The Walt Disney World parks turn into different worlds at night, offering special entertainment, different ride experiences, lots of glittering lights, and cooler temperatures!
The only downside about the evening hours at the park is that the magic is coming to an end for the day, at least until the next morning of course! So how do you cap off your day at the parks? We have a few ideas...
Today, we are going to offer a few recommendations for how to end your day at Epcot! Enjoy!
5.) Last Stop Shopping-We think that Epcot has some of the best places to shop at WDW. World Showcase is full of shops that offer items from each country, the Art of Disney store near the entrance has collectibles and artwork for sale, but MouseGear is our favorite. MouseGear is a huge store full of a variety of Disney merchandise. It's like a slightly smaller version of the World of Disney Store; but not quite as congested; and the A/C in here feels awesome after a long walk around the World Showcase. We like to do a little shopping here before we end the day because we have seen all that the park has to offer at this point and then you don't have to haul everything around the rest of the day.
4.) Evening at Living with The Land-The Land is often a busy, crowded pavilion during certain points of the day; but one of our favorite times to visit is during the evening. When most folks are packed around the lagoon to watch Illuminations, you can head into The Land to enjoy the Living with the Land attraction, grab a delicious nighttime snack at the famous Sunshine Seasons, or hopefully find a short wait for Soarin'?
3.) Dinner-In our opinion, Epcot offers some of the best restaurants on property, this is especially true of World Showcase. Many Disney regulars think that one of the best Epcot activities is dining in view of Illuminations, Epcot's nightly fireworks display, such as at the Rose and Crown in the United Kingdom pavilion.
2.) Illuminations-Epcot's nightly fireworks display is Illuminations, which is centered in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon. Every night, a huge globe which is covered with digital screens is floated out into the middle of the lake. This globe is the centerpiece of the show and even showcases scenes on the screen all while fireworks explode overhead, timed to the music. It's quite a spectacle and a great way to end your day at Epcot.
1.) World Showcase After Dark-World Showcase is one of our favorite things about Walt Disney World! The shopping, dining, history, culture, and overall experience is something we always look forward to; but once the sun goes down, World Showcase offers a whole new atmosphere. At night, World Showcase is all lit up and can make you feel as if you're wandering the streets of Paris or Morocco or Mexico after dark. It's beautiful and peaceful and also a lot cooler, a big plus seeing how World Showcase is over a mile long and can wear you out during the heat of the day. Also, since people will be packed along the edge of the lagoon, the stores and exhibits and streets should hopefully be empty for you to enjoy! So take a stroll and enjoy the view and what World Showcase has to offer before heading back to your resort for the night.
How do you like to end your day at Epcot?
The Walt Disney World parks turn into different worlds at night, offering special entertainment, different ride experiences, lots of glittering lights, and cooler temperatures!The only downside about the evening hours at the park is that the magic is coming to an end for the day, at least until the next morning of course! So how do you cap off your day at the parks? We have a few ideas...Today, we are going to offer a few recommendations for how to end your day at Hollywood Studios! Enjoy!5.)
