Is Disney's Animal Kingdom After Hours Worth the Extra Cost? - FULL REVIEW
Imagine… an evening in a Disney park with no crowds, no lines for your favorite rides and unlimited ice cream and soda.. AND character dance parties. Sounds too good to be true, amirite?!
It’s like a tiny scoop of heaven. It’s every Disney Park Fanatic’s DREAM!
THIS IS REAL LIFE and it’s accessible to YOU if you choose to do so.
Last year, Walt Disney World announced Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios After Hours. Similar to Magic Kingdom’s After Hours, the park closes to all regular park guests and is open to a limited number of attractions for event guests to enjoy.
What is After Hours?
After Hours is a Hard Ticketed event that allows a limited number of people to attend. The park closes from 8:30pm-11:30pm and has a list of attractions that are open for you to enjoy. To best honest, the list of attractions is pretty solid. I’ll discuss some of our personal pro’s and con’s as we progress through this post.
From Disney’s Website: Be among a limited number of Guests to enjoy a unique, 3-hour park experience—featuring popular attractions and experiences with little-to-no wait!
When Can I Go?
Guests with Disney After Hours tickets can enter the park at 7:00 PM every event night.
The event takes place from 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM:
Monday, August 26, 2019
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Monday, September 9, 2019
Monday, September 16, 2019
Monday, September 23, 2019
How much does it cost?
From Disney’s Website: Admission to Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park can be purchased in advance for $125 per adult or child, plus tax—or purchased on the day of the event for $129 per adult or child, plus tax. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of specially priced tickets for just $95 per adult or child, plus tax.
HOW WE DID DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM AFTER HOURS:
Now I’ll be honest, I was really hesitant about whether or not After Hours was going to be a good value for us. The cost of tickets is $125 + tax per adult or child and $129+ tax per adult or child if purchased on the day of. I already know what you’re thinking, (this had me going for a while too.) For a cheaper (or same price depending on the day you go) of the After Hours ticket, you can get a 1 day 1 park ticket and have a full day! I thought about this too and it took me a while to pull the trigger on this experience. The reason I went with it is just thinking of our style of experiencing the parks. Kevin and I extremely dislike waiting for more than 30 minutes for anything and we don’t like crowds. With these two factors in mind, it was a solid “go” to pull the trigger and see what the hype is all about for After Hours.
We came with a plan. Any Disney Park Enthusiast knows to come in with a solid game plan. This helps to be efficient with time. After all, 3 hours is NOT a lot of time and those After Hours Tickets are NOT cheap. Our plan was to get all of the “less popular” rides out of the way and saved the Pandora rides for last with hopes for the least amount of waiting in line time.
Our game plan before arriving:
6:45pm Adventurers Outpost FP
Chip n dale dance party lol
Unlimited popcorn, ice cream and bottled drinks
Pandora - Na’vi river journey and flight of passage
How It Actually Went Down
We arrived at the park via Uber around 6:35pm. We had extra time to queue up in the line and there was already about 15 people in line for After Hours. There was a separate entrance dedicated to After Hours. I had the boys lineup and I went to Guest Services to ask if we needed anything. They told me that they would pass out After Hours wristbands at the entrance.
They let us in the park right on the dot at 7:00pm. We received our wristbands and we were We went straight to Adventurers Outpost to meet Mickey and Minnie. After weaving through the crowds and oohing and aahing at the Tree of Life, we made it to Adventurers Outpost at 7:08pm.
Our meet with Mickey and Minnie was awesome, per usual. We got some nice snaps and engagement was really cool.
By the end of our interaction it was, 7:15pm and we last minute decided to watch the 7:30pm showing of “Rivers of Light.” It was super empty so we had no problem finding seats.
By the end of the show, we headed straight over to Expedition Everest. and rode that twice in a row with no wait!
By this time it was around 8:30pm and we indulged in popcorn, soda and ice cream at a booth right next to Expedition Everest. We loved that the ice cream snack options here were Mickey bars and Mickey cookies and cream sandwiches.
All snacked up, we headed toward Dinosaur where we caught another snack stop and snacked some more. This one offered bottle water.
We stumbled upon the dance party and boogied it out with Chip n Dale for a little bit. Super fun character interaction! There was even a 10-15 min span of just us and the workers hanging out with Chip n Dale.
We walked straight onto Dinosaur and rode that 2 times in a row. AWESOME!
We then snacked up some more and started heading toward Pandora. By this time it was a little past 9pm. We queued up for Na’vi River first. It was a complete walk on by this point.
I think the most incredible thing about After Hours was how many people wasn’t in the land. Epic shots of NO ONE walking around is probably the best by far for us. It was fascinating.
We then walked over to Flight of Passage. This one of course had a little bit of a wait but not too bad. When we arrived it was 9:22pm.
By 11pm, we picked up some more snacks and sat right in front of the Tree of Life. We enjoyed watching the projection show and awed at the fact that there were only 10-15 or so people doing the same exact thing as us. It was definitely a night to remember!
Again, we recommend this experience to anyone who doesn’t like crowds, is a night owl, loves the main rides, doesn’t mind half the attractions being closed and wants that feeling of having the park' “to themselves.” We would do this again in a heart beat!
Have you experienced one of these specialty ticket experiences? Would love to hear your experiences in the comments!
Thank you for reading! Happy travels :)