Wait Times During First Disney After Hours Event at Magic Kingdom

On March 23rd, Disney announced a new event dubbed “Disney After Hours:”

Many scoffed at the price point. And perhaps for good reason as it would cost a family of four $634.74 with tax to spend three hours at Magic Kingdom much later than most people are usually awake.

Literally two days ago, some number of Disney Vacation Club members received an email that they could attend the event for “free.” One assumes that the event ended up selling poorly:

I would be somewhat dismayed to find out that hundreds of people were admitted to the event at no cost if I was paying $149.

But by all accounts, there were very few people at the event with those attending putting the total number somewhere under 2,000 guests. The event officially “sold out.” Guests spending the $149 (or otherwise receiving the invite) were able to enter the Park as early as 7pm, so your money does buy you a total of seven hours and offers the opportunity to see both Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Here are the posted wait times from the first event with the 7pm and 11pm hours highlighted:

Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports13/mk_after_hours_wait_times_disney.jpg

As you can see, everything from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to Peter Pan’s Flight to Dumbo the Flying Elephant is basically or entirely a walk-on during the entire event.

While the price point is undeniably high, one might find some value in it if they only had one evening to spend at Walt Disney World. Instead of buying a $115 1-day ticket, you could purchase the $149 event-ticket and probably experience more attractions in a shorter period of time. Yesterday I wrote a post about how the total wait for just Peter Pan’s Flight, Mine Train, and Space Mountain was a combined six hours in the afternoon last week. Here, you would wait a total of 20 minutes based on the posted waits. And the actual wait is likely just as long as it takes you to walk the queue. They might not even make you leave the vehicle and walk the line again if nobody is waiting.

The event is otherwise offered on just six more nights moving forward. I don’t see Disney giving the event away to Vacation Club members as a particularly strong incentive for others to purchase tickets, but it’s here if you want it.


  1. Abharmagic says

    With this steep price tag I am scared to see what the ticket prices for MNSSHP and MVMCP are this year. I hope they aren’t comparable! I am the weirdo that goes to those events for the lower price tag, and lower lines. I couldn’t care less about the special parades or meeting characters. We are frequent FL travelers, but don’t always “do” Disney. The parties give us the ability to do a night in the Parks with lower crowds. That said, the price this event is too steep for my family of 4! If they priced it at past hard ticket prices I would absolutely take advantage of an event like this- especially if they offered one at Epcot and had the rides and WS open!

  2. Melissa Fox says

    This is an incredibly interesting look at things. I would also guess that many of the guests at this first After Hours event were bloggers or Disney aficionados coming to see what it’s all about to “write home” about it. I’ll be curious to see how full future events are. For my money, if you’ve got one day to explore MK with teens or just adults, this is not a terrible way to go! 7 hours in MK to walk on Mine Train as many times as you want? Sign me up! If you’ve got multi-day tickets or young kids, perhaps not the best use of money, but given how the first event went, in 7 hours, you could check all of the available attractions at least once and some more than once!

    • Mark says

      Disney wouldn’t be so devious as to only let in 2000 people the first time to get the buzz going that it is a great value and then up the ticket sales to 6, 8, or 10 thousand for future events. They wouldn’t do that would they?

      Would they?

      WOULD THEY!?!?

      • Donna says

        I thought the same thing!! Let only a couple thousand in the first night or two and report it as being sold out. Once word gets out that its “only a couple thousand” per event and people start shelling out the extra money to do this
        they’ll jack it up to 4 or 5 thousand. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

      • TiggerGirl says

        You don’t mean like Morimoto raised their menu prices after all the bloggers wrote their reviews do you?

  3. Mark says

    Can you confirm or deny the report I heard elsewhere that you could use your event ticket to book three FP’s between 7 and 11. If so, you could get a lot done FP-ing 3 things, watching parades and fireworks and then walking on rides for 3 hours. I bet anyone who did that did more stuff in one night than people who were there the whole day on April 6th.

    • josh says

      I was not at the event so any opinion I would have on the matter would be based on reading the same available reports as you. Dave, the co-author of our guidebook and all-around-good-guy-author of yourfirstvisit.net is planning to attend the event next week and would be able to provide proof one way or the other.

