Disney After Dark has been a popular experience for Disneyland and Disney World visitors for over three decades. For those unfamiliar with this event, Disney After Dark is a special ticketed event that allows guests to enjoy their favorite attractions and entertainment at the parks after regular operating hours. This means fewer crowds, shorter lines for popular rides, and special entertainment, merchandise, and food offerings.
If you’re considering attending Disney After Dark, it’s important to have a complete guide to help you make the most of your experience. From tips on getting tickets to navigating the parks after dark, there are many factors to consider when planning your visit. This guide will provide everything you need about Disney After Dark, including its history, what to expect, and how to make the most of your time at the event.
What is Disney After Dark?
Disney After Dark is a special event held at Disneyland and Disney World that provides visitors a unique and exciting experience. During this event, the park remains open after regular operating hours, allowing guests to enjoy their favorite rides and attractions with shorter lines and fewer crowds. The event typically lasts a few hours and requires a separate ticket purchase from regular park admission.
One of the key advantages of attending Disney After Dark is the opportunity to enjoy the park with reduced crowds. Since only a few tickets are sold for each event, visitors can enjoy shorter lines and wait times for popular attractions. This can be especially appealing during peak tourist seasons when the parks become overcrowded and ride wait times can be several hours long. Additionally, the atmosphere during Disney After Dark is often more relaxed and laid-back, allowing visitors to take in the park’s magic in a more intimate setting.
Disney After Dark is a unique and exciting experience that allows visitors to explore the park differently. With shorter lines, special entertainment offerings, and a relaxed atmosphere, it’s no wonder why this event has become a must-do for many visitors to Disneyland and Disney World.
The History of Disney After Dark
Disney After Dark has a rich history that dates back over 35 years. The event was first introduced in 1986 at Disneyland in California and was known as “Disneyland After Dark.” Initially designed to celebrate the park’s 30th anniversary, the event was only offered on select evenings. The event proved to be a hit with visitors, and Disneyland continued offering it separately ticketed after the anniversary celebration had ended.
In the following years, Disney After Dark grew in popularity and expanded to include Disney World in Florida. The event was renamed “Disney After Hours” in 2016 and expanded to other Disney parks worldwide, including Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney Resort. Today, Disney After Dark remains a popular event at Disneyland and Disney World, offering visitors a unique and memorable experience that they won’t soon forget.
Dates and Times for Disney After Dark
The dates and times for Disney After Dark can vary depending on the park and the time of year. Typically, the event is held on select evenings throughout the year, and tickets are sold in advance. At Disneyland in California, the event is typically held on Thursdays and select Tuesdays, while at Disney World in Florida, it’s usually held on select evenings from 9:00 PM to midnight.
It’s important to note that dates and times for Disney After Dark can change, so it’s best to check the official Disney website or call the park’s guest services to confirm when the event will be held. Also, purchasing tickets in advance is important, as they sell out quickly. Some events may also have specific themes or special entertainment offerings, so it’s important to check the event details before purchasing tickets to ensure they fit your interests.
How to Get Tickets for Disney After Dark
Tickets for Disney After Dark can be purchased through the official Disney website or by calling the park’s guest services. It’s important to note that tickets for this event are separate from regular park admission and must be purchased in advance.
Tickets for Disney After Dark tend to sell out quickly, so purchasing them as soon as they become available is recommended. The official Disney website typically provides a calendar of upcoming dates for the event, along with the ability to purchase tickets online. It’s important to check the website frequently, as new dates may be added throughout the year.
When purchasing tickets, visitors must select the date and park they wish to attend and provide payment information. Once the purchase is complete, visitors will receive an email confirmation with their ticket information. It’s important to bring this confirmation and a valid photo ID to the park on the day of the event to gain entry.
What to Expect at Disney After Dark
There are several things to expect when attending Disney After Dark. First and foremost, visitors can expect to enjoy their favorite rides and attractions with shorter lines and fewer crowds. This can be a major advantage, especially during peak tourist seasons when the parks become overcrowded. Additionally, some attractions may have special effects or lighting unique to the event, adding to the overall experience.
In addition to shorter lines, visitors can enjoy special entertainment offerings exclusive to Disney After Dark. This may include live music, dance parties, character meet and greets, and special shows. Unique food and beverage offerings, such as specialty desserts or themed cocktails, may also be available.
Visitors can expect a unique and memorable experience at Disney After Dark. With fewer crowds, special entertainment, and unique food and beverage options, it’s no wonder why this event has become a popular choice for many visitors to Disneyland and Disney World.
Best Attractions to Experience at Disney After Dark
One of the best things about Disney After Dark is the opportunity to experience some of the park’s most popular attractions with shorter wait times. Here are some of the best attractions to experience at Disney After Dark:
- Splash Mountain: This popular water ride typically has some of the longest wait times in the park, making it a great choice to experience during Disney After Dark.
- Space Mountain: Another popular ride with long wait times, Space Mountain is a must-ride during Disney After Dark.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: This newer roller coaster in Fantasyland is often one of the busiest rides in the park, so taking advantage of shorter lines during Disney After Dark can be a major advantage.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: This classic attraction is a favorite among many Disney fans and is a great ride to experience during Disney After Dark.
