Between the neon glow of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard and seeing Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge all aglow, there’s nothing like strolling the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at night. It really takes the glitz and glam of this Tinseltown-inspired theme park to glittering new heights. Add in typically shorter wait times for the park’s top attractions and evening entertainment, like dazzling projection shows and Fantasmic, and it simply can’t be beat.
That’s why we love Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you’re a night owl, too, this late-night, limited-capacity event could be the perfect addition to your next Walt Disney World vacation. No matter if you’re considering a 2024 Hollywood Studios After Hours event or your ticket is already in hand, this guide is for you. Keep reading as we go over all the details, including dates, hours and tickets, as well as everything that’s available to you while you’re there. Plus, we’ve even added a few event tips and tricks to help you have an amazing night. Let’s dive in!
What Is Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
Disney After Hours is an exclusive ticketed event that takes place after regular park hours, just like the new Disney Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios or Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom. However, there are some key differences, particularly in terms of the overall atmosphere and certain benefits. While Disney After Hours eventgoers miss out on the festive decorations, special entertainment, and seasonal dishes and drinks of the parks’ holiday parties, the event still offers plenty of perks, like shorter wait times for popular attractions, some great meet-and-greet opportunities with Disney characters, and complimentary bites and beverages.
When it comes to event highlights, Disney After Hours also has some similarities to Extended Evening Hours, a benefit offered only to guests staying at one of the deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World. However, while this late-night counterpart to Early Park Entry is offered for free to deluxe hotel guests, Disney After Hours is a separately ticketed event, which comes at a considerable cost. (We’ll tackle ticket prices soon.) So, should you be booked at a deluxe resort and able to experience Hollywood Studios during Extended Evening Hours instead, it might be better to skip Disney After Hours and save your cash for other experiences.
That said, if you’re staying anywhere else during your visit (and you have room in your travel budget, of course), we think Disney After Hours is worth the splurge. Not only do you get three hours to enjoy some of Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ best rides, but as capacity is limited, wait times are much shorter (or even non-existent). This allows you to experience attractions again and again that are typically too busy or complicated to do even once during normal operating hours. And, of course, we can’t forget about the delicious deal we mentioned earlier: free popcorn, ice cream novelties and certain bottled beverages are all included.
Going to 2024 Disney After Hours Events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Excited to reserve your ticket for Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios? Here’s some important information to keep in mind.
Dates & Hours
For 2024, Hollywood Studios After Hours events will be held on select nights from mid-January to mid-April. After-hours events will also take place around the same time at other Disney Parks, including Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Unfortunately, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is not part of the lineup.
Hollywood Studios After Hours dates in 2024 include:
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
As you can probably tell from the name, Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios takes place after regular park hours. The event lasts three hours, kicking off at 9:30 PM and concluding at 12:30 AM. As an added bonus, Disney After Hours eventgoers also have the privilege of entering Hollywood Studios up to two-and-a-half hours prior to when the event officially begins, as early as 7 PM. Keep in mind that if you decide to arrive early (which we strongly suggest), no theme park reservation or regular park ticket is necessary.
As a separately ticketed event, attending Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios isn’t exactly what we’d call affordable. Ticket prices are based on which date you choose, running from $155 to $175. Given its obvious perks and popularity, as well as the limited capacity, it isn’t unheard of for this late-night event to sell out. So, make sure you purchase your Disney After Hours ticket in advance if you know you want to go during your vacation.
Discounts for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members and Park Savers Readers
Hoping for a little wiggle room in your travel budget? You’re in luck! There are a few ways you can snag a discounted special event ticket. The biggest discounts are given to Disney Vacation Club members and Disney World annual passholders, who save $30 per ticket. Although it isn’t as substantial, Park Savers readers can also save up to $8 per person if they purchase tickets through our ticket partner, Undercover Tourist. Click here to buy your discounted Disney After Hours tickets today!
The Arrival Process
Earlier, we mentioned Disney After Hours guests have the opportunity to enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios as soon as 7 PM, two-and-a-half hours before the event officially begins. This is something we greatly encourage, as it gives you a significant advantage for the night ahead. Plus, it also gives you time to take in some evening entertainment that isn’t available during event hours, namely Fantasmic!, Disney Movie Magic and Wonderful World of Disney Animation. For even more time at Hollywood Studios, you can also opt to stay all day there. However, keep in mind that you’ll need a regular park ticket in addition to your Disney After Hours ticket, and a theme park reservation may also be required.
All Hollywood Studios After Hours guests are given an event wristband, which serves as your VIP pass to stay in the park after it closes. The process of getting your wristband depends on your arrival time. Event check-in is available at the main entrance starting at 6 PM. Should you get there early, you’ll be directed to a designated holding area until 7 PM rolls around. Alternatively, for event guests who enter the park earlier in the day, there is also an in-park check-in area on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. (Just keep an eye out for blue-shirted cast members wielding wristbands.)
Unlike at Magic Kingdom, where the event begins exactly when the park closes, there is a period of 30 minutes between the park closing and the actual start time of Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This allows for plenty of time for day guests to exit the park and for Fantasmic!, the park’s incredible nighttime spectacular, to begin. You can either choose to enjoy this amazing show or get a head start on the night by taking advantage of the short wait times while everyone else is busy leaving or watching Mickey Mouse battle it out with some dastardly Disney villains.
Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours Event Perks
With all those details out of the way, let’s take a peek at everything that awaits you at Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On with the show!
