**Disney After Hours - Animal Kingdom** FAQ & Discussion Thread

GADisneyDad14

TPAS Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Also contemplating the 1/30 date. We hadn't planned on doing AK this trip, but now the release of these after hours dates coincide with our trip and I am sooo intrigued. Does anyone think it'll be worth it in January? (read: possible cold weather, safari likely closed by the time you can enter, etc) Or have you gone in January and had a good time? We have not seen Pandora at night. The one time I rode FOP I waited 3 hours in line. So to be able to ride it in less than 30 minutes really has me considering. Also we've never seen Rivers of Light.
Weather is always so unpredictable in Jan. I keep track of the start and end temps on the date tables on Page 1, you can look there to see what Jan was like this past year.

I haven’t done DAK DAH but I’ve frozen my bottom off at MK DAH in Feb twice. Bone chilling cold and wind. We trucked on, but it’s certainly different than my preferred shorts, shirt, and flip flop regular Florida outfit. :-)

But the weather can be warm too, just so hard to predict.

I wouldn’t let the weather deter you though if the event otherwise appeals to you.
 

NikkiDP

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Also contemplating the 1/30 date. We hadn't planned on doing AK this trip, but now the release of these after hours dates coincide with our trip and I am sooo intrigued. Does anyone think it'll be worth it in January? (read: possible cold weather, safari likely closed by the time you can enter, etc) Or have you gone in January and had a good time? We have not seen Pandora at night. The one time I rode FOP I waited 3 hours in line. So to be able to ride it in less than 30 minutes really has me considering. Also we've never seen Rivers of Light.
We haven't been to an AH event in January but we have been in January before and it can get pretty chilly. However, we are from the Northeast so were able to stick it out. I don't know for sure, but I would imagine that the parks empty just a bit, even for a paid event, if the weather starts to get Florida cold so it may end up working in your favor lol
 

winnieofpooh

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 30, 2018
We went to the AK AH on 8/19. Hands down would do it again, it was incredible! Here’s a detailed report of what we did.

Park closed at 8:30, after hours started at 9.

Dinosaur at 9:02. We had to sit through preshows and it took 15 minutes on the dot.

9:31 Everest walk on. We rode it 5 times in a row, took us 30min for the entire process.

10:15 we headed to FoP. Posted 15 minute wait which was pretty accurate (have to sit through preshows). 4 minute wait to get into first preshow. 15 minutes from entrance to ride. We rode twice in a row, took us until 11:15. They were running all bays.

Back to Everest, still walk on 11:25. We rode it 2 more times.

11:45 headed over to Dinosaur. No preshow this time, we were allowed to walk through. They were letting people stay on if there weren’t people waiting.

We got to the bus stop at 12:07. First bus pulled up at 12:09. We got home at 12:45. The bus was shared with all the MK resorts (Contemporary, Wilderness, Poly, and Grand Floridian).

All in it was a great night. We took random snack breaks throughout, and took a few minutes just walking around Pandora at night. Our last snack break of the night, the CMs were trying to get rid of most of the snacks/drinks. Here are our final totals:

7x Everest
2x FoP
2x Dinosaur
5 snack breaks - 8 waters and 1 sprite, 2 Mickey bars, 1 popcorn.
 
  • Crazed4DisneyinSC

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2019
    We haven't been to an AH event in January but we have been in January before and it can get pretty chilly. However, we are from the Northeast so were able to stick it out. I don't know for sure, but I would imagine that the parks empty just a bit, even for a paid event, if the weather starts to get Florida cold so it may end up working in your favor lol
    Thanks for your input. This sounds like quite a double edged sword to me :( Lighter crowds definitely a plus. We are from New York, and moved to South Carolina almost 3 years ago. However, I forgot about the cold and I'm not looking back! And cold+Disney just shouldn't be in the same sentence, imo! LOL. This will be our first January trip, a bit nervous!!