Take Advantage of Shorter Lines-
Oftentimes at night, the lines for certain rides and shows at the parks are shorter than during the busy hours of the day. This is often the case at Hollywood Studios, especially since most people have flocked to Fantastmic. So enjoy the cool temperatures and glittering lights and walk on The Great Movie Ride, MuppetVision 3D, the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and maybe even Star Tours!4.) Leisurely Dinner
-If you are looking for a relaxed evening after running through the parks all day, enjoy one of Hollywood Studios awesome themed restaurants! Our recommendations? Check out 50s Prime Time Cafe for a blast to the past and some hilarious moments or head to the drive-in to catch a cheesy, vintage monster flick while seated in an old fashioned car at Sci-Fi- Dine-In Theater! Who doesn't like Italian with just a taste of Hollywood? Book a reservation at Mama Melroses. But if you are looking to dine like the Hollywood stars of old, consider the famous Brown Derby!3.) Boat Ride to Epcot Resorts
-Did you know that you can go to Epcot or the Epcot Resorts via short boat ride from the Hollywood Studios exit? Hop aboard a boat, located at the dock outside the park underneath the Tower of Terror, and relax as you cruise to the Swan and Dolphin, Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club, and even Epcot if you wish. You can also walk along a lighted path next to the water; but it can be a little long for some. When you drop by these resorts, take advantage of their shopping and dining, as well as the gorgeous views and Boardwalk entertainment! If you time it right, you may even caught Illuminations from Epcot exploding overhead!2.) Fantasmic
-Of course, you can always end your night with a viewing of Hollywood Studios famous Fantasmic show! This outdoor show employs everything from lasers to fireworks to water projections to boats laden with Disney characters to wow and entertain! It really is one of the best ways to end your day at this park. Just be sure to get in line early for a good seat or take advantage of the Fantasmic FastPasses
Disney is now offering!1.) Night on Sunset Boulevard
-This Hollywood Studios street is home to Rock n' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror, both of which only improve at night! Rock n' Roller Coaster is indoors; but the rock music blaring through the plaza at night as you enter to ride just makes it cooler; and of course, the Tower of Terror only seems more thrilling glowing in the dark at the end of the street! Enjoy the shorter lines (hopefully) and get a whole new experience from these attractions by going for just one more scream before you call it a day!
What Is It? Have you ever experienced the art class inside of The Magic of Disney Animation at Hollywood Studios? The class is offered every 30 minutes all throughout the day; and it's indoors, air conditioned, great for all ages, and it's free!
Many guests steer clear of this park treasure because they lack artistic ability and really don't want to be embarrassed in front of their family on vacation; but Disney breaks down how to draw Disney characters so simply and easily that, even if you're artistically challenged, you will still do great! The kids will really enjoy it too!
What's It Like? Once you enter the classroom, you will sit down in front of a Mickey-shaped artist desk which has a fresh piece of drawing paper set in place and ready for you! A Disney Animator will then welcome you to the class and have the you and the guests vote on which Disney character you would like to draw. During our visits, we've had the chance to draw Tigger, Stitch, Jiminy Cricket, and even characters from Pixar's Up.
Once a character has been decided, your Animator will project their own sketchpad up on the wall overhead and begin to demonstrate in easy steps how to begin drawing your character, where to add details, and then add the final touches! Before you know it, you've drawn a Disney character like a real Disney animator! You also get to take your sketch home!
You can get a taste of The Magic of Disney Animation's Art Class In this video below where a Disney Animator explains how to dry the lovable, bouncy Tigger! Follow along and put your art skills to the test, you will probably surprise yourself!
If you think about it, March is really a busy month! For example, in March we have St. Patrick's Day, Spring Break, March Madness, the First Day of Spring, and Easter; and what better place to enjoy these special times of year than at Walt Disney World!
Yes, Disney has something for each of these March events, whether you're looking for leprechauns, Easter bunnies, a basketball game, or a break in the Florida sunshine! Now we know St. Patrick's Day has already come and gone, but you can still enjoy what March has to offer now!Spring Break
-March can be a little unpredictable when it comes to the weather. Sometimes this particular month can offer sunshine and mild weather, but other times it can be just as cold and snowy as January; and this can be hard to handle when you were ready for Summer the day after Christmas, right? Florida is always a top destination for Spring Breakers, but you can escape the crazy college kids and crowded beaches, and still enjoy the sunshine, while taking a Disney vacation! Even if the temperatures are still a little chilly, Disney Resorts offer heated pools, so you can enjoy some water fun, and the flowers and landscaping will be in full bloom! That's our kind of Spring Break!Easter
-If you're visiting Walt Disney World over Easter, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy this special holiday in Disney-style! First of all, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be available to meet guests at the Magic Kingdom all this month! You can also enjoy an Easter Meal at several of WDW's restaurants; and, most importantly, attend an Easter Sunday church service at the Contemporary's Fantasia Ballroom. If that wasn't all, Epcot is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt
at the World Showcase for Limited Time Magic! There is a cost for the map and stickers to mark where you found the hidden eggs, but you can turn in your completed map for a prize: a Vinylmation Keychain 2-pack!
