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

Katie1174

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Thank you. For your answers. (We also have park hoppers so the 3 fast passes wouldn't benefit us either.)
Seeing as you have done MKAH in May is the park pretty empty for this event? I would love to be able to walk onto rides and I love the park at night.
Forgot to add, if park hopping and using your first 3 pre-booked fastpasses in your morning park, then go ahead and pick up a fourth fastpass, if resting until the party, find a 4th fastpass for an MK ride. Since you have hoppers you can get into MK whenever you feel like it. You can pick up your AH party wristbands inside the park, we usually gets ours near Monsters Inc or Buzz, the pick up points is clearly marked and they scan your band with their ipads and give you your wristband. you do not have to wait until 7 and you dont have to go back to the front to check in
 

jtwibih

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
This has probably been asked but I will ask again. How does Disney clear out MK on days where closing time runs right up until the start of Adter Hours. Does this cause major problems for the first hour or so?
 

GADisneyDad14

TPAS Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
This has probably been asked but I will ask again. How does Disney clear out MK on days where closing time runs right up until the start of Adter Hours. Does this cause major problems for the first hour or so?
Here's what I have written on Page 1, which touches on your question:

An Important Difference Between DAH & MNSSHP/MVMCP
  • Disney After Hours is "hard-ticket" event similar to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), except that it takes place after the 'normal' park closing time for that day.
  • Unlike MNSSHP and MVMCP, for DAH Disney does NOT necessarily actively "clear" the park of day guests for the event.
    • Day guests can get in a ride line up until 1 minute before closing time and are free to leave the park, shop, etc at their leisure after regular park closing time just like any regular night in the Magic Kingdom.
    • DAH credentials (lanyards or wristbands) are needed to enter a ride line once the event begins.
    • Disney has historically been very strict with enforcement of needing to see DAH credentials at line entrances.
    • In this regard, DAH operates in a similar manner to PM Extra Magic Hours vs the 'park clearing' you see with MNSSHP and MVMCP.
  • For Villains After Hours, Disney has been actively clearing the park of non-ticketed guests after park closing.

Day Guest Carry-Over Into DAH Event Time from Rides and/or Nighttime Entertainment
  • As noted above, day guests can enter a ride line 1 minute before park closing.
  • Also, depending on the date, some nighttime entertainment such as Happily Ever After (HEA) or Once Upon a Time (OUAT) can be scheduled to begin at the same time the DAH event starts.
  • If HEA is scheduled for the same time as the DAH start time, yes, there will be a large crowd still in the park for the first part of your DAH time.
  • Historically this has not had a material impact on DAH, but some may not like the fact daytime entertainment carries over into "paid event time."
 
  • Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    SeaWorld Platinum Passholder
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    We just splurged and booked for April 20th. Our spring trip is always to celebrate our wedding anniversary, so we like to do something a little special when we visit (also, we are Universal & SeaWorld annual passholders, but sometimes we like to add a little Disney into our trips and the After Hours events seem to be our best fit). We have only been to one before (last spring) but it was FABULOUS. Really hoping that the second experience is as good as the first. We were sorely disappointed in our oversold, over-hot, over-hyped MNSSHP in October (perhaps DAH has ruined us??) so I'm hoping this will bring the Disney magic back for my husband, especially.

    A big thanks to all of those who come back to this thread and post their honest thoughts after each event. I love reading your feedback (good and bad) and hearing your first-hand reports. It really does help to go into these things with realistic expectations. Now I'm just hoping Mother Nature smiles on us with some good weather!

    One question (which I hopefully haven't missed the answer to somewhere along the way....if I did, I apologize!): does anyone know if the Photopass photographers along Main Street can do the magic shot with the fireworks in the shape of a Mickey head (with the castle in the background) during the DAH event? I have seen a few sample pics from other guests and would love to try and get that specific photo while we are there.
     

    kikik

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 21, 2011
    I’m back from the event tonight and I think it was the best money I ever spent at Disney. It was so, so much fun. Everything a walk-on except a 5-minute wait for Peter Pan and 7DMT. The vibe was awesome - people seemed to be extra friendly to each other!

    I did the Villains party last Friday and had a blast too - I love Villains stuff - but it was a completely different thing. Villains felt like I had a FP for every ride, DAH was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
     

    proud_canadian

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 23, 2009
    I’m back from the event tonight and I think it was the best money I ever spent at Disney. It was so, so much fun. Everything a walk-on except a 5-minute wait for Peter Pan and 7DMT. The vibe was awesome - people seemed to be extra friendly to each other!

