Walt Disney World is arguably better at night than during the day. The lines are shorter, the weather is more comfortable, and the beautiful lights and ambiance really bring the parks to life. Whether you’re a night owl or just trying to beat the heat, here are some rides that are definitely worth saving for nighttime on your next Walt Disney World vacation.
1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The “wildest ride in the wilderness” is most definitely the wildest at night. The darkness makes the coaster feel just a bit faster and more thrilling, which adds a whole new level of excitement. Also, the queue is outside and can be both long and hot during the day, so riding at night is the way to go.
2. Splash Mountain (Soon to be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure)
The nighttime views on Splash Mountain are 10/10. You can see Cinderella Castle and the rest of the park shimmering in the night (bonus if you ride during the fireworks), and the line drops significantly in the evening since most people prefer water rides when the sun’s out. If you do feel uncomfortable after getting soaked, don’t worry- it’s the end of the day and you’ll be back to your resort to change out of your wet socks soon enough.
3. Expedition Everest
Oh, look! Another mountain. This attraction follows the theme that the darkness makes the ride feel faster and more thrilling, but meeting the Yeti in the dark takes this expedition to the next level. I’d never been scared of the Yeti until riding Expedition Everest at night, which apparently was everything I needed. Since Disney’s Animal Kingdom typically closes early, it’s not often you can ride this attraction in the dark, so take advantage when you can.
4. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Fantasyland at night is such a delight! Most of the small children are gone and the nighttime ambiance of the land is second to none. In order to get the best aerial views while bringing out your inner child, I highly recommend a flight with your old pal Dumbo.
5. Astro Orbiter
Similar to Dumbo, Astro Orbiter gives you all the nighttime views. The added bonus is ~elevation~. Though Astro Orbiter is located in Tomorrowland, it flies high above the Magic Kingdom and gives stunning nighttime views of Cinderella Castle and beyond.
6. Haunted Mansion
Yes, I know, the Haunted Mansion is an indoor ride. BUT the queue is outside, and darkness is more important than you’d think for setting the mood and adding a layer of spookiness. The extended queue through the graveyard is so fun and interactive, and meeting the happy haunts at night just feels more fitting.
7. The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror
Dropping in with some more spookiness is the Hollywood Tower Hotel herself. Something about riding the Tower of Terror during the day just doesn’t feel right. If you want the authentic spooky feel of the Twilight Zone, nighttime is the way to go. And did I mention the views of Disney’s Hollywood Studios when those elevator doors open?
8. Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train
Aside from the extra thrill of riding a coaster at night, you can avoid standing outside in a notoriously long queue or having to purchase an a la carte Individual Lightning Lane. I recommend saving this ride for last (you’re able to ride as long as you get in the queue before the park’s posted closing time), so you’re not wasting park hours in line.
9. Slinky Dog Dash
The “Go Go Go!” lights on the launch are adorable, but they’re even better when it’s dark out and they can really shine. Also, the queue for Slinky Dog is outside and consistently has a long wait with very limited shade (There’s an ongoing joke that Andy’s mom hates the shade because there is hardly any of it in Toy Story Land). So if you can’t snag a Lightning Lane, definitely save this one for the evening.
10. Prince Charming Regal Carousel
As I mentioned earlier, Fantasyland at night is a DELIGHT! And something about riding the carousel after dark will instantly make you feel like a kid again. Though this is usually a skip for anyone who isn’t a toddler, I promise the beautiful nighttime lights and music will give you an instant serotonin boost.
Though Walt Disney World attractions are amazing any time of day, something about them at night feels even more special!
Ready to Plan a Vacation?
Friend Like Me Travel Co. helps busy families just like yours plan the vacations of their dreams and provides services completely tailored to you and your needs. Click below to get started and one of our Genies will be in touch!