-Take your bracket down to Walt Disney World and cheer on your favorite team at the Boardwalk's ESPN Club
! This restaurant features tons of television screens and sports paraphernalia, as well as a delicious menu! Don't want to miss a second of the big game? You don't have to! There are even televisions in the bathroom! But be sure to get to the restaurant early on game day so you can grab a table. It's first come, first serve here.
You can immerse yourself in the sports universe even more with a visit or stay to Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, or to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex!Springtime
-Celebrate the beauty of Spring with Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival
! Every March, topiaries resembling Disney characters and other cultural symbols appear across the park, along with colorful, blooming gardens, gardening workshops, a butterfly house, and even tasty food stands! No matter what weather March might bring, it's always spring in Epcot this time of year!
As you've read, March is a big month for Walt Disney World and a great place to celebrate early Spring activities!
Downtown Disney is a shopping complex at Walt Disney World that offers a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment across the water from Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort!
Downtown Disney is popular with guests, although not nearly as much as the parks; but is this spot really worth visiting? We definitely think so! Here's why!
Free Admission-Yes, there are some things at WDW that are free; and visiting Downtown Disney is one of them! No tickets or admission is required to enjoy Downtown Disney; and with plenty of window shopping, free entertainment, sights, and free samples of chocolate from Ghiradelli to enjoy, we encourage you to visit!
The World of Disney-The world's largest Disney Store is located at Downtown Disney. It really is massive and packed full of Disney merchandise! The store is also decorated really cool and is sure to be a hit with kids. Be sure to notice that each room is decorated with Disney characters and pixie dust; and the outside offers some great photo ops and possibly a spit attack from Stitch!
TrenD-Girls, this store is for you! TrenD is a Disney boutique filled with unique, stylish souvenirs for us grown-up Disney princesses, such as vintage style Disney tops, jewelry, wallets, Disney Dooney and Bourke bags, and much more! For a rare Disney find, head here!
Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop-The name of this restaurant alone may be reason enough to visit Downtown Disney! The aroma wafting through the doors is amazing and the massive menu is even more so with such sweets as The Gold Rush, The Golden Gate, The Cable Car, and Mint Bliss, as well as waffle bowls, tons of toppings, and even sea salt caramel hot cocoa!
Team Mickeys-This store is a haven for the sports enthusiasts in your family as it features ESPN products, sport collectibles, and Disney themed sports merchandise! For some hard to find souvenirs for the guy in your life that has everything, this is the place to go!
Lego Imagination Center Shop-Is your little prince tired and frustrated after being dragged from store to store all afternoon? This shop will put a smile back on his face! At the Lego Imagination Center, kids can shop for legos, as well as take in some larger than life lego sculptures depicting scenes from Toy Story, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! There is also a sculpture of a tourist family at Disney, and a huge lego sea serpent that's actually in that water! It's a must-see!
Here's why we think Downtown Disney is worth the visit! What do you think?
The most wonderful time of the year is here again; and Disney is decking the halls! The Disney parks we know are changing with cooler temperatures, seasonal celebrations, and Christmas decor.
But let's get down to details. How different is it visiting the parks during this time of year compared to traditional summer trips? What can you really expect?
Here are the differences that you really need to know:
Weather-The temperatures are definitely different during this time of year than in the summer. While many of the days are mild, hovering around the seventies, this isn't always the case. In fact, it get really cold, especially in late December and in January! Also, the evenings usually get pretty chilly.
Packing-Since the weather is cooler, you will need to layer. We are talking jeans and sweatshirts here. That means your clothes for this vacation will take up more room in your suitcase than the standard shorts and tanks you pack in the summer. However, two things that should not change on your packing list is sunglasses and comfy shoes! These are still a must!
