Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours Preview & Expectations

    Disney After Hours returns to Magic Kingdom tonight and we wanted to preview the event and set some of our expectations for the night. The paid event promises lower wait times and free snacks to guests who attend, and we wanted to go over some of the basics of the event and what we’re expecting to do!

    Pricing and Dates

    There are twelve Disney After Hours events scheduled at Magic Kingdom as of publish time, but we imagine that Disney will want to provide more After Hours events throughout 2023 if they prove to be successful.

    Guests can enter Magic Kingdom with a Disney After Hours ticket as early as 7pm, but the event officially runs from 10pm to 1am.

    Purchase tickets: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets/events/


    Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours Dates
    Price (Excludes Tax)Price for Passholders and 
    Disney Vacation Club 
    Members (Excludes Tax)
    Monday, January 9, 2023$135$105
    Monday, January 16, 2023$159$129
    Monday, January 23, 2023$145$115
    Thursday, February 16, 2023$159$129
    Monday, February 20, 2023$159$129
    Monday, February 27, 2023$155$125
    Thursday, March 2, 2023$159$129
    Monday, March 6, 2023$155$125
    Monday, March 13, 2023$155$125
    Thursday, March 16, 2023$155$125
    Monday, March 20, 2023$155$125
    Monday, March 27, 2023$149$119

    Attractions

    While we’re still waiting on an “official” list from Disney World, here are the attractions that will be open based on posted operating hours:

    • Astro Orbiter
    • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin*
    • Space Mountain*
    • Tomorrowland Speedway
    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
    • “it’s a small world”*
    • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
    • Mad Tea Party
    • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
    • Peter Pan’s Flight*
    • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train*
    • The Barnstormer
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    • Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid
    • Jungle Cruise*
    • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Swiss Family Treehouse
    • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
    • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
    • Country Bear Jamboree
    • Splash Mountain (closes permanently January 23, 2023)
    • Haunted Mansion*

    *officially announced for Disney After Hours

    Expectations and Priorities

    We typically wait until after an event to review it, but we wanted to try a preview to see how the reality matched up with our expectations. As with any Disney After Hours event, our expectations are to experience very low wait times and a nearly empty park. In theory, most of the attractions should be a walk-on with little to no wait (read: less than 10 minutes). That said, some attractions will demand a longer wait than others, even with a very limited capacity for the event.

    Unlike the Disney’s Hollywood Studios event which had a new element to it this year, Magic Kingdom is pretty standard. Well, until TRON Lightcycle Run opens, that is, but we don’t have any info on opening date or if it’ll be added to the After Hours offering. For this preview, we’re going to not only share what our anticipated posted wait times will be for each attraction, but we’re also going to rank each attraction in terms of high, medium, or low priority. Becuase there are so many more attractions at Magic Kingdom than at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will likely find yourself skipping some attractions, which is why we want to prioritize. We’ll also share our reasoning for what priority we give each attraction.

    Before we get into the priorities, let’s talk about some of the factors that we’ll take into account in general.

    • Average wait time during the day – Perhaps the biggest factor in determining value for any attraction is the average wait time that the ride has during a normal operating day. That’s a direct way to determine time saved during the event. Basically, a higher wait time during the day means a higher priority during the event.
    • Experience length – Perhaps the best example of experience length needing to be a factor is with Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios. The average wait time may have been 5 minutes when we entered the queue, but the full experience took 24 minutes and cuts into a three-hour event – especially if you want to ride two or more times.
    • Expected wait time during the event – We expect that most rides will be some sort of standard fraction of the wait that they would post during the day, but if one ride is particularly popular )or operating at a capacity reduction), you might want to reconsider putting it high on your list. We’ll know more when we have average wait time data from the first event.
    • Location in the park – Put succinctly, don’t waste time walking. If you just got done with Splash Mountain, a 10-minute wait at Big Thunder is probably a better option than a 5-minute wait at Space Mountain.
    • Personal preference – Last, but certainly not least is your own personal preference. We didn’t ride all of the rides at our Hollywood Studios After Hours event (even though we might’ve been able to) because we prioritized riding Rise of the Resistance three times in a row. If you really like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, who cares that we named it as a “medium priority” attraction?

    High Priority Attractions

    These are the rides that we’re going to prioritize during our night. We might not get to everything on this list, and we might end up riding some of the medium-priority attractions instead, but these are the rides that meet most or all of our considerations above.

