Disney After Hours is a great summer event that allows you to enjoy the Magic Kingdom after is closes. You feel like a VIP with the short lines and treats.
Thank you to Disney for the invite for attending the Disney After Hours event.
When I first moved to Florida I told myself that I wasn’t going to be a “Disney person”.
Disney World is a glorified amusement park. It’s too loud. It’s too busy. Lets not forget, it’s way too hot. It’s just some rides. It’s for kids.
OMG. I was so, so wrong.
I’ve have plenty of fun with my family visiting Disney World. My husband and I celebrated 1st anniversary/had a belated honeymoon soon after we moved from Boston. Then we took Autumn just before her 3rd birthday and she had the time of her life. It was so amazing to see her light up once she realized we were going to Disney. She loved the Dumbo Ride, the parades, the castle… EVERYTHING! I totally teared up while watching her happily watch Princesses perform at the castle. She was perched up on Price’s shoulders… gah! So perfect!
Then we went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both were so much fun and equally magical.
But, just because the kids have tons of fun, doesn’t mean it’s just for kids.
Moms’ Night Out!
My friend Melissa and I enjoyed a well deserved Moms’ Night Out this past weekend.
We share a fence so we are often passing our kids from 1 yard to another to let our kids play together. This gives us a chance for some nice solo time for a much needed break. You know, so we can do fun things like vacuuming or making dinner, without someone hounding us for a snack. Ah, the glamours SAHM life.
That just means that when we need a break, we need a real break. Time to kick back, have some tacos, margaritas, and tons of Disney World After Hours Fun!!!
We decided to head to Disney Springs to walk around & get dinner, before heading over to the Magic Kingdom.
Dinner in Disney Springs
It was my first time there so it was really exciting to see all the different shops and restaurants in Disney Springs!
There was a great energy to the place, with so many people around. (We did need to park across the street in a Disney corporate office parking lot as the garages were full. No big, but just added a few extra minutes to our walk over)
The mission of the night was to enjoy Tacos and Margaritas.
Frontera Cocina didn’t disappoint!!
I had been to Rick Bayless’ flagship restaurants, Frontera Grill, in Chicago years ago. It was an incredible meal and experience with fantastic service. So, I knew I needed to go to Frontera Cocina when I saw it was at Disney Springs.
I always suggest asking the server for suggestions since they want to show all the great food and drinks where they work. Plus, they have your back, they want you to have a great time.
Our server was wonderful with helping me pick out the perfect drink, as we chatted about what kind of drink I typically prefer. The Gin Agua Fresca was not something that I would have normally ordered, but it was so refreshing.
But the real winner of the night was the food!!!!
We started with the Toasted Pumpkin Seed “Hummus”, which is actually called Sikil Pak. That didn’t roll off the tongue so they simplified it to call it a “hummus”, which did the trick. It’s now one of their top sellers, which is understandable. I was hooked from the first bite. So glad that I didn’t go with my usual order of chips and guac.
Since we were craving tacos, we ordered their Carnitas, Carne Asada for making Soft Tacos, and Grilled Chicken for making Soft Tacos. They were all amazing dishes but the real star of the show were the Carnitas. Those fatty, well seasoned chunks of pork were perfectly caramelized on the outside, while being fork tender on the inside. My mouth is watering just thinking about those tacos again.
We left happy and stuffed!!! I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
No matter where you go in Disney Springs, I’m sure you will have a wonderful time.
Disney After Hours at the Magic Kingdom
We arrived to take the Ferry to the Magic Kingdom at the perfect time!
The fireworks started at 9.15 and we were about half way through the ferry ride when the first fireworks started. It was a really great experience to see the fireworks and kick off enjoy Disney After Hours.
Besides that, that Ferry was E-M-P-T-Y!! It was just so cool to be one of a handful of people getting a ride across the Seven Seas Lagoon.
We also, saw a bit of the Electrical Water Pageant that was going by at 9pm. A cast member was explaining the history of it while we waited for the Ferry. It was really cool because I had seen the Main Street Electrical Parade, prior to it moving to Disneyland, and this was the inspiration of that.
At 10pm, we enjoyed the Once Upon a Time Castle Show.
Moments from the classics, like Cinderella, Peter Pan, Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, and Beauty and the Beast, are projected on to the castle. It’s spell binding and attention getting with the perfected orchestrated music, images, and fireworks.
Once that wrapped up, the crowds dispersed and we had the park just for the event. It really felt like it was a special party and experience to see the park this quiet, yet still filled with so much excitement.