    Can anyone tell me if these events normally sell out? How far in advance should I purchase? If I wait until end of November (2 months in advance), do you think I'll still be able to get in on it? I'm trying to wait and see if there will be EMH or EEMH announced for HS before I commit to DAK After Dark event. =/
     

    GADisneyDad14

    TPAS Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    Can anyone tell me if these events normally sell out? How far in advance should I purchase? If I wait until end of November (2 months in advance), do you think I'll still be able to get in on it? I'm trying to wait and see if there will be EMH or EEMH announced for HS before I commit to DAK After Dark event. =/
    FYI, The tables in this post on Page 1 will show you the event history and sell out detail, where applicable: https://www.disboards.com/threads/disney-after-hours-animal-kingdom-faq-discussion-thread-new-dates-added-oct-2019-march-2020.3715424/post-59931745
     

    Crazed4DisneyinSC

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2019
    Thank you @GADisneyDad14 !! I'm new around here and still have a lot to learn! Looks like historically, this date *typically* won't sell out and I should be good to wait on purchasing. Of course nothing can ever be quite "typical" with Disney, lol.
     

    jjan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2004
    I've never been to one of the Disney After Hours events (except for MNSSHP and MVMCP which I loved until the crowds kind of ruined them) and I was surprised and delighted when they added the October 5th night at AK. I am having a very hard time deciding if I should do this. I would not be doing Everest ride (vertigo issues) so my friend and I would be doing mostly Pandora with me wanting to do FOP as many times as possible-- LOVE IT! I also haven't seen Pandora at night yet. Given the time that it takes to make the loop through the ride, I'm worried that it would feel like a lot of wasted time with limited riding experiences. Also, I'm a bit concerned as I am traveling with a newer friend that has had knee replacement surgery (months ago) who has never been to AK and I'm wondering how she will be able to handle the ride restraints.

    Has anyone ever done just Pandora? What did you think? Was it worth it? I would love to hear any and all thought on this. TIA :)
     
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  • YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    We haven't been to an AH event in January but we have been in January before and it can get pretty chilly. However, we are from the Northeast so were able to stick it out. I don't know for sure, but I would imagine that the parks empty just a bit, even for a paid event, if the weather starts to get Florida cold so it may end up working in your favor lol
    Northwest here -- honestly, if it were chilly during my January visit I'd be fine with that for exactly this reason. While it's nice to get away from winter and hang out in shorts and sandals, having done a November trip to Disneyland Paris I know that Disney is still tons of fun in cold weather. It's worth it to me to wear a couple layers to have the lower crowd levels, and it's not like Kali is open for the event regardless.
     

    NikkiDP

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2017
    Northwest here -- honestly, if it were chilly during my January visit I'd be fine with that for exactly this reason. While it's nice to get away from winter and hang out in shorts and sandals, having done a November trip to Disneyland Paris I know that Disney is still tons of fun in cold weather. It's worth it to me to wear a couple layers to have the lower crowd levels, and it's not like Kali is open for the event regardless.
    I totally agree! My DH hates the heat (which is why we don't go in the summer) and I don't have a problem being a little warm in layers until the cool air sets in. There is something very satisfying about being all bundled up and taking a stroll through a Disney park!
     

    SamanthaH

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2008
    I've never been to one of the Disney After Hours events (except for MNSSHP and MVMCP which I loved until the crowds kind of ruined them) and I was surprised and delighted when they added the October 5th night at AK. I am having a very hard time deciding if I should do this. I would not be doing Everest ride (vertigo issues) so my friend and I would be doing mostly Pandora with me wanting to do FOP as many times as possible-- LOVE IT! I also haven't see Pandora at night yet. Given the time that it takes to make the loop through the ride, I'm worried that it would feel like a lot of wasted time with limited riding experiences. Also, I'm a bit concerned as I am traveling with a newer friend that has had knee replacement surgery (months ago) who has never been to AK and I'm wondering how she will be able to handle the ride restraints.

