Disney After Hours questions


#1

My wife and I were chatting about our May 2020 trip with our family. She had just watched a DIsney Food Blog video where they talked about Disney After Hours. I already knew about it, but this was the first time she had been introduced to it.

Anyhow, she was wondering if it might be a good idea for us to consider it for one night (presuming it is available) either at HS or AK (depending on availability). If they include SWGE rides in it, I’m heavily considering it for HS over AK (if we do it).

It is expensive, so the thought is that we would drop a day from our tickets (which saves a tiny bit in ticket pricing, but significantly more in food costs). We would spend the day doing other things, eating at the rental house, and then head in to HS for AH.

Here is where my questions come in.

  1. It is quite a bit cheaper for AP holders. I plan to get an AP, although I won’t actually ACTIVATE it until the day we arrive. How does this impact the ability to book it? Will I pay up front the higher cost, but then I can get a refund back? Or will the fact that I have an unactivated AP still allow me to book it at the lower cost?
  2. Does the AP discount only apply to me, or can I pay for EVERYONE’s DH entry as an AP holder and apply the discount accordingly?
  3. How quickly do the AH parties fill up? Basically, do you need to be ready to buy the moment it is announced?
  4. What do you suppose the chances are they will include SWGE rides?
  5. For those who have done the AH party, considering we are definitely more ride-focused when it comes to AK and HS, do you feel it would be worth it?

#2

Well, no-one knows what the impact of SWGE is going to be or how Disney is going to handle it. I would personally be very surprised if DAH at HS includes SWGE. That’s far too good a value. I think SWGE is going to have to have its own arrangements — both from a practical perspective and a commercial one.

I’ve done all three DAH events and — for me — they were absolutely worth every cent of your little American dollars.

The crowds are not crowds.

At the beginning of the AK event the wait for FOP was basically the same as a typical FPP wait would be, i.e. twenty minutes. This was partly because the standby line was still full of day-guests who’d been there for an hour and were still filtering through. But after they’d cleared out — half an hour after DAH formally began — it was pretty much a walk-on. As was everything else in the park.

At the beginning of the HS event the wait for SDD was about 20-30 minutes but this was because everyone attending the event wanted to ride it! But after half an hour it was down to maybe 15 mins. In the three hour event I managed to ride it six times. Everything else was a walk-on.

The MK event is different because MK is so much bigger. In the three hours I think I rode twelve rides, including 7DMT twice. Most rides were walk-ons pretty much, except 7DMT where I waited about 20 minutes the first time, but about five the second.

As you are not staying on site, and if you don’t decide to book a throwaway room, then you are going to have difficulty getting FPPs for FOP and SDD and 7DMT. So you either get in line, or you pay up — or you get up early in the morning and rope drop them.

Have you ridden FOP yet? Everything everyone says about it is true: it is awesome. For this reason I would probably rank AK as the top DAH. But I know you like rollercoasters and I might go so far as to say that SDD is my favourite rollercoaster on property — it’s so smooth and fun, with great views and the colours are mesmerising at night. So I would rank it a very close second DAH.

DAH at MK feels like a bit of a luxury. You can get plenty done at MK on your own during the day if you know what you’re doing. The only tricky part is 7DMT, but a PPO breakfast or a rope-drop or whatever should do the trick. PP is vastly over-rated in my view, but you can get that done early morning, too. Everything else you can get FPPs for, including day-of, and use touring plans and whatnot.


#3

Last year I had bought an AP from DIS, but hadn’t activated it yet. I was able to book the AP discount for DAH at MK for my family of 3. There was a limit on how many DAH tix I could buy with my discount, but I don’t recall for certain the number - I’d guess 4, but at 3 I wasn’t pushing the limit so it didn’t matter to me. I was able to book at the discounted rate immediately without any issues, but I had also bought the AP from DIS already to do FP+ at 60 days.

Last year DAH was not selling fast. Right now they don’t have dates for anything beyond February-ish I believe (certainly nothing in the summer where 180 day windows are starting to roll into). SWGE will likely be a totally different beast though & would sell out fast, if offered.

