Top 5 Things to do When the Sun Goes Down at Walt Disney World

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There is a lot of hype about walking up early at Disney World to be at the parks in time for rope drop. And I totally agree that getting to the parks early is a great idea! But there is still something to be said about staying late at the parks. Once the sun goes down, the crowds do too and there is something extra magical about Disney after Dark.

Disney days are bright, full of energy, and super colorful. But Disney nights are a whole different world. Everything is lit up with twinkle lights, the air cools down, and everything is a bit more relaxed.

Here are my top 5 experiences for Disney after dark.

Attractions: There are a ton of attractions that are better at night! Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Tomorrowland Transit People Mover, The Jungle Cruise, Dumbo the Flying Elephant – the list goes on and on. The best part is, many attractions will have shorter wait times because a lot of families (especially those with small children), leave the park before at sun-down.

Night Time Shows: There are some Disney experiences that can only happen at night; cue the fireworks! Whether you are watching Wishes, Main Street Electrical Parade, Illuminations, or Fantasmic! – you can only catch these shows in the evening hours. Many night time shows will run twice during the night – one earlier in the evening and one later on. If you can stay up, I suggest trying to catch the later show as the crowds will be lighter.

Take Photos: Some of my favorite Disney vacation photos have been taken at night. Whether you are using your own camera, or using Memory Maker with Disney PhotoPass, make sure to snap some pictures of your group in front of park icons once the sun goes down. Especially if you are visiting during the Holiday Season, you will not want to miss a photo of Cinderella Castle all lit up!

Special Events: Disney does their best to encourage guests to spend all day and night at the parks, and one way they do this is through special ticketed events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These events only happen during the evening, which is just another reason why Disney after dark is so great. Even if you aren’t attending a special ticketed event, head over to Epcot for Food and Wine Festival or Flower and Garden Festival. These festivals are included in the price of admission and the crowds are much lighter at night.

Talk to Cast Members: As a former Cast Member at Magic Kingdom, I can confirm that we are all a little loopy once it hits the wee hours of the morning. Magic Kingdom often stays open as late as 3am – and yes, Cast Members get tired too. But hyped up on sugar and energy drinks, Cast Members are the most fun to interact with at night. They are less busy because of lighter crowds and because most guests do their shopping during the day and their eating during meal times so they don’t have as much to do. Strike up a conversation, ask to pin trade, or ask them some Disney trivia that you’ve always wanted to know the answer to.

Whether you are an early riser, or come alive when the sun goes down, there is always something to do at Walt Disney World. Just because its dark doesn’t mean that the fun has to end!

What are your favorite things to do at night at Walt Disney World? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Monica is an Alumna of the Disney College Program. When she is not walking down the middle of Main Street USA you can find her wandering the World Showcase, or enjoying a Dole Whip while racing to her favorite attractions. When she is forced to endure life outside of Walt Disney World, you can find her in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she lives and works. You can visit her Disney lifestyle blog here.


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