- Haunted Mansion: This spooky attraction is another popular choice for visitors and can be a great way to experience the park’s ambiance during Disney After Dark.
These are just a few attractions worth experiencing during Disney After Dark. Remember that some attractions may have different lighting or special effects during the event, which can add to the overall experience. Additionally, it’s important to check the event details for any attractions that may be closed or have limited availability during the event.
Special Entertainment Offerings at Disney After Dark
In addition to shorter wait times for popular attractions, Disney After Dark also offers special entertainment exclusive to the event. Here are some examples of the special entertainment offerings at Disney After Dark:
- Unique Character Meet and Greets: During Disney After Dark, visitors can expect to see some of their favorite Disney characters in exclusive meet and greets that are only available during the event.
- Dance Parties: Disney After Dark often features dance parties that are themed to different park areas. These parties may include live music, special lighting effects, and unique character appearances.
- Fireworks: Depending on the park and the event date, visitors may be treated to special fireworks show exclusive to Disney After Dark.
- Projection Shows: Some areas of the park may feature projection shows that are unique to the event, with special lighting and effects that add to the ambiance.
- Special Shows: Depending on the event, special shows or performances may be exclusive to Disney After Dark. These shows may include live music, acrobatic performances, or other entertainment.
Overall, the special entertainment offerings at Disney After Dark can be a major draw for visitors. With unique character meet and greets, themed dance parties, and exclusive shows and performances, there’s always something new and exciting to experience at this event.
Food and Beverage Options at Disney After Dark
Disney After Dark also offers a range of unique food and beverage options exclusive to the event. Here are some examples of the food and beverage options available at Disney After Dark:
- Specialty Drinks: Depending on the event, there may be specialty alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks available that are themed to the event or the park area.
- Themed Snacks: Disney After Dark often features exclusive snack options only available during the event. These snacks may be themed to different Disney characters or areas of the park.
- Limited-Time Menu Items: Some restaurants and food stands may offer limited-time menu items exclusive to Disney After Dark.
- Food Trucks: During Disney After Dark, food trucks may be stationed throughout the park, offering various unique food options.
- Dessert Parties: Depending on the event, visitors may have the option to attend a special dessert party with exclusive dessert options and a prime viewing location for the fireworks show.
With so many unique food and beverage options available, Disney After Dark is a great way to experience the park’s cuisine in a new and exciting way. Whether you’re in the mood for a specialty drink, a themed snack, or a unique dining experience, there’s something for everyone at this event.
Tips for Navigating Disney After Dark
Navigating Disney After Dark can be slightly different than navigating the park during regular operating hours. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:
- Arrive Early: While Disney After Dark officially starts after regular park hours, visitors are typically allowed to enter the park a few hours early. This can be a great way to get a head start on your favorite attractions and avoid some of the crowds.
- Plan Your Route: With shorter wait times for popular attractions, it can be tempting to try to do everything. However, it’s important to have a plan in place and focus on the attractions that are most important to you.
- Check the Event Schedule: Check the event schedule for special shows, entertainment, and food offerings available only during Disney After Dark.
- Dress Appropriately: The park can get chilly at night, depending on the time of year. Make sure to dress appropriately and bring layers if needed.
- Take Breaks: With so much to see and do, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of Disney After Dark. Take breaks throughout the evening to rest, recharge, and enjoy the park’s ambiance at night.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your experience at Disney After Dark is enjoyable and memorable. Whether you’re a seasoned Disney visitor or a first-timer, there’s something special about experiencing the park after dark.
Frequently Asked Questions about Disney After Dark
Here are some frequently asked questions about Disney After Dark:
What is the difference between Disney After Dark and regular park admission?
Disney After Dark is a special ticketed event that allows visitors to enjoy the park after regular operating hours, with shorter wait times for popular attractions and special entertainment offerings. Regular park admission only allows visitors access during regular operating hours.
How do I purchase tickets for Disney After Dark?
Tickets for Disney After Dark can be purchased through the official Disney website or by calling the park’s guest services. Tickets are separate from regular park admission and must be purchased in advance.
What attractions are open during Disney After Dark?
Most attractions are open during Disney After Dark, but some may have limited availability or may be closed for refurbishment. It’s important to check the event details for any attractions that may be closed or have limited availability during the event.
Are there special food and beverage offerings available during Disney After Dark?
Yes, there are a range of special food and beverage options available during Disney After Dark, including specialty drinks, themed snacks, and limited-time menu items.
Can I use my regular park admission ticket for Disney After Dark?
No, a separate ticket is required for Disney After Dark. Regular park admission tickets do not grant access to the event.
How many tickets are sold for each Disney After Dark event?
The number of tickets sold for each Disney After Dark event can vary, but tickets typically sell out quickly. It’s recommended to purchase tickets as soon as they become available.
Is Disney After Dark suitable for children?
Yes, Disney After Dark is suitable for children of all ages. However, it’s important to remember that the event occurs at night, so it may be past some children’s bedtime. Additionally, some attractions may be too intense for younger children.