If you’re anything like me, you would like to be one of the first people into the parks at Walt Disney World, so you can book it for your first ride. I’ll never forget that during a birthday trip, my husband and I took in January of 2021, we were among the first ten people in Magic Kingdom one morning. I made a beeline for Starbucks on Main Street and was the first to order. If you’ve ever visited a Starbucks at Disney World, you know that doesn’t happen!
But as much as I love getting to a Disney park right when it opens so I can hit as many attractions as possible before the heat and the crowds pick up, there’s also something extraordinary to say about visiting Disney Park at night.
Disney at night hits differently. I’ll never stop saying it. Here are my top three reasons why you should plan to visit a Disney park at night!
Disney World Night Shows
It’s no secret that Walt Disney World boasts some incredible nighttime spectaculars. From Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom (I still get chills when Tinkerbell flies) to Epcot Forever (soon to change) to Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios to the Tree of Life Awakenings show at Animal Kingdom, Disney World has some stellar nighttime entertainment options. Be sure to get there early because the nighttime shows are top-rated!
Disney World Crowds at Night
Now, I won’t say that the “evening” crowds at Disney World are light. Catch Epcot on a Saturday evening during the International Food and Wine Festival, and you’ll struggle to elbow your way through the crowd. But, the “night” crowds can’t be beat. Remember, the nighttime spectaculars don’t mark the park’s close (sometimes they do, so be sure to check the app the day you visit). But, many people do mark the nighttime spectaculars as the end of their own day. Watch the mass exodus towards the busses once Happily Ever After wraps up.
If the parks are staying open post-show, stick around! The crowds will drop, meaning ride wait times will fall, and you won’t have to stand in that epically long line for a bus. Also, if you don’t mind missing the nighttime shows, you can hit up some rides while everyone else is enjoying the show!
Also, if you stay at a Deluxe resort, you can sometimes remain past closing at one of the parks, giving you access to an almost empty park!
Park Views at Night
I said it before, and I’ll repeat it: Disney at night hits differently. It’s beautiful! The rides and lands are lit up spectacularly. Don’t believe me? Just set foot into Pandora: World of Avatar the next time you’re in Animal Kingdom after dark. I promise you’ll change your mind. Hop on the Astro Orbiter at night for the most gorgeous views of Magic Kingdom. Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios is another favorite to ride at night, where you can take in the beautiful views of Toy Story Land. Even just walking down Main Street or Hollywood Boulevard, viewing the shops and attractions is gorgeous and relaxing.
Any time of day at Disney is better than any time of day elsewhere, but visiting Disney Park at night is an experience that’s second to none. If you don’t think you can make it from the rope drop to park close, take a quick break during the day to catch a nap.
You’re going to want to see the park at night. Trust me.
Author: Ashley Hunt
Ashley co-founded The Midwest Mouse, a Disney Instagram account and blog she started with her husband, Braden. Ashley lives in Indiana with her husband and their two daughters. They are Walt Disney World annual pass holders and visit Disney parks as often as possible. They look forward to crossing more things off their Disney bucket list while continuing to share their adventures on their Instagram (@the_midwest_mouse) and website.
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