We attended After Hours at Animal Kingdom, a Walt Disney World arduous ticket occasion offering Three hours of entry to the park with extraordinarily restricted attendance and minimal waits for choose points of interest, together with these in Pandora – World of Avatar. On this submit, we’ll recap & assessment our expertise.
As with the opposite After Hours occasions at Walt Disney World in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom’s model of the occasion doesn’t require common theme park admission and permits entry as early as 7 p.m. As with the Disney’s Hollywood Studios model of the occasion, the particular occasion begins 30 minutes after official park closing; to the extent crucial, occasion visitors bypassing what stays of the day visitor strains by way of the FastPass return.
The large query about Disney After Hours at Animal Kingdom is probably going how a lot you possibly can accomplish, most importantly, the variety of attainable rides on Avatar Flight of Passage. We gained’t bury the lede–throughout After Hours, we did the next…
- Avatar Flight of Passage (x5)
- Navi River Journey (x2)
- Expedition Everest (x1)
- Dinosaur (x1)
- Tree of Life Awakenings
- Dino-Riffic Dance Social gathering
That’s a complete of 11 or so issues, and with Annual Passholder pricing of $95 or common pricing at our occasion, that breaks right down to round $9-$12 per expertise. We additionally ate a few half dozen ice cream novelties and had a couple of Cokes, every of that are additionally limitless/included in the price of admission through the occasion. You possibly can study extra about pricing and 2019 Disney After Hours dates on the official web site.
We need to observe that we have been invited visitors of Disney at this occasion, and as such, our tickets have been free. Whether or not you possibly can nonetheless belief our evaluate as really unbiased or should you understand us as paid shills is as much as you. As famous in our final Magic Kingdom Replace, the worth of me “selling out” is a return of Nation Bear Christmas to Walt Disney World, and it’s not again (but), so draw your personal conclusions.
Maybe the silver lining right here is that the majority of our editorializing right here doesn’t matter someway–variety of points of interest skilled is an goal metric for measuring the occasion, and that’s by no means dependent upon whether or not we paid to attend or not.
It might sound foolish, however I truly dislike that the worth of Animal Kingdom After Hours is so simply ascertainable. There’s one thing disconcerting about saying every experience on Avatar Flight of Passage or Expedition Everest value $10 (or no matter).
Maybe it’s simply a man-made disconnect, however I want when issues are extra opaque. I grimace when spending ~$100/ticket on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Get together, however rationalize it as being for an general expertise that lasts round 7 hours. If I began to interrupt issues down, and seen every parade as $25, the stage present as $15, and so on., that grimace may change to skipping the occasion because of the per-experience worth.
It could possibly be completely psychological, however as somebody who views Walt Disney World extra as cohesive theme parks than a set of rides, that’s type of the place I stand. I’m positive doing solely a handful of rides every day. The spotlight for me is usually simply being there. Thankfully, Animal Kingdom After Hours is an effective mixture of ‘doing a lot’ and ‘being there.’
When it comes to the previous, Avatar Flight of Passage is the primary substantive draw of Animal Kingdom After Hours. FastPass+ stays difficult to attain and wait occasions in the course of the day nonetheless repeatedly eclipse 2 hours. Experiencing this attraction with a minimal wait is a large promoting level of the occasion; for those who worth your time and/or sanity, there’s super worth in experiencing Flight of Passage as a walk-on.
And that’s precisely what Flight of Passage is throughout Disney After Hours. In the course of the get together we attended, Flight of Passage was a walk-on after about 9 p.m., and fewer than an hour after that, there have been complete theaters going almost empty. Critically, there have been 2 events when nobody else was in your complete theater (not simply our load space–all of them). It was surreal wanting left and proper whereas driving the banshee and seeing a sea of empty seats on an attraction that’s the hottest at Walt Disney World.
As odd as this may sound, there’s a superb cause for it: Flight of Passage’s pre-show. In case you’ve solely skilled the attraction a handful of occasions, the awkward and rambling pre-show may strike you as mildly annoying. Attempt experiencing that very same pre-show four consecutive occasions and also you’ll discover it interminably lengthy and bordering on torture (speak concerning the final first-world hyperbole, however nonetheless).
In principle, you can experience Avatar Flight of Passage 9 occasions throughout Animal Kingdom After Hours. The complete expertise from getting into the queue to exiting and strolling again to the entrance of the road as a walk-on ranges from 19 to 22 minutes (relying upon strolling velocity, load time, and whether or not you’ve gotten Pandoran parasites).
Nevertheless, I don’t consider anybody could have the endurance to topic themselves to that pre-show that many occasions in a single night. It simply isn’t potential. As majestical, detailed, and euphoric because the journey expertise itself is, you’ll be spending the majority of your time within the pre-show every time, and that’s simply an excessive amount of. Sadly, there isn’t any strategy to skip the pre-show. We requested–twice.
I don’t assume most individuals will find yourself doing Avatar Flight of Passage greater than Three occasions, which can nonetheless eat an hour of the Three-hour occasion. We did it extra as a result of Expedition Everest makes Sarah sick and she or he loves Flight of Passage. Plus, there’s a sure pull in strolling onto the preferred experience at Walt Disney World, even when we do grumble a bit concerning the pre-show.