      • Andy says

        Because you’re not on the take Josh- and I can’t tell you how much I and others appreciate it. You buy your own food, you pay for your own tickets, etc, etc.

        If I wanted news that told me there is “literally” no bad food at Disney world because they are fed for free, I’d go to Disney food blog. But as you know, if you write anything scathing, those benefits start to deminish.

        Keep doing what you’re doing, I really do appreciate it. As for the 2nd worst website ever- lets get that thing going.

  4. kimann says

    Wow! Given this chart, I would have to say that it would definitely be worth it for us. I think it is just the same as anything with a price point, if you have the funds and are willing to pay the price then go for it. We don’t have young children or a large family and 5 hours of repeat walk on headliners would definitely be something we would do, especially if it was not in the heat of the day. But then again, we paid $129 to meet 4 evil queens and drink some alcohol and thought that was worth the price of admission too!

  5. Angelique says

    If I were a local, or going to be in the parks only one day, I would be inclined to thing this was a very good deal – assuming of course that the waits remain low. Especially considering the paid morning events are almost have this price PLUS you have to have a regular ticket.

  6. Dave says

    I appreciate the quotation marks you put around the word “free” when referencing Disney Vacation Club! Lest we forget, ownership there is far from free, and while there should be no expectations of perks like this coming along, it’s nice when they do. I’m cynical enough to realize Disney didn’t allow DVC members access to this event out of the kindness of their hearts (heck, cynicism is what brings me back again and again to Josh’s site!). It certainly doesn’t bode well for the event, does it?

  7. Joseph says

    OK, going on walk on rides sounds fun, but really, these rides aren’t THAT great. What made Disney for me (at least 2+ years ago) was the atmosphere, the characters, parades, etc…
    If I just want to go on rides, there are much better “Amusement” parks to go to at a much lower price.
    Once I no longer see the “Magic” in my kids eyes when they are at the park and all they care about is rides, it’s time to be over with Disney.
    Now if Star wars land can rival the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, That is another story.
    But even then, rushing around from ride to ride to ride eliminates the enjoyment of the Theaming, which is the only reason I pay to go there.

  8. F says

    It’s not a bad deal for 7 hours, but it does cause the park to be fuller from 7 until close which I think is unfair to those who have park tickets. If someone want to pay $149 for three additional hours to be in MK then it should be three additional hours, not 7 infringing on the guest who have regular tickets.

    • Lifeisbutacoin says

      I promise you, three thousand guests tops ( which is rumored to be the max capacity for DisAfterDark event) won’t make much of a difference to wait times.

    • disneyqueen says

      My thoughts exactly!!! I experienced this when we were at the park with regular admission and they let the Christmas party guests in at 4pm.

      It was a nightmare! Extremely long lines to rides, very crowded walkways, It was horrible.

      Even if they only let in 1000 or so, that is still a lot of people adding to the regular park guests numbers.

      • Jay Stmeple says

        Same for MNSSHP. We saw them lining up at 3pm. I looked at my schedule, figured we did all we came to do, and we were out of MK by 4.
        Besides, too many adult men dressing in costumes that adult men should not be dressing in. It disturbed my kids.

  9. billyp says

    I am more curious about the morning event and how its gonna affect my BOG to 7dmt strategy on May 3rd…and if would be a better investment than my BOG ADR

  10. Michelle says

    They had some character greets too. You could meet Mickey and all the princesses in fairytale hall. I went at 7 and saw wishes and the parade. Almost the entire park was operational. If you wanted to see the enchanted tiki room or explore Swiss family Robinsons tree house at 2am you could. And yes the 3 fastpasses are available from 7-10. For a family with older children who can stay up, this is a decent way to get a lot done.

  11. Diane says

    We went to the park that evening using our normal entry ticket (14 day UK Ultimate) – arrived at 7pm and did rides till 11.00pm then sat and watched the Electrical Light Parade. We got loads done including several walk ons. I took my daughter to see Cinderella and Rapunzel at about 9.00pm, and was told it would be 20 minutes and was given the red card to time the queue – we just walked straight in. There was no one waiting for them – I think we interrupted their chat! The longest wait we had was for 7 Dwarfs and that was approx. 20 minutes.


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