There are so many great rides to enjoy while attending the Disney After Hours event.
We kicked things off with a ride through the Haunted Mansion. It brought back so many memories from when I had first rode it as a kid. Over twenty years later, I’m still really thrilled by the fun special effects that are used. The dancing ghosts are my favorite.
From there we roamed back towards the center of the park, enjoying the hot summer night and quiet. It was just so cool that there were so few people walking around.
Peter Pan’s Flight always has a long line, so we took the opportunity to enjoy it. We just walked right up to it and got right on. Barely a minute wait!!!
Another must was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
Not only did we just have to wait for a few minutes, we ended up sitting in the very front!
My husband hates rollercoasters (barf!) so I wanted to also go to Space Mountain since it would be a long time before getting to go on it again. WE timed it perfectly as there as just a 10 minute wait. In reality, it was even less, I think it took longer to walk through the queue than the wait.
After enjoying our second roller coaster of the night, we decided it was time to treat ourselves to cap off the night. A Mickey Ice Cream is a must get when visiting the Magic Kingdom. (I also feel the same way about Dole Whips!)
Ice cream, popcorn, and bottled beverages (water & soda) are included in the admission of the event.
While my favorite Princess is Ariel (hello! mermaid tail tattoo!), I still enjoyed meeting Elena and Cinderella in Princess Fairytale Hall.
There was a little girl in front of us who was head over heels in love with getting to meet the Princesses. It was so adorable as she softly spoke to the princesses, as she met them. I did sorta feel guilty that Autumn wasn’t there as she is in “Princess Mode” now, but we’ll just have to plan to meet the princesses on our next visit.
Besides the rides that we went on, there are other great rides that are running for you to enjoy throughout the night.
Be sure to also check out others like Astro Orbiter, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, “it’s a small world”, Jungle Cruise, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Splash Mountain.
Knowing we still had a long ride back home, we decided to head back to Main Street to get some more pictures.
You can’t often get near empty pictures at the Magic Kingdom. So cool!
Melissa and I had such a great time getting to play around the Magic Kingdom during the Disney After Hours event.
It is a must for any Disney Fan – at any age.
Disney After Hours Highlights
- $119 (same price for adults and kids). $89 for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members
- Typ Hours are 10pm to 1am, however they do vary depending on the date, so confirm with your visit
- Admission starts at 7pm at the main entrance
- From 7-10pm, go to the attractions, shops that are closed during the event, save the others for after 10pm when there are no crowds
- Regular Park Admission is not required to attend the event
- Ice Creams and Bottled beverages, and Popcorn from stands throughout the park are included
- There are cast members out taking pictures so be sure to get a picture taken if you have a Photo Pass Package
Planning the Perfect Night for Disney After Hours
Based upon my experience with this event, and others, I suggest the following schedule to best enjoy your day and night while attending Disney After Hours
- If you are staying at a property for vacation, spend the day at the hotel enjoying the pool. Keep the day pretty mellow so that you have energy for the busy night ahead.
- Go to Disney Springs in the afternoon so that you can check out the shops and restaurants there. Enjoy an early dinner there. Take the bus from Disney Springs to the Contemporary Hotel, then walk. Alternatively, you can just drive to the Magic Kingdom. (depending on the time you arrive, you may need to pay for parking). ALWAYS CONFIRM THE OPERATING HOURS AND SCHEDULE PRIOR TO MAKING PLANS FOR USING THE BUSES.
- Time your arrival for shortly after 7pm so that you can maximize your time in the park. Check out the shops and attractions that will be closed for the event, after 10pm.
- Enjoy the fireworks. The crowds will really thin out after this time.
- At 10pm, the park is only open for those in attendance of the event. (Those just walking around without a lanyard will not be permitted on rides)
- Go to the rides that typically have the longest wait times during the day. If they are busy now, just move on to the next ride and circle back.
- Enjoy some snack and bottled water/soda throughout the night.
- And don’t forget to take plenty of pictures taken throughout the night
- Head back to your resort or home before 1am. If taking the bus back to your hotel or Disney Springs, confirm the schedule before you go!
While Disney provided me with 2 complementary tickets to the Disney After Hours event, in exchange for coverage of the night, all opinions expressed are my own.
As well, thank you to the wonderful chefs, mixologists, and servers at Frontera who treated us to such great food and service. While our meal was complementary (excluding gratuity), all opinions expressed are my own.
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