    I did the Villains party last Friday and had a blast too - I love Villains stuff - but it was a completely different thing. Villains felt like I had a FP for every ride, DAH was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

    Kikikik - What time were you able to get in? Also, I noticed magic carpets had a 25 min wait on the app for most of the night. Was that accurate?
     

    prairiesarah

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2012
    We were there last night too (Mar 2nd). It was absolutely fantastic. My husband, son and I all agreed we'd 100% buy AH tickets again.

    Also, I noticed magic carpets had a 25 min wait on the app for most of the night. Was that accurate?
    I would say that the ride times on the app/ride time boards were not accurate at all. It was almost like they updated them to just before 8pm then stopped. Everything we did was walk on except 7DMT and Haunted Mansion (more on that below).

    We got there a bit later than we had anticipated and got through the gates at about 7:20/7:30pm. I couldn't believe all the people going through the regular lines at that point - I'm presuming going in to just watch the fireworks.

    We headed back and rode the People Mover after fighting the crowds on main street lined up for the fireworks. Got in line at 7:39pm, done the ride and off by 7:53pm. Got in line for the Speedway by 7:56pm, on by 8:06pm. Rode it as the fireworks were going off.

    The crowds everywhere but Main Street were really low by this point.

    Went to Space Mountain - DS rode (walk on at 8:05pm), DH and I got popcorn and water.

    Went and rode Barnstormer (walk on) 2x in a row - they didn't even make us get off - only DS had to move because someone wanted the front row - so he went to the back.

    Then to 7DMT - DS rode (short wait - less than 10 minutes), I rode Winnie the Pooh (walk on).

    Got more popcorn, water and ice cream.

    On to Its a Small World (walk on). In retrospect shouldn't have wasted 15 minutes on this ride but it was DH's Grandma's favourite ride so we always do it in her memory and this was our only day at the Magic Kingdom this trip.

    Then we tried to ride Haunted Mansion. Waited less than 2 min outside the doors, right in, not more than 20 of us in the room. Then when we got into the loading area it was backed up (100ish people probably) and the ride wasn't moving and a lot of cast members hustling back and forth. After about 5 minutes they announced technical difficulties and had to get everyone out through the emergency exits then were going to evacuate the ride. They had cast members at the exit with iPads scanning MB's and we all got any anytime FP for today.

    More ice cream for DS and DH and water for me.

    Main street to get some photos in front of the castle.

    Pirates (walk on).

    Splash (walk on).

    At this point we were planning to go on Big Thunder but it was closed for some unknown reason which was disappointing as its my favourite ride.

    Grabbed some more popcorn and water and walked towards the front of the park deciding what to do. It was about 10:25pm at this point and I wanted to make sure I got the Starbucks mug I wanted to buy so went to the Main Street Bakery and there was no wait.

    More photos and more ice cream.

    We wandered through the Emporium and headed to the boat at about 10:53pm. We definitely could have gotten more rides in if we were motivated to do so, but we enjoyed the pace and how quiet it was. I took a few photos that I'll try to post later today.

    I was super impressed with the crowd levels - I thought it was super quiet although overheard someone say it was way busier than another one they had been at. Most of the night there wasn't 20 people in my peripheral vision at any time unless you caught up with a couple of groups of people as they toured.

    We decided we would 100% do this again if it continues to be this type of event. All the cast members were super friendly, the free popcorn and ice cream treats were great (and not something we'd usually get so let DS have as much as he wanted of it). We also didn't wait more than about 2 min at any of the snack stops.
     
  • jtwibih

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2010
    I’m interested as well in seeing what are the earliest times people are getting in for these events. I know the site says 7pm and I’m sure it varies by day but it would still be nice to know how generous MK is in letting guests in early.
     

    Dakota Dexter

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2020
    I’m interested as well in seeing what are the earliest times people are getting in for these events. I know the site says 7pm and I’m sure it varies by day but it would still be nice to know how generous MK is in letting guests in early.
    We went last night, the event was 8-11, they let us in at 6:00!!! Everything was basically walk-on, BTMR & HM were both down at the end of the night
     
  • ninafeliz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2001
    I’m interested as well in seeing what are the earliest times people are getting in for these events. I know the site says 7pm and I’m sure it varies by day but it would still be nice to know how generous MK is in letting guests in early.
    The night I went the first week of February they didn’t let us in until 6:50. I have heard of people getting in as early as 6, but definitely not our night. I’m very glad we didn’t go over that early since I didn’t have another ticket for that day, since we would have just stood in line for almost an hour. Our event was 9-12.
     

