Something you have to accept when planning a Disney vacation is that you will be surrounded by people at all times. You don’t go to Disney World for a quiet, private trip. But did you know there is a way to see the parks empty?
Empty Park Trick
This is a fun trick we have done a couple of times and have gotten some great views of the park and gorgeous shots of the Magic Kingdom at night. It’s not feasible for everyone, and it’s not free. Still, if you want a late dinner, you should check out an after-hours reservation at Be Our Guest restaurant at Magic Kingdom.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest is a Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. Stepping into the Beast’s castle, you’re immediately immersed in the world of Belle and the Beast. You can dine in the ballroom, the west wing, or the castle gallery. The menu is pre-fixed, with dinner costing around $67 per adult and $39 per child. This includes a choice of appetizer and entrée, a bread basket, a dessert plate, and non-alcoholic beverages like soda, tea, or lemonade.
See the Beast!
Be Our Guest also features a walk-through by the Beast himself. He will walk through each of the dining rooms every thirty or so minutes. Though he does not stop at tables to take pictures, he will do a couple of laps around the room and try to wave at each table. Though considered character dining, remember that you won’t have a one-on-one conversation with the Beast, and Belle is not there.
Try the Grey Stuff!
The food is good, even if it is a little pricy. We have visited Be Our Guest multiple times and always enjoy ourselves.
One of the big perks to Be Our Guest is that it is one of few Disney restaurants that offer late dining reservations. You may feel less like eating a large, expensive meal at 10:00 at night or after, but if you’re willing to do it and can snag a reservation, I promise it will be worth it!
The park closes at 10:00, and you can get a 9:55 dining reservation. Your meal will take an hour and a half to two hours. So yes, you’ll be getting out of the restaurant pretty late. But the park will be nearly empty by the time you leave, allowing you the rare privilege of seeing an almost empty Magic Kingdom. The only people still around are fellow late diners, people at the back of a long attraction line right at closing, and cast members.
It’s still late, and the cast members want to go home. In fact, as you exit the restaurant, cast members will be scattered around, gently guiding you towards the exit. You can’t just wander around the park snagging after-dark shots of every land in the Magic Kingdom. But as you make your way towards the exit, you can catch some pictures of the nearly empty, gorgeously lit park. Cast members are lovely and very understanding as you take pictures, but remember to be courteous and respectful as they ask you to keep moving.
Empty Main Street USA
Main Street USA at night is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s even better when it’s empty (or nearly empty). There’s no better way to wrap up your day than by enjoying a delicious meal and seeing the Most Magical Place on Earth lit up and quiet. On your next trip to Walt Disney World, see if you can snag a late reservation to Be Our Guest. I don’t think you’ll regret it!
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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