8 Things We Love To Do At Night At Walt Disney World

Guests who visit Walt Disney World love spending time in the parks and often find themselves waking up early and staying out late just to get the most out of their days. While the mornings in the parks are a great time to visit thanks to few crowds and low wait times, the nighttime is a truly magical time of day in Walt Disney World. Each park features beautiful lights that bring each area to life and special entertainment and presentations light up the night to awe guests. No matter which park a guest finds themselves in after dark they are sure to find an amazing experience to enjoy! Here are eight things that guests love to do at night at Walt Disney World.


8. Happily Ever After

Each night at the Magic Kingdom ends with a showing of the incredible Happily Ever After Show. Fireworks accompanied by Disney music light up the skies over Cinderella Castle and can be seen all throughout the park. The projection show on the castle features images from your favorite Disney movies and Disney Classics. While there are plenty of amazing places to watch Happily Ever After, the best locations are on Main Street and guests are smart to find a spot up to an hour before show time to guarantee the perfect view.

7. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

Note: Illuminations’ last show is September 30, 2019. “Epcot Forever”, a temporary nighttime spectacular, begins October 1, 2019. 

Like Happily Ever After, Epcot closes each night with a fantastic show that captures guests’ imaginations. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth takes place on World Showcase Lagoon and begins by gathering guests around the fire to share a message about how all people are one. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth then lights up the night with fireworks, pyrotechnics, laser lights, dancing water, beautiful music, and a massive rotating globe which portrays images from around the world. The show is amazing to watch and guests can find fantastic views all around World Showcase Lagoon. However, since the show is so popular, spots tend to go quickly so guests should aim to choose a viewing spot at least an hour before Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is set to begin.

6. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular 

It doesn’t matter if you are a Star Wars nerd or not – Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is the perfect way to close out a night at Hollywood Studios! Watch as the Chinese Theater turns into a huge screen for a 14-minute show full of high-definition projection surrounded by lasers, fire, incredible music and sound effects, and of course – the sky lights up with awesome fireworks! It’s an unforgettable Hollywood Studios moment!

5. Fantasmic!

On select nights, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to an incredible show which is housed in the massive Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. Fantasmic! invites guests to enter into Mickey’s imagination where a battle between good and evil is occurring. The show combines special effects, Disney characters and music, projected animation, dancing water, pyrotechnics, and a massive dragon to bring the lively tale to life. While the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater is massive and can hold thousands of guests, Fantasmic! is equally as popular and draws a huge crowd. Guests who want to score a great view for the show should line up at least an hour ahead of time outside of the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater to guarantee getting inside.

4. Animal Kingdom Evening Hours

You don’t want to skip out early from Animal Kingdom! Now coming to life at night, guest have the opportunity to enjoy an amphitheater style show called Rivers of Light where nature is celebrated in an incredibly beautiful way! And who’s ready to dance? The Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party is a fun event to dance with colorfully costumed dancers, characters and musicians. The Tree of Life Awakenings is a perfect way to cap off the evening with its projections and music lighting up the iconic Animal Kingdom symbol. And finally, the perfect evening experience is a visit to Pandora – World of Avatar to see this beautiful land glow at night! Truly remarkable.

3. Kiss Goodnight

About a half hour after the Magic Kingdom closes each night, there is a special presentation near Cinderella Castle that is the perfect end to any Disney day. The Kiss Goodnight combines special lighting on Cinderella Castle and a speech thanking guests for visiting the park. Guests will feel sentimental and definitely feel the magic as the music swells and they are reminded of how special the park is in Walt Disney’s own words.


2. Electrical Water Pageant

Just outside the gates of the Magic Kingdom is the expansive Seven Seas Lagoon which is also home to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. All of these locations are treated nightly to a beautiful show which lights up Seven Seas Lagoon and is accompanied by delightful music. The Electrical Water Pageant runs several times each night and features several floats that are nautically themed and glide across the surface of the water. Guests can watch as a sea serpent begins the show followed by floats with jumping dolphins, a sea turtle, and even Poseidon being led by seahorses. The finale of the Electrical Eater Pageant is the highlight as the American flag comes to life on the water accompanied by a medley of patriotic songs.

1. Special Attractions

While there are plenty of shows and experiences which only happen at night in Walt Disney World, another magical way to enjoy the dark hours is by experiencing attractions which take on a different tone and beauty once the sun goes down. These attractions occur mostly outdoors and some feature just glimpses of the outside, but they are all turned into different experiences at night thanks to the dark skies. Guests love experiencing attractions like Splash Mountain, Astro Orbiter, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Dumbo, Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash, and Expedition Everest at night to enjoy beautiful views of the nighttime environment and a different experience than the daytime.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.