Today we’re going to rank the Top 5 attractions at Disney where the experience changes at night (for the better!), so total indoor favorites like Rock N’ Roller Coaster or Toy Story Midway Mania don’t fit the bill for this list.
Honorable Mention: Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion just got nudged out of the Top 5 because most of your experience is completely indoors. However there is something about hearing the howling wolves at night and seeing the Mansion lit up in the distance that just adds to the experience. The entire ride is very dark and takes place in a night setting so when you are going through the queue in the dark it helps set the scene a little bit better than just stepping in out of the sun.
5) Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise is interesting because I can’t say definitively that I like it better during the day or at night, but they are both very different experiences. Floating through all of the different rivers of the world is a little more “adventurous” feeling at night than during the day for some reason. Also entering into the ruins is a little more exciting at night as well. When you ride the Jungle Cruise at night you feel much farther away from the park than you do during the day as well.
4) Expedition Everest
This would probably be number 1 on the list if it was available to ride at night more often. Expedition Everest literally feels like a different ride at night and provides the best views you can get of Disney World from a ride. On the lift tower you can see everything lit up from Tower of Terror to Epcot and everything in between if you twist your neck back and to the left you can even catch the Magic Kingdom area! As for the ride itself, the walk up and queue to the ride has a more treacherous feel and the Mountain looms over the park even more at night. Finally the chase with the Yeti at night just feels a little more dangerous (can’t explain why). If you get a chance to ride Everest at night do it!
3) Tower of Terror
Tower of Terror is my absolute favorite attraction in all of Walt Disney World and it gets even better at night. The already amazing queue becomes even more gloomy. When walking through the Tower of Terror queue at night you wonder what the heck happened here? You are also put in the shoes of the poor souls who were lost on a stormy night long ago. Now back to the ride itself, when you are in
the lift shaft at night it is completely dark and when those doors open wow what a view you get of Hollywood Studios. Next time you decide to “drop” in to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, try to do it at night for an even better experience.
2) Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is again one of those that I’m not sure if it is better during the day or night but the experience at night is so much different. I would say most of my rides on Splash
Mountain are at night because I am just rushing to get as many rides in before the park closes as possible! The views from Splash Mountain at night are incredible, especially of the castle! There is nothing quite like getting to the top of the final drop and seeing Cinderella Castle all lit up just before you plummet into the Briar Patch.
1a) Big Thunder Mountain
Big Thunder Mountain is one of those rides that is leaps and bounds better at night. The views again are second to none, but also the attraction itself is lit up beautifully. The rock formations are lit up perfectly and you can see the small town of Tumbleweeds details a little bit better at night. I also love flying around the corner over Rivers of America and looking out over the pitch black Tom Sawyer Island. Being in the Wild West is just better at night!
Two more mentions:
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is absolutely incredible at night but I have never actually ridden it during the day so I couldn’t compare the two. But the ride gives you views of Beast’s Castle and New Fantasyland that are unreal! Also flying through the countryside at night is a really cool experience, but I cant wait to try it during the day as well.
Ok so World Showcase isn’t technically an attraction, but there is nothing better to do at night in Disney than to walk around the lagoon and explore each of the countries. It also doesn’t hurt that its dinner time and there is an abundance of incredible/diverse foods and drinks!
Thank you for reading and please share your favorite attractions to do at night!
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All Images Courtesy of the Walt Disney Company