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Top 11 Nighttime Experiences At Walt Disney World

There is nothing like experiencing the magic that Disney has to offer at night! Everything is so brightly lit and the atmosphere is simply stunning no matter where you look. There is a plethora of activities to enjoy in the evenings, but here are 11 that you won’t want to miss!

11. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

If you’re checking out Hollywood Studios, you’ll want to end your day by seeing the most incredible array of fireworks in the epic new show, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This daily show is offered once every evening and can be seen from various locations the front of the park. Get ready to enjoy state of the art projection effects, lively lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics that light up the night sky like nothing that’s ever been done at the parks. The film clips and music of the classic saga will make you feel like you’re traveling through the galaxy during all of the action. This is by far one of the best nighttime shows on property. It is important to keep in mind that this show may not go on if there is lightning in the area, so if you’re staying multiple days and can plan a time to come back and watch it (should this happen to you), it is well worth it!

10. Fantasmic!

One of the most popular nighttime shows on Walt Disney World property is Fantasmic!, located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This show takes you through Mickey’s dream as he battles villains and tells a story with all of his friends with the use of pyrotechnics, water, and incredible special effects. This show is put on 1-2 times per evening and since it is so popular, it often reaches capacity quickly. Fastpasses are available for this event, which will allow you to enter the amphitheater before the general public to grab a good seat. Another good tip is to vie the second showing (if applicable) on your visit. The first show is typically full quicker, so you have a better chance of getting great seats.

9. Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

The most popular nighttime show is Wishes at the Magic Kingdom park. Here, guest’s jaws will drop as they witness an array of dazzling fireworks to the beautiful Disney music they all know and love and narration of classic characters. Complete with an actual flight from Tinkerbell herself, Wishes also includes beautiful colors of light splashing across the Cinderella castle. This is one show that must be on your bucket list! The Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is only done once each evening, so it always has quite the crowd. My advice is that you secure your spot early if this is a priority for your party. There are no fastpasses for this show.

8. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

Each evening, Epcot hosts an amazing nighttime firework show called IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The premise of the show is based on past, present, and future times with a focus on the spirit of humanity that is told in a story from an enormous illuminated globe that travels all around the lake. This show takes place in the World Showcase lake, so it can be viewed from each and every country. This show is quite popular and gets crowded very quickly, however, there are fastpasses offered which gives guests a designated spot for viewing the show.

7. The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic

Disney World’s most recent nighttime spectacular is The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, hosted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This limited time show includes sights and sounds from the beloved film The Jungle Book paired with traditional Indian culture through dance and costuming. The lighting and use of water and technology is truly unique and unlike any other nighttime show on property. This show is done 1-2 times nightly and offers fastpasses for each one. Since it is a new and limited time show, I would recommend the fastpasses if this is a priority.

6. Kilimanjaro Safari

Kilimanjaro Safari is a fan favorite. Located at Animal Kingdom, this tour (in an open-air truck) travels across an ‘African savannah’ and immerses guests to stunning views and exotic wildlife animals. This ride has been available to guests during the daytime hours, but not long ago, the daily hours to the park have been extended, so now guests can enjoy a late night safari ride! This is truly a unique experience. I highly recommend a fastpass for this ride as the lines tend to get long pretty quick. This is a great attraction to enjoy before the Jungle Book show!

5. Dance Parties

Nothing puts me in a better mood than dancing, and believe it or not, you can do just that at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Each evening, these two parks host a dance party that is too fun for words! At the #Incrediblessuperdanceparty, guests can jam out with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible and Frozone in Tomorrowland. At the main stage in Hollywood Studios, various characters come out to play while the DJ plays all of your favorite dance tunes. What I love most about this particular dance party is that the characters that come out to jam are ones that aren’t seen often. For example, the last time I was there, Bolt, Genie, Robin Hood, and Sebastian were dancing with the crowd. This is a great way to let loose and have some fun right before the nighttime fireworks!

4. Dessert Parties

Watching fireworks in the evenings is a fan favorite at the parks, but did you know that you can enjoy an assortment of sweet desserts as you watch the sky light up? Disney offers some amazing dessert parties at each park during the nighttime firework displays. For an additional price (above your standard park entrance ticket) you can enjoy a small setting where you’ll enjoy a plethora of amazing sweet treats along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in a special viewing area for the fireworks. Best of all, they are themed, and themes can change with the holidays making it very unique! There are a few dessert parties to choose from, but it is important to reserve your spot ahead of time. These parties sell out rather quickly, so if it is on your to-do list, be sure to call ahead.

3. Movies Under the Stars

Each evening, every resort on Walt Disney World property hosts Movies Under the Stars. Here, guests can get comfy with complimentary popcorn as they watch a Disney movie by the pool. There is a different movie played each evening at each resort. This is a great way to unwind and relax after a long day at the parks. It’s also a unique way to enjoy classic Disney films, as opposed to just sitting on your couch. There is something about watching these films at the resorts that makes it more magical!

Bonus Tip!

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2.Chip n Dale Campfire Sing-A-Long

Each of the Walt Disney World Resorts offers a campfire for roasting marshmallows each evening prior to the movie under the stars. There is one campfire, however, that stands out amongst the rest. The campfire area at the Fort Wilderness Lodge campgrounds not only allows you to roast marshmallows, but there is a s’more station to create that classic camping dessert we all love. Immediately following the campfire, get ready for a rootin’ tootin’ time as Chip and Dale come out to dance and party with guests. You’ll have a blast as you enjoy the live music and party with other guests. If you are planning to stay at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds, or just visiting, this is a great experience! Since this is an outdoor event, it is subject to cancellation depending on the weather. Be sure to ask the front desk for the times guide!

1. Disney Springs

Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney) is by far one of the best places for nighttime entertainment and dining. Guests can walk around this spacious area that includes hundreds of brand new restaurants and shops, an amazing movie theater and bowling alley, the classic Cirque du Soleil show, the world’s largest helium balloon ride, and much more. You’ll enjoy tons of live entertainment suitable for children and adults of all ages. This area has exploded with popularity since it has been renovated! Whether you’re looking for a girl’s night out, date night, or a night out with the kids, look no further than Disney Springs.

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!

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About Natalie

Natalie is an elementary school teacher and a native Floridian who lives and breathes all things Disney. Her love for Disney started at the age of two during her first visit, and has continued to flourish into her adult life. She loves to share her Disney passion with her students and believes Disney is so special because there is no other place to forget about your worries and be a kid again, which is why she refuses to ‘grow up’.