"Disney After Hours"...for the low price of $149/person...

Monday, March 21, 2016 7:47 PM

Multiple WDW guides are reporting a new Magic Kingdom after closing event called "Disney After Hours". For several select dates this April and May, the MK will remain open for three hours after park closing for this ticketed event. The cost will be $149 a person.

I find this creative and just another experiment for WDW to see where new potential revenue streams can come from. At that price point, I can't imagine it would take that many guests for the park to break even and cover the operating costs for three additional hours of operation.

I could see this concept just expanding if successful, which I think it will be. Is it just a matter of time that extra magic hours follows and becomes an up-charge?

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Monday, March 21, 2016 10:23 PM

My two cents, for what they're worth: Extra Magic Hours will remain as a "free" benefit for staying on property. It allows the company to draw a distinction between "free" benefits and upcharge events like Disney After Hours.

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Monday, March 21, 2016 10:55 PM

These after hours events are really where Disney seems to clean up. And this one literally requires no prep or event staff, it's just a longer operating day. If the tourists are willing to essentially pay for a second ticket just to stay late, Disney is silly to not do it.
All they have to do is add some entertainment not normally offered in a regular operating day and people will go nuts for it.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 12:10 AM

Yeah, people will pay it. I mean, I can't believe they pay for the Halloween and Christmas events, so this seems obvious.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 8:16 AM

And events like "Mickey's Not So Scary..." cut into and shorten the regular day by a few hours, so I like this after-hours concept better.
We looked into having our club's national annual event at Disney and they toured and entertained us for part of a day at Animal Kingdom. We could have a huge, private party in a portion of the park after closing time with those rides, food, booze, dancing, and entertainment available. It turned out to be too expensive for the size of our group, but otherwise it sounded awesome, and I think it's a fairly large business there. So, if they're used to staying up late anyway with things like that and Extra Magic, why not wring a few bucks out of it?

I would actually consider this, depending on the exclusivity, and if the time was a little longer. But if I paid 149 bucks and the place was as busy or busier than normal I'd have to say something. It seems the price is set to make sure that doesn't happen.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 8:52 AM

Mouseplanet notes that the first Thursday After Hours would be offered, the park closes at 11 pm, with the DAH running to 2 am, pretty much removing families with children from the equation. They also speculate that, with Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light show and nighttime safaris coming online, WDW might choose to close Magic Kingdom earlier in the evening one or two days during the week.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:00 AM

I can't see them closing Magic Kingdom early just for the new Animal Kingdom nighttime offerings. Outside of the 7pm closures for the separate ticket events, I think the earliest closures there are 8pm in the slow season. I can't see it going earlier than that.

Anyone else remember the MK "E-Ride Nights" in the 90s, which was essentially the same concept? The only difference: admission was (I believe) $15.00 per person.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:00 AM

I've been to a few of the IAAPA private events at the MK (and other parks) and having the park pretty much to yourself (attraction walk-ons, or close to) is totally worth the experience.

I did the Merry Very Christmas Party event (whatever the hell it is called) last year with my family and I was disappointed in the crowd and how many guests were in the park. It felt just as busy as during the day.

Perhaps that is just false expectation, but at $149 a pop, I would hope that tickets are limited so the park doesn't feel crowded or at least all of the attractions are at or close to a walk on. Otherwise I can see some serious backlash.

Having said that, I'm guessing that the MK can have a good 7,500 people in park before attraction lines start to even form.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:02 AM

slithernoggin said:

Mouseplanet notes that the first Thursday After Hours would be offered, the park closes at 11 pm, with the DAH running to 2 am, pretty much removing families with children from the equation.

You'd be shocked how many parents tote their exhausted, miserable children around those parks in the middle of the night during Extra Magic Hours. The only thing more shocking is when I see toddlers and pre-school aged children walking around Halloween Horror Nights at Universal.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:25 AM

This is now available on the WDW website. Some attractions, free ice cream novelties and bottled water, limited number of guests.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 9:36 AM

I'm curious what the "limited number" is. For me to shell out more for a three hour experience than I would for an entire 12+ hour operating day, I would hope that I would truly have the place to myself. Even then, there is no way I would spend money on this. But there are plenty who will.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 9:40 AM

They're being coy with the actual number.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 11:54 AM

If the number of guests is limited enough to have no lines I would do this if my trip was only a couple days. Probably not worth it to me on a week long trip though. I like upcharges like this. It is available to those who want to take part but does not diminish anything (ex, shorter regular park hours) for those who chose not to take part.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 12:39 PM

Krafty said:

I like upcharges like this. It is available to those who want to take part but does not diminish anything (ex, shorter regular park hours) for those who chose not to take part.

Only if you look at it from the perspective of what the old hours were.

But the reality is that the park extended their hours...for people willing to pay.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 1:46 PM

Each park has something that's a little harder to get on in a reasonable time, sure, but after being here for a few years, I'm surprised to find that a "crowded" park doesn't mean there are long lines for everything. I'm always reminded of this when friends or relatives come, not prepared to use Fastpass or whatever. Outside of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Test Track (at least until Soarin' reopens), Toy Story Midway Mania and infrequently, Expedition Everest, are your FP-difficult attractions. Beyond that, I can't say I've really waited for anything longer than a half-hour, and the above can be had for under an hour if you do them at opening.

I guess what I'm saying is that it feels to me like they're selling something most valuable to people who don't want to even think about any of this. I admit that under different circumstances I may fit in that category.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 3:21 PM

If I didn't live in Orlando with an Annual Pass and the WDW thing was a once in a lifetime or once every ten years trip, there is a chance I would consider it. I liken it to my one and only trip to California where I was planning to purchase the Flashpass at Magic Mountain. I wound up not needing it - but I was prepared to pay for it to maximize my day.

At the end of the day, it's an optional offering. Which is why I don't know why the hardcore Disney folks are crying so much about it. It's a win for those who want to do it, a huge win for gaining some special event $$ for Disney, and doesn't affect those who choose not to participate. It's not like the place is shutting down at 5pm every day for this.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 3:27 PM

I think it's because the hardcore Disney rats think they're entitled to more pixie dust because they're hardcore. They feel left out. Not that the coaster enthusiast community would know anything about that.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:16 PM

BrettV said:

the hardcore Disney folks are crying so much about it.

Because they're pricing the middle class out of optional add-on events just to make more money! It's not fair!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 9:01 PM

Jeff said:
Not that the coaster enthusiast community would know anything about that.

I still say even the worst enthusiasts aren't as bad as some of the Disney fanboys.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 10:57 PM

Theme Park University has this piece on Magic Kingdom E-Ride Nights, which ran, apparently, from 1997 to 2004. Similar to Disney After Hours and priced at $12.00.

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