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Disney Extended Evening Theme Park Hours vs. After Hours

April 12, 2023

Disney theme parks are always magical, but it is extra special to enjoy them at night and with lower crowds!  Currently, there are two ways to visit the theme parks for a few extra hours at night: Extended Evening Theme Park Hours and Disney After Hours events.  Let’s take a look at the differences between the two!

Who Is Eligible?

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours are exclusive to guests staying at Disney Deluxe Resorts and DVC Resorts.  This includes guests at Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, and Shades of Green on Walt Disney World.

Any guest can purchase a ticket to Disney After Hours.

Which Parks Can You Visit?

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run at Hollywood Studios is one of the attractions available during Disney After Hours.

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours primarily take place in Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.  On occasion, extended evening hours are offered for Hollywood Studios, but that’s rather rare.  Extended evening hours are available through the end of 2023 with Magic Kingdom typically being on Wednesdays and EPCOT on Mondays.  

Disney After Hours events are available for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Typhoon Lagoon.  Dates for Magic Kingdom run through March 27, 2023 while dates for Hollywood Studios go through June 28, 2023.  Dates for EPCOT are June 1 through August 24, 2023, and dates for Typhoon Lagoon are May 20 to September 2, 2023.

How Much Does It Cost?

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours are included as a complimentary benefit of staying at a Deluxe or DVC resort.  However, you still need a valid theme park ticket and park reservation for the park you are visiting for extended evening hours unless you have a park hopper or annual pass.  With a park hopper or annual pass, you can visit the park you reserved first and then park hop for extended evening hours.  For example, if you have a reservation for Hollywood Studios but would like to go to extended evening hours at EPCOT, you’ll have to visit Hollywood Studios first and then visit EPCOT in the evening.

After Hours at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios range in cost from $145 to $159 or $99 to $129 for annual passholders and eligible DVC members. After Hours at Typhoon Lagoon are $70 for children ages 3 to 9 years old and $75 for adults. Annual passholders and DVC members get a $16 discount on tickets to After Hours at Typhoon Lagoon.

What Is Included?

Indulge in as many Mickey’s premium ice cream bars as you would like at an after hours event!

With Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, you get two extra hours in the park with lower wait times for attractions.  For EPCOT, this means that you have another opportunity to join a virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at 6pm!  For Magic Kingdom, you will soon be able to join a virtual queue for TRON Lightcycle / Run at 6pm! You can find a list of attractions available at extended evening hours events on the Walt Disney World website.  Note that most food and beverage or merchandise locations are not open during these hours.   

Disney After Hours gives you three extra hours in the park with lower wait times for attractions.  As a bonus, you can enter the park earlier than the official start time of the event.  For example, you can enter Magic Kingdom at 7pm even though the after hours officially begin at 10pm!  After hours events include popcorn, Mickey’s premium ice cream bars, Mickey’s premium ice cream sandwiches, fruit bars, and soda or water.  You can purchase other food and beverages at select locations.  For the Typhoon Lagoon events, you’ll find a DJ dance party with characters. EPCOT and Hollywood Studios events also feature character appearances.

All in all, if you are staying at a deluxe resort or DVC resort and already have a theme park ticket or annual pass, it may be better to attend the complimentary extended evening hours for Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.  You can always purchase your own treats and soda for way less than the cost of an after hours ticket!  

If you don’t have a theme park ticket or prefer Hollywood Studios or Typhoon Lagoon, you may consider skipping a regular park day and attend Disney After Hours instead.  Either way, both options are a great way to enjoy shorter wait times for attractions!

Book a reservation through the DVC Rental Store, and experience Extended Evening Theme Park Hours or Disney After Hours!

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