Resorts-Almost all of the Disney resorts decorate for Christmas. This is especially true of the deluxe resorts. They go all out with giant Christmas trees in their lobbies and even some special sights and activities, such as the giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian which actually sells Chrstmas treats! Other resorts feature giant edible treats too. Therefore, we think that all the resorts should be visited this time of year because of how amazing their themed trees and decorations are. Definitely make resort hopping part of our intinerary for your holiday Christmas vacation!
Parks Decor-The parks also decorate for the holidays! This is especially true of the Magic Kingdom! Cinderella Castle is actually covered in ice-like lights and characters are known to don winter wear. Every park boasts their own giant tree with ornaments themed after the park's theme, and there are plenty of festive details to enjoy! So when you visit, don't expect some of the standard pics of the parks as seasonal decorations may definitely influence your photos!
Crowds-Early December usually offers light crowds; but halfway through the month and through New Years, the parks and resorts are at peak season! While it's a blast to see the parks decorated and celebrating Christmas, the masses can make navigating, lines, and the overall experience difficult.
Pools-The resort pools usually are open, but we doubt you will want to take advantage of them due to the cooler temperatures. If traveling with kids, you may want to prepare them for this disappointment as there are no indoor resort pools at WDW.
Refurbishments-Since a few weeks of this season featues few crowds, Disney may take advantage of those precious weeks to update and refurbish some of their attractions and restaurants. So when you visit, know ahead of time if your favorite ride is going to be shut down so you won't be disappointed.
Food-You may find some special Christmas theme sweet treats for sale if you visit during this wintery season!
Special Events-Walt Disney World offers a variety of holiday special events during this time of year, in addition to all of their other fun activities! For example, at the Magic Kingdom, you can enjoy Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party featuring a special parade, fireworks display, extra characters, and holiday dance parties. However, it will cost you some extra cash. Epcot offers their traditional Candlelight Processional, as well as presentations of how Christmas is celebrated around the world at the World Showcase. Hollywood Studios has the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, where a section of the park is literally covered in millions of light set to music and where fake snow sifts down from overhead. Lastly, Animal Kingdom has a special Christmas themed parade!
So these are the main things you need to know when visiting WDW during this time of year. While the traditional Disney World experience is still there to enjoy, there is definitely a festive feel in the air and holiday twist to much of what you see.
"Plenty of sunshine heading my way...Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-a-Dee-Day!"
Every Disney guests hopes and prays for a clear blue sky and sunshine for their visits to Disney World; but many don't realize that the parks offer a whole new experience at night!
This is especially true of the Magic Kingdom. Once the sun goes down, this park displays new shades of wonder, magic, adventure, and fairytale charm, all in addition to being set aglow with thousands of glittering lights!
In addition to the Magic Kingdom's nighttime parade, fireworks display, and dance parties, the park's various lands and attractions also offer different views and experiences in the dark!
So if you make your way to the Magic Kingdom after sunset, here's what you must see and do!
Adventureland-This land is meant to convey exotic mystery and possible danger; and at night, this is especially true! The flickering torchlight and shadows make you feel as if you are trekking through the rainforest at night! I prefer to stroll through this land while snacking on a Dole Whip before I pick a spot for Wishes!
Pirates of the Caribbean-The area outside of Pirates of the Caribbean is always cool, especially with the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack playing nearby, but this area just seems even more piratey and adventurous at night! Also, even though the ride itself is indoors, the setting takes place at night so the entry into the queue and onto the ride is seamless after sundown.
Jungle Cruise-After our first nighttime experience on the Junge Cruise, we now only ride at night! This classic attraction seems more realistic during this time of day and offers a whole new experience. Also, since the line for the Jungle Cruise is typically shorter during this time of day, boats tend to run half empty giving the captains a little more freedom with their gags. On our last voyage, our captain to us "welcome to the night cruises!"
Magic Carpets of Aladdin-This Dumbo-esque ride is lit up at night and gives you the chance to see an illuminated Adventureland. Plus, you don't have to squint under the glaring Florida sun!
Tomorrowland-Since this land is set in the future and outer space, the evening twilight only adds to the theming! The colors and flashing lights make this lands feel like a space port and is at its best during this time of day. Guest should definitely walk through just once after dark!
