As you may or may not know, last week I attended both of the two new Disney After Hours events. The first one was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the second was at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I have not attended the Magic Kingdom version, so obviously I’m not including that here. I thought it would be fun to compare the two events a bit. If you’re thinking of attending one but can’t make up your mind which to pick, maybe this will help. Probably not, though, because I loved them both.
Let me state right off that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is my favorite of all four theme parks. Part of it is because my two favorite Walt Disney World rides (Star Tours and Slinky Dog Dash) are there. It’s also because of memories. Disney is all about making memories, and some of my best have been at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From seeing Mark Hamill for the first time to making a lifelong friend who was in the College Program; I just love this park.
That said, I think that Avatar Flight of Passage is the best ride that I’ve ever been on overall. It wows me every time that I am lucky enough to ride. All of Pandora still blows me away, especially at night.
Overall, I think that I enjoyed the Disney’s Hollywood Studios version of Disney After Hours more. One major advantage was the number of characters. There were several greetings throughout the park. The only characters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom were Chip ‘n Dale, and they were supposed to be part of a dance party. No one was dancing, so they were posing. Chip ‘n Dale are one of my favorite meet and greets, and this did not disappoint.
As far as the “wow” factor is concerned, Disney’s Animal Kingdom won. There were entire passageways that my daughter and I walked on without seeing another soul. That was incredible to experience. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios there were always a few more guests around. The exception to that was Star Wars Launch Bay, but I headed there before the event officially started so it doesn’t really count.
There is no winner as far as rides without lines is concerned. We were able to walk onto everything during both events. Considering that Slinky Dog Dash usually has a wait of at least an hour and a half, and Flight of Passage still will often have a line that lasts three hours or more, walking onto the rides is definitely a win for either park.
If you’re trying to decide which of the two you want to purchase a ticket for, think about what is most important to you. Since Pandora usually has the longest Wait Times at Walt Disney World that is something that you will want to take into consideration. Overall, there was more offered at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Disney After Hours offers you a new way to see the theme parks, and considering that it costs about the same as a one day ticket it is really not a bad deal. We did as much on the two nights that we were there as we would have done if we spent a full day in the park. More, if you count that we were able to hit Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog Dash multiple times. It’s a great way to visit a park without having to fight the crowds or stand in line. Disney After Hours is a brilliant idea on Disney’s part.