After Hours is where it’s at ya’ll. Empty park = Happy Mikayla
But really, I have never seen Magic Kingdom so empty! There was little to no wait on any rides and it was so amazing to have empty park pictures! Read on for why this is a splurge you shouldn’t skip!
Clocking in at $133 including taxes, it was quite steep for a 3 hour event. I was hesitant at first, but I had read about other experiences at other parks and figured Magic Kingdom would be similar. Yall. IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE.
What is After Hours Anyways?
Let’s just start with the basics here. After Hours only takes place on certain nights of the week and it’s available at 3 parks (Epcot isn’t included right now). It is a separately ticketed event, so you would be paying for the $133 on top of whatever park tickets you already have. It also takes place AFTER the park officially closes, so it can go into the wee hours of the morning, which is what I experienced.
So now, I know you’re dying to know what all comes with that steep, separate price tag. I’m getting to it, I promise!
- 3 hours of little to no wait on most (if not all) rides in any of the 3 parks
- Free Drinks and Treats throughout the park
- Practically empty park due to it being separately ticketed
- Some have special events, characters and shows throughout the night
So those 4 little dots don’t seem like much, but trust me, they are worth it! Read on for more info!
What to Expect
I did arrive early to the park so I could grab some dinner and watch Happily Ever After (the new firework show with castle projections). I was able to grab a spot somewhat in front of the Partners Statue and had great visibility, despite snagging it just 10 minutes or so before the show started! It is an amazing show. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly suggest it!
After that show, Magic Kingdom begins emptying in droves. Soon that sea of people in the Hub was gone and Main Street was clearing out as well. Shops do stay open for about an hour after park closes, so if you still need to grab last minute souvenirs, this is a perfect time so you aren’t lugging them around all day! (Or you could just have them sent to your hotel if you’re on property! Read more about that here!)
I have been to Magic Kingdom several times and rode just about every ride there is. To see ones like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight and Space Mountain having under 30 minute waits is really unheard of! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train alone can see waits of up to 2-3 hours on the busiest days! As cute as it is, that’s a really long wait for a 4 minute ride without a FastPass!
Related: Best FastPasses for 2019!
I grabbed a Mickey Bar and a water bottle at a stand on Main Street and headed to Tomorrowland. I knew it wouldn’t be a long wait, but the Peoplemover is my favorite! And it’s so relaxing! I was able to walk right on to the ride and BONUS! I was the ONLY PERSON on my cart!
Since I was already in Tomorrowland, I headed for Space Mountain next. The wait time said 5 minutes. I think it took me longer than that to walk through the queue! I was able to walk right on to the ride, no wait at all! The downside to this one was that if I had wanted to, I would’ve had to walk all the way back around the queue to ride again. But it was fun, regardless!
Next was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland. I picked up some more water and some popcorn on the way there. It wasn’t in a cute little popcorn bucket, but it was perfectly portioned for me! The roller coaster had a posted 30 minute wait. I think I waited for 15 of that honestly. It was so cool to practically walk on to a ride that I saw had a wait time of 90 minutes earlier that day!
Working my way around the park, I was able to hit Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain in a row. In about 30 minutes total. I cannot stress enough how awesome it is to walk around an empty park and ride whatever you want with no waits!
I didn’t ride anymore rides after Splash Mountain, even though I probably should have to dry myself off! But instead, I walked around and met characters!
Yep! There’s character meet and greets at After Hours parties too! Princesses, fairies, and the king and queen themselves are all available to meet!
I decided on Tiana and Rapunzel and Mickey and Minnie. There was again, little to no wait for the princesses. They were so wonderful and the interactions were fantastic as usual! There are also photopass photographers throughout the party (including meets) to catch all the excitement and priceless pictures!
Mickey and Minnie are in Town Square Theatre where normally only Mickey is. This one is special right now for a couple reasons. Typically, only Mickey is here, not the both of them! And they are dressed in their birthday celebration outfits which are so much fun! I hardly waited for them and when I was waiting, I was the only one in line! This was at about 11pm ish. They were a fabulous interaction (Mickey is always fun to meet)!
Across the way in the same building as Mickey and Minnie is the Tinkerbell meet and greet! There wasn’t a line for her either!
Shops & Dining
The shops on Main Street are still open during the party. And the super cool thing about them is that they are mostly all linked together! So if it’s super hot out, you are able to walk through the air conditioned stores all the way down Main Street! Or for an easier and less crowded escape at the end of the night!
There are limited places open during the parties for eating, but still some! Honestly, after I ate at Casey’s for “dinner” and then had ice cream, popcorn and a ton of water, I was so full I wasn’t even thinking about dinner!
So…is it worth it?
That’s a super good question that only you can answer for your family. I know at the current price point, it’s quite steep if you have a few people in your family.
However, with the amount of things you can do, rides you can ride, characters you can meet and general feeling of being in an empty Disney park, it really should be experienced. Maybe instead of a park day, do a park night? That’d be super fun and would allow you to save some money but not sacrificing any fun!
If you already have a Disney World vacation booked and want to add an After Hours ticket to it, let me know! I can and would love to help out!
If you don’t have a Disney trip booked already, click this link and let’s get started!
Let me know in the comments what your favorite part of an After Hours party was or if you have any more questions about it!
See ya real soon!