Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours Review

There’s been a lot of buzz about the Disney After Hours events at Disney World. Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours is touted as a late night special event with extremely low crowds. These limited crowds mean you can enjoy premium attractions with little or no wait. Could we really experience all that Toy Story Land had to offer without the large crowds and long waits by paying this extra fee? Find out if our Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours event experience was worth the extra cost.

What Attractions Are Open During Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

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All of the premium attractions run during Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours.  Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, Toy Story Mania!, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Star Tours were all operational on our night. 

Several character meet and greet options are available during Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours, too. Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, and BB-8 are available to meet guests at Star Wars Launch Bay. You can also meet Mickey, Minnie, Olaf, and Toy Story Friends Buzz, Woody, and Jessie during Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours.

Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Extras

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Built into the price of the Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours ticket cost are “free” refreshments. On the night we attended you could choose either bottled water, Diet Coke, or Coke beverages.

The available snacks were boxes of popcorn, Mickey ice cream bars, frozen fruit bars, and Mickey ice cream cookie sandwiches. Guests were welcome to go up to the open stands and request any of these items at no charge.

What We Did In 3 Hours At Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours

The Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours event runs for 3 hours and officially started at 8:30pm on our night. We scanned into the park and received our special wristbands for the event at 8:17pm.

Our main focus was to do everything that Toy Story Land had to offer since my husband had not yet visited. We also hoped to meet Star Wars characters and ride Star Tours, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.

Toy Story Land

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As soon as we entered the park we immediately went back to Toy Story Land. At this time Hollywood Studios was closed to day guests. We had to show a row of cast members our event wristband to enter. The normally packed walkways in Toy Story Land were almost completely empty.

Elizabeth wanted Woody and Jessie to sign her Disney Autograph Pillowcase so we went to that queue first. It only took us about 10 minutes to meet both characters even though they took a quick break during our wait.

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From Jessie and Woody we went straight to Toy Story Mania!. The posted wait time was 5 minutes, but the entire time was spent walking through the queue to load. 

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After our walk-on experience at Toy Story Mania! we went over to Slinky Dog Dash. The posted wait time was 25 minutes which although a little disappointing is a lot less than is typical during the day.

Our actual wait was closer to 15 minutes. After Slinky Dog Dash my daughter asked to take a snack break. We grabbed some frozen treats and waters then sat at Woody’s Lunchbox to eat our snack.

Time To Reevaluate Our Plans

This is about the time that my daughter started not feeling well. I didn’t rush her snack break which meant it was over 30 minutes long. For those of you keeping track, 1/6th of our ticket time was spent on a snack break. Although this was not the most cost effective use of our ticket it was a necessary comfort for Elizabeth.

After the snack we completed the Toy Story Land trifecta with Alien Swirling Saucers. The posted wait time was 5 minutes, but in reality was just under 10 minutes. Since Toy Story Land was our main goal of the event we went on each ride once more.

The second time around the waits were definitely longer for Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania! with wait times closer to 30 minutes for each.

Star Wars Launch Bay

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At 10:50pm we left Toy Story Land and realized we only had 40 minutes left of Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours. Elizabeth is a huge Star Wars (and character) fan so she opted to go to Star Wars Launch Bay to meet Chewbacca and BB-8. We met both in about 10 minutes total.

Hollywood Studios Disney After Dark is a way to experience the best of Hollywood Studios without crowds. Learn what to expect at this limited time event! #disneyworld #hollywoodstudios #disneyafterhours

There was still time left, but unfortunately Elizabeth started to have a really bad sore throat. Instead of trying to make it to Star Tours and Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster like I hoped we instead took our last ride of the night in a Minnie Van to our hotel.

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Have you ever wondered what you would do if you got sick at Disney World?

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours

Arrive Early

Take advantage of the 7pm entry with your Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios ticket. This will give you the opportunity to do some of the activities at Hollywood Studios that are not available during the event. Make sure you check the My Disney Experience app ahead of time to know what options will be available between 7pm and the event start.

Pick Up Tickets Ahead Of The Event

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Unlike events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the ticket for Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours is not linked to your MagicBand. If you preorder tickets an email is sent with a barcode. Make sure you have this email and barcode! Several people in front of us could not find this information and it took forever to get their tickets sorted.

A cast member then scans the email barcode at a ticket window or guest services to issue your event ticket. Use this event ticket for entry into Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours.

After successfully entering Hollywood Studios, a cast member will put a special wristband on your arm. This wristband will be checked periodically throughout the night to confirm you are a guest of Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios.

It took close to 40 minutes to pick up our tickets at Hollywood Studios guest services and check in for the event. I was extremely disappointed since I had hoped to have this time to ride attractions before the event officially started.

Go Straight To Toy Story Land

If Toy Story Land is a primary focus of your Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours experience I suggest you arrive there shortly after park close. This was when the lines for the Toy Story Land attractions were the lowest on our night. As the event went on more people made their way to the back of the park. This meant the lines got considerably longer (although still short by daytime standards).

Don’t Think You Will Get Perfect Instagram Pictures

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Toy Story Land is full of photo backdrops that people love for posting on social media. The walls will still be there at night, and less crowded, but the lighting is not great for pictures. If you want the perfect Luxo Ball or popsicle stick wall picture you’ll have to visit Toy Story Land in the daytime.

How Much Does Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours Cost?

Each ticket for Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours is $125 plus tax per person if purchased in advance or $129 plus tax per person if purchased on the day of the event. Annual passholders or Disney Vacation Club members get Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios tickets for a discounted rate of $95 plus tax per ticket.

Your event ticket allows entry into Hollywood Studios after 7pm. This entry time is before the event officially starts after the park closes. Check here for exact event dates and times.

It is important to note that this ticket is only good for Hollywood Studios from 7pm until the event end time on the specific date. The ticket can not be used for entry into other parks or Hollywood Studios earlier in the day. If you want to go to the park during the daytime you would need an additional day time park ticket.

Was Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Worth The Expense?

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I was skeptical before attending, but the Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours event was worth the price (in our opinion). We were able to do each of the Toy Story Land rides twice, plus meet 4 characters, and take a very long snack break. If picking up our tickets was faster and our daughter felt better we would have easily been able to ride Star Tours, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror at least once during the night.

The walkways never felt crowded, the wait times were all under 30 minutes (often much less), and the grab and go snacks were a nice treat. The low crowd levels felt especially nice since the rest of the parks were extremely crowded that weekend. Had we spent a day at Hollywood Studios this same weekend I don’t think we could have done the same amount of activities even over a longer time.

Evaluating The Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours Cost For Your Group

I understand that the expense of Disney After Hours At Hollywood Studios is a real consideration. If you and your family want to experience all of the rides that Hollywood Studios has to offer with minimal crowds then the cost of Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours may be worth it. You could potentially have a rest day before the event and reduce your park ticket cost by one day’s admission to offset the expense.

However, if you want to do things like Jedi Training Academy or see the impressive live shows at Hollywood Studios then Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios will leave you disappointed. To do these activities you would need park admission to Hollywood Studios in the day time. 

Final Thoughts On Our Hollywood Studios Disney After Hours Experience

After attending our first Disney After Hours experience I would definitely attend another one. We were able to do several premium Hollywood Studios attractions in a just a couple of hours.

This was true even though our 3 hour event was limited by an incredibly slow ticket pick up and my daughter not feeling well. If you have the resources and desire to do the premium attractions at Hollywood Studios without the crowds then the Hollywood Studios After Hours event is a great experience.

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