    Iowamomof4

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2015
    Regarding when they let people in for DAH: I've not heard of anyone getting in before 6:00. If it's more important to get in as early as possible, plan to arrive by 6. If you want a balance of getting in early but not waiting too long, aim for 6:30. If you want to be assured of not waiting to enter at all, arrive at 7.
     

    kikik

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 21, 2011
    Kikikik - What time were you able to get in? Also, I noticed magic carpets had a 25 min wait on the app for most of the night. Was that accurate?
    I went in with my day ticket at 5ish but when I asked the CM he said they were going to let people in at 6.

    Magic Carpets was definitely not 25 minutes, in fact I don’t think any of the wait times were accurate. I walked on Carpets just after 9, and 7DMT was at 15 all night and the longest I waited was 10 mins. Mostly it was 5ish minutes, I went 7 times!
     

    jbish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2013
    What are the best rides to hit during the time when the park is still open? I'll have between 7-10 pm before our event starts (but MK closes at 9 pm that night). I have booked Splash and Jungle Cruise FPs. I figure, if I get wet on Splash, I'll have more time to dry off when it is still warmer outside. And I figure Jungle Cruise might be better earlier in the night. I've never done JC after dark. Is it still a great experience? Any difference later at night - i.e. the skipper is just bored/ready to go home and not as engaged? And I'd like to get back to the Hub to see HEA, but then I'd have to backtrack again to hit BTMR, Pirates, etc.

    Because now I'm wondering (i.e. overthinking) if I should change my strategy and start in Tomorrowland? Get FPs to Space and Buzz. Then I can get back to the Hub more easily for HEA, then head into Adventureland/Frontierland as the masses head out the exit. Then we would work our way clockwise and maybe, if things go well, we'll still end up in Tomorrowland and the end of the night for another round on Space and Buzz. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
     

    ninafeliz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2001
    What are the best rides to hit during the time when the park is still open? I'll have between 7-10 pm before our event starts (but MK closes at 9 pm that night). I have booked Splash and Jungle Cruise FPs. I figure, if I get wet on Splash, I'll have more time to dry off when it is still warmer outside. And I figure Jungle Cruise might be better earlier in the night. I've never done JC after dark. Is it still a great experience? Any difference later at night - i.e. the skipper is just bored/ready to go home and not as engaged? And I'd like to get back to the Hub to see HEA, but then I'd have to backtrack again to hit BTMR, Pirates, etc.

    Because now I'm wondering (i.e. overthinking) if I should change my strategy and start in Tomorrowland? Get FPs to Space and Buzz. Then I can get back to the Hub more easily for HEA, then head into Adventureland/Frontierland as the masses head out the exit. Then we would work our way clockwise and maybe, if things go well, we'll still end up in Tomorrowland and the end of the night for another round on Space and Buzz. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
    I would hit rides that are longer for your FPs so you don't use all of that time up during DAH. JC and splash are both long, I think they are good choices. Other options are to do things that aren't open during DAH, like ETWB if that interests you. Space mountain is also good, because it takes forever just to walk to and from the ride, using up a lot of DAH time. We have always started in Tomorrowland for our DAH and gone counterclockwise. The only problem has been we usually don't make it all of the way. Last time I had our FPs for POTC, JC, and HM, and then we started in Tomorrowland. We only made it to BTMRR, so we would not have had time for Splash had it been open or for JC or POTC had we not altered anything we did that night. From what I recall we didn't get to Aladdin or SDMT, but we could have for sure if we had not done any repeats earlier in the night. A problem that I run into is that my kids want to ride things more than once, while my preference would be to ride everything we can at least once. we compromise somewhat in that we do some of the favorites that have really long lines during the day a couple of times and will do something more than once when they let us stay on, but in general I keep pushing them to move on to the next thing.

    Some ride lend themselves to super easy and quick riding during DAH, like Barnstormer. Others, like Space Mountain and somewhat BTMRR, have crazy long walks to and from the ride but the ride itself is fast and quick (as an aside, why don't they open the bypass space mt for DAH? Drives me crazy). A third type are rides that are just long, like IASW and Splash, so they take a long time no matter what. Then there are the rest - in between ride or line lengths, cycle rides, etc. I'm not completely sure how that pertains to your question lol, I seem to have gotten off on a tangent, but I'll reel it in by saying I would use your FPs for rides in the second or third categories I just listed.