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover-This easy-moving, elevated attraction sends guests on a trip above Tomorrowland and offers unique views of the park. Since the park is lit up at night, a spin on this attraction is different than what it is during the day; and you can also get a view or two of the Tomorrowland dance party going on below!
Space Mountain-Yes, we know that Space Mountain is indoors; but like Pirates of the Caribbean, the transition from the dark outside to the dark inside is seamless and only contributes to the theme and feel.
Tomorroland Indy Speedway-This attraction can be rather hot during the day; but at night, it's much cooler in regards to temperature and in experience since you get to drive under the bright lights!
Splash Mountain-We definitely recommend riding this attraction both during the day and at night as both are great! The outdoor scenes of Splash Mountain are illuminated at night; and that moment before you are sent screaming down into the Briar Patch, you get a great view of the castle and the park glittering in the distance!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad-Like the Jungle Cruise, we prefer to only experience this ride at night because we think the dark just makes it better and sometimes seem faster! One of our family traditions is to board the ride during Wishes as the climb up the mountain, as well as some of its spins and turns, offer amazing views of this fireworks display!
Prince Charming Regal Carousel-This classic attraction is even charming and magical at night in view of a glowing Cinderella Castle!
Main Street USA-We are big fans of Main Street USA's theme, architecture, and overall atmosphere; but seeing this part of the park at night, lit up with old fashioned popcorn lights, buzzing with activitiy, and with a colorful, lit Cinderella Castle at the end of the street, gives you such a warm, energized feeling. Be sure to set aside some time to enjoy this nostalgic part of the Magic Kingdom during your nighttime visit!
So what do you recommend guests must do at night while visiting the Magic Kingdom? Share with us and our readers with a comment!
Howdy! Ya'll looking for some fresh air and country fun while at Walt Disney World? Head on over to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for a visit to the Tri-Circle-D Farm! (Get it? Tri-Circle-D? Three circles make a Mickey? Clever, huh?)
Tri-Circle-D Farm offers fun activites for guests visiting this Disney resort and campground, as well as serves as the housing for the horses used all around WDW!
The horses you find here add to the magic in your day by pulling the trolley on Main Street U.S.A. or helping create a fairy tale at a Disney wedding! These horses also help you have fun at Fort Wilderness as they are used for hayrides, trail rides, pony rides, and carriage rides! Plus, at Christmastime, these horses pull old fashioned sleighs which may make you feel as if you're in a Christmas card!
When you visit, be sure to venture into the barn where you can find some photos, awards, and Disney memorabilia that involves horses too! There are other little corners to see and things to do and enjoy at Tri-Circle-D Farm, so be sure to take some time to explore!
Here are some of the horses we encountered on evening as we dropped by the farm!
Aren't these ponies gorgeous?
Even the signs around the farm speak horse! You may not be able to tell, but there were deer in the background when we snapped this pic!
Have you ever visited Fort Wilderness' Tri-Circle-D Farm? Share with us and our readers your experiences!
Planning your first visit to WDW? Want to capture those magical moments? Check out our list of the top 15 photos you must get when you visit the Magic Kingdom.
1. Cinderella Castle-Obvious choice, but you simply have to have it! Get the family in the photo, preferably from a standpoint on Main Street USA.
2. Pose in front of Space Mountain-Strike a fun pose in front of the futuristic Space Mountain to remember this wild rocket ride through space.
3. Cinderella Mosaic-Venture inside Cinderella Castle to see the beautiful mosaics which tell the story of Cinderella herself! It's a great spot to snap a pic of your own little princess too!
4. Cinderella Castle at Night-After the sun goes down, you will find that the Cinderella Castle is brilliantly aglow with different colors. It's truly magical!
5. Wearing Mouse Ears at the Emporium-While there are the standard black, personalized Mickey Mouse Ears for sale at the Magic Kingdom, there are also some very unique Mouse Ears to see and purchase as well. Go ahead and try one and get a pic in the process.
