Which Disney Ticketed Event Is Best for You?
Let’s face facts. Walt Disney World vacations have grown more expensive since the pandemic. Sure, so has everything else, but your vacation budget has limits.
For this reason, you should pick carefully when planning the timing of your next vacation. Part of this decision should involve the available after-hours events as well.
Which Walt Disney World ticketed event is right for you? Read to find out!
Disney After Hours
Disney currently hosts five After Hours ticketed events, most of which are exclusive to Magic Kingdom.
However, Disney After Hours is the exception, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios occasionally hosts these events.
The core concept of both ticketed events is that you can stay after the park officially closes to other guests.
During the average day, Magic Kingdom hosts nearly 60,000 guests. That number drops to a few thousand on nights with Disney After Hours.
You must pay at least $99 per adult for these sorts of exclusive events and sometimes as much as $199.
However, you’re buying quick access to your favorite attractions. It’s a good trade.
During our most recent Disney After Hours visit, I experienced roughly the same number of attractions that I had during a VIP Tour the previous day.
One of those options costs several thousand dollars. The other was $99 the day I visited. So it’s a terrific value.
The difference with Disney After Hours is that you don’t get anything else as a bonus. You’re basically paying for park access when few will be there.
Many of the other events we’ll discuss provide additional amenities that make the after-hours tickets that much more appealing.
With the basic Disney After Hours, you don’t get any of that.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Perhaps no other Disney ticketed event holds the same appeal as this Halloween Party.
Disney starts the event in August, nearly three months before the actual holiday. That speaks volumes about its innate popularity.
Oh, I couldn’t possibly list them all. Magic Kingdom hosts exclusive events and character greetings during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP).
MNSSHP comes with its own nighttime fireworks presentation plus several shows at Tomorrowland and the Cinderella Castle stage.
There’s even a Hocus Pocus show that allows park guests to go amok (amok amok). Plus, some attractions receive holiday overlays.
Oh, and did I mention the candy? Oh yes, you’re trick-or-treating the whole time you’re at Magic Kingdom! Of course, all the candy is free with MNSSHP admission!
The biggest con is the price. We’re only three years removed from Disney selling a ticket to all but one MNSSHP for a cost of $299.
Alas, Disney switched CEOs during the pandemic. The new one has jacked up the prices rather than offering discount incentives for frequent guests.
Source: CNBC.comNow, you could pay as much as $199 for Halloween admission to the event.
While I would argue that the price is worth it, I recognize it’s a deal breaker for some.
Disney Villains After Hours
This event falls somewhere between Disney After Hours and MNSSHP. I say this because it’s basically a non-Halloween version of MNSSHP.
Technically, you’re attending a Disney After Hours event. However, it includes the Boo to You parade and other staples of MNSSHP.
The reality here is that Disney wanted to sell more MNSSHP tickets during the non-Halloween part of the annual park calendar. So, they came up with this.
Disney Villains have grown so popular that park officials recently floated the idea of an entire theme park dedicated to them.
Disney Villains After Hours turns the parks into a den of iniquity on some nights, giving guests the rare opportunity to interact with the baddies.
While the event does share strong similarities to MNSSHP, it also comes with its own unique amenities.
Specifically, you’ll find some character greetings here that aren’t available during the Halloween season.
Still, the pro is that you’re getting a Halloween-like experience much earlier in the year.
Do you celebrate holidays six months ahead of time? I’m asking rather than deriding the notion.
In recent years, #HalfwaytoHalloween and #HalfwaytoChristmas events have increased in popularity. People seem to want the holidays to last longer.
However, if you’re not one of them, you may feel weird about attending a Halloween event during the spring or summer. It’s definitely…unusual.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
You can take out everything I just said about the Halloween party, scratch out the word Halloween and insert Christmas instead. That’s the concept here.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) celebrates the yuletide season with many unique amenities.
The festive nature of this event makes it an incredibly joyful experience as well.
I’m one of those people who watches all the Hallmark holiday movies. And you don’t want to know many times I’ve seen Disney’s Prep & Landing.
So, MVMCP is my happy place. I suspect you’ll agree because it features even more holiday overlays than MNSSHP.
Even Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor gets into the act with a holiday presentation!
Simply stated, there’s plenty to do here and more than enough time to experience it all!
Not everyone is ready to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving. Many of the MVMCP events occur in November, though.
In fact, you cannot attend this event throughout Christmas Week. Disney stops the after-hours party a few days before Christmas.
Then, many of the “exclusive” parts of MVMCP become free to park guests during Christmas Week.
So, if you time your visit right, you can experience some of the highlights of MVMCP without paying extra. And that’s a significant con to the event.
Disney H2O Glow After Hours
Here’s the oddity on the list. Recently, Disney has hosted an after-hours ticketed event at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
Obviously, the energy is much different at a water park. While you can and will ride some of the slides and other attractions here, that’s not the point.
Instead, you’re living it up with several hundred of your closest new friends. Glow sticks and other forms of illumination are seemingly everywhere.
The H2O Glow event is the closest Disney could ever come to a rave party. For this reason, alone, it’s worth some consideration.
You’re at a nearly empty Disney water park at night. The backdrop is gorgeous, and the lighting effects make it an Insta-worthy few hours.
Almost all the rides are close to walk-on when you want to do something more exciting. Otherwise, you’ll hang out by the pool and dance and swim the night away.
Disney even throws in snacks and drinks, so the cost of admission is all you’ll need to pay. The price is reasonable at $75 per person, too!
Many people don’t visit Disney water parks when the tickets are included as part of a theme park package. So, they definitely don’t want to pay for an after-hours event.
Then, there are other factors that come with giant outdoor dance parties. You may not like violations of your personal space, which are sure to happen here.
The situation is that much odder since most people are in their bathing suits during this particular rave.
Disney’s phenomenal at policing this stuff, but alcohol plus nearly naked people can lead to some potentially evening-ruining encounters. The odds of that are thankfully low, though.
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Feature Photo: Disney