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Staying Up Late: 7 Reasons Why This is the Best Way to Do Disney World!

Calling all night, owls! If you thought that there wouldn’t be enough to do at Disney to allow you to sleep in and do Disney in the later hours, that would be a mistake. You don’t have to be a morning person or totally change your routine (unless there are set things you really want to see/do, and they don’t occur in the later hours) to enjoy Disney. You can still have a fantastic experience, and depending on your vacation goals, it may be the best experience! Here are 7 reasons why staying up late may actually be the best way to do Disney:


7 – The crowd levels are lower.

Many of the families and groups with smaller children tend to head in a little early and head back to their resorts during the late-night hours. This means that if the parks are open later that you can expect far less crowds during the evening hours. This allows you to get on some of the most popular rides without the wait times that you would experience during the busiest part of the day. This can actually save you a lot of time and be a more efficient use of your time than being out and about during the daytime hours.

6 – Closing down, any one of the parks is impressive.

We love to be one of the last out of the parks. You can take amazing pictures in front of the icons or various attractions without the crowds and as many people in the background. Not only that, the walk through the parks without the crowds and congestion from all of the guests is so relaxing and way to really be able to take in the surroundings, notice the little details and really hear the music and audio tracks that are playing. Those are things that are sometimes lost when you are fighting the crowds or continuously on the watch for kamikaze strollers or scooters. The parks at night are absolutely gorgeous and a totally different, yet still very magical, feel than what you experience during the daylight hours. It is just as awe-worthy. If you stay and close down the Magic Kingdom, you also get to witness the “Kiss Goodnight,” which many guests don’t even know about. This is where the castle erupts with a light show and music as kind of a special farewell to guests. It usually occurs about a half-hour after the park closes.


5 – You’ll always see the evening shows.

Some of the best shows and experiences at Disney are the fireworks and evening parades and shows. If you are there for the late night. If you hit the ground running early in the morning, you may be too tired, or your feet won’t stand for you to wait around and see these amazing shows. And let’s face it, they are, in fact, AMAZING! Currently, you have Happily Ever After, at Magic Kingdom, Star Wars fireworks, and Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Epcot Forever show at Epcot. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has Rivers of Light, and that is a fantastic show! You definitely don’t want to miss these, and you won’t feel as tired and worn out for them!

Castle Fireworks

4 – Dining locations are usually less crowded and reservations are easier to get.

The peak eating times are your standard dinner times in the 5-7 PM range. You can typically pick up some great reservations if you are willing to eat around 9 or 10 o’clock. This is especially true at Disney Springs, where restaurants are open much later. Parents usually have to feed their kids before then, so that leaves a lot of reservations and restaurant availability open for the night crowd. The restaurants seem quieter to us later in the evening, so that is always a plus, too!

3 – Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk both have fantastic nightlife.

If you are a night owl and want to enjoy the nightlife, then Disney Springs or the Boardwalk are the place to be after the parks close! Both locations have restaurants, bars, and entertainment that go until 2AM. You can have drinks, dance, mingle with other vacationers, single along to the music and enjoy a stroll around the grounds. There is so much to do, and the locations are fantastic. There is definitely something for everyone. Don’t forget about the lounges at the resorts, too. They aren’t open as late as Disney Springs, but they are still great hangout spots to have drinks and enjoy a fun atmosphere.

2 – Start your day in the most relaxing way.

So you stay up late, sleep in the next morning and then wander out of bed, right? Well, you could easily start your day enjoying your resort pool! While so many other families are in the parks, you can take a dip in the pool with less crowds during the middle part of the day. It is a great way to start the day and get refreshed before you hit the parks. Plus, who doesn’t love it if you get a less crowded pool?!?

Castle at Night

1 – Beat the heat!

This is definitely a selling point for being part of the night crowd. The Florida sun can be brutal. It still feels pretty brutal, even if the temperature isn’t overly hot. The sun is just so powerful. If you skip the hottest part of the day around noon and then head out for the evening fun, you get to bypass the sun and enjoy most of your time when then sun is going down, or it is dark. This can really make the temperature much more enjoyable and reduce your risk of getting a sunburn! In the summer when the parks are open pretty late, this is definitely helpful! Don’t forget that if you are staying at a Disney Resort, they also have Extra Magic Hours for resort guests that extend the park hours at one park each day in either the morning or the evenings. The evening EMH is best as it usually reaches the hours by 2-3 hours, and it is late in the evening, so many folks are tired and want to head to bed by that time!

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About Christy Caby

Hi! I’m Christy, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. He proposed at Disney, we honeymooned at Disney, we started bringing our boys before they were born and then as early as 8 weeks old. We then continued to vacation to Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what makes more sense than just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way. I love to share this love and passion for all things Disney with the world and hope that I can help others appreciate the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer!