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3 Things We Can't Believe About the Magic Kingdom's Newest Upcharge Event

The Magic Kingdom is certainly no stranger to upcharge events, with guests happily paying between $60-$90 every year to experience seasonal events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Though the price is steep (and seems to keep climbing year after year), guests attending these after hours events get to enjoy special entertainment offerings, exclusive food options, and choice character meet and greet opportunities.

However, news site WDWNT reported yesterday that a new upcharge event for the Magic Kingdom is coming soon that includes…none of these. Named Magic Kingdom After Hours, this reported new event will take place select nights in April and May, and will cost guests an exorbitant $150 per person (adult or child). So what do you get for that price? Surprisingly...not a whole lot

1. Introducing Magic Kingdom After Hours

If you’ve ever stayed on property at a Walt Disney World resort, then you’re probably aware of Extra Magic Hours, which is a perk given to resort guests that allows them access to a specific park for a few hours either before it opens or after it closes. Extra Magic Hours has been a valuable benefit for onsite guests over the years especially at the Magic Kingdom, as wait times for popular attractions like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the Princess Fairytale Hall are typically nonexistant with less guests in the park.

Similarly, Magic Kingdom After Hours guests will now be able to experience attractions with lower crowds for a full three hours after the park closes on event days, without the on-property requirement.

According to the reports published yesterday, there will be no special entertainment or food during this limited time event. The park will simply remain open to those taking advantage of this upcharge event. 

Although this sounds a lot like Extra Magic Hours, it's worth noting that this new event isn't scheduled on Extra Magic Hours nights at this park. During this initial test run, Magic Kingdom After Hours will be offered on April 14th, 21st, 28th and May 5th, 8th, 12th, and 19th. Of course, like any upcharge event, if Magic Kingdom After Hours proves to be popular with guests, Disney will likely extend the event out indefinitely, offering it on select dates throughout the year. 

If you are interested in attending this event, reports indicate that tickets will go on sale for Magic Kingdom After Hours on April 6th for all the dates listed above. 

2. So what will happen to Extra Magic Hours?

On the surface, this event seems like an easy way for Disney to make non-resort guests pay for Extra Magic Hours, and those who have benefitted from this resort perk might wonder if this might be the beginning of the end for this popular program (if Disney can monetize it, why continue to offer it for free?). However, it seems unlikely that Disney would make this move, especially since Extra Magic Hours is one of the biggest reasons why guests are willing to pay a premium for an on-site hotel stay. While it's impossible to quantify how much weight guests give to benefits like Extra Magic Hours when deciding on whether or not to stay on Disney property, it seems unlikely that Disney would gamble too recklessly with this popular perk. 

However, if Magic Kingdom After Hours is indeed a success, what we could see as a reult is a reduction in evening Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom specifically, as Disney looks to monetize this new event as much as possible without getting rid of the Extra Magic Hours program completely. Though it seems crazy to pay $50 per person, per hour, to stay in the Magic Kingdom late at night, we don’t know how limited this experience will be, and depending on how many people Disney is going to allow in the parks for this “exclusive” event, it could be a success if even a few thousand people take advantage of it.

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There are 25 comments.

Breaking News! Next upcharge is "Tink-le Passes". $50 per restroom visit.

Absolutely awful idea and not worth $150.

I've been staying for years on Disney property just for that reason, to take advantage of extra magic hours. If Disney does away with the free perk for resort guests, Universal is looking like a much better option on where to stay, and much less expensive. Plus the hotels on Hotel Plaza Boulevard right near Disney .

Disney is all about $$$$$$$$ any more. I am sadly disappointed that the average middle class family is being priced out, and only the very wealthy are going to be able to afford it. So very sad! Walt would be extremely upset!

There is plenty to enjoy at any budget at Disney, in my opinion. I wouldn't pay $150 per person for this extra event either. Disney is still a business and consumers will vote with the dollars. Personally, I wouldn't use my dollars to pay for these extra magic hours event.

of course they will charge for extra hours....they will charge for air and sunshine once they can figure out how. Soon we'll be back to the E tickets...where you pay to get in PLUS for every ride. Walt Disney is turning in his grave!

