Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Review of the Disney After Hours Party at Disney World Magic Kingdom Park

The After Hours Party at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is a temporary thing, and my guess is it isn't long for this world.  At a whopping $149 plus tax per person, you can enter Magic Kingdom at 7 PM on specific party dates, only seven dates.  May 12 and 19th are the two remaining parties.

I attended in April.  Would I attend if I had to pay for my whole family? No.  But for me, a chance to be in an empty park to take awesome pictures was a dream come true.

Details:  Although you can enter at 7 PM, the party doesn't start until the park closes.  If it closes at 10, party is over at 1. If it closes at 11, party is over at 2.  Either way, you have three glorious nearly empty park hours to explore and enjoy.  Included is a special lanyard listing the open rides and character meet and greets, and unlimited soda, water, and ice cream treats.

There were an amazing number of rides open, and I think there might have been more cast members present than guests.

I walked in right around fireworks time, and got to enjoy the finale of Wishes before beginning my party adventure!

Then I stumbled on the beginning of the electrical parade in Frontierland, which completely shocked me since I didn't even know there would be a parade since the park had technically closed.  This photo shows the lack of crowd at the parade. I had no people at least 20 feet on either side of me.

You can see the rides available on the lanyard. I experienced Dumbo (alone), "it's a small world" (I had my own boat), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan's Flight, Prince Charming Regal Carousel (nearly alone), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid, Haunted Mansion, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (alone), Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean (had my own boat), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Astro Orbitor (the first time I had ever ridden, and I had it all to myself), Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and Space Mountain.


Characters to meet and greet: Talking Mickey at Town Square Theater I saw twice. I also visited Rapunzel, Aurora, Elsa and Anna twice each, with no waits, and lots of interaction!

I only waited for ONE thing...to see talking at the end of the evening. I think everyone had the same idea...see Mickey on the way out!  Many rides I had completely to myself.

Empty park

Fun with the Castle

Is it worth it?

Well, there was a huge backlash on social media and forums when Disney announced this event. The word "Greed" was sprinkled liberally throughout all complaints.  I saw very little positive.  And is it outrageously expensive?  Absolutely.  And it was very apparent that guests aren't accepting of it, because the empty park spoke volumes. Rumor had it that only 3000 guests were going to be allowed in anyway, although Disney never confirms attendance figures.  3000 guests at Magic Kingdom is an extremely light crowd, but during my party? I'd guess at most there was 1000.

I spent three blissful hours riding whatever I wanted, walking around empty pathways, taking pictures of the castle in every lighting and weird camera configuration I could think of, and I smiled the entire time.

Was it worth it? A parade, 16 rides (zero waits), 5 characters visited twice each, 4 sampled ice cream treats, 2 sodas, 2 waters, and an empty park in three hours.  It was pure, undeniable magic.  Was it worth it? YES.

By Lucy

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!