Are you planning for your next family vacation? In your Disney World Planning make sure you take into account how magical it is after dark in the park. Epcot and Magic Kingdom are stunning all lit up and magical at night. Here are some Tips for Magical Nights at Disney World with your family.
Post Updated February 2016
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Tips for Magical Nights at Disney World
My favorite time at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot is in the evening hours. The park slows down, the lights come on, and the magic is in the air. So my best Disney tip is that you make a point to spend as many late evenings at Disney World as you possibly can, even if especially if you have young kids!
Rest in the Afternoon
If you have young children you may want to take a break after lunch. It is the hottest and most crowded part of the day anyway! Go back to your resort and take a nap in the air conditioning, cool down in the pool, or just enjoy relaxing at your resort.
Best Disney World Rides at Night
Although all rides are better when the crows have thinned, there are certain rides that are especially magical and special at night. Make sure you visit the following rides that are extra magical after dark:
- Tea Cups
- Prince Charming’s Royal Carousel
- Big Thunder Mountain (especially during fireworks)
- Splash Mountain (Don’t worry, they turn the spray down at night. This is especially magical during fireworks.)
- Aladdin’s Magical Carpets
- Jungle Cruise (the ride is very different at night)
- Ariel (not so much for the ride, but how beautifully things are lit up outside the ride)
- Astro Orbiter (lights in Tomorrowland are especially beautiful!)
- Hollywood Tower of Terror (it makes the atmosphere extra cool!)
Wear glow sticks to keep track of family members
Although the park is lit at night, it is more subtly lit to enhance the atmosphere of each area of the park.
It can get dark and hard to find family members if you separate to go to the bathroom, or rides, or heaven-forbid – if a child gets separated.
We usually just grab a glow necklace from the Target dollar section before we go. One year we sprung for Christmas light necklace at Disney and we’ve been using them ever since!
Enjoy the Quiet Ambiance
Instead of rushing about, enjoy the quiet of the evening. Things are slower paced, not as hot, quite, and less crowded – enjoy this relaxed side of Disney World.
We like to find a quiet corner to just sit down and enjoy a snack and take in the ambiance. One of our favorite spots is at Gaston’s Tavern – yummy food, gorgeous atmosphere, and a unique view of the evening fireworks. We also enjoy Adventure land by Pirates of the Caribbean where you can grab another one of our favorite snacks – Pineapple Dole Whip.
Go without a plan; let the kids take the lead
Unlike the daytime when you really need to have a plan in hand to see everything without waiting in long lines, evenings are slower paced.
Kids will love getting to take the lead in the evening. Let them pick where you go to next and enjoy walking more at their pace and letting them stop and look at things as they go. This always ends up being our families favorite memories at Disney World.
Know when to call it quits
All good things must come to an end. The important thing is to call it a night before kids get “too tired” or that close-of-the-park rush and wait at the bus stop.
Keep in mind how many more days you are spending at Disney World. You don’t want to use up all your kids energy in one night!
Remember that even once you leave the park, there is still a wait for the bus and ride back to your resort.
Try seeing the fireworks from somewhere unique
If you are at the parks for more than one night, spend one night seeing the fireworks from somewhere different.
Sure – the best view is in front of the castle around Casey’s. But there are other great views too. Plus you will love that there aren’t body-to-body people in your unique spots.
Try by the wall in the new Fantasyland, Gaston’s, on Dumbo, in front of Tomorrowland Speedway, back between Rapunzel bathrooms & haunted mansion, or on the beach in the Polynesian Resort.