10 Magical Ways to Spend Your Disney World Evenings… Outside the Parks!

Downtown Disney

Looking for nightlife outside the parks on your next Disney World vacation? There are LOTS of options available – some of them for free! Here are some itinerary ideas to get you started…

10. Beach Club Bumming – Start your evening off with a dinner at the Cape May Cafe. Afterwards, stroll along the shore of the lake until you come to the Yacht Club. Rent a little motorboat and putter around for a while, enjoying the evening breeze. When you return, take advantage of the campfire back on the shore of the Beach Club while you bury your toes in the sand. If you stay long enough, you can enjoy a Disney movie under the stars.

9. Boardwalk Family Night – Grab a quick bite at the bakery. (The roast beef sandwich with cucumber side salad is amazing for adults!) After you eat, head over to the surrey bike rentals…laughter and squeals are sure to follow, especially if the driver “forgets” to break coming down the hills. Ahem. To cool down, let the kids grab some ice cream at Seashore Sweets while the parents enjoy sipping a margarita from Joe’s. There’s bound to be some live entertainment going on at the same time – magicians, jugglers, balancing acts – and the performers will delight all ages. To end your evening, take a round trip ride on the ferry, and you may even glimpse some of Epcot’s fireworks over the treetops. Check out “Disney’s Boardwalk 101 – Fabulous Fun Without A Park Ticket!”

8. Boardwalk Adult Night – If your evening is sans kiddos, there’s even more to do at the Boardwalk. First enjoy a delicious dinner at the Flying Fish. It’s known for fresh seafood, though there are other fabulous options as well. Take a leisurely walk around the Boardwalk property and shop the galleries for a while. If you resisted the dessert menu, go ahead and indulge now in some Fried Ice Cream at the Funnel Cake Stand. Don’t worry, you can burn off the calories on the dance floor at the Atlantic Dance Hall. Then wind down for the evening with a drink at Jellyrolls, a lively piano bar with great atmosphere.

7. Downtown Disney Family Night – Get the adventure started at T-Rex Cafe. The portion sizes are fit for a carnivorous beast! Afterwards, head over to the Lego Store where you can hand pick your own bucket of bricks. Grab a sweet treat at Goofy’s while you head over to the dance party at the pavilion by the water’s edge. If you’re up for it, top off the night with a few spares at Splitsville bowling alley.

6. Downtown Disney Adult Night – The options are almost endless for an adult night at Downtown Disney. There are too many amazing restaurants to name, but for an extra special night make a reservation at The BOATHOUSE. Enjoy the food and ambiance, then splurge on an amphibious car rental to cruise around the lagoon. If you feel like a show, La Nouba can’t be beat. Or check the concert schedule at House of Blues if that’s more your scene. Window shop, grab a drink, watch the live entertainment…there are so many different ways to play, you may find yourself scheduling multiple DD nights! You may also like “9 Hidden Gems At Downtown Disney/Disney Springs.”

5. Mini-Golf Madness – Grab a bite at your resort’s quick service dining establishment then head out for a night of hitting the links – the mini-links, that is. Try Winter Summerland over by Blizzard Beach, or Fantasia Gardens over by the Swan Hotel. Fantasia actually has two separate courses, so you could certainly master your swing by the end of the evening. 😉

4. Polynesian Perfection – Enjoy a taste of Hawaii by spending your evening at the Polynesian Resort. Make a reservation for the early Spirit of Aloha Luau, a buffet and show that will leave you breathless. Afterwards, take a walk along the shore. We all know it’s the Seven Seas Lagoon, but you can pretend that you’re on Waikiki Beach, right? If you like, take a round trip boat ride on the resort ferry…one of the best boat rides on-property, in my opinion. Then end the evening with a tropical drink from the Barefoot Pool Bar while you relax next to the Lava Pool.

Bonus Tip!

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >

3. Wonderful Wilderness – If you’ve never been to the Fort Wilderness Campground, you need to change that pronto! There’s so much to do! Have a rootin’ tootin’ good time at Mickey’s Backyard Barbeque. Then enjoy all the camp has to offer – playgrounds, carriage rides, arcades, bike rentals, souvenir shops, and more. Later, head to Chip and Dales Campfire Sing-a-Long for marshmallows with the famous chipmunks followed by an outdoor movie. Check out “10 Benefits to Staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort.”

2. Movie Night – Catching a movie at the AMC Dine-In Theater is not just your typical dinner and a movie. It’s dinner IN the movie! Make that flick you’ve anticipated into a memorable event with reserved seating and menu service during the show. You can also get a drink from the in-house bar, if you’d like.

1. Grand Floridian Wanderings – The grounds of the Grand Floridian are a feast – for both the eyes and the palate. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, try the splurge-worthy Victoria and Alberts. But if that’s too pricy, there are numerous other options including Citricos and Narcoosee’s. After you eat, just let yourself get lost. There’s live piano music in the lobby as well as museum-esque grandeur. Stick a toe in the pools, grab a drink in the lounge, then head to the shore to take in the elecrical boat parade with a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom Fireworks in the distance. How grand!

This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to evening entertainment around Disney properties. What would be your perfect evening outside the parks? One thing’s for sure – with so much to do, you’ll never suffer a boring night on your Disney vacation!

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

About Melissa

Melissa resides on Florida's beautiful Space Coast with her husband and four Disney-loving boys. She frequently allows skipping school for Disney World visits...because making memories is more important than math. Their family has also been seen on HGTV's hit show "My Yard Goes Disney."

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