We return to Disney Villains After Hours after our last post, which provided a nice(?) overview of what to expect from the event, along with some general tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your evening. In this post, I’ll discuss what we did and what you can expect to see as you move about your evening. We are joined by the illustrious Tom Bricker of the DisneyTouristBlog.com. You can pull up his review for a second opinion here. Should we disagree on anything, I would invite you to scroll on back over here for the final word.
Guests with Disney Villains After Hours tickets may officially enter the Park at 7pm with Magic Kingdom typically open until 10pm to day guests. The After Hours event then officially runs from 10pm through 1am. As we learned from the overview, there’s a Villains Unite the Night show at 1am, followed by the Maleficent at Night procession at 1:25am and the Villains Farewell for about a half hour after that, which makes it easy to extend the evening by another hour.
The Villains After Hours ticket will allow you to book FastPass+ beginning around 6:20pm after it’s attached to a My Disney Experience account. Theoretically, you could create a separate My Disney Experience account to attach the tickets and be able to make up to three FastPass+ using just the Villains tickets. Then if you’re using another type of ticket to get in during the day, attached to your regular My Disney Experience account, you could book three more FP+ using that account as well, in essence doubling the number of FP+ you could make from a little after 6pm onward. In reality, that’s probably more effort than most people are willing to go through. But you can make FP+ either with the Villains After Hours ticket or your regular ticket. I booked the above selections to start my evening.
As a reminder, below is a list of the attractions available during After Hours. The first number that I’ve added is the attraction’s priority based on how much time it will save versus visiting during the day. “1” is the lowest priority, while “5” is the highest. The second number is the minimum experience time that the attraction will take, assuming there’s basically no wait to board or for the show to begin. For example, that means Jungle Cruise is an above average priority that will take about 12 minutes during After Hours. As you plan out what you want to accomplish, add up the total experience times to make sure it’s reasonable:
While the majority of Magic Kingdom’s attractions are open during Villains After Hours, the list doesn’t include any Meet and Greets. The list also doesn’t include Carousel of Progress, Enchanted Tales with Belle, The Hall of Presidents, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Liberty Square Riverboat, or Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Prior to the start of the event, it makes some sense to visit these attractions should you have interest. Of course, you may be visiting Magic Kingdom on another day and have ample opportunity to experience them.
We started by visiting Mickey and Minnie, who are scheduled to meet together in their celebration outfits through September 30th, in Town Square Theater.
The posted wait was a solid 60 minutes, which we bypassed almost entirely by using FastPass+. We arrived at 7:06pm and were taking pictures with the duo less than ten minutes later.
Weather may be an issue during the summer in Sunny Florida™ as precipitation threatened throughout the evening. Luckily, we weren’t adversely affected too much, but chances are that there will be thunderstorms in the area from 6pm through 9pm with the chance that rain will arrive earlier or stay later.
Potentially on the positive side, the rain does cause people to head towards the exits, reducing wait times and lessening crowds.
Here at 7:30pm on Thursday, June 13, 2019, there’s a fair number of people walking around.
As a reminder, this is about what you can expect from the final four hours of operation at Magic Kingdom this summer, with the Villains After Hours wait times listed from 10pm through 1am:
With nonexistent wait times at most attractions during the exclusive After Hours time, we’ll probably want to focus on other things before. Tomorrowland Speedway is posting a 40-minute wait, for example. During After Hours, I’m going to arrive at 10:37pm and be driving away at 10:39pm, perhaps never to return. I should mention that I probably want to return, but there’s only so much you can do at three miles per hour.
We’re passing Ariel’s Grotto and a 25-minute wait. Since she meets through 10pm, it would be prudent to either use FP+ or return a little later in the evening, when the wait should drop. Ariel won’t be meeting during After Hours.
Things back here are pretty chill as people are still wearing ponchos.
Enchanted Tales with Belle is our next stop. FastPass+ isn’t saving much time here as the posted wait is less than half of what it usually is, but Enchanted Tales isn’t open during After Hours and since it’s a lengthy attraction, we’re better off experiencing it now when waits remain prohibitive at most other attractions. It’s also indoors, out of the rain.
FastPass+ at Enchanted Tales guarantees you’ll be in the next show, which means the wait to enter will be between one and about eight minutes.
We arrived at 7:37pm and were on our way at 8:06pm for a total experience time of 29 minutes, which is a minute or two longer than average.
Another word on the weather – while it’s true that the sun goes down and temperatures drop in the evening, it will probably “feel” much more humid than any other part of the day, particularly with cloud cover. Most nights, it basically feels like you’re trying to fight through a swamp. Probably because you are. Haunted Mansion is posting 20 minutes at 8:15pm, which is probably about right. During After Hours, we’d be able to walk right on all night. It would have been nice to have seen some Villains enhancements at Mansion during the event. If Disney really wanted to sell a lot of tickets, they’d bring out the assorted Mansion characters, which they have for special events.
Big Thunder is another smart FastPass+ use at this time of night with a 40-minute posted wait persisting late into the evening.