I already enjoy extra time in the parks - its called getting there at Rope Drop. :)

I can see the appeal, but why would you pay more than the price of a regular ticket to enjoy a few hours in a less crowded park? When you pay $79 for a party event there are special perks that make it worth it, plus you get at least 5 hours in the park with reduced crowds. (Although they keep selling more and more tickets to the party events, its still "less" crowded...)

$150 per person for 3 hours?!! That is outrageous. There is no way I would ever consider paying that. Everyone needs to stop going if Disney keeps this non sense of upcharging and adding fees. I love Disney, we try to go every year, but if this continues, I'll pass thank you.

Will not be participating in the extra hours at that price....stay on property and the lines are short by the end of extra hours...without paying Extra Price...No thanks.... visit once a month...Florida residence are getting g the boot....aND yet ..we spend $$$$$ and are loyal guests...Walt always said to make a place for the Whole family...not just the elite ....we stay on property to get benifits of the extra hours. ..Sad...

This is exactly why I've been in a love/hate relationship with Disney. No longer do I feel the quality over quantity. It's now reverse. Yes, Disney has always been top quality over everyone else but over the past few years, I've noticed it slipping and others catching up. Universal is closing the gap and while they still have a ways to go, their leadership seems to understand that they've got to offer quality over quantity. Disney seems to have gotten farther and farther away from Walt Disney World's opening speech. "May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place ... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn - together." Yeah, that seems pretty much 180 degrees off. No longer can everyday people afford to go to Walt Disney World. It used to be a very nostalgic and memorable place for me to visit, even as an adult. Now it just feels like I'm having every penny sucked out of my pockets with the ridiculous prices of everything in the parks. I know I'm a minority but I really hope Disney crashes with these price increases and the people that supported them, go elsewhere and make Disney beg for people to visit.

I am a long time Disney fan and a former Cast Member. I recall vividly after 9/11 when Disney embraced the locals who supported the major downturn in travel following that horrific event.

I have continued to be an Annual Passholder since I left as a Cast Member and have to say I am about at my threshold for the price increases and up charges.

I do not fault the company for trying to make money, I own stock, but I feel they are starting to squeeze out it's core constituency, maybe by design.

There is no doubt you make more money charging 10,000 people $1,000 than you do 50,000 people paying $100, but that seems to be their new direction.

I can only hope it stays affordable for the average person/family.

well, i am not a fan of the extra upcharges Disney is rolling out. Then again, people would pay thousands for the plaid tours, or other VIP treatments. does this go against walts vision? possibly. but good old uncle walt isn't in charge anymore. disney is now a company who is accountable to the shareholders. if you are giving something away when people will pay for it, that's just bad business.

another thing. it's funny to see people complain about all the wait times (2 hours for toy story, 90 min for 7 dwarfs, soarin, test track, 1h for the mountains, etc.) then complain about price increases. it's supply vs. demand. prices are low enough that the demand is greater than the supply. so raise prices to cut the crowd down.

I remember when they used to have E-ticket nights at Magic Kingdom, pre 9/11 it was $10 for 3 hours after the Magic Kingdom closed. Not everything was open... usually the E ticket items were open, such as the 3 mountains, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and most of Fantasyland. For $10, having access to the E ticket items that you couldn't fit in during the day... and also the cooler temperatures of night time, made it a fantastic deal. Unfortunately, the days of fantastic deals seem to be over at Iger-land. It's all big business, and Money has taken the place of Mickey in the hearts of the Powers that Be. Probably the saddest thing is there are enough people out there who will pay those horrific prices for Disney to make a profit, and like all of the other things we said would never last.... Magic Your Way Tickets, Ticket prices over $100, and Magic Bands, it will become normal.

We go to Disney 3-4 times a year and are also Annual Passholders. Very disappointed in the direction Disney is moving towards. This may be our last year as our friends will no longer be able to come with us.

