Five years ago this week I moved to Florida to realize my dream of being a Disney Cast Member on the Disney College Program. As my final night in Orlando approached, where better place to spend the evening than the place where it all began—Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
Tips for Enjoying an Evening at Magic Kingdom Park
It’s a well-circulated fact that Walt Disney’s favorite time to enjoy Disneyland was after dark. With lower temperatures, fewer crowds, and special shows, evening is also my favorite time to play in Magic Kingdom. Here are my tips for enjoying the park at night.
Enjoy the Unique Ambiance of Attractions
Dim lighting around the park casts all the attractions in a special glow that enhances their magic. Nightfall ups the eerie factor at The Haunted Mansion and you may even spot ghosts in the upstairs window of the mansion walking by with a lantern as you enter the attraction. Splash Mountain and Astro Orbiter are also best ridden at night because of the stunning views they offer of all the park’s lights. The Jungle Cruise is also extra special at night as limited lighting means extra adventure.
Just before park close is a great time to visit certain characters. Mickey Mouse, the storybook princesses (usually Cinderella and Aurora), Ariel and Tinkerbell and friends all greet guests until 30 minutes before park close. Wait times are usually lower right before they go to sleep for the evening or before or during the fireworks and parade.
Wishes Nightime Spectacular Fireworks Show
Wishes Nightime Spectacular aka the firework show is my far the most magical show Disney has to offer. If it is your first time seeing this show and you at all believe in the enchantment of Disney be prepared to shed a tear or two. That being said, if it is your first time, this is the one show I would recommend you find a spot for early. The firework display was designed to best be viewed from the end of Main Street near the train station, but most guests tend to try and get as close to Cinderella Castle as possible. Put a little distance in between yourself and the castle to take in the full effect and stand on Main Street anywhere past Casey’s Corner.
Watch the Mainstreet Electrical Parade
The Main Street Electrical Parade is classic Disney. Though it debuted at Disneyland in 1972, the parade moved to Walt Disney World in 2010. With a peppy soundtrack that will make you want to dance no matter how tiered your feet are, the parade is a great place to see your favorite characters such as Mickey and Minnie, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Cinderella and Tinkerbell. The parade also features the lesser know but no less impressive Pete from the live-action/animated film Pete’s Dragon. The parade usually takes place twice each night and the second viewing is always less crowded.
Stay Close to Property
There’s no worse way to end a magical evening at Magic Kingdom Park than a long drive. Stay on -or at least close to- Walt Disney World Resort property to avoid ending your evening on a sour note. After all. the closer you are to bed, the closer you are to dreaming of your magical evening at Magic Kingdom.