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After Hours Event | Magic Kingdom

One of the coolest events that Disney has released in the last few years is After Hours. Essentially you get a few hours in Magic Kingdom with only a couple thousand other people. Yes, that is still a lot of people, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s an empty Magic Kingdom. It’s advertised as more than 25 attractions and character greetings with “little-to-no wait”, plus you have unlimited ice cream cart treats {aka – Mickey Bars}, popcorn, and bottled sodas and waters.

After Hours 2016

John went with our friend, Edward, in April 2016, and they had a blast! They rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 8 times in 30 minutes, they ate a million Mickey Bars, and they both talked about how incredible it was. I wasn’t there because I was in Disneyland for a work trip, so after hearing all about After Hours for 2 years, I was dying to go!

After Hours 2018

We bought tickets for an After Hours in February of this year, and my expectations were high…and we didn’t have the best experience. The lines were crazy long all night, the park was crowded, and it was just not what was promised. I’m talking 30 minute wait for popcorn, 30-40 minutes for just about every ride, and people EVERY. WHERE.

So here’s where I think the first mistake was: when John and Edward went to After Hours, the park closed right after fireworks, and there were Cast Members forming a wall of sorts to not let non-After Hours guests back into the lands. This year, fireworks were an hour before park closing, and everyone went back into the lands afterwards…which was totally fine until it was really park close time and non-After Hours guests were still hanging out and trying to get on rides. From what we saw, a few guests were slipping through into the lines, and the Cast Members weren’t asking people to leave the park, so the “exclusive event” feeling was lost pretty quickly. An hour and a half into the three hour event, it was still happening.

I’m not going to lie, I had a breakdown in the middle of the park. This wasn’t what it was supposed to be. We eventually gave up on trying to ride things after one ride each on Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, and we only made two stops for popcorn and Mickey Bars because, again, 30 minute wait, so we decided to just walk around and take pictures of the semi-empty areas. Honestly, we got some beautiful photos, but you can do that after closing any night without paying $100 a person.

From talking to friends who work there, this hasn’t been the case at any other After Hours event. I’m not sure if the others didn’t sell out or what, but we clearly chose the wrong one to go to. There was a rumor that the reason there were so many people there was because all of the guests staying at Caribbean Beach got free tickets due to a construction issue which would honestly explain a lot – especially the large crowds of people with event lanyards who were utterly confused about what the event even was.


We have friends who have gone to After Hours since then who have had no lines for anything {you can read about one of those incredible experiences here}, so I want to try this event again. Thankfully, we have a few more chances to catch this event this summer! Tickets are $119 plus tax when purchased in advance, $124 plus tax when purchased that day, and $89 plus tax if you are an Annual Passholder or Disney Vacation Club Member. If you are interested in attending this event, you can learn more about it here.

Disclamer: We were able to speak with someone in Guest Services about the event the next day, and Disney refunded our money on a gift card because we had photos and videos to prove the crowds and wait times since John was vlogging the whole night. 

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