David and I have several sacred Walt Disney World traditions, and one of them is this: after all the nighttime entertainment at The Magic Kingdom, we get corndog nuggets from Casey’s Corner, sit on the hub grass, and wait for The Magic Kingdom to clear out. Our favorite time to be in the park is after everyone has left, when the rides aren’t running anymore, and everything is peaceful. Then the park truly feels like the fairytale land that it is, void of people, and full of lights and magic. We are usually the last ones out of the park (and sometimes escorted by security!), and those empty moments in The Magic Kingdom are our favorite Disney memories. We are hardcore believers that The Magic Kingdom is meant to be experienced at night – that when the sun goes down, and the lights of Main Street U.S.A. come on, the park really comes alive, in a multidimensional, layered way. We think the park is better at night for several reasons, all of which we plan to share with you today.
Yes, you can technically ride the rides of The Magic Kingdom at any time, but we believe that certain rides were meant to be experienced at night. Some of the main ones would be Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Splash Mountain, Astro Orbiter, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and the Carousel. These rides are all significantly better at night, when the lights come on, and the views become more magical. We think they’re so great, we dedicated an entire post to it: Rides At Walt Disney World That Are Better At Night
After Wishes is over, the crowds at The Magic Kingdom decrease SIGNIFICANTLY. It’s like watching a mass exodus leave the park when they’re over. If you’re there during a busier time of year, the park will most likely be open for a couple more hours after Wishes. This is when we do most of our riding of attractions, with short wait times. Nothing makes my vacation feel less magical than having to stand in a long line.
The Magic Kingdom is always a beautiful place, but when the Castle is lit up, and Main Street is aglow in soft lighting, it feels even more like something out of a dream.
4. The Night Time Entertainment
We aren’t fans ourselves of The Main Street Electrical Parade, but if it’s your first trip, you should try to see it. We are HUGE fans of ‘Celebrate The Magic’, and “Wishes’, and think they should be a part of every Magic Kingdom night.
5. The Kiss Goodnight
The Kiss Goodnight is one of the best things at The Magic Kingdom, that you’ll never get to see if you don’t stay past park closing. The Kiss Goodnight is the nightly farewell, from Walt Disney World, to the guest, and includes a small display of sparkly lights on the castle, and a narrator quoting Walt Disney’s intention for the park.
We always wince, and feel sad, when people tell us that they don’t plan to stay for nighttime at The Magic Kingdom. We even encourage mid-afternoon naps to make it possible to stay late at the parks, and enjoy all the magic it has to offer. Trust us, it will soon become your favorite time of day to be there.