We went to our first Disney After Hours event in May, and we loved it so much that we would plan a trip around it. Despite its high price tag, the cost is entirely worth it, especially if you’re planning a unique Disney date night. There are a couple of ways to save, too, which we’ll get into.

Mike and I always reminisce about the Disney World trip we took during the height of COVID. The park was at reduced capacity, which means the crowds were lower than low. Experiencing the parks like that for an entire vacation was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The After Hours events come close to that. Compared to regular crowd levels, it feels like nobody is in the park. Not only is that a lovely way to enjoy Hollywood Studios, Epcot or Typhoon Lagoon, but you can get so much done.

The After Hours page on the Disney World website says it best: “You can experience more magic in less time…”

There’s not much time left to go to After Hours at Hollywood Studios!

This event only runs through the end of June, so get your tickets ASAP. They sell out fast. As of this writing, there are two more events at Hollywood Studios: Wednesday, June 21, and Wednesday, June 28.

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Here are 8 things that you can do during After Hours at Hollywood Studios and the day-of to make your evening all the more fun:

Skip a regular park day

Tickets for an After Hours event aren’t cheap. For example, on August 24th, the cost for the Epcot After Hours ticket is $129, compared to the cost for a regular 1-day park ticket to Epcot at $114.

Here’s the catch: You can do so much during the After Hours party that you don’t need a regular park ticket that day. Make this one of your park trips during your vacation instead of also trying to go to a park earlier the same day.

🤑 Save on your park tickets by having one less day.

🎢 Get so much value out of the After Hours party that you won’t miss the park ticket.

And please, learn from our mistake. On the day of the After Hours event, we squeezed in the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom with our Park Hopper. We went back to the hotel, rested, freshened up and then headed to Hollywood Studios around 9 p.m. We were exhausted.

If we’d skipped the parks during the day, we could’ve avoided the daytime heat, done relaxing vacation-y things with our afternoon, and arrived at Hollywood Studios as early as 7 p.m. to take advantage of the After Hours ticket. We also would’ve saved a lot of money by not buying park tickets for that day.

What you’ll miss out on are the shops (which are closed) and most of the eateries. But if what you’re after are thrill rides, Galaxy’s Edge everything, Jet Juice at Oga’s Cantina and appreciating how goddamn cute Toy Story Land is at night, all of that is available.

Bonus: There’s, like, nobody else there, at least compared to regular Disney World crowds.

Get started before the park closes


Hollywood Studios sign during Disney After Hours.

The After Hours event technically begins after the park closes and regular guests head out. However, an After Hours ticket actually begins before the park closes (7 p.m. for Hollywood Studios and Epcot, 6 p.m. for Typhoon Lagoon).

That means that if you don’t have a regular park ticket for that day but you do have an After Hours ticket, you can go to the park at 7 p.m., before it closes, then stay through the After Hours event, which lasts until about 1 a.m., depending on the day.

The start time of the After Hours event refers to when the park will be emptied of regular guests and the specific event perks start, like short lines without the need for Genie Plus, free food and drinks, etc. You can check-in well before that, though.

P.S. If you don’t go to the park early, you’ll still get your money’s worth. We got there late, after the After Hours portion started, and left a little before it ended — that means we were there for under 4 hours. We had so much fun and experienced plenty, though, so we left completely satisfied.

Ride the most popular attractions

Every ride is a walk-on or pretty close to it during Disney After Hours events. That includes the big ones like Tower of Terror, Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash — the ones that you either have to wait on a crazy-long line for or pay, as my brother calls it, “snob access” to ride (aka Genie Plus).

A love letter to Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash lit up at night in Toy Story Land.

Getting to ride Slinky Dog Dash was the biggest surprise of our night — maybe even of our trip.

Slinky Dog Dash is a rollercoaster in Toy Story Land, and it’s tame enough for kids. We mistakenly thought that it was a kids’ rollercoaster, though. As in, not enjoyable for non-kids.

We’re not opposed to riding the more child-friendly rides at Disney World. That’s part of the point. SDD just always seemed dinky to us.

Also, it usually has a long, long line. We never want to wait on it or spare one of our Lightning Lanes for it. So, we always skip it.

During the After Hours party, though, the line was about 10 minutes. We got on. Then Slinky Dog put us in our place.

First, I fell in love with the queue. It’s just as adorable as the rest of Toy Story Land. (I’m a TSL stan, if you don’t know.)

Second, this rollercoaster is awesome. I wouldn’t call it a ride that any kid would be happy riding. I’m guessing it appeals to the bravest little ones, the mini adventure-seekers, like I was growing up. We’ve put it on our list of Hollywood Studios thrill rides that we’d be disappointed to skip during a Disney vacation.

Grab as many free drinks and snacks as you want

During the After Hours event, Cast Members put out complementary full-sized, ice-cold drinks (water and soda), as well as large boxes of popcorn and two different Mickey ice creams. You can grab as many as you want as you walk by the food carts. They’re replenished all through the night, so if you’re thirsty or want a snack, you can find these freebies at any point.

Mickey ice cream bar given away for free at the Disney After Hours event at Hollywood Studios.

