I recently had the opportunity to experience the new Disney Extra Hours at Magic Kingdom and I would like to share my thoughts on this event with you!
What is it?
The new Disney After Hours ticket offers guests the opportunity for an exclusive visit to the park after all general admission guests have left. The event is happening only during selected days as of right now:
May 5, 8, 12 and 19
Free ice cream, sodas and water are available all over the park. Seriously. Have as many as you wish! Plus, you get to enjoy a deserted theme park since admission tickets are very limited. Guests can check in starting at 7 p.m. each night, with the event hours from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. So, you can still enjoy seven hours of theme park fun, with three of those hours being the event hours where the park will be basically just yours.
It truly feels like you have the whole park to yourself. During the event hours, only the guests that paid for the Extra Hours tickets are able to go in the rides and character meetings. There were absolutely no lines for the rides and the character meetings had very short lines. Some sections were so deserted that it made us wonder if they were even open. We were able to meet the oh-so-famous Arendelle princesses Anna and Elza in less than 10 minutes, the talking Mickey in about 10 minutes and the other princesses in less than 5 minutes. You seriously can’t beat the value here, because during regular admission hours the lines to see Anna & Elza alone can reach up to four freaking hours!
The weather is great as after 7pm it’s no longer too hot!
Another great thing is that you get to take amazing night pictures that you would never be able to during regular hours. The park is much less crowded, so you can actually take pictures without any tourists blocking your view.
I met Anna during the event and it was so worth it! She’s so spunky and cute!
There were several people taking this same picture that day, because look how there’s almost nobody in the background. It’s just you and the castle and that is pretty rare during regular admissions.
It’s expensive. Very expensive. Pricing is $149 plus tax for both adults and children (ages 3-9). That is more than regular admission costs and it allows us you less hours in the park than regular admission tickets. So the price per hour is much higher, but you also don’t have to wait in line for anything.
It’s very late at night. If you are traveling with kids, there is a high risk that they’ll get sleepy and grumpy since you probably won’t be going to sleep until closer to 3am if you really want to take advantage of your After Hours ticket. But Disney is smart enough to have made the event an all-you-can-eat ice cream event, so if you don’t mind your kids getting hyped on sugar, they’ll probably last all night just fine.
You mostly get to experience the park at night. Although you can get in as early as 7pm, the event doesn’t start until 11pm, so if you wait to ride everything doing the event hours you will only experience the rides during night time. Riding Splash Mountain at night for example might not be everyone’s idea of fun since they’ll get wet and have no sun to dry them off.
Is it worth it?
I guess I am biased to answer that since I live in Orlando and have been to the theme parks several times. I think it will all depend on you family’s budget and preferences. I would never consider paying as much, but I can see many people finding this a great value, especially during the summer! And if time is money, the ticket is definitely worth it, because you will be able to ride your favorite attractions as many times as you like and spend as many time visiting with your favorite characters as well! It is definitely a VIP kind of feeling to be in the park when there’s nearly nobody there! If you can fork up the money, there is no way you will not enjoy yourself. It’s guaranteed fun!
Buy now if you are interested:
In order for the event to be so exclusive, Disney can only sell a small amount of tickets, so you must buy your tickets soon as they may sell out.
*This post was written in May 2016 but Disney is likely to repeat this event, so definitely follow our blog to be the first one to know when this event is back if you are interested in attending!
Thanks for reading! And if you decide to come visit Orlando, don’t forget to say hi!