Last year, Walt Disney World announced a unique park experience that allowed only a limited number of people to enjoy Magic Kingdom a few hours after closing – known as the After Hours event. A few lessons were learned, and the experience was revamped for early 2017. (Note: This is a separate ticketed event and is not the same as Extra Magic Hours.)
On February 2, 2017, I experienced this event with my husband. Having experienced both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we were a little concerned about how “limited” the number of people would be. We quickly learned – VERY limited. This was hands down one of our favorite Walt Disney World experiences!
The cost for the After Hours event was $119 (excluding tax) per person. (There were discounts available for annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members.) The event itself was held for 3 hours after the park closed, however we were able to enter an hour prior to park closing, in order to see the fireworks. (In our case, the event was from 8-11 pm, so we arrived around 7 pm and were granted entry.)
Upon arrival, there was an area in the turnstiles for this event. We had printed our tickets, although they could have been added to MagicBands as well. Once we were scanned in, we each received a lanyard showcasing that we could stay after the park closed.
After a few rides, as well as watching Wishes from Fantasyland, the event began! The non-event guests were quickly escorted out of the park, and we were able to enjoy most attractions with essentially no wait. In fact, we could quickly go on rides (including the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) over and over and over again!
As we walked from land to land, we rarely saw other guests (except at attractions). We didn’t have to dodge strollers. We didn’t have to check the wait times. We didn’t have to schedule FastPasses. We just went on every attraction, walking right on! And sometimes, we even had the attraction to ourselves!
Another aspect of the After Hours event was food and beverages. As part of the event, we were able to get bottled beverages (Coca-Cola products), popcorn, and ice cream treats at no additional charge throughout our time in the park. At first we assumed it was one of each per person, but the cast members encouraged us to get whatever we wanted and to come back for more! (And I’m not one to turn down a premium Mickey ice cream bar!)
Along with the popular attractions, shows such as the Country Bear Jamboree and Enchanted Tiki Room were also open. Select character meet and greets were also available for guests to enjoy. There was even a DJ in Tomorrowland pumping out the music.
While three hours may seem short, we walked around the park almost three times, going on every attraction we wanted to and more. We even went on a few rides we hadn’t been on in years! The cast members were fantastic, spending extra time chatting with us. You can feel the atmosphere of fun and magic throughout the park.
After the event, only bus transportation, along with the main ferry to the Ticket & Transportation Center were available.
Overall, this was absolutely worth the money. Actually, I think we both agreed that if we could experience all of the parks this way – we would!
As of this post, the event is scheduled through March 9. (It occurred approximately once a week from January 20 through March 9.) Be on the lookout to see if this event is extended in the future!