When the sun goes down at Disney the fun doesn’t stop. There is so much to do at Disney World at night.
Disney World At Night – In The Parks
The Disney parks are great fun during the day, but I always think they get even better at night. Once it gets dark, the parks seem so much more magical in my opinion.
Most nights in the Magic Kingdom you can watch Happily Ever After. This is a show centered around Cinderella Castle. There are projections onto the castle in time to music, accompanied by lasers and fireworks. It’s fantastic and definitely a ‘must-do’ for us.
As soon as Happily Ever After finishes the majority of the crowd will head for the exits. If you’re not in a rush to get back to your accommodation, I suggest hanging around to see the Kiss Goodnight.
The Kiss Goodnight
The Kiss Goodnight happens about half an hour after the park has closed for the evening. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be inside the park. It simply means that the rides are closed, but you are still able to shop and purchase food from the quick service counters.
Half an hour after closing a twinkling noise can be heard in the park. Then Cinderella Castle lights up and a short message is played, before the castle goes dark. It lasts for a couple of minutes.
It’s a fun thing to see if you’re not too tired from your day in the Magic Kingdom.
Epcot has a firework show over the World Showcase lagoon most nights. It’s currently called Illuminations, A Reflection Of Earth but it’s due to change later in the year.
The World Showcase looks so pretty all lit up at night and it’s well worth having a wander around.
As you walk through Future World, near to Spaceship Earth, be sure to watch where your walking. There’s some fun stuff to see right under your feet.
There is so much to see in Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World at night.
For starters there is Fantasmic! This is a show set on the lake with projections onto the water. It is full of characters and the Disney songs that we all love.
As well as Fantasmic! there are two other shows that I think everybody would enjoy.
Firstly there’s Disney Movie Magic, a nightly 10 minute show. It features projections of scenes from some of the greatest movies ever made.
The second show I fully recommend is Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Even if you’re not a big Star Wars fan this is still worth watching. The lasers and fireworks timed to the music make this show excellent.
Animal Kingdom has a few things worth seeing at night.
There is a short nightly show on the river called Rivers of Light. The show consists of floats that are lit up and tells the story of Eastern festivals.
It’s a nice show to see, but I wouldn’t use a FastPass+ for this unless you have a spare one.
One thing not to miss in Animal Kingdom at night is Pandora – The World of Avatar. Pandora is amazing to see during the day, but when it is lit up at night it is breathtakingly pretty!
My absolute favourite ‘must-do’ in Animal Kingdom at night is to see The Tree Of Life Awakenings.
Every night the Tree Of Life ‘comes to life’ and it’s fascinating to see! The show runs every 10 minutes and I really recommend waiting to see it. You don’t need to get seats, or a FastPass+. You just need to wait in front of the Tree Of Life once it gets dark.
Disney World At Night – The Resorts
All of the resorts have evening activities that you can take part in. It may vary from resort to resort, so check with the front desk to find out what’s happening where you’re staying.
Many of the Walt Disney World resorts have a campfire sing-a-long in the early evening. These are usually based close to the swimming pool. Cast Members will be there to get everybody singing traditional campfire songs. They often give out s’mores too.
If the weather is bad or there is lightning in the area the campfire sing-a-long may be cancelled. If this happens, the Cast Members will often try and move things to an indoor location.
The sing-a-longs are free to attend and very family friendly. They are suitable for children of all ages.
Movies Under The Stars
All of the Disney resorts show a movie under the stars every night. Like the campfire sing-a-long, the movies under the stars are free to attend for guests staying at a Disney resort.
The movies are shown on a large screen outdoors so they may be cancelled if the weather is bad.
You can usually find a schedule for the movies in your room, or alternatively check with the front desk.
Many of the resorts offer other fun activities for you to take part in at night.
All of the Disney hotels have a small arcade area. Some have a video games area and pool tables. If you’re staying at Disney Vacation Club resort, such as Old Key West, it may have a Community Hall.
At Community Hall you will be able to take part in crafts, play pool, watch DVDs and play games. The Cast Members are great and it’s always fun to spend a bit of time in there. (There may be an extra charge for some activities).
Lastly, look out for nighttime activities that are specific to the resort you are staying in. For example, at Animal Kingdom Lodge there is the opportunity to use night vision goggles to see the animals on the savannah.
Disney World At Night – Disney Springs
There is so much that you can do at Disney Springs of a nighttime.
For a start there are currently 63 dining options. Whether you want a full sit down meal or a quick ice cream, you’ll find it here. Our favourites are Earl of Sandwich for a quick snack and Planet Hollywood for an immersive dining experience.
If you like to shop then you’re going to love Disney Springs! There is a wide range of shops that stretch the whole length of Disney Springs. There are clothing shops, such as Zara, jewellery boutiques, Sephora for the make-up lovers and independent boutiques too.
This is the place to pick up Disney souvenirs as the largest Disney Store in the world is at Disney Springs. There’s also Disney’s Days of Christmas that sells Christmas decorations all year round.
There is live entertainment every night at Disney Springs, for example The Edison has Great Gatsby inspired performances. There are also many bands and singers on the outdoor stages around Disney Springs. We like to grab a drink and enjoy the music.
Other entertainment options include the cinema and Splitsville bowling alley.
We really enjoy spending time at Disney Springs and will head there several times during our vacation.
Disney World At Night – Disney’s Boardwalk
We love the laid back feel of Disney’s Boardwalk! It’s like you’ve taken a step back in time when you step onto the Boardwalk.
It’s fun to have a slow walk around and watch the street performers. If you’re feeling energetic you could hire a Surrey bike and ride around.
Sports fans will enjoy Disney’s Boardwalk because it is home to the ESPN Club. Inside you’ll find almost 100 hundred tv screens showing sporting events from around the globe.
Guests over the age 21 will enjoy Jelly Rolls. This is a piano bar with dualling pianos and lively sing-a-longs. Alternatively, they may prefer to dance the night away at Atlantic Dance Hall.
If you’re visiting Disney’s Boardwalk, we recommend getting pizza from the pizza window and watching the street performers. We also recommend the Boardwalk Bakery and for the grown-ups Boardwalk Joe’s Marvellous Margaritas.
Whether you decide to spend your nights in the parks, at your hotel, at Disney Springs, or at Disney’s Boardwalk, we’re sure you will have a great time!
For those of you who have visited Walt Disney World at night which of the activities listed above is your favourite? Tell us in the comments below.