Evenings in Disney Parks are even more magical. The sounds and smells of the Park seem a bit more intense; there is delicious food to enjoy, Guests await evening entertainment, and there is an air of anticipation. Magic Kingdom Park is my all-time favorite theme Park to visit in the evening. The beautiful lights, magical music, and an illuminated Cinderella Castle make the Magic Kingdom a wonderful nighttime Walt Disney World excursion.
Did you know some Disney World rides are even more fun at night? It’s true, if you can’t hit all your favorite rides during the day, no worries. Here are the best night rides in Magic Kingdom Park.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
This smooth highway in the sky is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the beauty of Cinderella Castle and Tomorrowland, from the sky. The slow-moving ride is ideal for children and allows Guests a longer than usual ride time to enjoy the view. Even better, the quick loading process for The PeopleMover ensures relatively short wait times. Evening riders can often walk on with no wait at all. After all, it is the perfect ride for “people-watching.”
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad provides gorgeous views of Frontierland from the top of the coaster hills. Aside from an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Disney’s Magic Kingdom at night, something about the rugged western landscape in the ride feels just as “right” at night as it does during the day. The well-lit animatronic scenes mean that Guests won’t miss ride details despite the evening shadows. Do not miss a chance to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad after dark, even if you have to use the lightning lane.
Liberty Square Riverboat
The Liberty Square Riverboat closes at 7:00 pm each evening. However, Guests that visit in the winter get the chance to enjoy twilight on this beautiful boat as the sun sets. This slow-moving ride allows Guests ample time to enjoy Disney’s Magic Kingdom from Rivers of America.
This view of the Park is unique and allows Guests to admire Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Tom Sawyer Island ablaze with lights as the evening grows darker. I love this ride as a way to kick back and unwind after a day of dashing between attractions and enjoying it at night adds another layer of fun.
The Magic Kingdom Railroad
Walt Disney was a train enthusiast who even had a miniature steam train in his backyard. So it should be no surprise that Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World Resort are equipped with beautiful railroad-themed attractions. Taking the train around Magic Kingdom Park is one of my favorite ways to relax in the Park. The ride lasts longer than most, with opportunities to exit at stations in Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Main Street, U.S.A., meaning you can use this ride to cut down on walking in the Park.
Riding the train in the evening is even more relaxing. The train runs until 6 pm each evening, so winter Guests can use the Magic Kingdom Railroad to experience the lights and festivities of holidays in the Park. If you have a chance to hop on the Magic Kingdom Railroad, do it!
Dumbo the Flying Elephant or The Flying Carpets of Aladdin
What could be better than experiencing multiple parts of Disney magic at once? Dumbo, The Flying Elephant, is the perfect ride to enjoy the beauty of evening fireworks. Yes, the ride is short, and the fireworks display lasts longer than you are in the air. Still, the view is pretty spectacular and can make the ride experience even more magical for little ones that enjoy fireworks.
If you are in Adventureland during the fireworks display, the same perks that apply to Dumbo The Flying Elephant are applicable at The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. A few more trees are blocking the way for this ride, but overall the view from a magic carpet will still provide a beautiful evening theme Park view for fireworks from the top of the ride.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Sometimes the vibe of a ride makes all the difference. Entering spooky-themed rides in the dark always amps up the magic for me. The dark cavernous ride queue of Pirates of the Caribbean seems even better designed in the evening. I’ve bragged about the excellent details of this ride queue that sets the stage for the story before Guests even board the boats. Riding this attraction after the sun goes down adds to the mystery and often ensures a shorter wait time. I think night is the best time to ride Pirates of the Caribbean.
The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion seems even more sinister when Guests board the Doom Buggy in the evening. I always like to save this ride for evening extra magic hours to ensure a shorter wait time. Depending on the crowd, you may enjoy a short wait time without using Disney Genie lightning lane. The evening is the best time to experience this ride. Walking through the interactive ride queue and being welcomed into the gallery by the grim ghost host is much spookier in the evening shadows.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
This fun fairytale coaster is in high demand, with long wait times and wild popularity among Guests. The theming of this ride takes you into the gem caverns worked by the seven dwarfs from the first Disney movie – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Walt Disney knew what he was doing when he released this iconic film, and Disney Imagineers knew what they were doing when they created this swinging coaster to immerse Guests in the story.
This Fantasyland staple attraction is so fun at night. The theming of the ride with the dark caverns of the jewel mine seems more accurate at night than during broad daylight. Becoming a part of this story is much easier in the evening.
Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid
The beautifully designed ride queue of Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid is cavernous and mysterious with a bit of fairytale flair. The line for this ride is gorgeous at night. Because this ride can have some insane wait times during the day, my family always saves it for extra magic hours to skip the need for Disney Genie. The convenient location makes it easy to run to after watching the evening entertainment.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is full of attractions that impress Guests at night. These plus other spots like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Jungle Cruise, Astro Orbiter, and Peter Pan’s Flight are some of the best rides to hop on after nightfall. What rides would you add to this list?