Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Disney After Hours - Is It Worth It?

My family was lucky enough to attend the Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom event. There are not currently any other event dates released, however, this is not the first time an event like this took place at my favorite Theme Park. Last spring, this exclusive event was called 'Disney After Dark'. In its debut year, the ticket prices were a steep $149 each. This year along with the new name also came a lower price tag of $119 or $89 for Annual Passholders. Even with the reduced price - it is still a big chunk of change unless you are Scrooge McDuck. So the question is - is it worth it?

Worth can mean something different to different people. I hate waiting in line. Maybe it is my ADD, or maybe it is the pain I get in my lower back when I stand on concrete too long. Probably both. I would pay a pretty penny to not wait in line. OK well, maybe a reasonable pretty penny - is that a thing?

We took a nap that afternoon and had dinner at our hotel. (My favorite moderate hotel, Disney's Port Orleans Resort ~ French Quarter. Check out my post on that resort!) We headed to Magic Kingdom before the party started, around 5:00 p.m. You are able to get into the park at 7:00 p.m. with the event ticket - however, we had regular Theme Park Tickets that day also. The park was packed so we spent some time doing things without a long wait long time - People Mover, Under The Sea, etc. We also watched Wishes. And then it was time to get the party started!

Here is a list of everything we rode and how long the line was:

Of course, we had to get a Cinderella Castle picture. There was no wait at all for this.

Where is everybody?!
We rode The Haunted Mansion right away at 9:01. We waited just two minutes.

All is quiet on the Frontier(land)!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - rode 3 times in a row and didn't even have to get off to walk the queue again. Wait time - 0 minutes. OK, we will say 1 minute just for fun.

At this point in time, it was 9:35 p.m. We were getting cocky and headed over to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Posted wait time was 20 minutes. We waited for 15 minutes. Whaaaa?

I can see the ground in Fantasyland!

We headed to The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Wait time 1 minute. Maybe.

One quick stop at Peter Pan's Flight. The displayed wait time said 10 minutes. It was maybe 1.

No wait to Neverland!

We then headed over to Adventureland where Pirates of the Carribean and The Jungle Cruise were walk-ons with no wait.

I found the stroller parking!
There were several people who hung around the park that did not have an After Hours ticket.
 They were not at all let on to the attractions. Bless their hearts, they sure did try!
Off to Tomorrowland! Mr. Incredible took our oldest to Space Mountain. There was a 3-minute wait.

My youngest and I rode Astro Orbiter. We NEVER ride that because I hate waiting for those dumb elevators. Wait time during the party? None! We walked right into the elevator.


This is the saddest dance party ever.

Popcorn, ice cream treats, and bottled beverages were free all night. Honestly, the longest lines I saw all evening were for the popcorn carts!

Child, stop wasting time with those treats - we need to RIDE ALL THE RIDES! 
We thought we would try the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train again. Low and behold - IT WAS A THREE MINUTE WAIT! We rode 3 times in a row. We did have to get off and go through the line again for this one. The kids even rode a 4th time.

Finally, it was 11:50. There was one more mad dash to Big Thunder Mountain where there was no wait at all. I decided to take the opportunity and get this shot that I wanted to get all week but the line was so long! I waited maybe 3 minutes.

I've got a dream!
All in all that was 16 rides and 2 PhotoPass opportunities. IN THREE HOURS! Now let me break down what the 'average' wait time is for each of these things on a moderate crowd level day to put this into perspective.

The Haunted Mansion: 35 minutes
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 50 minutes x 4 rides = 200 minutes
Seven Dwarf's Mine Train: 90 minutes x 5 rides = 450 minutes
The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 35 minutes
Peter Pan's Flight: 75 minutes
Space Mountain: 70 minutes
Astro Orbiter: 30 minutes
Jungle Cruise: 40 minutes
Pirates of the Caribean: 40 minutes

This equals a grand total of 975 minutes. That is over 16 hours, people! Of just standing in line. That doesn't even include the time it takes you to walk to these attractions and actually ride them or take some time to eat something!

A one-day Magic Kingdom ticket is currently $107.00 during the regular season. So yes, a full day ticket costs LESS than the $112 after hours event which is three hours. (You could technically enter the park early and be in the park for 5 hours on the ticket.)

Is this event worth it? I do believe, a thousand times - YES! Is it expensive - absolutely! However, if it wasn't it wouldn't be worth it. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party are less expensive and I feel those things are packed.

If an event like this is offered again during our visit, we will absolutely be attending again. The time savings is completely worth it to me.

And the best part of the evening - the car was easy to find!

Dude, where's my car?


  1. Definitely worth it in my books. While I LOVE Disney, I absolutely HATE the wait times for most of the good rides. Standing in line is so not my thing and after a while of just standing around my back starts hurting. I would definitely do this if it's available whenever I visit.

  2. I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.
    mt5011u liftmaster