Top 10 Nighttime Experiences in Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is amazing at any time of day, but there are certain experiences that are even better at night! There are a lot to choose from, but we’ve narrowed down our top ten nighttime experiences in WDW. Take a look!


10. Disney Movie Magic

Every night Hollywood Studios gives its guests a treat with Disney Movie Magic: a projection show against the Chinese Theatre. This show is only ten-minutes long, but it showcases some of the best and brightest Disney films in history. We love how cool the square looks all lit up, and how Disney imagineers have calculated it so perfectly. This show is fun trip down memory lane and chance to try to name as many movies as you can!

9. Tree of Life Awakenings

In the old days, when dusk settled on the sky, Animal Kingdom shut down. But not anymore! Nighttime is when this park comes to life now! Every night, the Tree of Life lights up and puts on a little show throughout the evening. Tree of Life Awakenings isn’t a long show and can be appreciated just walking by, but you can see the animals wake up and play around the tree in beautiful, calming light.

Photo Credit: Disney

8. Fanstasmic!

Fantasmic! is a Disney classic! This awesome Hollywood Studios fireworks show is iconic. There are lots of fun things to do in this park once the sun goes down, but this one is a must. The metal stadium seating may not be the most comfortable thing in the world, but you don’t even notice once the show starts. Lights and colors and fireworks and projections take up the lagoon and sweep you into Mickey’s story. It’s always nice to see good triumph over evil!


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7. Epcot Forever

Epcot’s new nighttime fireworks show is an amazing experience. This spectacular celebration of Epcot’s history takes you back to the beginning of the park, highlights its present, and gives us a glimpse of the future. We love the nostalgic music, fantastic use of special effects, and how the entire World Showcase is incorporated into the show.

6. Toy Story Land

We love Toy Story Land at night because the darkness allows all of the fun colors in the land to pop! We especially like to experience this on Slinky Dog. The rollercoaster allows a different view of the space that is unlike any other. In our humble opinion, Alien Saucer Swirl is even better at night because your surroundings all blur together and it’s more disorienting than during the day!

5. Pandora

We love Pandora at night even more than during the day! Is it okay to admit that? Oh well, we just did! Animal Kingdom’s Pandora comes to live at night. As it gets darker in the park, Pandora slowly blooms with glowing bioluminescent algae. The flora and fauna around the land is enchanting and mesmerizing. We think it’s so cool because in order to truly know Pandora, you have relearn it at night!

4. Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars is best when the stars come out! Galaxy’s Edge truly shines when the sun goes down. We love this section of Hollywood Studios at night because the whole atmosphere changes. There seems to be a bit more drama hidden under the darkness of night. You never know who you’ll see popping out of the Droid Depot or just from behind a random corner! Anything can happen in Galaxy’s Edge, and the suspense only increases at night!

3. Happily Ever After

How amazing is this nighttime experience in Magic Kingdom? Hardcore Disney fans were incredibly sad to see the beloved Wishes go, but the Happily Ever After show has truly stepped up. Featuring a fun, powerful song by Disney Channel star Jordan Fisher, this show combines music with projections on the castle and, of course, fireworks. Guests get to see their favorite Disney characters light up the castle in this magical experience!

2. Goodnight Kiss

Magic Kingdom’s nightly Goodnight Kiss is not an experience everyone knows about. This event occurs at the park’s closing and is simply a way for Magic Kingdom ot say goodnight and goodbye to the guests that remain. Cinderella Castle sparkles and shines one last time, while a grandfatherly narrator tells a story of Walt Disney and wishes everyone a safe trip home. This experience is so simple, yet it perfectly captures the wonder and love and magic of Disney World.

1. Closing a Park

There’s something surreal about being the last person in a Disney Park. The normal hustle and bustle of a park day goes away. It’s quiet and almost soothing. It’s bittersweet, too, in a way because it means the end of something good. But the remaining light from the Castle, or the Tree of Life, or the Chinese Theatre, or Spaceship Earth reminds you of the goodness to come. And that’s sort of what Disney is all about.

About Molly Elias

Molly Elias has been a dedicated Disney fan since she was 18-months old. She has grown up with and learned from Disney her whole life. As her family's main vacation spot, Disney World is a place of love and laughter and magic for her. Her family also prides themselves on their Disney Cruise Line knowledge and would rather be on the high seas with Mickey than anywhere else in the world. Molly plans to keep Disney in her life forever, while also pursuing a writing career. She recently completed a master's program in creative writing in the hopes that someday she will be able to be a writer for the Happiest Company on Earth. Molly keeps Walt's famous quote at the forefront of her life: "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."