There’s something magical about the Disney theme parks at night. With shorter lines for rides, smaller crowds clogging up your pictures, cooler temperatures, dazzling nighttime spectaculars and everything aglow with lights, it’s easily our favorite time of the day to hang out and take advantage of what the park has to offer. But what if we told you that there was a way to enjoy the best parts of nighttime at Disney Parks—and it comes with significantly fewer people, almost no wait times for popular rides and free snacks?
Well, that’s exactly what you get at Disney After Hours events at Walt Disney World Resort. Sounds pretty amazing, right? It is! If you’re thinking about adding one of these separately ticketed events to your upcoming Disney World trip but still aren’t entirely sold on the idea, read on for a crash course on everything they offer and why we think they’re totally worth it.
Rather, you must buy separate Disney After Hours tickets on top of your standard theme park ticket to enjoy this experience—which, we’ll admit, is definitely a splurge and not a good fit for all groups or travel budgets. However, if you have some wiggle room in both your wallet and schedule, these after-hours events open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Similar to Extended Evening Hours and Early Park Entry, Disney World’s other Extra Magic Hours offering, Disney After Hours attendees enjoy extra time (three hours, to be specific) in participating parks after regular guests have left for the day. During that time, guests attending this special evening event get access to many of the park’s best rides, complimentary snacks, select character greetings and, depending on which park you’re at, even exclusive entertainment. And the best part? Guest attendance is limited during Disney After Hours events. So goodbye, crowds and long lines! Hello, blissfully bare photo backgrounds and little-to-no wait times for popular attractions!
2024 Dates & Hours
In general, Disney After Hours events tend to fall on select nights during Disney World’s off-season. For 2024, Disney After Hours dates run from mid-January or early February, depending on the park, through early or mid-April, with three theme parks hosting their own version of the separately ticketed event, including Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Please note that start and end times for each Disney After Hours event also vary by park. Here’s every Disney After Hours date that has been announced so far for 2024:
Magic Kingdom Park
Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom runs from 10 PM to 1 AM, with early event entry during regular park hours starting at 7 PM.
Thursday, January 11
Monday, January 15
Monday, January 22
Thursday, February 1
Monday, February 5
Monday, February 12
Thursday, February 29
Monday, March 4
Monday, March 18
Monday, April 8
Disney After Hours at EPCOT runs from 10 PM to 1 AM, with early event entry during normal operating hours starting at 7 PM.
Friday, February 2
Thursday, February 8
Thursday, February 15
Thursday, March 7
Thursday, March 28
Thursday, April 4
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios runs from 9:30 PM to 12:30 AM, with early event entry during normal park hours starting at 7 PM.
Wednesday, January 10
Wednesday, January 24
Wednesday, February 21
Monday, February 26
Wednesday, March 13
Wednesday, March 20
Wednesday, March 27
Wednesday, April 3
Wednesday, April 10
2024 Disney After Hours Tickets
Disney After Hours ticket prices vary based on which park you’re going to. Event tickets are the most expensive for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, ranging from $155 to $175 depending on the date. Meanwhile, Epcot offers the most affordable (but still not cheap) Disney After Hours event tickets at between $149 and $159 per person. Tickets are already on sale, with every date still available at the time of writing.
Discounts for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members and Park Savers Readers
Do you have an annual pass or DVC membership? Then you’re in luck, as discounted Disney After Hours tickets are available for both annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members, offering a savings of $30 per ticket. Not part of one of those exclusive clubs? Don’t worry! You can still snag a savings of around $7 to $8 per person even if you aren’t annual passholders or Disney Vacation Club members. All you need to do is purchase tickets for the event through us and our ticket partner, Undercover Tourist. Click here to buy your discounted tickets for Disney After Hours events at Walt Disney World today!
Disney After Hours Events Are Totally Worth It, and Here’s Why
So, is Disney After Hours worth it? If you and your crew are night owls and you have room in your budget, then we absolutely think attending this after-hours Disney event is totally worthwhile. Still not sure it’s right for you? Here are some things to keep in mind when making your decision.
Access to Some of the Park’s Most Popular Attractions with Little-to-No Wait Times
Without question, one of the best parts of visiting Disney World is the many incredible rides, shows and other experiences that are available. However, as anyone who has ever watched their precious vacation hours tick away while waiting around in yet another long line can attest, doing all the attractions on your to-do list doesn’t just take up a lot of time. Sometimes, it can be downright impossible.
Well, we are thrilled to say that is certainly not the case during Disney After Hours event nights. Due to the cap Disney puts on the number of guests allowed into the ticketed event (and the high cost of entry, of course), wait times for some of the park’s most popular attractions will be minimal at worst. In fact, there’s a very good chance that many attractions won’t even really have a line at all, meaning that you’ll be able to go on as many rides as you want all night long.
This is a huge selling point for folks who want to experience popular attractions like Tron Lightcycle / Run, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance without having to deal with a virtual queue or pay for Lightning Lane access. Just keep in mind that the available attractions are subject to change, and some experiences might not be available. Disney After Hours rides for 2024 include:
Magic Kingdom Park
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
“it’s a small world”
Peter Pan’s Flight
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Tron Lightcycle / Run (through a standby queue)
Frozen Ever After
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Living with the Land
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Alien Swirling Saucers
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Slinky Dog Dash
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Toy Story Mania!
