WDW Magazine - - Front Page - BY STEPHANIE SHUSTER

Walt Dis­ney World is mag­i­cal af­ter dark – and that doesn’t just ap­ply to the parks! The amaz­ing re­sort ho­tels on prop­erty take on a new char­ac­ter at night and of­fer many ex­clu­sive ac­tiv­i­ties in the evening. It’s worth ex­plor­ing your own re­sort – or even re­sort hop­ping! – at night to en­joy the at­ten­tion to de­tail and unique ac­tiv­i­ties that WDW of­fers.

First, let’s look at the night­time ameni­ties you’ll find at many Walt Dis­ney World re­sorts:


Ev­ery night (weather per­mit­ting), Dis­ney re­sorts of­fer Movies Un­der the Stars. Usu­ally at or near the main pool, a dif­fer­ent movie is of­fered nightly (you can see what’s play­ing where on the My Dis­ney Ex­pe­ri­ence App). Some­times neigh­bor­ing re­sorts will share this ac­tiv­ity and swap host­ing du­ties – ask for a re­sort ac­tiv­i­ties list at check-in. This is an es­pe­cially great ac­tiv­ity with the kids when the parks close early or you need a night “off” from them!


Sev­eral re­sorts of­fer nightly bon fires, com­plete with marsh­mal­low roasts! Your re­sort ac­tiv­i­ties list will tell you where and when this ac­tiv­ity hap­pens. Re­sorts that of­fer this amenity in­clude: An­i­mal King­dom Lodge, Con­tem­po­rary, Wilder­ness Lodge, Yacht & Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Coron­ado Springs, Port Or­leans, Old Key West, Fort Wilder­ness, Saratoga Springs, Poly­ne­sian Vil­lage or Caribbean Beach Re­sort.


Re­sorts with park prox­im­ity of­fer some great al­ter­na­tives for less-crowded fire­works view­ing. At the mono­rail ho­tels, you can view Magic King­dom fire­works with the mu­sic piped in to the beach area (and cer­tain restau­rants). The Cres­cent Lake area ho­tels of­fer good views of Il­lu­mi­na­tions and even Star Wars: A Galac­tic Spec­tac­u­lar. You might even spy fire­works from other re­sorts – the Gen­er­a­tion Gap bridge at Pop Cen­tury / Art of An­i­ma­tion pro­vides a pretty nice view of Il­lu­mi­na­tions.

You can even book a fire­works view­ing cruise de­part­ing from one of the Magic King­dom area mari­nas or the Yacht Club ma­rina. It’s pricey, but a re­ally unique way to see the shows!


Most guests don’t even know about this nightly of­fer­ing on the Seven Seas La­goon and Bay Lake. Float­ing barges dec­o­rated with bulb lights rem­i­nis­cent of the Main Street Elec­tri­cal Pa­rade float past the Poly­ne­sian Vil­lage, Grand Floridian, the Con­tem­po­rary, Wilder­ness Lodge, and Fort Wilder­ness nightly – check the My Dis­ney Ex­pe­ri­ence app or your re­sort ac­tiv­i­ties list for the spe­cific time.


In the evenings, be­gin­ning at 4:30pm, some re­sorts have child­care cen­ters, af­ford­ing Mom and Dad a much needed date night! Lilo’s Play­house at the Poly­ne­sian Vil­lage, Sand­cas­tle Club at the Beach Club Re­sort, Simba’s Cub­house at An­i­mal King­dom Lodge, and Camp Dol­phin at the Walt Dis­ney World Dol­phin Re­sort all of­fer this ser­vice.


We’ll get into spe­cific evening-only din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences by re­sort shortly, but it’s worth not­ing that many re­sort restau­rants – par­tic­u­larly Sig­na­ture Din­ing lo­ca­tions – only of­fer

din­ner (with an oc­ca­sional Sun­day brunch of­fer­ing). But most Mod­er­ate and Deluxe re­sorts also have lounges that op­er­ate only in the evenings with some spec­tac­u­lar drink and ap­pe­tizer of­fer­ings. Our fa­vorites in­clude Trader Sam’s, Mizner’s Lounge, and Ter­ri­tory Lounge.

A new ad­di­tion is the High­way in the Sky Dine Around pack­age, which takes guests on a five-course meal com­plete with cock­tails, trav­el­ing by mono­rail to the Con­tem­po­rary, Grand Floridian, and Poly­ne­sian Vil­lage – end­ing the night with a fire­works dis­play!


Don’t un­der es­ti­mate the magic of af­ter dark at­mos­phere for en­joy­ing your re­sort grounds. For many kids, noth­ing is more spe­cial than a night­time swim! Pools are gen­er­ally open un­til about 10pm, oper­at­ing hours are listed at each pool.

Dis­ney also does a great job of il­lu­mi­nat­ing build­ings, walk­ways, wa­ter­ways, foun­tains, and more – your re­sort has a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity at night, and in many cases seems more im­pres­sive than in the day! The value re­sorts are par­tic­u­larly eye catch­ing with their larger than life stat­ues tak­ing cen­ter stage.

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