6. Parade pics on Main Street USA-Whether you're watching the afternoon or nighttime parade, be sure to get a picture of one of the charming floats that sail past on Main Street USA.
7. Splash Mountain-This attraction is sight to behold! Be sure to get the classic pic of the log plummeting down the face of mountain!
8. Liberty Belle Riverboat-This vintage, white riverboat makes you feel as if you've stepped back in time; and it's especially picturesque against the backdrop of Tom Sawyer Island or Big Thunder Mountain.
9. Mickey Waffles at the Crystal Palace-Getting a photo of you and the family starting the day off with a platter Mickey Waffles will make a great memory downt the road. However, be aware that breakfast will never be the same after you've been spoiled with Mickey Waffles.
10. You with a Dole Whip-This classic, Pineapple flavored dessert is a Magic Kingdom staple. Warning: They are addictive. Get a photo of yourself with one to remember your first Dole Whip experience.
11. You holding a FastPass-Did you snatch those FastPasses for your favorite attraction? Get a picture of you or the family holding up your FastPass as a way to remember the day and one of your favorite attractions.
12. Photo of your favorite attraction sign-The signs outside of the attractions, as well as shops and restaurants, are amazing and full of detail! Some of my favorite WDW photos are of unique signs I have discovered.
13. Partners Statue-Be sure to get a photo of that iconic statue of Walt and Mickey in front of the castle. It represents the Magic Kingdom better than anything else at the park.
14. Mickey Balloons on Main Street USA-Even if you're an adult, the colorful Mickey balloons will still bring you joy and a smile. Go ahead and get a picture of some, especially if you can get the castle in the background.
15. Pirates of the Caribbean Plaza-When you visit Pirates of the Caribbean at Adventureland, take time to strike your favorite pirate pose in front of the attraction and pirate themed area!
Christmastime is coming! Before we know it, the most wonderful time of the year will be on our doorstep; and for those of you planning Christmas vacations to Disney, we are sure you're already counting down the days!
If you are one of the blessed to be visiting WDW during this holiday season, we have a recommendation for you: The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios.
While we are fans of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, we are even bigger fans of this special holiday event and consider a definite priority for anyone at WDW around the holidays for several reasons.
First of all, the Osbourne Family Lights does not require special admission, but is open to anyone who has admission to Hollywood Studios. This is great for familes vising on a budget!
Secondly, this display is pure Christmas magic for young or old! The thousands upon thousands of lights all synchronized to Christmas songs in every direction is magical and really makes you feel like a kid in wonder of Christmas all over again. You just have to experience it, our simply can't do it justice!
Thirdly, you don't have to wait in line to experience this display. In fact, the only waiting required is waiting for the lights to come on; and almost every view is a good view.
Also, if the fake snow on Main Street at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a big draw for you, know that it snows here too! Fake snow is blown off the roofs of the Streets of America; and mixed with lights and music, it creates a magical, old fashioned feel! Also, there is a snack stand selling candied nuts which gives the air that festive, Christmas scent!
Lastly, the Osborne Lights is shown EVERY night at the park from its debut on November 9th, to January 6th of next year! This is great for those who only have a few days at Disney or have time obligations.
In addition to the lighted buildings, there is also a massive Christmas tree made from lights and a lighted tunnel which changes in colors and patterns to the music! Warning: As you can see from the photo above, this display packs in the crowds so it can be difficult to move.
The globe with Peace on Earth banner was a fixture in Jennings Osborne's original holiday spectacle which he created in Arkansas years ago. It grew and grew until it was finally transported to WDW. I appreciate this homage to its early days and I especially like all of the angels whose wings move in time to the music!
Here's a closer look at the lighted tree and how completely covered with lights the buildings on the Streets of America really are!
All throughout the display, little objects and details have been wrapped in lights! Keep an eye out for some amusing sights as well!
In all, we believe that the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is one of the best Christmas treats that Disney World has to offer. It's technically free, is shown every night, has no line, and truly captures the spirit of Christmas for young and old! Don't miss it!