    Has anyone ever done just Pandora? What did you think? Was it worth it? I would love to hear any and all thought on this. TIA :)
    I think the crowds in Pandora tend to disperse after 10pm since there will still be some regular park goers in line or slowly wandering out for park close at 9pm. After 10pm, I could totally imagine enjoying Pandora for 2 hrs. The atmosphere is amazing at night. I wouldn’t count out the other lands and rides. We really enjoyed Dinosaur, It’s Tough to be a Bug, and the special showing of River of Lights. It is a very different experience when you get to chose your seat in a close to empty venue. We were front and center at River of Lights and Bugs which was awesome! I have never ridden Dinosaur front row and that made the ride so much better. So, yes, we thought the event was worth it, even without Safari and even without Expedition Everest.

    I forgot to add that since they were running the FoP pre show, the wait time was about 15 minutes for each time on FoP. Hope this helps.
     
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    kwdw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    I've never been to one of the Disney After Hours events (except for MNSSHP and MVMCP which I loved until the crowds kind of ruined them) and I was surprised and delighted when they added the October 5th night at AK. I am having a very hard time deciding if I should do this. I would not be doing Everest ride (vertigo issues) so my friend and I would be doing mostly Pandora with me wanting to do FOP as many times as possible-- LOVE IT! I also haven't see Pandora at night yet. Given the time that it takes to make the loop through the ride, I'm worried that it would feel like a lot of wasted time with limited riding experiences. Also, I'm a bit concerned as I am traveling with a newer friend that has had knee replacement surgery (months ago) who has never been to AK and I'm wondering how she will be able to handle the ride restraints.

    Has anyone ever done just Pandora? What did you think? Was it worth it? I would love to hear any and all thought on this. TIA :)
    I wouldn't do this for JUST Pandora - but maybe that's because I'd be sick from vertigo from FOP after two times. In addition, the only snacks in Pandora were three varieties of frozen fruit bars (the one 3 flavored one was excellent!) and the bottles of soda - no popcorn or ice cream bars in Pandora - and I needed those other snacks to be part of the package for me!

    We skipped Everest during the event - so during the event we basically only walked once between Dinoland and Pandora - we didn't add the steps to get to Asia and we didn't circle back. For me - just riding FOP 4 -6 times and just seeing Pandora at night wouldn't make me pay for this - but it might be good enough for others. This thread has enough details that you should be able to estimate how much you might be able to do the time - and judge if that's worth it to you.

    For a "generalization" assumption - if your friend can bend her knee at a 45 degree angle (about 135 degree knee flexion) and be okay with that position for 5 minutes, and isn't in the super tall or super Pooh-size weight range - she can probably handle FOP. If she did the physical therapy that is typical after knee replacement - she'll likely know if she can manage having the knee angle for the ride length - they talk about this stuff with folks getting knee replacements. Just show her the position sitting at home and see what she thinks. One person I know who had a knee replacement would be fine one time, though would likely ride only once. The other person would not be able bend her knee sufficiently without significant pain to even get settled in the ride - and certainly would not tolerate it for nearly 5 minutes. Two very different knee replacement scenarios! (Note - still WELL worth it for the one who has the more limited motion!)
     
  • kwdw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    I think the crowds in Pandora tend to disperse after 10pm since there will still be some regular park goers in line or slowly wandering out for park close at 9pm. After 10pm, I could totally imagine enjoying Pandora for 2 hrs. The atmosphere is amazing at night. I wouldn’t count out the other lands and rides. We really enjoyed Dinosaur, It’s Tough to be a Bug, and the special showing of River of Lights. It is a very different experience when you get to chose your seat in a close to empty venue. We were front and center at River of Lights and Bugs which was awesome! I have never ridden Dinosaur front row and that made the ride so much better. So, yes, we thought the event was worth it, even without Safari and even without Expedition Everest.

    I forgot to add that since they were running the FoP pre show, the wait time was about 15 minutes for each time on FoP. Hope this helps.
    Right - I'd estimate 30 minutes for each FOP ride - between the walk, short queue wait, pre-show, and ride. So - 6 times could be accomplished. I haven't read the thread well enough to know if anyone has tried to max that out!
     

