The Disney Internet world was turned upside down when a $149 after hours event was announced at the Magic Kingdom. Many fans felt it was crossing the line to charge for extra Extra Magic Hours and were not shy about it, but when is the Disney-verse ever shy about anything that?
I will not sugarcoat it, I was one of the many feeling a bit of an outrage about the Disney After Hours event, almost feeling like, to enjoy the Magic Kingdom anymore, you had to be part of the Disney 1%. Shortly before the tickets went on sale I, along with most of the Disney Bloggers in the Orlando area it seemed, decided to take part in the first night of this new event to see if it was really worth the $149.The original information that was given via the Walt Disney World site listed only a few of the major attractions with always frightening "and many more!" tagline for what other attractions could be experienced during the evening. The event ticket permitted guests into the Magic Kingdom starting at 7 p.m. which is definitely a plus because not only can guests experience the few attractions that are not open for the After Hours but also a chance to enjoy the Main Street Electrical Parade and see Wishes.As the clock got closer and closer to 11 p.m., park closing, most attractions were already posting very low if any wait times. This is normal for most nights in the park and usually gives most guests the ability to experience most attractions in a few minutes that during the busy day could have over an hour wait. But as soon as the clock did strike 11 p.m. the Cast Members started directing non-event guests out of the park and the longest wait became the ones for your choice of frozen treats and Coke products included with the event.
Approximately 3,000 guests were able to attend this event, as was told to me by multiple Cast Members. If you have ever been in the Magic Kingdom on a non-peak weekday in January, this still felt like a lot less. These photos are all taken during the event throughout the park so as you can see it really did feel like a "Ghost Park," as my friend put it.
But not only was the park empty, at every attraction we visited, we were met with the same sight: more Cast Members than guests!
My honest opinion of this event is, if you have the money and a limited amount of time do it, it will save you almost a full day of waiting in lines to do half the attractions you would be able to do normally. If you don't have the money or are like me and a local, if you go first thing in the morning or stay late in the evening you are able to still do most of these things with a minimal wait but you save about $149 worth of frozen treats and Coke products.
One note I will pass along is you are unable to do all the 26 attractions in the three hours, it is just not possible. I was able to do most of the attractions that normally have the longest wait times such as Peter Pan and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with no wait at all, but, if you try to squeeze in attractions like Mickey's PhilharMagic and Country Bear Jamboree that normally have no wait, you will miss out even more on the major E- Ticket attractions.