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Would you be upset if you paid $149 while others get in for free?

Disney After Hours events added for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom

Disney is rolling out it’s Disney After Hours event tonight and sales weren’t as abundant for the first night as some had hoped and now some are being invited to attend for free.

Disney has sent invitations to Disney Vacation Club members to attend tonight’s opening of the new “Disney After Hours” event “free of charge.”  Here’s what the email invitation stated:

“the latest surprise generating buzz around the neighborhood is a special invitation for Members to experience – free of charge!* – the newly created Disney After Hours event April 14.  the Walt Disney World event (which has an advertised price of $149.00) allows a limited number of Guests to enjoy popular Magic Kingdom attractions and Characters for an additional three hours after the Park closes!

During your night in the Park, enjoy shorter-than-usual wait times at more than 25 beloved attractions including:

  • Big thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Disney Princess Greetings in Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine train
  • Space Mountain

You’ll also enjoy complimentary ice cream novelties and select bottled beverages, and you’ll find additional menu items available for purchase at Casey’s Corner and Main Street Bakery.”

If Disney wanted this to be a sell out every night, march out some rare characters and Disney Villains and the place would sell out in a very short time.

How would you feel if you spent $149 and others were getting in for free?


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  1. I was there last night and it was fantastic! For me, why are we talking about if people got in for free or paid…in the grand scheme of things does that really matter? It happens everyday at Disney, and everywhere for that matter. Every. Day. It is all about who you know, and the benfits or perks of your job. Are you going to ask for refund if you found out the person next to you didn’t pay? People get free stuff all the time, that doesn’t mean every person should get it. Just me thoughts.
    What we should really be talking about is whether or not it is worth the money Disney is asking people to pay? That is the real question. And the only people who know the answer, are the people who went last night.

  2. I think Disney is living in their own little FantasyLand where they believe they can price 3 hours in a theme park at $150, and have people knocking down the gates to get in. I could care less if they give it away to anyone and everyone – something has to wake them up.

    If I had paid to get in (and I’m not one who has $150 laying around to do so) It would be because I was making money off the event as a blogger and could write off the experience on my taxes, as well as appease the readers while grabbing some advertising money. My bet is that these are the folk in attendance.

  3. The event for tonight sold out some time in the evening. That means there was a capacity, and it was met. I would like to know how attendees felt about the crowd level. As far as letting in DVC members for free, it seems that the invitation may only have gone to registered guests, and probably was subject to the event limitations (first come, first served, until the park reached capacity.) Therefore, if people paid or didn’t pay to get in, the event would have the same capacity. If someone bought tickets hoping that others would not (so that crowds would be even less) then that was a gamble on their part which didn’t pay off. EMH is still free for resort guests, and now off property guests can pay to get their own version of it. Sounds expensive to me, but that is their choice.

    • Disney may have said it sold out, but looking at the reviews on twitter, there is only about 1000 people there. So, where are the other 2000? Sounds like a bunch of Disney marketing noise to me.

    • I attended this event last night and I have to say it was absolutely magical and fantastic. If they truly did reach capacity last night like you stated, then it was well worth the price. It felt as if I rented the park out fro myself and a few of my friends, that is how empty the park was! It was the craziest thing I have ever experienced. This morning I honestly wish I would have take a few more moments to take it all in because i am pretty sure that will not happen again. I walked onto every ride, most of the time there was no one in the car next me or 5 cars away. The place was empty. There were more workers than attenddess is what it seemed like!

  4. My favorite thing is are they really THAT surprised that it didn’t sell out? I mean, I think it’s a dumb idea to begin with, but if people want to purchase it, be my guest. The fact is that it costs MORE than a normal ticket to do a few additional hours. Might as well buy an extra day for your trip at that point.

  5. We go to Disney all the time and stay and one of the resorts. Extra magic hours were part of the benefits. If we have to pay extra, it’s a rip-off.

      • I wouldn’t go with “totally different”. This is basically EMH with “free” food for $150.

        Sure they still have regular EMH for resort guests – if you consider “regular” to be 2 hours per week at the Magic Kingdom compared to the 6 hours per week of just a couple years ago. I wish they would restore what they used to have instead of adding extra upcharge events.

      • Totally different because it offers less and the charge extra. Emh are included with resort stay.

      • Agree with Kenny! Completely different! EMH is included in your stay, and the whole park is available. There were no characters at this event EXCEPT for Mickey on Main Street. All other characters were sleeping. Almost every ride was open but a couple. Those you would not have missed. This is an opportunity to spend some money and see the park in a way you would NEVER get to see it or experience it. All of my pictures were sans people and EVERY ride I walked onto with no wait and choice of seating. I rode 7D 2x’s in row, and chose my seat both times. It was an event like none other and in my opinion well worth the price. I do believe it would be something you have to experience if you are a HUGE Disney fan. I can say that the guests I met were extremely happy with their experience and completely overwhelmed by the coolness!