We’re heading to Splash Mountain instead. If Enchanted Tales doesn’t do much for you, then there are plenty of other good options. If you can get it, using FastPass+ at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is still your best bet as it will save you 60+ minutes in line versus waiting in standby during the day. During the After Hours event, Mine Train still typically sees 15+ minute actual waits with no ability to use FP+ since it’s not offered. We have a 40-minute posted wait here at Splash with 80 minutes at Mine Train at the same time.
But 40 minutes might be optimistic given this backup:
We arrived at 8:22pm and were back out front at 8:52pm for a total experience time of 30 minutes, which is a few minutes above average. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with holding off on Splash until the After Hours event, though riding earlier does give us a little more time to dry off. We’ll also be able to pad our stats by experiencing more short attractions during After Hours. In the 20 minutes that Splash takes without an initial wait, we’d be able to ride Peter Pan’s Flight four times.
If you’re headed back here for Big Thunder Mountain during After Hours, then it may also make sense to put Splash off until after 10pm. The 25-minute posted wait for Big Thunder at 9pm is probably about accurate based on the length of the queue.
During times like these, it’s always appropriate to ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
When you don’t spend the money for the after hours you have to ride the rides with the other people
This isn’t the life I want to live pic.twitter.com/T6gyvOHXpg
— josh (@easywdw) June 14, 2019
We’ll be able to compare and contrast what it’s like to ride with other people versus riding with no other people.
As is tradition I spent $125 to ride Magic Carpets literally by myself during Disney After Hours pic.twitter.com/Nib75R4zxy
— josh (@easywdw) July 15, 2018
It’s always better without other people.
While the best views of the Happily Ever After Fireworks are undoubtedly front and center on Main Street, due in large part to the projections on Cinderella Castle, the bursts are visible from all around Magic Kingdom.
The view in the Kingdom Crossing area with the lanterns overhead always makes for a great photo op.
Here we are above Pinocchio Village Haus and the Castle walls.
And while we won’t be able to see any of the projections from the rear of the Castle…
The fact that we don’t have to fight the crowds is a big bonus. There’s more than enough room to spread out back here.
On Main Street, you may not be able to see over the top of anyone’s head anyway.
After Happily Ever After, we visited it’s a small world.
And “literally” walked right on a boat.
small world is another lengthy attraction, which means it makes some sense to experience it before After Hours gets underway if we can. Another nice bonus of seeing Happily Ever After from one of the Lands is that we can move quickly to another attraction after it ends. From Main Street, you’d be doing a serious amount of maneuvering to try to get back to another attraction as more people are trying to leave than head back into a Land.
Even walking right on, the experience still took 16 minutes. During After Hours, that’s enough time to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh three or four times.
A minute before official Park close, and a minute before After Hours officially gets underway, things have pretty well cleared out as we head through New Fantasyland with “free” Mickey Ice Cream Bars and Coca-Colas in hand. You can typically use your Villains After Hours wristband to pick up included snacks between 30 minutes and an hour before the event officially gets underway.
During After Hours, our first stop was Journey of the Little Mermaid, a short ride that we knew we’d be able to walk right on. As with any other evening, day guests may enter the queue for any operating attraction right up until Park close. That means popular attractions like Big Thunder Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, and the like will continue to have some residual waits. It makes sense to give those attractions a half hour to clear out. Of course, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train never really will and will continue to see 20- to 30-minute actual waits throughout After Hours. At Mine Train, you should find the shortest waits between 10:30pm and 11pm and then again at the very end of the night. Since most people will want to see the 1am Villains Unite the Night show, it makes sense to get in line around 10:30pm when the wait should be under 20 minutes. If you’re willing to skip the Mine Train during the event, then you shouldn’t run into waits longer than five minutes at the other attractions.
We arrived right at 10pm and were on-board two minutes later:
We were back out front at 10:09pm, for a total experience time of nine minutes.
You may or may not have any interest in the Storybook Circus rides, but experiencing both The Barnstormer and Dumbo should take all of ten minutes, total.
The Barnstormer is going to be a walk-on all night, which may not be a good thing if you have a child or blogger who wants to ride over and over again. During the day, you can usually use the wait time as an excuse. “Do you really want to wait 45 minutes to do that again?” During After Hours, the question is going to be, “Do you really want to wait five seconds to do that again?” The answer may be no in both scenarios.
Here’s a nighttime look at Tron construction in the distance. It’s going to be a fun ride, but I still wonder what seeing a futuristic roller coaster like this is going to do to the “feel” of Storybook Circus and to a much greater extent, Tomorrowland. It also looks to be quite a distance away from the rest of the attractions. Maybe that’s a good thing.
There’s literally nobody else in the train with us.
On rides that load and unload in the same place, you can typically ride again if there’s nobody waiting for your row. If riding again and again without disembarking is something that you’re interested in, then you may want to ride in the least popular rows, which are typically towards the middle. On rides where unloading is in a different location than loading, such as The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, you’ll need to disembark after each ride.
Dumbo is up next with no wait to board and 90% of the elephants flying solo.
Our evening will continue with much more of the same. No waits and low crowds.