You Can Get a Head Start by Entering Three Hours Before the Event Officially Begins
Worried that three hours won’t be enough time to see and do everything the park and event have to offer? Never fear! If you like, you can jump-start your fun by entering the park a few hours before the event officially begins, no theme park reservation or general admission ticket necessary. To really get your money’s worth and maximize your time once Disney After Hours actually starts, this is something that we highly encourage you to take advantage of.
This allows you to see some Disney characters, start knocking out popular attractions and catch any nighttime entertainment that might not be available during the event, like Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Luminous – The Symphony of Us at Epcot, or even enjoy dinner. Over at Magic Kingdom Park, you can even get a double dose of fireworks in one night, with Happily Ever After during regular park hours and Disney Enchantment at Disney After Hours.
Exclusive Entertainment Offerings Light Up the Night
Speaking of evening entertainment, this is another big benefit of the ticketed event, especially Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park. As we just mentioned, Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours eventgoers will enjoy an exclusive performance of the park’s previous nighttime fireworks spectacular, Disney Enchantment. That’s two Disney fireworks shows in one night if you play your cards right. Talk about lightning up the night!
Sadly, Disney After Hours guests attending the event at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios won’t get to enjoy their own glittering double feature. However, during last year’s events, guests at Hollywood Studios did get a chance to see showings of Disney Movie Magic and Wonderful World of Animation, the park’s cinema-inspired projection shows. While EPCOT eventgoers enjoyed tunes spun by a DJ over the speakers, a dance party with appearances by Chip ‘n’ Dale and performances by Mariachi Cobre in the Mexico Pavilion at World Showcase. It remains to be seen whether these entertainment offerings will make a return in 2024.
Snacks and Select Drinks Are Free Throughout the Night
Did somebody say “free?!” Yup, you read that right! Along with minimal wait times for some of the parks’ most popular attractions, another huge perk of Disney After Hours events is the smorgasbord of complimentary snacks and sips on offer. (Ok, technically, these bites and beverages aren’t really free; they’re simply included with your event admission. But still! How often does that happen at Walt Disney World?)
So, what kind of free food and drinks do you have to look forward to during your night at Disney After Hours? Think endless ice-cream novelties like unlimited Mickey bars and Mickey sandwiches, bottomless popcorn, and all the non-alcoholic bottled beverages (typically Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and water) you can drink. Sounds like the perfect late-night snack to us!
Some Disney Friends Are On Hand for Character Greetings
No trip to Walt Disney World is complete without seeing some Disney characters. Fortunately, you should get at least a couple of chances to do so during Disney After Hours. Character meet-and-greet opportunities, unfortunately, tend to be on the slim side at these ticketed events. So, if meeting characters is a priority for you, then you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the early park access before the event officially begins. That said, there should still be a few character encounters to be had, regardless of which park you’re going to.
Based on previous years, here’s who you can probably expect to see at a Disney After Hours event in 2024. (As with the attractions, this is subject to change. So, be sure to ask a cast member once you get to the event about who might be making an appearance):
Chip ‘n’ Dale at the DJ dance party near Mission: SPACE in World Discovery
Other characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Pluto in different parts of the park
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Woody, Bo Peep and the Green Army Drum Corps in Toy Story Land
Chip ‘n’ Dale near Center Stage on Hollywood Boulevard
Chewbacca, Rey and Vi Moradi in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Great Photo Opportunities with Fewer Photobombers & Special Shots
One of our very favorite reasons to go to any of the Disney Parks at night is the beautiful photo ops. Between the dazzling lights and lighter crowds, it’s a photographer’s dream. So, when attending Disney After Hours events, make sure to strike a pose or snap a pic of something pretty whenever you get the chance.
Although you can certainly be your own photog, chances are very good that there will also be some Disney PhotoPass photographers posted up around the park who will be happy to help you capture your moment. Better yet, if you’re lucky, you might even be able to score some exclusive shots that are usually only offered at other times or popular photo ops, like Rapunzel’s lantern near the Tangled-themed bathroom in Fantasyland, without the typically long wait times.
Some Fan-Favorite Dining Outlets and Shops Typically Remain Open
With unlimited ice cream treats, popcorn and select bottled beverages on offer during a Disney After Hours event, the last thing you’re probably thinking of is grabbing a bite to eat that you’ll actually need to pay extra for. Still, if you’re craving something more substantial, a select number of dining outlets, usually quick-service restaurants, should stay open with a more slimmed-down menu than usual. For a truly out-of-this-world cocktail, there is usually even some walk-up availability at Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Hoping to do a little souvenir shopping? Although you shouldn’t take too much time out of your night to look through merch (trust us, you’re better off taking advantage of all those short wait times instead), there will be a few retail locations that remain open throughout the evening to peruse at your leisure. Most notably, Disney’s Hollywood Studios tends to have limited walk-up availability for two of its most in-demand shopping experiences: Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Theme Nights Offer Exclusive Experiences
For an after-hour event with even more pizzazz, keep an eye out for one of Disney’s extra-special event offerings. In past years, Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park played host to a devilish Disney Villains After Hours extravaganza. That said, it hasn’t made a return since the pandemic. And in 2023, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon was home to the H2O Glow After Hours event, which saw the water park transformed into a late-night party with colorful lights, character appearances and DJ-provided tunes. This aquatic after-hour event has yet to be announced for 2024, so stay tuned to see if it makes a return.
Have you ever been to a Disney After Hours event at Walt Disney World? Do you think it’s worth the high price tag? Let us know in the comments! Then, click here to buy your discounted tickets for Disney After Hours events at Walt Disney World today.