We did DAH our last night at MK last summer and loved it. Definitely worth the $ and a unique experience to end our week at Disney. MK has a ton more rides than the other 2 parks though so it may depend on how many times you’d like to ride big rides at the other parks. If you’re content with 1 ride of each, it’s likely overkill…


#4

I don’t think anyone has spotted one from any of the overhead photos that people have taken, but the most sensible thing seems to me to be for SWGE to have its own entrance. Or maybe a one-way exit directly into HS, but a separate entrance.

As I’m understanding it, SWGE is right at the back of HS and how on earth you manage the flood of people and the lines they create I don’t know. Well, UOR knows because they’ve been through this with WWOHP, which is also at the back of their parks — and which does not have a separate entrance, so what do I know about theme park design and management.

It seems very likely that Disney would offer some kind of exclusive paid-for access late at night, but I am sure that would be its own event. And it won’t be cheap. @ryan1 would do well to sell some of his children, both to mitigate the cost, and to reduce the number of tickets required.


#5

The early thoughts are the entrance will by Muppets and the exit will be by Toy Story Land. So you’ll have a one way flow, at least in the early days of SGE. After awhile that may change and it becomes a more normal double entrance option, but…that will likely be awhile.


#6

Hmm. I thought by now someone would have held hostage one of the Disney execs and proceeded to subject them to the “Chinese Water Torture” to get answers!

We have NOT done FOP. It is for us, our most anticipated ride experience. Pandora was still under construction our last visit to Disney, so I’m excited to ride it for sure. I’m anticipating having to rope drop it and/or long lines. So a DAH event at AK would certainly make that concern go away. On the other hand, it seems like we’d end up paying for DAH at AK just for FOP and EE (which usually has short lines anyhow). Not really much else at AK. It is our least favorite park, overall, which makes the idea of paying for DAH there a little painful!

Yeah. We wouldn’t bother with DAH at MK. We already have two park days for MK planned, and even if we drop one, most likely we’ll have done what we want at MK anyhow. Part of MK is the atmosphere, which would seem to me somewhat spooky if there were no actual crowds!

Okay. This is good to know. There will be 7 of us total, although, I only really need to pay for DAH for 5 of us. My son and his wife are on their own when it comes to tickets, etc! Even if I can only buy 4 at the discounted price, that just means one at the higher price.

I just checked, and they have dates published out through April. It looks like HS events are every Saturday, and AK events are either Tuesdays or Wednesdays.


#7

Hmm. Good idea. I wonder what the going rate is for teenagers? I don’t think I’ll sell our then-DS10 because, well, he’s our youngest and therefore the cutest and favorite! :wink: (Although, he’s also probably worth the most!)

Maybe they will have a HS DAH and on a separate night, a Star Wars After Hours…which will probably be like $200/person or something crazy!


#8

There is an extent to which DAH at AK is a one-hit wonder — that’s true.

But that hit is mind-blowingly good. And you get to do it more than once. And — this was a big plus for me — you can walk though the (totally empty, once the day guests have gone) standby line and see all the detailed theming, and the lab and the avatar in the tank.

But don’t forget you have the visual feast of Pandora at night, without competing for space with other human beings. And I’m personally a fan of NRJ. (Of course, you need to see Pandora during the day, too. They’re different experiences. And you have to eat at Satu’li because the food is the best QS on property. It was not open during DAH.)

I’m surprised you didn’t mention HS and SDD.

This is very true. It was kinda weird walking around a dark, virtually empty MK. And definitely spooky at times. I remember the line for PTOC was literally empty and I was walking through the caverns all by myself. Scary!

I wouldn’t do DAH at MK again — which is not to say I regret it or it’s a bad idea, but just that it was enough. Ditto MNSSHP, which is DAH with a (good) parade and (indifferent) fireworks.

I can imagine doing MVMCP again one day but because of the visual delight. It’s certainly not a night for checking off rides. Although it is very expensive because — to do it “right” — you have to pay $125 admission plus $69 for the firework party (for the viewing area) and $99 (?) for the parade party (for the viewing area).

As regards DAH at AK and HS, I probably won’t do them again because staying on property should make that unnecessary. But if I weren’t, then I would.

If there were a DAH at SWGE event I’d sign up for that, except I can’t imagine it won’t be anything other than unaffordably expensive. If they make it $125 like the others, everyone in the world will pay it. They have to pitch it high just to reduce demand.


#9

Yeah, now. Wait until puberty kicks in.


