBER 2020  – To Be Determined

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!

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