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Monday, March 28, 2016

Magic Kingdom's latest 'Disney After Hours' event basically charges $50 an hour for rides and ice cream

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 1:56 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA DISNEY
  • Photo via Disney
Disney World recently raised the price for their one-day, one-park ticket, but now there’s another option that is even more expensive and offers even less time in the park.

Continuing Disney's tradition of less for more, earlier this month the company announced that Magic Kingdom would begin a new event called “Disney After Hours.”

For $149 (no discount for children) guests can enjoy Magic Kingdom after the park officially closes to regular daytime guests. The new event runs on select nights from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. after Magic Kingdom closes, but guests to the after-hours event can enter the park at 7 p.m.

Attractions will be open with shorter lines due to the event’s smaller, limited amount of tickets. On top of enjoying a less crowded Magic Kingdom, guests will also be able to enjoy ice cream and bottled beverages.

This isn’t the first time Disney has offered an after-hours separately ticketed event. Magic Kingdom used to host an event called “E-Ticket Nights” or “E-Ride Nights” where select sections of the park and select headliner attractions were open. Those events, which ended by the mid-2000s, included an extra three hours in the park for around $13 and were only open to guests staying on-site. That event was limited to 5,000 guests (Magic Kingdom can hold roughly 100,000 guests); there’s no word on whether the new $149 after-hours event will feature a similar number of tickets.

If staying out until 2 a.m. just to get a shorter wait for Space Mountain isn’t for you, then there is another new option. A new “Disney Early Morning Magic” event appeared unannounced on the Disney Parks website days after the After Hours event was announced. The pre-opening morning event, listed at $69 for adults and $49 for children but with no tickets on sale yet, will offer guests a 75-minute jump on regular park admission with unlimited access to three popular attractions in Fantasyland (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight). Each of the attractions is known for long lines during regular park hours and often see FastPass ride reservations fill up well over three weeks out (on-site guests can make their FastPass reservations 60 days out with off-site gaining access 30 days out of their visit date).

Along with access to the three popular attractions, guests at the Early Morning event will be given a buffet breakfast in Pinocchio’s Village Haus. The breakfast buffet will run from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. The exclusive access to the attractions will end at 9 a.m. when regular day guests are allowed into the park. Guests at the Early Morning Magic event will be issued identifying stickers. This will mean guests entering Magic Kingdom before the official opening to dine at one of the signature restaurants will not have access to the rides.

While the After Hours event will allow guests to enter Magic Kingdom without regular park admission, the early morning event does require regular park admission. Along with these events, Magic Kingdom will still offer the regular Extra Magic Hours for on-site guests. Those events include access to the park before or after the stated operating hours and are limited to guests staying on-site at Walt Disney World. Currently, those events are free, but they were mentioned in a recent survey as one of the listed benefits of a possible $15 resort fee.

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