8-11 pm After Hours on arrival day with a 5:30 pm flight landing?

Is it too risky to book After Hours at Magic Kingdom on my arrival day? My flight is expected to land at 5:30 pm. I plan on taking the Magical Express to Pop Century. I have to wait at the airport for my luggage first because I’m traveling internationally.

Between deplaning, getting my luggage and getting through the airport, what time should I expect to get to Magical Express? And then how long might I need to wait to get onto a bus, and arrive at Pop Century?

I might also need to check in and get my magic band (it will not be mailed to my country). Then store my luggage and get myself to Magic Kingdom. Can I make it by 9 pm? The event is from 8-11 pm.

Or should I skip the event and the worry about not making it in time and wasting the extra money? I will have another day at Magic Kingdom. I would just like to get some attractions done that first night since the event allows guests to be there until 11 pm.

My post on timings might be helpful:

Specifically these bits - and in even more condensed form, my answer would be that 8.30 should be possible, and 9pm fairly reliable (the 4h recommendation below refers to getting to the HDDR rather than the MK).

  1. Q: We are flying from the UK as standby passengers, and the LGW-MCO is rather full, so we may end up coming via ATL/JFK/BOS. Obviously we clear immigration/customs during the layover but how much time should we then allow from landing to resort via DME, and (as it will be a domestic flight) is there a way of getting hold of the yellow bag tags so we can leave the luggage to be picked up for us and get a cab to the HDDR if short on time? A: Landed (international) 13.58, on gate 14.06, through immigration, with bags, on the airport train 14.36, boarded DME 14.47, departed 15.00, at AoA 15.27, check in by 15.50, in the room by 16.00. Yellow bag tags were unavailable as UK passengers but unnecessary.

  2. Q: Does getting to the 2030 HDDR from a 1720 international / 1840 domestic flight seem possible in the first place? Planned method is either DME + Minnie Van or cab straight from the airport, happy arriving at 2030. Seems a better bet than trying to hit HS before 2000…A: Managed to comfortably make it to MK by 16.50 from a 14.05 arrival, then on to the HDDR by 17.40 (35 min early) after 30 mins in the park. So in the region of 3h from arrival to HDDR should be possible but only if you’re near the door of the plane, the airport is quiet and the moons align on transport. 1720 to 2030 may just about have worked - but wouldn’t recommend trying it. I would leave a minimum of 4h and burn any extra time in the MK as we did.

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I’ve gotten stuck before in customs for more than an hour…I would not chance it–or at least not count on getting the full experience. But, I am not much of a risk taker. I also no longer trust planes to be on time after too many bad experiences. If it’s on time I consider that a bonus.

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I thought it was a great idea at first (land at 5 DAH MK at 9) then got nervous that something would happen with the flight so I changed the flight and booked another room for new arrival night through Priceline!!! Also changed departure day to a day earlier so it all evened out! Others have said it worked for them but I’m not that brave!


I think you may be cutting it close on the timing - depends on arriving on time and Customs going smoothly - 9pm is the earliest I think you’d make it.

Why not just wait and see how you feel that evening. You can always buy DAH tickets the day of the event.


Can I definitely buy DAH tickets on the day? If so, that would be an option to keep open.

As long as it doesn’t become Sold Out in advance. However, that’s not usually the case. Are you going during a peak time like Christmas or New Years?

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End of January.

I guess my current plan is to try to purchase a Disney After Hours ticket for that same day if I see that I have time to benefit from it. Otherwise, Magic Kingdom has EEMH on my planned Epcot day. I’ll postpone-and-later-cancel my Garden Grill reservation and skip Epcot Forever to instead hop to Magic Kingdom for Evening Extra Magic Hours until 10:00pm.

These are the hard decisions LOL.

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I would definitely NOT pay for an after hours event that I would be lucky to attend for 2 hours. It’s not worth it to me.



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It would be worth it to me because I’m trying to fit a lot into a limited visit without completely exhausting myself. I look at the cost as the total overall spread over the whole trip.

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