A Guide to Disney World Nighttime Entertainment




The nighttime entertainment at Disney World is amazing! Each park has their own evening line-up which include fireworks, parades and light shows. Here’s a rundown of the nighttime activities that can be found across the four theme parks.

Magic Kingdom is where WISHES come true and the voices of Disney characters narrate the evening fireworks display! In Wishes Nighttime Spectacular,  lights on Cinderella’s Castle change throughout the show, wishing star fireworks shoot high above the castle and you don’t want to miss Tinker Bell as she takes flight over the park! The fireworks take place nightly at either 9pm or 10pm depending on the season and the park hours.  Visitors will start staking out their spot for Wishes  well in advance (1 hour – 45 minutes). Cut down on your wait time and guarantee yourself an even more unforgettable view by making a reservation for the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party. As a Dessert Party guest not only can you indulge in a bevy of sweet treats but you also get VIP viewing for the evening Fireworks display making it a night you won’t soon forget.

The precursor to the evening fireworks display is Disney’s nighttime projection show Celebrate the Magic. Tinkerbell sprinkles pixie dust atop Cinderella’s Castle and takes visitors on a magical journey through many of Disney’s much-loved animated features.  You won’t want to miss the spectacle when music, movies and projections combine in this 15 minute awe-inspiring production.  Celebrate the Magic usually runs 15 minutes before Wishes.  Guests should consult the Times Guide upon arriving at the parks for additional times and further details.

The Magic Kingdom is also home to Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade. Thousands of sparkling lights and glowing, spinning and gliding floats combine in this magnificent evening parade filled with some of Disney’s most adored characters! Lasting over 20 minutes, you will not be disappointed with this moving musical spectacular! The parade typically happens before Celebrate the Magic but may also run more than once per evening.  Again guests should consult the Times Guide for a detailed schedule.  Like Wishes, visitors will start finding their viewing spots about 35-45 minutes before the parade starts.  To avoid having to wait around,  you can now book  the Main Street Electrical Parade dining package and enjoy a meal at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant with VIP access to the parade!

Hollywood Studios – One of my favorite nighttime shows takes place here, FANTASMIC! starring Mickey as the Sorcerers Apprentice from Fantasia.  There are lights, sounds, firework and water effects that make this one of the greatest shows at Disney. You will see the forces of good and evil battling it out in Mickey’s dream. Can Mickey save the day?  Fantasmic! is currently running at 9pm each evening.  This evening show does offer arena seating. However,  it is recommended that you arrive well in advance.  For those wanting to make a special evening out of  Fantasmic!,  you can get a Fantasmic! Dining package at Hollywood & Vine, Mama Melrose or The Hollywood Brown Derby. This package gets you dinner and VIP seating to the show.

Disney’s newest addition to their Fireworks line-up Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular began wowing crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this month.  Visitors to the parks this Summer won’t want to miss this evening extravaganza featuring out-of-this-world special effects, dynamic lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and a visit from some of your favorite Star Wars characters both young and old.  Where else can you see a giant lightsaber in the night sky? This stunning evening show is set to the soundtracks of both the original Star Wars trilogy as well as The Force Awakens.   Performances are currently taking place at Hollywood Studios at 9:45 each evening.

Epcot  has a stunning fireworks display known as IllumiNations, which takes place around the World Showcase Lagoon. A three-part show- The Earth is Born, the Triumph of Life, and Hope for the Future comes together in this breathtaking display that celebrates the spirit of humanity. IllumiNations takes place each evening at 9pm.  Visitors wanting to see IllumiNations in style can make dining reservations at a number of restaurants around World Showcase offering fireworks views. On certain nights, you can also make reservations for the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party, where you can enjoy international desserts and wines in a private setting for the show.

Animal Kingdom– New to the nightlife scene, Disney’s Animal Kingdom just began extending its evening hours this May! Here you can see The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic featuring stunning effects, performers and music from the film.  Performances take place each evening at 9pm & 10.30pm.  After sundown guests can also watch the animal spirits carved into Tree of Life spring to life  with a showcase of stunning nighttime projections.  Animal Kingdom also has not one but two nighttime street parties.  The first, Harambe Wildlife Party, takes place at Harambe Market and features live music.  The Parti takes place nightly from 5pm-10pm.  The second,  Discovery Island Carnivale,  takes place at Discovery Island and features dancers, stilt walkers, musicians and more! The Carnivale kicks off each evening at 6:45pm, 7:40pm, 8:35pm and 9:35pm.

A Disney World vacation is full of fun and surprises! The nighttime entertainment at Disney is one of those things you can’t miss! Do you have a favorite nighttime show?

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Want to catch one or all of these nighttime shows? Contact me today at jillian@mickeytravels.com or find me on Facebook for your FREE quote and help planning your next Disney vacation.  All of our services are 100% FREE and we book ALL Disney Destinations!


Photo Credit: Disney

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