Watch the nighttime show with a tiny crowd

The Wonderful World of Animation at Hollywood Studios, which usually takes place at 9 p.m., is shown again just for After Hours guests. Projections on the Chinese Theater take you through 90+ years of Disney and Pixar animation, and it’s as heartwarming as you’d expect any Disney show to be.

We often skip the nighttime shows because of the crowds. Not only is it hard to get a good viewing spot, especially if you’re unwilling to snag it an hour or more before the show, but this is also the best time to run around the park and get on all the rides.

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During the After Hours party, though, there are barely any lines, so there’s no need to take advantage of that window of time. We grabbed a spot on the ground, and the other people watching were spaced out nicely. It was the most chill and enjoyable way to watch a Disney show ever.

Get dinner from Woody’s Lunch Box

Most eateries are closed during After Hours at Hollywood Studios, other than Oga’s Cantina and Woody’s Lunch Box. Oga’s only has apps (and only two), but Woody’s Lunch Box has a more complete menu if you’re looking for a meal.

We had the BBQ Brisket Melt and the Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich, and both were good.

Drink up at Oga’s Cantina, no reservations required

Oga’s can be a little difficult to get a reservation for, but during After Hours, there’s no need. Just walk up to the host stand outside and let them know you want to head in. You can go back again later in the night, too.

You may also want to check out Our Foolproof Tips to Get a Reservation at Oga’s Cantina in Disney World.

Admire the allure of Galaxy’s Edge at night

Star Wars spaceship at Galaxy's Edge in Hollywood Studios at night.

I’m convinced that Galaxy’s Edge was made for the nighttime. This area of Hollywood Studios is cool during the day, but at night, the lighting gives Batuu a whole different vibe. Plus, with so few people in the park, you can roam around and take it all in uninterrupted.

Disney After Hours FAQ and How to Save on Disney After Hours Tickets

How long is a Disney After Hours event?

Disney’s After Hour events at Hollywood Studios and Epcot are about 6 hours long. The H20 Glow After Hours at Typhoon Lagoon is 5 hours long.

Disney’s After Hours events are advertised this way: “…one of our theme parks stays open for 3 extra hours after the park closes…” That’s a little misleading, though — and in a good way. The After Hours event starts before the park closes, and then it stays open after the park’s official closing for a few hours more.

So the After Hours event isn’t only 3 hours long. You can arrive at the park earlier, then stay through park closing and until 12:30 or 1 a.m., depending on the night. At Hollywood Studios and Epcot, you can enter the park as early as 7 p.m. and stay until 12:30 or 1 a.m. At Typhoon Lagoon, you can enter at 6 p.m. and stay until 11 p.m.

Where does Disney have After Hours events?

Disney has After Hours events at Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Typhoon Lagoon. They run during different months and on different days, though some do overlap.

We went to the one at Hollywood Studios. Tim Tracker has a great video from his night at Epcot’s After Hours.

When are Disney’s After Hour events?

Hollywood Studios After Hours in 2023 run through June and are held on Wednesdays. The 2023 Epcot After Hours go from now through August 24th on select Wednesdays and Thursdays. Typhoon Lagoon After Hours events run from now to September 2nd on select Mondays and Saturdays.

How much does a Disney After Hours event cost?

Hollywood Studios After Hours tickets cost $149 per person. With tax, that comes out to almost $160 each or $320 for a couple. Epcot After Hours tickets range from $129 to $139 depending on the date. Annual Passholders and DVC members pay $99 per event.

H20 Glow After Hours at Typhoon Lagoon costs $75 per adult. Annual Passholders and DVC members pay $59 each.

Can I get discounted Disney After Hours tickets?

If you have an Annual Pass or you’re a DVC member, your After Hours ticket price will be $99.

If you’re an AAA member, you may be able to get discounted tickets to Disney After Hours events. Go to the AAA website and enter your zip code. Then search for “after hours” in the search bar on the top-right of the page. If there are available offers, the page you end up on will look something like this:

Disney After Hours ticket availability on the AAA website.

These tickets (pictured above) are $116 per person instead of $129+, and you’re not hit with a bunch of tax when you go to buy them. If you’re a AAA member, this can save you a lot. With tax, After Hours tickets are an extra $10-ish. For two people, you’ll save approximately $50 by going through AAA for your After Hours tickets.

We were able to save money on Disney After Hours tickets another way

We use the Disney Visa Card both at home and while on vacation. This racks up Rewards points, which we were able to apply toward the After Hours tickets. We used about $130 in Rewards on the event tickets, which was like getting one of them almost for free.

Also, the Disney Visa card gives you a discount on pretty much everything you do at Walt Disney World, including shopping and dining, if you spend over $50. And with Disney prices, who doesn’t spend at least $50 per transaction? We get discounts every time we swipe during our trips, which then builds those Rewards points.

If you want a $150 to $300 bonus on your statement (after qualifying purchases), use my referral link to sign up.

Go to Disney After Hours to experience the park in a whole new way

If you can’t tell by now, we’re huge (and new) After Hours fans. We’re eager to go to the Epcot one, especially when you add Cosmic Rewind to the ride-all-you-can-handle itinerary. If you’re planning a trip to Disney World this spring or summer, we encourage you to trade a traditional park day for a late-night celebration that’s relatively kid-free and completely perfect for you Disney adult couples out there.

Oh, and get my free park bag checklist so you’re never uncomfortable on a long park day!