Updated: Jan 18, 2020
Disneyland After Dark events are a recent phenomenon. They are separately ticketed events that have various themes. This post will cover all 4 of the After Dark events I've been to :)
Star Wars Nite
When I bought a ticket for Star Wars Nite, I honestly wasn't expecting too much. Disneyland had only had one After Dark event at this point, Throwback Nite, which had only two meet and greets that I would've wanted (Three Good Fairies who I got a year later and Merlin who I still need), so I figured the emphasis wouldn't be on characters at these events.
I was so wrong.
Star Wars Nite took place three days before my birthday. I went in a little later than I had planned, but ran into a friend who had been waiting in line for Launch Bay and he let me wait with him. I read over the map to see who I needed and was shocked that I'd be able to get 6 new characters that were not on my Star Wars Day at Sea cruise!
When we entered Launch Bay, my friend David and I immediately went for Rey while my friend Tiff got in line for Maul and Seventh Sister, who were rotating. She waited a little toward the back so we could join her and my other friend, Lily.
David and I were the first people to meet Rey at Disneyland, which was pretty cool!
After Rey, we went to meet up with Tiff and Lily. Seventh Sister was the first rotation.
She was intense and terrifying and totally AWESOME!
After meeting her, David went his separate way and I repeated the queue for Maul while my friends did some shopping.
Literally the only good part of the "Phantom Menace"!!
After meeting Maul, we rode Hyperspace Mountain and got food. I will say the line for food and even just the food carts was MASSIVE. They've since gotten that under control.
After waiting an hour for food, we only had about an hour and a half left of the event. We did Star Tours and then headed over to the Chopper meet and greet. My friends don't care for characters so they rode Pooh while I met him.
The rotations were annoying, as they usually are at DL, because you never really know who you're going to get. It would be nice if they'd just cut the line.
We ended the night by meeting some furry friends!
Ewok hugs = the best hugs.
I still have two more Ewoks to meet :)
I think adding more face characters, like Luke, Leia, Ani, and Padme would've been cool, but who knows? Maybe one day we'll see the return of Star Wars Weekends.
Though I got to meet 4 very rare characters at Sweethearts Nite this past February, it was a MESS.
I got to DL quite early as I'd heard Milo & Kida and Her & Meg would be meeting. CMs refused to let Linda and me know where the lines were, where the characters would be... We only stumbled upon Milo and Kida by chance. The sets were very short so in the end, they just went down the line, barely interacted, and took quick photos. So no Photopass picture.
Yes, I'm wearing a hoodie and a spirit jersey. This Californian was not built to be out on February evenings.
Despite CMs telling us Her and Meg wouldn't be out for at least an hour, we decided to stay in line. Lo and behold, they came out 15 minutes later. They were discouraging autographs (same with Milo and Kida), but all 4 signed very happily for me. I even had a fun interaction with Meg about her having to sign on the page next to Hades.
This event, organizationally, was a mess. Character meets were disorganized. The original plan was to have Milo and Kida roaming. I mean really? Photo op lines were over an hour.
I hope they learned from this event for the 2020 event. I will be going to the second night and am hoping for these two couples as well as new ones, hopefully Mulan and Shang!
90s Nite, for all its flaws, ended up being very fun for me! Let's go over the bad aspects first, and end with the good.
Lines were long, again. Rotations were crazy, again. Linda waited 3 hours in line just to get the right rotation for the "Hunchback" characters. Food lines were better this time around though.
The Darkwing/Don Karnage location was very ill thought out. They'd set up the queue in the Fantasyland Theater, which is also a firework fallout area. They moved us all out, moved us back in, and shuffled us back around. This was my first line of the night, so not off to a stellar start.
They started with Darkwing, to my friends' and my dismay, as we were hoping for Don. But, we figured Darkwing is rare too so another photo wouldn't hurt!
David, his fiancé (now wife!) Jen, and our friend Sara had all come from Florida. This event is also where I met Richy in person and we became fast friends. The queueing was only tolerable thanks to Linda, these guys, and Maymun, one of my best friends who'd come to the event with me. She did attractions most of the night, which I later joined her for.
After Darkwing, I checked on Linda. She was waiting in the Phoebus line. Her first time around. Young and full of hope. She'd wait twice more that night.
We went to the Jungle Monkeys from Fantasmic! next. It was cutting it close to Don's start time, so Sara and I were the only ones who stayed and waited all the way through to the meet.
They kept dancing with all the guests, so it took quite a bit of time.
Sara and I then sprinted to Don's line, where our friends' mom had saved our spots. Thank you, Mrs. Prevor!
We got to meet Don, who wasn't signing autographs sadly. I did get his at Oogie Boogie Bash a few months later!
He's extremely rare, so this was quite a treat!
After Don, we headed over to Phoebus, where Linda was on her second try. We waited with her and were the next party in line when it started sprinkling. Of course, the group in front of us took forever, and they sent Phoebus and Esmeralda back inside. It stopped raining before their set was even set to end, but Clopin was still brought back out. Linda immediately queued up again, as this was her priority meet. She said she'd keep us posted, so we headed off to meet Mulan dressed as Ping, who we'd heard was rotating with Mushu.
After 30 or so odd minutes, we got her/him!
I absolutely love Mulan, so this was very cool. Now, all I'm missing from her unit is Li Shang!
We then joined up with Linda again. And Clopin was not leaving anytime soon when we were nearing the front. People began refusing to go up, so the CMs relented and brought out who we wanted to see.
I ended my character hunting here that night, but wish I'd stuck with David, Jen, Sara, and Richy to meet Powerline Max and Fisherman Goofy. One day! I also missed Talespin Louis.
This event had the same problems as Sweethearts. Weird rotations, unhelpful CMs... But I had a great time with my friends and met 3 new characters, so that's what counts!
Heroes Assemble Nite
Heroes Assemble Nite is easily the best Disneyland After Dark event I've been to. My friend from school, Sally, and I went to celebrate my birthday this past May, as well as the end of midterms. We got to the park around 6PM and first, rode Incredicoaster, ate Num Nums, had dinner, and enjoyed World of Color. We also rode Toy Story Mania as well as Pixar Pal-Around, which is still the stuff of nightmares.
After these attractions, we went to our first character meet. I only needed the VIPs in their Marvel overlays and the Krylorian girls. I was really not expecting the Marvel overlays, so this was awesome as I'd missed them when our Marvel Day at Sea Cruise got cancelled!
The great thing was, we waited only about twenty minutes. And they were meeting in pairs. And it was two pairs per queue! We only had to wait in two lines for 8 characters!
First up was the Mice and Ducks.
Donald and Daisy looked great in their Hulk and Black Widow Disney bounds!
And Mickey and Minnie looked very stylish as Cap and Spider-Gwen.
Our next line was about 20 minutes for the rest of the VIPs.
First was my boys dressed as... My other boys!
This is possibly my favorite overlay of theirs!
Then Iron Goofy and Super Pluto!
We then headed into Hollywood Land, where we waited only 10 minutes for the Krylorian girls.
As for the rest of the night? Mission: Breakout, churros, ice cream, Radiator Springs Racers, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.
This event was everything the others were not. Well organized and with short lines. I hope Disney learned from how smoothly this event went when planning the After Dark events for the coming year.