Throughout the year, Disneyland offers several after-hours events. So far, in 2019, we’ve seen Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite, 90’s Nite, Heroes Assemble, and most recently “The Haunted Mansion: Celebrating 50 Years of Retirement Unliving.” With Halloween right around the corner, guests can experience “Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party at Disney California Adventure.” Oogie Boogie Bash begins on September 17, 2019, and tickets are already on sale! Here are 5 reasons why you should attend an after-hours event.
- Exclusive Character Meet and Greets – I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE to meet the characters while at the parks. There is just something magical about coming face to face with your favorite character. During Heroes Assemble, we were able to meet Star-Lord, Gamora, Doctor Strange, Thor, and Iron Man! Now, keep in mind this was mere days after the release of Endgame, so the line for Iron Man was pretty long. However, we waited towards the end of the party and only had about a thirty-minute wait. My 12-year old nephew, Tylere, is the biggest Iron Man fan, so seeing his face light up when Iron Man came on stage and talk to us was well worth those 30 minutes. During the Haunted Mansion 50th, the Hitchhiking Ghosts, Sally Slater, and even the Bride, Constance Hatchaway met with their undead fans. Getting in line early for characters is key when it comes to meeting as many as possible.
- Adults can wear costumes! Oh yes, friends, you read that right. The only time that guests over the age of 13 are allowed to wear costumes is during these special after-hours events. There are a few rules, such as no masks, and costumes aren’t allowed to drag on the ground. Also, costumed guests are not allowed to sign autographs. You wouldn’t want a little kid to think you were the real Cinderella! While Disney-bounding is a great alternative, the after-hours events are the best time to show off those super detailed Disney costumes.
- Exclusive Merchandise – I am a sucker for limited edition and exclusive souvenirs. Party pins, shirts, popcorn buckets… you name it and I want it! Occasionally, there will be extras left over, and those will be offered to the public. When it comes to exclusive shirts and pins, I always recommend grabbing them at the start of the party. This ensures that you get one, and also the right size. I forgot to grab a shirt when we did Heroes Assemble until the very end, and I had to settle for a different size. Some events, such as the Haunted Mansion 50th, had an advanced reservation selection process. This enabled guests the chance to pick out what they wanted before the party while avoiding long lines during the event.
- Lower wait times for rides. Want to know what it’s like to walk onto Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Haunted Mansion, or other popular rides? Then attend an after-hours event at Disneyland! Now keep in mind, not all of the rides are open during select events. These do vary by event, but for the most part, you can enjoy them all with a minimal wait! Even Indiana Jones Adventure was only a few minutes wait time. That’s one of the rides that we usually utilize a Fast Pass for so we don’t have to wait in line. I finished off the Haunted Mansion party with a Jungle Cruise, and there were only 3 of us on the boat.
- Exclusive Food – Last, but certainly not least, you can enjoy exclusive food options! Whenever Disney announces a new event, you know there’s going to be treats to go with it. The good thing is that Disney typically uses these parties as the release of these treats and then offers them in the parks later. Although, sometimes they are strictly for the party…. You just never know which will be offered at a later date. For Heroes Assemble, guests could collect all of the Infinity Stones in the form of delicious churros, along with other hero-themed food. The Haunted Mansion 50th featured Bride and Groom churros (which guests can still enjoy at Disneyland!) One was a chocolate churro while the other was vanilla. Both were delicious. There was also the Widow’s Walk Clam Chowder and the Blackberry Midnight Julep. If you haven’t had a mint julep at Disneyland, you are missing out. The new twist on this classic was absolutely delicious.
I can’t recommend Disneyland’s after-hours events enough. Even if you are only able to visit for a few days, the extra hours in the park with lower crowd levels are totally worth it. If you’re thinking of taking a Disneyland trip, I’d love to chat! JessicaM@travelwiththemagic.com