#10

Yes. This is true. It is tricky because if we do AK DAH, it would mean dropping our AK day. This means that the other aspects of AK (KS, for example) would be out. This isn’t a big deal for us, but since our daughter-in-law has never been, I wouldn’t want her to necessarily miss out. Or, for that matter, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo: The Musical, etc.

I expect SDD to be an okay ride. But nowhere near the experience of EE and RnRC. As a family of roller coaster enthusiasts, most of the coasters we ride could eat SDD for breakfast! Not that we won’t enjoy it. I expect we will. But it wouldn’t be worth a DAH event for it, to me. Of course, a HS DAH does give us Star Tours, ToT, and RnRC…and presumably the new Runaway Railway ride. One of the SWGE rides would be the icing on the cake, as it were.

I’m the youngest of seven kids. And what I’ve learned is, “Once the baby of the family, ALWAYS the baby of the family!” :slight_smile:


#11

I’ll ride EE and RNR once in a trip, but I’m not a huge fan of either. Nor Space Mountain. EE is at the limit of my motion sickness tolerance, and RNR and SM are at the limit of my getting-bashed-about tolerance.

7DMT is smooth and has lovely views and a couple of exciting fast bits. SDD is smooth and has lovely views and a couple of exciting plunges. And they both have delightful theming. They are must-dos for me.

BTMRR is never as good as I remember it being. Partly, perhaps, because I remember it being at DLP, where it is much better. (Ditto Space Mountain.)

It’s not a rollercoaster but, for the record, Dinosaur is awful and I’m not riding it again. I’m going to try Primeval Whirl.

I’ve very excited about Tron.


#12

I’ve done Primeval Whirl. I mean, if there is no wait, fine, but kind of a waste of a ride, really. And if you experience motion sickness, the spinning has the potential to be…well…upsetting!

I found Dinosaur to be unmemorable, for the most part.

Yes. Tron may move itself up to the top roller coaster spot at Disney!

See, for me, if a coaster as “lovely views” that’s not a selling point! :slight_smile: Quite the opposite, actually. Still, as I said, I’m sure I’ll find it enjoyable. But not, in and of itself, worth paying for any kind of upcharge event.


#13

I don’t mind a bit of spinning. I’m fine with ASS and TSMM. And BLYSRS. But I wouldn’t do the teacups or carousel or the up-in-the-air one at Tomorrowland. (Astroblaster?)


#14

I actually enjoy SDD more than RNR or EE. I will do each one once during a trip, but SDD I could do over and over and over (and did during DAH!).


#15

The only question I can answer for sure is the one about how quickly it books up.

If the DHS one includes the Star Wars rides, it will book up in less than a nanosecond.

Ordinarily you would still want to book as quickly as possible. Like everything else, when they first introduce something, you can get away with waiting. But as it’s popularity increases, it becomes harder to book.

You see this happening with Tours. Some tours book up almost 180 days ahead, newer ones don’t but then start to catch up in popularity.


#16

Well, hopefully I can get my time-altering machine working by then! Or maybe I can just borrow Santa Clause’! :wink:


#17

I love RNR and EE too, but there is something about SDD that is fabulous for my almost 45 year old self. We rode it 9 times during EMM in December, I cannot do that with RNR or EE. I love that new coaster, it is much more fun than I ever expected!


#18

Primeval Whirl is a ton of fun, according to me. The other 6 people in my traveling party don’t agree. It’s the opposite of smooth. It’s herky-jerky and a lot spinny with some ups and downs. You have to really like the people riding with you because they will be in your lap. and vise-versa.


#19

I have done DAH at MK and while it was fantastic, it is easy for us to see everything we want in MK with 2 regular day admissions. So that is out for my trip coming up with the kids. I also have done EMM at HS which was well worth the money. I gave my kids the choice for our upcoming trip- DAH at MK, AK, or HS or EMM at HS. They both decided DAH at HS was the way to go. We love AK, but don’t think that DAH provides enough in comparison with the other 2 DAH events. HS will let us ride TOT, RNRC, ST, SDD, TSMM, and ASS multiple times and is the perfect first night in WDW after moving over in the afternoon from UOR.


#20

Must. Control. Immature. Self…uhh…can’t help it…

Is there normally a lot of spinning involved in riding ASS?