    I do think that starting on one side of the park before the event starts, then watching HEA and then starting after hours from the opposite side is a good strategy. I just wouldn't personally recommend using a FP on buzz since that's one we rode multiple times and were allowed to just stay on during DAH. How about FPs for JC, Splash, and POTC, then starting in Tomorrowland and hoping you get to end with repeat rides on those 3? I guess now that I think about it we kind of did that, but the opposite. Our FPs were Adventureland and HM, then we started in Tomorrowland.
     

    eeyoreandtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2014
    We have day tickets for our DAH day, and i am planning on going in MK mid afternoon. We have FP booked for JC, SM, and BTMRR before DAH.

    We typically start in tomorrowland and work our way around. We don't ride everything, but can do everything we want and make it back to ride SDMT and space again before the event ends. We have done this 3 times, and this was our rough schedule each time:
    SM
    Buzz
    SDMT
    Pooh
    Peter Pan
    BTMRR x2 (sometimes 3)
    Splash (not every time depends on time)
    HM
    Pirates
    JC (if we didn't do splash and have time)
    Back to tomorrowland for one more SM and SDMT.

    I don't ride SM or SDMT so I typically get snacks for all of us while DH and DD are on those at the beginning and the end of the night.
     

    NotTheBatesMotel

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2014
    What are the best rides to hit during the time when the park is still open? I'll have between 7-10 pm before our event starts (but MK closes at 9 pm that night). I have booked Splash and Jungle Cruise FPs. I figure, if I get wet on Splash, I'll have more time to dry off when it is still warmer outside. And I figure Jungle Cruise might be better earlier in the night. I've never done JC after dark. Is it still a great experience? Any difference later at night - i.e. the skipper is just bored/ready to go home and not as engaged? And I'd like to get back to the Hub to see HEA, but then I'd have to backtrack again to hit BTMR, Pirates, etc.

    Because now I'm wondering (i.e. overthinking) if I should change my strategy and start in Tomorrowland? Get FPs to Space and Buzz. Then I can get back to the Hub more easily for HEA, then head into Adventureland/Frontierland as the masses head out the exit. Then we would work our way clockwise and maybe, if things go well, we'll still end up in Tomorrowland and the end of the night for another round on Space and Buzz. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
    I'd keep your current FP's. Splash and JC are both long so knocking them both out pre-AH would be ideal. If you can manage to grab BTMR (if it's open when you go) I'd use that one too so you don't have to trek back to Frontierland once AH starts. I wouldn't use a FP on Buzz since that's always been a walk-on when I've gone to AH.
     

    Liddypool

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 30, 2018
    My DH and I attended AH last night (3/2). Overall, we really enjoyed the event, and especially loved the low crowds. Everything except 7DMT was a walk on for us, and that was only a 10-min wait. We were also able to get Tangled lantern photos with only 1 couple in front of us! I had never seen the wait so short for that before.

    However, we were on the Haunted Mansion when it went down. Not only did we lose 25 min of our AH time, but we were stuck on the hill going down into the graveyard, facing the wrong way! That’s right, our doom buggy never rotated around! We heard some horrible grinding sounds and our buggy (and several in front of us) were moving all around in a jerky motion as they tried to turn. Several cast members came to our aid relatively quickly, but they couldn’t open the buggy because of the way it was facing. We had to wait for maintenance to arrive to free us. The worst part was that we had to hold ourselves up using our feet and arms to prevent falling out of the buggy! Not a fun 25 min, but a good upper body workout! 🤣

    We were offered free fast passes for the next day after we were evacuated, but that didn’t work for us, because we had a resort day planned. I spoke with guest relations before we left and explained what happened, and the CM gave us 2 additional anytime fast passes for a day of our choice. Since we are AP holders, I felt like that was a satisfactory option to make up for the lost time from AH.

    Although we had quite the experience on the HM, I would definitely do MK AH again. The super low crowds made it worth it for us.
     

    jen7233

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 1, 2005
    Has anyone done the Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square during AH? How is the line for that? I'd like to do it our DAH night, wondering what strategy works best for that. Doing it before the event, or waiting until the end of the night while heading out? I don't want to go back down Main Street during the event as I think that's taking time from rides. Assuming also he'll still be there between 12:30 and 1 am when we plan to exit.
     



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