One of the things I enjoy about Walt Disney World is the different atmosphere each park brings. From the science and technology driven Future World, to the cultural immersive World Showcase, Epcot brings a unique atmosphere like no other theme park in the world. This unique atmosphere deepens as it comes to life below the night sky. Read on to discover seven Epcot experiences you should visit after dark!
7. American Gardens Theatre
Located exactly halfway around the World Showcase and directly across from the American Adventure, the American Gardens Amphitheater hosts a number of seasonal events throughout the year. Catch an Eat-to-the-Beat concert during the Food & Wine Festival during the fall or the Garden Rocks Concert Series on spring weekends during the Flower & Garden Festival. In addition, this theatre hosts my favorite event, the Christmas Candlelight Processional during the Christmas season. All of these events are included in your admission to Epcot and they all go down when the sun goes down.
6. Fountain of Nations
At the center of Future World youll find the Fountain of Nations. The Fountain of Nations contains water from 22 respective nations around the world. Everyday it entertains visitors as it shoots nearly 150,000 gallons of water 150 feet high into the air! This magnificent piece is absolutely breathtaking at night as the water is illuminated giving both a majestic and romantic atmosphere. One of my favorite spots to watch this is on the outdoor patio of the Electric Umbrella. Rarely crowded, the distance gives peaceful relaxation while gazing at this beautiful centerpiece.
5. Spaceship Earth Photo Op
Epcots iconic Spaceship Earth which is a 180 tall geosphere, better knows as The Big Ball is pretty tough to miss. Most people enjoy their photo ops of this symbolic structure as they enter the park during the morning or afternoon hours. However, once the sun begins to dip into the horizon, colored lights from nearly every angle light up to illuminate this giant structure. As the massive crowds file out the front gates at the end of IllumiNations, stop to get your photo taken before you leave. PhotoPass photographers are available all evening to catch your pose.
4. Walk Around the World
Let’s face it, walking around the World Showcase during the day can be brutally hot! Even the characters have to take frequent breaks. However, there is something mysterious, and some would even say romantic, about walking around the World when the moon comes out. Explore the nooks and crannies of Morocco after dark, or catch a glimpse of an illuminated Eiffel Tower in France. Catch it at the right season and you won’t be sweating your way around in the heat as the smoothness of night soothes your soul.
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3. Monorail Loop
One of my favorite features about the monorail is taking the loop around Epcot. For this one, you will need to begin your journey at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Board the monorail headed for Epcot and stand, don’t sit. Your night time view will be well worth it as you make your loop around Future World to get an elevated view of Epcot at night. This can also be a fun way to see IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth! While you’ll have to time this one just right to catch the fireworks, lasers and other special effects, it’s a great way to get a different perspective on this famed night time show. Plus, you don’t need Epcot admission to do it! Once you arrive at the monorail station outside the gates, you have the option to stay on board and head back to the TTC!
2. Test Track
Once evening time hits, most guests have made their way into the World Showcase taking in dinner, shopping and people watching. Meanwhile, in Future World, one of Epcots most beloved attractions brings an incredible rush after the sun goes down. While a significant portion of this ride is indoors, the final test for speed changes your perspective while zooming around at 65mph. There is nothing like the feeling of your test car beginning its launch indoors, then watching the doors quickly slide open to reveal Test Track after dark. Your ride vehicle is even equipped with working headlights!
1. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
After already taking in the incredible after dark atmosphere while strolling around the World Showcase, things are about to level up in a big way for Epcot’s moving nighttime show, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. First, giant flamed torches light up around the lagoon. After the narration, the lights go down and the show begins. Fireworks and intense heat from the inferno barge comprise the opening act. As the show progresses, we are introduced to a 28 diameter LED video globe, 40,000 gallons of spraying water, laser effects and the countries of the World Showcase lighting up. The show is concluded with the heart-gripping song Promise performed by Kellie Coffey. It is our top Epcot experience after dark!
Which of these experiences have you done? What do you enjoy about after dark at Epcot? Sound off in the comments!