    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – This is the big one. Magic Kingdom’s most popular ride and longest average wait time will even demand a wait during Disney After Hours. Unlike our experience of riding Rise of the Resistance three times in a row with no wait at Hollywood Studios, we expect to wait for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and will likely keep it for the end of the event.
    • Peter Pan’s Flight – One of these days I’ll write about the “value” of attractions (essentially wait vs ride time). The value is low on Peter Pan’s Flight, making it a high priority during an event when wait times should be minimal. With no Lightning Lane, we expect the standby line to move well and should be able to ride with minimal experience time.
    • Splash Mountain – This is a limited-time magic After Hours offering and will be closed for most of the After Hours events which probably means that you will be forced to skip it.
    • Jungle Cruise – Jungle Cruise is another high-average wait attraction during the day that will be wonderful to experience low wait times during After Hours.
    • Space Mountain – Space Mountain used to be a pay-per-ride Individual Lightning Lane offering, essentially meaning that Disney placed this at #2 in terms of guests’ priority.
    • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Big Thunder will be closed for refurbishment during our event but is always fun to ride at night and especially with low waits.
    • Haunted Mansion – A Magic Kingdom classic would be tough to skip or deprioritize even though the full experience time might be “long”.
    • Astro Orbiter – This is a high priority because of how brutal it is to wait for it during the day. It’s a slow-loading attraction and if there’s a short line, we’d recommend taking a spin!
    • Pirates of the Caribbean – Another classic that seems hard to skip with a 5-minute wait.

    Medium Priority Attractions

    We’d like to think of the medium-priority attractions as those that we’ll be happy to jump in line for, but not ones that we’d wait 15 minutes for. These attractions may be the perfect rides to jump in line for during the 7pm to 10pm mix-in time. You aren’t taking away from your event time, and these attractions typically have a lower wait during the evening. While we’ll be focused on the high-priority attractions during the event, the medium and low-priority attractions will be something to keep an eye on before the event officially starts.

    • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – We’ll probably jump on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at some point during the evening, but we won’t go out of our way for it.
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – A quick and easy ride, Winnie the Pooh is another great ride to keep an eye on during the mix-in time.
    • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid – We’re starting to get into the bottom half of attractions in terms of average wait. What we mean by that is that the following attractions typically have an average wait time below the park-wide average wait time. Again, keep an eye on this during the mix-in.
    • Tomorrowland Speedway – The Tomorrowland Speedway and Tomorrowland PeopleMover will be very low-wait attractions during the event, but might be low-enough-wait attractions during the 9pm hour as part of a Tomorrowland strategy that includes Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin just before the event kicks off
    • Tomorrowland PeopleMover
    • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Another attraction that should have a 15-minute wait or less during the waning hours of normal operations. Consider pairing with Journey of the Little Mermaid or Winnie the Pooh during fireworks when wait times drop.
    • Mad Tea Party

    Low Priority Attractions

    Low-priority attractions are rides that we won’t give a second look to throughout the evening. These are all relatively accessible during a normal day at Magic Kingdom and not something that you need to waste precious After Hours time on.

    • Mickey’s Philharmagic
    • “it’s a small world”
    • The Barnstormer
    • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
    • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
    • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
    • Swiss Family Treehouse
    • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

    Wait Time Predictions

    In this final part of our article, we’ll offer some wait time predictions before we head out to Magic Kingdom for the After Hours event tonight. We’ll also compare these wait time predictions to the actual wait times posted throughout the event in a review article to be posted this week. These ar the average wait times we expect to experience during Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom:

    • Astro Orbiter – 10 minutes
    • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – 10 minutes
    • Space Mountain – 15 minutes
    • Tomorrowland Speedway – 8 minutes
    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – 8 minutes
    • “it’s a small world” – 5 minutes
    • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 5 minutes
    • Mad Tea Party – 5 minutes
    • Mickey’s PhilharMagic – 5 minutes
    • Peter Pan’s Flight – 15 minutes
    • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – 5 minutes
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 25 minutes
    • The Barnstormer – 5 minutes
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 5 minutes
    • Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid – 5 minutes
    • Jungle Cruise – 15 minutes
    • Pirates of the Caribbean – 10 minutes
    • Swiss Family Treehouse – 5 minutes
    • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – 5 minutes
    • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – 5 minutes
    • Country Bear Jamboree – 5 minutes
    • Splash Mountain – 15 minutes
    • Haunted Mansion – 10 minutes

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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