    EmmyKay

    Never grow up
    Joined
    Feb 29, 2016
    Just got tickets for Nov 5! This was supposed to be a Universal only trip (staying at Portofino Bay), but I just keep adding Disney to the trip - First MVMCP, now AK After Hours. I want to make best use of our time at DAH. I'm taking my niece (15), and my sons (14 & 11). Hubby and Grandma are going to stay at Universal that night.

    We plan to eat dinner before arriving, and get to AK around 7pm (park closes at 8). I don't think we can ride Kilomanjaro Safari because it closes at 6:30pm. The shows will be over and most likely the walking trails will also be closed. Not sure at this point about Primeval Whirl. Does anyone have suggestions what to do or what FPs we could get before the park closes?

    Once the park closes, we plan to ride Dinosaur, maybe Triceratop, then Everest (a few times). Then Rivers of Light, Meet Mickey and Minnie, Tree of Life Awakening, maybe EE again. I want to try to get to Pandora around 10-10:30 and just spend the rest of the night there...ride FOP, Navi, and explore the area.

    I appreciate any tips or advice!

    :earsgirl::earsgirl::earsboy::earsboy:
     

    suemom2kay

    DIS Veteran
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2008
    Just got tickets for Nov 5! This was supposed to be a Universal only trip (staying at Portofino Bay), but I just keep adding Disney to the trip - First MVMCP, now AK After Hours. I want to make best use of our time at DAH. I'm taking my niece (15), and my sons (14 & 11). Hubby and Grandma are going to stay at Universal that night.

    We plan to eat dinner before arriving, and get to AK around 7pm (park closes at 8). I don't think we can ride Kilomanjaro Safari because it closes at 6:30pm. The shows will be over and most likely the walking trails will also be closed. Not sure at this point about Primeval Whirl. Does anyone have suggestions what to do or what FPs we could get before the park closes?

    Once the park closes, we plan to ride Dinosaur, maybe Triceratop, then Everest (a few times). Then Rivers of Light, Meet Mickey and Minnie, Tree of Life Awakening, maybe EE again. I want to try to get to Pandora around 10-10:30 and just spend the rest of the night there...ride FOP, Navi, and explore the area.

    I appreciate any tips or advice!

    :earsgirl::earsgirl::earsboy::earsboy:
    Sounds like a solid plan. Personally, I would forego fastpassing rides at 7. Maybe get a FP for ROL but not necessary. I would come at park close or just on time to be at ROL 30 minutes prior. Then head to Dinoland after ROL and continue with your plan. We did a very similar plan in Mid-July and it was fantastic.

    Have fun on your Universal only trip!🤣
     

    Keckster

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2018
    I'm heading to the October 26 AHP. Park doesn't close until 9:00, so I was able to book FP+ for a Kilimanjaro Safaris (6:30-7:30) and then Everest (7:30-8:30). My plan is to get some really good night shots of Pandora (bringing a park compliant tripod). I'm sure I'll hit Dinosaur, Triceratop Spin and Everest again before FoP and Na'vi River. I just hope the weather cooperates. I'm hoping by the end of October, evening rain and thunderstorms chances have decreased.
     

    Crazed4DisneyinSC

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2019
    So for the after hours, if the park closes at 8pm, however the after hours event doesn't start until 9pm, and you are allowed to enter at 7pm, can you actually do anything from 8-9? Are the rides still open or do they close them? Is this a lost hour pretty much?
     

    GADisneyDad14

    TPAS Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    So for the after hours, if the park closes at 8pm, however the after hours event doesn't start until 9pm, and you are allowed to enter at 7pm, can you actually do anything from 8-9? Are the rides still open or do they close them? Is this a lost hour pretty much?
    With DAK, expect those park hours to be extended to 8:30pm or 9pm. Some DAK DAHs have that 30 minute “buffer” but some don’t.

    If you do end up with a buffer, consider it “bonus” time - you can ride rides or do whatever you’d like. It’s definitely not “lost” time.
     


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