  6. As a DVC member I have to say that I understand Disney asking members to attend. They want the park to appear fuller and to have people think it’s a success.

    As far as not paying, there are a few things that DVC members don’t get to take advantage of like Free Dining since we don’t need to pay for our resort stay since we’ve paid to be a part of DVC. So I think that offering something like this once in a while is nice of Disney to do!

    • But any Florida Resident Passholder doesn’t get the perks like free dining either But we weren’t offered the deal it would only be fair if they offered for you they would offer for us to

  7. We are in the magic Kingdom just now visiting from Scotland and are dvc members but have had no email certainly wouldn’t have spent $149!!

  8. I actually did pay about 75 bucks for the villains unleashed at Hollywood studios a few years ago and it was an absolute disaster, after demanding a refund, I have become very cautious of signing up for these “extras”.

  9. I would never pay $149 for a few hours at Disney. Their “limited” amount of tickets is probably not my limited amount. I would not have a problem if they let DVC members that were staying there tonight enter. It would be an extra magic thing for them. If they were allowed guests, that would not be ok. But again, I’m not crazy enough to pay that in the first place. They are charging too much for things now. It’s not at all what Walt had invisioned. Parents can’t afford to take their kids there anymore.

  10. Have they even said how many tickets are available like what is the total number of people allowed to purchase these tickets ?1000 or 20,000? seems they have never say a number .

  11. It doesn’t make sense anyway unless they are cutting out the extras magic hours.
    If they keep EMH then you can have the extra 2-3 hours free so why would you pay for them?
    If they cut the EMH then it’s going to be a huge problem for ppl who stay on property for those perks.
    I would be super ticked if I paid that much to have less ppl there and then they let ppl in free – which will make the park more crowded because they are getting in free!

  12. Not upset about them offering it to DVC members but I heard that they can bring in 3 guests. That would upset me. Unless of course I was the guest. ;) Seriously though, I hope this is a major flop and they do away with it quickly.

  13. We have a week in Orlando and are spending all our time at WDW, however I was disapointed to see that Universal didn’t do any evening only events like this. It would have been very useful as I doubt we’ll be back for a while. I wouldn’t pay for an WDW evening only ticket as we’ll be there for a week. If I had a universal one and others had got in for free, I wouldn’t mind as long as the event was what I was expecting.

  14. I’m upset that Disney is even implementing this plan at all. Extra hours should be for onsite Disney guests free of any charge. Disney is taking things to far. It might be time to go to Universal Studios or Seaworld. AND on top of all the extra charges, River of Lights was not opened as advertised and now we will probably miss this after much planning on my part. ALSO the Frozen ride at Epcot is not completed on schedule, also part of my planning for our trip. I’m really not happy with Disney on this trip. I hope that something very special happens while we are there! Otherwise we might look for another vacation destination.

    • We’re going to Universal next March. And we LOVE WDW. Finally the Mouse is getting some good competition. This year, I noticed maintenance is getting overwhelmed by capacity crowds, and wait times made us give up in defeat too many times.

  15. Well I wouldn’t pay that anyways so I don’t really know how I would be. However, I think it’s ridiculous that they are charging $149 for a couple hours when it’s a less than that for the parties and you get more!!!

  16. I would never do it in the first place! For the price that we all pay in the first place, why can’t they just add another night for no additional cost? It’s getting out of hand with the costs.

  17. Disney is messing around far too much. When I visit I stay on property. Part of the perks for staying on property is the after hours. If people outside of staying on site, fine, they should pay and thats their choice. Disney had not be taking away those perks or my next trip will be straight down to the Keys. And skip my favourite place on earth

  18. It seems to me this was clearly a flop and as it should be. Anyone who paid $150 for this sham of an event should have their heads examined! NOTHING special about it and truly embarrassing. As you said if they’d added rare characters or villains or something cool? It would have sold out no freebies needed to fill it.

  19. This is the DVC’s 25th anniversary. you can thank us for our investment in Disney properties which in turn helps to keep prices down for everyone else. If you purchased the event you must have felt it was worth it when you purchased- what changed?

  20. That is completely unfair! Those who paid $149 deserve to have as many…or few in the park who were also willing to pay the $149! I would cancel as well.

    • Agreed, Catherine. One of the shadier aspects of this whole racket is the “limited” word — i.e., however many tickets they can sell. If I were to pay that fee, I would want as absolutely few people in there as possible, just as you say.

  21. They paid a lot of money for it to be “free”. They’ve had many perks stripped away. I wouldn’t mind at all.

  22. At Disney right now but just can’t shell out $149 each for party of four. Maybe would for rare characters but then lines for those would be long.

    • We’ve done the Very Merry Christmas for $50 extra per person and it was just ok. The crowds weren’t that light and I’m glad we did it once but never again. I can’t imagine paying $149 per person x 4 for a couple of hours. It is beyond my comprehension!

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