Disney World is a completely different place when the sun goes down. Why? Because Disney REALLY likes using atmospheric storytelling elements, like lights and ambience. But the question is quite simple…what’s better after dark?
I’ve put together a list of the Top After-dark Experiences, featuring everything from dining to attractions and everything in between. Just make sure that you’re caffeinated and well rested, because this is going to be a must-do checklist!
Things at Disney World that are Better at Night
AEROPHILE: CHARACTERS IN FLIGHT AT DISNEY SPRINGS
Just imagine going up in a balloon to a height of 400 feet and looking for miles in every direction! You know what would make it better? Less crowds, more lights and a sense of adventure that can only be had when you CAN’T SEE THE ROPE!
WANDER AROUND THE WORLD SHOWCASE
As someone who actually worked in the Canadian Pavilion, I can honestly say that some of my favorite memories happened in the World Showcase at night. From the amazing lighting that the pavilions have incorporated to tell the story to the crowds that are almost non-existent…you’ll basically have the entire place to yourself!
It’s also a great time to have conversations and interactions with cast members, as they won’t be dealing with the intense heat of the Florida daytime.
TREE OF LIFE
Don’t get me wrong, the icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is breathtaking and amazing from every angle at every minute of the day. But why is it better at night?
The lighting effects and projection mapping brings the story of the park to a whole new level. Even without the evening shows, the details that are evident ONLY after sunset will send shivers up and down your spine.
GRAND FLORIDIAN TO POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT WALK
Over the last two trips, we’ve had opportunities to dine at Victoria & Alberts. This is a 5-diamond restaurant with a 10-course meal that actually takes around 4-5 hours to complete, leaving you stuffed and not wanting to leave. Well what’s a better way to extend the romance and escapism by wandering along the water from the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian Village Resort.
On top of amazing views of the resorts themselves, you’re able to potentially see the Magic Kingdom fireworks in a whole new light!
Related Article: Where You Can Walk in Disney World
BE OUR GUEST AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM
Okay, here’s a fun one! Be Our Guest is actually one of the only restaurants on property that changes from Quick Service to Table Service between meals. This means that, although the dining experience is completely subjective, Table Service is usually a more relaxed and memorable meal.
Does it mean that Dinner is better than Lunch? Not neccessarily, but the feeling of being inside of the Beast’s castle with a chance to meet the prince himself (which you don’t get at any other meal) makes it worth checking out!
I was thinking about listing individual attractions, but each of the descriptions had a similarity….lighting.
From the Tower of Terror‘s token screams to the Haunted Mansion’s eerie feeling, you’re going to get a completely different (and some would argue better) experience after the sun goes down.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Expedition Everest
- Test Track
- Jungle Cruise
LATE NIGHT BARS AND ADULT-ONLY ENTERTAINMENT
You know what’s better at night? Things that are ONLY open at night!
From Trader Sam’s @ Polynesian Village to Jellyrolls @ The Boardwalk, there are bar/lounges that truly come to life after the sun goes down. You can hang out at Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar or Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs, and even top the evening off with a trip to the Cupcake ATM at Sprinkles! 😉
You haven’t completed a Bucket List at Disney World without experiencing its magic and adventures after dark, so be sure to get out when everyone else is going to bed! Over the summer, it’s easier to accomplish this, as you’ll be taking a mid-day nap anyway;)