Disney night owls have come to appreciate the unique sights of Walt Disney World after dark. Of course these are the flip side to the same coin, but here are ten note-worthy views that take on new beauty at night…
10. The Highway Arch – This may seem like a silly pick to some, but as a somewhat-local that often enters Disney World in the evening, the glowing sign welcoming us to the Place Where Dreams Come True is a lovely sight. There’s something about those back-lit characters that makes me feel giddy.
9. Main Street USA – When Main Street lights up, it is simply beautiful. The warm glow of the shops ignites a feeling of community. There is a certain charm that makes you feel the nostalgic camaraderie of days gone by. It’s worth a trip up to the train platform just for a picture of Main Street at night.
8. The Liberty Belle – In my humble opinion, the Liberty Belle somehow gets overlooked during the day. Somehow I can walk by that lovely, gigantic boat at noon without a second glance. But at nighttime when the lights go on, it is awe-inspiring! It looks like floating Christmas.
7. The Future World Sidewalks – The sidewalks in Epcot’s Future World are kinda boring during the day. But at night? Magical! The LEDs that are implanted in the tiles make it feel like you’re walking on a sea of stars. Gorgeous and FUN!
6. Hollywood Boulevard – The main streets in Hollywood Studios have a hippy, vintage vibe during the day that leaves nothing to be desired. But at night…well, the streets come alive! Darkness takes the cool-factor up a notch, if that’s even possible. And when there are fireworks over the Chinese Theater, the result is breath-taking. Last summer during the Frozen fireworks, I literally was brought to tears by the beauty.
5. The Electric Parades – If you’ve never seen the Electric Parades – both the street version and the water version – then be sure to add that to your next Magic Kingdom itinerary. Yes, the daytime parades are fabulous, but there is something extra-magical about all the characters and their floats in thousands of twinkling lights. There are usually a couple different times to catch the Electrical Water Pageant, so you can definitely fit both into your nighttime schedule.
4. The Friendships – Well, not the Friendships themselves, per se, but the sights along the Friendships’ voyage are gorgeous. The Friendships are the boats that take you between Epcot and Hollywood Studios with stops at the Epcot resorts along the way. At night the lights of the Boardwalk specifically are stunning. From the Friendship you can get an amazing photo of the Boardwalk with its lights reflecting peacefully in the water.
3. The Fireworks – I almost hate to do it, but I’ll group the different fireworks displays together here, though each has its own unique appeal. The Wishes Fireworks are classic Disney – the best fireworks display you’ve ever seen. And during the IllumiNations finale when the buildings of World Showcase are all aglow it’ll leave you speechless.
2. The Fountain – The rushing sound of water at the Epcot Future World Fountain is mesmerizing at all times of the day. But the colorful lights shimmering on the dancing water against the backdrop of the up-lit ball…that’s next-level awesome.
1. The Castle – Topping the charts is Cinderella’s Castle, without a doubt. The Walt Disney World icon transforms each night into a stage for lights that change by both the moment and the season. During most of the year, if you turn your head for a minute at night the Castle is a different color. And during special events? Well, there’s nothing more beautiful on all of Disney property. It has become the Disney signature for a reason, after all.
Ten lovely sights around the clock, but transformed in splendor as the sun sleeps.
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