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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn

Disney After Hours Events

Updated: Apr 10

Disney is currently offering After Hours Events at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. On our last trip we had the chance to attend one at Magic Kingdom, read on for an overview of our experience and review along with our recommendation on whether or not the extra cost is worth it.

Disney’s After Hours is a hard ticket event, meaning it costs extra and does not require a separate park ticket for entry. The event runs from either 9:30PM to 12:30AM, for Hollywood Studios, or 10:00PM to 1:00AM for both Magic Kingdom and Epcot on select evenings. With your event ticket you can enter the park starting at 7:00PM, overlapping with regular park hours for a bit. As a result, you can have a total of 5 and half hours, at Hollywood Studios, or 6 hours, at Magic Kingdom or Epcot, of park time with the ticket. The cost of the event ranges from $150 to $175 per person depending on the park and date of the event. While this may seem steep, the lower crowds allow you to ride the same, or often even more rides, as you would during a normal park day. 

We will note that not every experience offered during regular park hours is available during a Disney After Hours. For example, at Magic Kingdom some attractions such as Carousel of Progress and Enchanted Tales with Belle are not available, and many of the shops and most of the dining locations are closed. And over at Epcot, most of the World Showcase, with the exception of the attractions and some offerings in Mexico, Norway, and France, is closed for the event. Also, most of the character meet and greet locations are unavailable at each of the parks. On the flip side, TRON Lightcycle / Run and Gardians of the Galaxy:Cosmic Rewind are offered with a standby queue and often had a wait time of 30 minutes or less, while all the other available attractions are essentially walk-on throughout the event. To see what is all available for each of the parks check out our Disney After Hours cheat sheets for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.  They can be downloaded here.

Also, for anyone it applies to, DAS is available during the After Hours events. We have a member of our party who gets anxiety panic attacks in large crowds, so she has a Disability Access Service (DAS) pass which allows her to minimize the amount of time she has to stand in crowded lines and areas. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that it worked during the After Hours event, because it wasn’t abundantly clear when searching online. For those who want to know more about DAS, read our post here.

So who do we recommend this event for: anyone who is willing and able to stay up past 1:00 AM. Unfortunately, this event won’t be ideal for families with smaller children, it is really only worth it if you can make use of the whole event time. If you might have to leave early because you are too far past a kid's (or possibly an adult’s) bed time then we would say skip it until they are older. This event also may not be ideal for someone hoping to get the full offerings at the parks. This is especially true at Epcot, where most of the World Showcase is closed down during the event. Even at Magic Kingdom, you won’t get to experience the parade and most of the shows, not to mention most of the character meet and greets are unavailable. Plus, with most dining locations closed, your food options during the event are pretty much popcorn and ice cream, so you miss out on some of the delightful foods you can find around the parks. But, if you are okay with the more limited offerings, whether you have visited before or are planning a different day in that park, and have the ability to keep yourself awake into the wee hours of the morning, then we highly recommend an After Hours event! If you do plan to do the event, we suggest making it your park ticket for the day. Spend the morning and afternoon resting (so you are at full battery for the late night), enjoying the hotel pool, or going to Disney Springs. 


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