When it comes to After Hours technique, I feel the perfect strategy can be beginning in Asia and doing Expedition Everest repeatedly. The entire journey expertise there’s considerably shorter, which means you will get extra ‘per ride value’ from Disney After Hours by doing Expedition Everest 5 or 6 occasions.
From there, doing Dinosaur a few occasions is sensible (you can skip the pre-show there…however why would you need disrespect the venerable Dr. Seeker like that?!) earlier than ending the night time in Pandora – World of Avatar the place you possibly can bounce between Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage to combine issues up a bit, and stop overload on that pre-show.
Our rationale for this technique is that everybody goes to go to Pandora first. It’s the primary draw, and why 95% of individuals are going to purchase tickets to this occasion. Firstly of the occasion, not solely will social gathering friends flock to Pandora, however day visitors will nonetheless be there.
After about an hour of the occasion, day visitors shall be lengthy gone, and Disney After Hours friends may even begin to transfer on to different areas of the park. The final 90 minutes of the particular occasion, it is best to have Pandora just about totally to your self.
This technique is extra for the longer term than it’s the current. The primary Disney After Hours occasion was completely lifeless, and that’s even with it being the media occasion. In case you advised me there have been beneath 1,000 individuals in the complete park, I’d consider it. Even when attendance triples or quadruples for the 2019 nights, most points of interest will nonetheless be walk-ons.
There have been a number of events when strolling across the park once we wouldn’t see anybody else for minutes at a time. This desolate feeling was one of many cooler elements of After Hours at Animal Kingdom. Properly, “cool” till you consider all these carnivores that could be lurking within the shadows, biding their time till they will seize some prey with out being detected.
Kidding apart, the shortage of crowds was my favourite facet of the occasion. I really like the bodily surroundings of Pandora, however it’s usually so chaotic that it’s troublesome to take pleasure in. Throughout Disney After Hours, it was so devoid of folks that the “organic” ambiance there felt apt–like an alien planet being reclaimed by nature. Strolling round different areas of the park was equally satisfying.
Likewise, there’s one thing to be stated for the novelty of strolling proper onto points of interest which are usually full of individuals. I misplaced rely of the variety of occasions we points of interest solely to ourselves. Not simply our journey car empty–however all of these round us, as nicely. I’d hazard a guess that solely a single-digit proportion of obtainable journey capability was in use at any given second.
As with the Magic Kingdom incarnation of the occasion (which gave away tickets to lodge visitors for a number of events earlier than lastly discovering its groove), it’ll take some time for After Hours at Animal Kingdom to realize momentum. To be trustworthy, I’m unsure it’ll ever achieve that a lot traction–outdoors of Pandora, Animal Kingdom has much less attraction, and the park is so unfold out that it absorbs the After Hours attendees extremely nicely.
The most important draw back to Disney After Hours at Animal Kingdom is the whole lot that isn’t open. Even with early admission at 7 p.m., After Hours visitors gained’t have the ability to expertise Kilimanjaro Safaris, Pageant of the Lion King, Discovering Nemo the Musical, or UP! A Nice Hen Journey, all of which presently finish operations earlier than 7 p.m.
We’d advocate arriving early, and allocating that point to Kali River Rapids or Primeval Whirl–or anything that gained’t be open throughout Disney After Hours. Through the occasion, you’re essentially going to be repeating points of interest, as so few are open. Doing different issues in that 90 minute window will at the very least give the sense of larger selection.
If this occasion have been to have a ‘soft’ opening time of four or 5 p.m. a la the Halloween and Christmas Events, a robust case might be made to skip a full day at Animal Kingdom and simply do that arduous ticket occasion as an alternative. You’d be capable of expertise sufficient of the exhibits and common day experiences, and have an distinctive time doing headliners with minimal waits for Three hours.
As issues stand, After Hours at Animal Kingdom is a superb choice for many who need to keep away from crowds and expertise Flight of Passage (or different headliners) repeatedly. By which case, perhaps do one other partial day at Animal Kingdom to see exhibits, animals, trails, and so on., relatively than a full day.
Finally, Disney After Hours at Animal Kingdom is an occasion that leaves me conflicted. On precept, these upcharges hassle me, particularly contemplating that they might be Additional Magic Hours (one thing that has been scaled again within the final a number of years) out there to all resort friends. The flip aspect is that you simply’d by no means get this a lot executed at a free EMH night, and extra particular ticketed occasions is clearly the course Walt Disney World goes, whether or not I prefer it or not. In the long run, I’d pay to do it once more if we visiting with our mother and father or associates who had by no means accomplished Flight of Passage. Likewise, Animal Kingdom After Hours is a robust choice for households with youngsters tall/sufficiently old to expertise the park’s flagship rides–it positive beats getting up on the break of day for the chaos of doing the “Flight of Passage Flee” by way of Animal Kingdom at rope drop.
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What do you consider Disney After Hours at Animal Kingdom? Is that this one thing that pursuits you, or is the price too excessive to justify? What number of occasions do you assume you possibly can deal with the Flight of Passage pre-show in a single night time? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation of the occasion? Any questions we may also help you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even if you disagree with us—is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!