Late-Night Access to Popular Attractions
For many people heading to The Most Magical Place on Earth, the biggest pain point is the long lines that seemingly lurk around every corner. Fortunately, that definitely isn’t the case at Hollywood Studios After Hours. Although there are several event highlights, short wait times are the best benefit of the bunch.
In fact, the average wait for most attractions open during the event, with the exception of Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania, is less than 15 minutes. (Yes, that even includes Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.) Some rides won’t even have a line at all, allowing you to walk on without a wait. In contrast, Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania tend to hover around 35 and 20 minutes, respectively, which is still considerably shorter than what you would experience during regular park hours.
Multiple rides are available during Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (with the notable exception of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which is closed for refurbishment). They include:
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Toy Story Land
Alien Swirling Saucers
Slinky Dog Dash
Toy Story Mania
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Last year, Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios also included showings of the park’s two projection displays: Disney Movie Magic and Wonderful World of Disney Animation. Although that is no longer the case this year, you can still enjoy these shows if you plan to arrive at Hollywood Studios prior to park close at around 7 PM.
Plenty of Character Meet-and-Greets
Unlike Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom, which is pretty slim on character encounters, there are plentiful meet-and-greet opportunities at Hollywood Studios After Hours. Appearances take place throughout the park, and Disney characters rotate on and off throughout the night. So, be sure to keep your eyes out for different furry or feathered friends roaming around as you walk from ride to ride.
Character greetings offered during Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios include:
Did somebody say free food?! Along with blissfully short lines for some of your favorite attractions, guests going to Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios also enjoy complimentary snacks like popcorn and ice cream novelties, as well as select bottled beverages (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and water. Food and drink freebies are available from snack carts located in several areas around the park, including:
Toy Story Land
Other Dining & Drinking Opportunities
Looking for something else to keep you full and happy throughout the night? Although table-service restaurants like The Hollywood Brown Derby and Hollywood & Vine won’t be available, there are a handful of select dining locations that will remain open.
If you need a bite to eat, Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land will be offering a limited menu during the event. Or, for those who would rather keep the fun going with something refreshing and/or boozy instead, Milk Stand and Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and select outdoor bars will also be available. We especially recommend that you take advantage of walk-up availability at Oga’s Cantina. As one of the best bars at Disney World, this out-of-this-world watering hole shakes up some spectacular craft cocktails and plenty of intergalactic ambiance.
Shopping All Night Long
Looking for a way to remember your late-night adventures through Disney’s Hollywood Studios? While we would, typically, suggest that you spend most of your time taking multiple rides on Rise of the Resistance or Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run instead of souvenir shopping, there are a few notable merchandise outlets that are open during Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios and worth a visit if you’re interested. So immersive that they’re basically attractions themselves, Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop (where you can build your own custom lightsaber) tend to be extremely busy during the day. Needless to say, if you want to take home a piece of the Star Wars universe, consider taking advantage.
Merchandise locations open during Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios include:
Select merchandise outlets
Tower Hotel Gifts
Toy Story Land
Jessie’s Trading Post
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
Droid Depot (walk-up availability)
Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers (limited walk-up reservations on a first-come, first-served basis)
The Market Merchants
Tips & Tricks to Make the Most of Your Night
You purchased your Hollywood Studios After Hours event ticket. You packed your bags. Now what? Here are some hacks to help you have an awesome night and ensure you get the most out of that steep admission fee.
Get to the Park Before the Event Officially Begins
Rather than arriving right at 9:30 PM, take advantage of the complimentary two-and-a-half hour head start and get there at 7 PM instead. (Better yet, make it 6:30 PM so that you’re all checked in and ready to go by the time the doors open.) This way, you’ll have nearly three extra hours to enjoy the park before the event starts. Use this time wisely by doing things that you won’t be able to do once the park closes, like catching Disney Movie Magic or Fantasmic! or having a bite to eat at The Hollywood Brown Derby.
Jump in Line Until the Last Minute of the Event
There’s no question that one of the biggest perks of attending Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is little to no wait times for your favorite attractions. Even better, just like during regular park hours, you can continue to join the queue up until right before this special event ends. So, if there’s a ride you’ve been eyeing that has had long waits all evening, like Slinky Dog Dash or Toy Story Mania, simply save it for last. Then, jump in line at the very last minute. You only need to be in the queue by 12:29 AM to go on.
Plan Out Your Priorities
Having a plan is the key to success for any Walt Disney World vacation, and that includes Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios. Would you rather go on rides that require a long wait or Lightning Lane access during normal park hours, or would you prefer to maximize your night by going to your favorite attractions again and again? Are there any rides that you absolutely cannot miss? Whatever you decide will be your guide. Consider starting with your must-do attractions and then filling in the gaps from there, avoiding unnecessary backtracking to save time as you go.
Consider Fueling Up on Dinner Beforehand
Sure, you could indulge in unlimited ice cream treats, popcorn and bottled drinks throughout the night. (After all, nothing hits the spot in the late hours quite like a Mickey ice cream bar.) However, your stomach might not be too happy with you the next day. As there is only one quick-service restaurant, a few beverage kiosks and Oga’s Cantina open during Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you might want to enjoy a meal before the event starts. Consider grabbing dinner earlier inside the park or from a restaurant at one of the nearby resorts along the Disney Skyliner.
Have you ever been to Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Do you think this limited-capacity event is worth it? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how you can make the event a little more affordable with our discounted Disney tickets.