Raising my kids here in Florida we would do Thanksgiving / Christmas with my Father and Stepmother (in Early December) every year for several years. We bought the Florida Resident Annual passes and eventually the weekday version until it became clear that the desperate need for re-investment in the Theme Parks was glaring. We walked by more than we rode. I must say that I really loved going to Disney because we knew it so well and there was just this Disney thing that was always alluring to be our vacation place. No longer is this true. We are thinking of returning to check it out again maybe in 2021 when the billions in remakes and new concepts is done but I must say I pity you with young children who have longed to go there and saved money to enjoy a vacation. You will not get your money's worth and only the die-hard Disney fan should go in that you are blind to the costs and return on investment.. I pity the poor Grandparents-- unless you are billion/millionaires in that you are expected to finance the entire family reunion there.. The price increases are insane and beyond the means of most.. Hoping for the return of sanity and the priority of the guest over the stock holder

Seems like bad business to me. It might work increasing prices for awhile but eventually you r going to hit the wall. Maybe they can survive on only the"elite"but the majority will still rule and people will give up on the little bit of magic that's left. Disney needs to read comments!

I agree with all of the above statements. Disney is ALL about how much money they can squeeze out of people. I love Disney World, but they're pricing it out of my reach. The poor have never been able to go to Disney world, and now, sadly, the middle class aren't going to be able to go either. I'm planning a trip in may, and there is very real probability that this will be my last trip there. I can't afford Disney anymore. I sure hope the powers that be take note of all the comments and learn from them.

While I don't like more upcharge events, as long as it doesn't shorten the hours available to everyone else I don't mind it. I can see why it would be so expensive if they keep the entire park open for an extra 3 hours. That is a lot of extra man hours. However, I don't see this doing very well. How many people would really take advantage of this? But I would much rather them continue to do these upcharge events that don't really effect those not participating rather than universal's stance and have a different class of tourist with their paid express pass. Especially on events like Halloween Horror Nights the express pass costs more than the ticket itself and it causes lines to be longer for those not willing to pony up.

Absolutely not ... further, Disney it is time you make more of your rides wheelchair accessible. Many people in wheelchairs cannot transfer out of the chair to the ride, yet we still have to pay full price. It is time to put your 'imagineers' to work, or contact me, I will help with ideas and I won't even charge you extra ....

We now stay offsite because of the high Disney resort prices. We stay 1.5 miles away from Disney in an awesome 2 bdrm villa for less than the price of the last 'moderate' resort we stayed in. The roll-in showers at Disney resorts are nearly impossible to get in and rooms are small. Believe me, we'd love to stay onsite, but we come in a group of 8. Disney has simply and sadly priced us out of staying their.

We are Disney fanatics, but even we must be cost conscious with their constant price increases.

Sad in Louisiana

And now I just saw they are doing an extra early magic hours ticket event at mk. Fantasyland breakfast. Plus peter pan, pooh and dwarves train will be open.

Until attendance and or resort bookings begin to decline , there will be more up charges in the future. I went for dinner at the poly in February and it was packed. There are not many slow times anymore at WDW.

I hate this idea. Our family has taken multiple trips to Disney, but it is becoming so expensive and so complicated that we may not be back. In my opinion, the best perk of being a Disney Resort guest was having the Extra Magic hours. If they offer this to off Disney guests, won't it make the lines for everything that much longer? Even if these events are on days without Extra Magic Hours at those parks, the parks will be more crowded at rope drop. If Disney decides it's a success and ends the Extra Magic benefit for their guests, we will not be likely to stay at a Disney resort on any future trips, if we can even afford any future trips. :-(

This doesn't sound like money well spent at $150 per person. I'd pass on this. However, the Early Morning event that starts at 7:30am, sounds like it's worth the entertainment dollars.

Disney is in the entertainment business. They are always looking for ways to increase revenue. Consumers will vote with their dollars if the evening uncharge event is worth it.

It's really a shame what is happening in 'The World.' We have been DVC members for 9 years. It has become so unaffordable for our family of 5, we are had to sell off some of our points. We are renting them this year too because we can't go again this year. Pretty sad considering we used to go once or twice a year :-(. Hopefully they won't take something so memorable and magical away from the average families!

HATE THIS. The perk of Extra Magic Hours was a key decision factor in our purchase of DVC. $150 per person is outrageous. Between the crowds during normal hours and the removal nighttime EMH, Magic Kingdom has become inaccessible for us. Even if they keep Magic Kingdom EMH for the morning, it's barely a benefit; we'd prefer nighttime.

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