How to Stay at a Disney Park After Closing

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Magic Kingdom fireworks at night

Credit: Disney

Ever dreamed of having a Disney Park all to yourself? Well, it’s the place where dreams come true, after all.

The Disney Parks have a certain magic to them at night. However, you can usually only enjoy it for a few hours before the Park closes for the day and Guests trudge back to their Resort Hotels. Sure, you can elongate your stay by stopping for pictures or buying some last-minute merchandise, but as the rest of the Park closes down, security will lead Guests further and further back down Main Street, U.S.A. until you’re suddenly back at the monorail station.

However, did you know that there are ways to see Walt Disney World TRULY after closing? After everyone else has gone home? And no, we’re not recommending trying to sneak in after dark – sneaking into a Disney Park is a bad idea for everyone. But there are perfectly approved ways to get a few extra hours in the Park after dark (or even before it opens in the morning!) or at least see it when no one else is around. While attractions may not be open, it’s a great opportunity to take some unforgettable photos or experience the magic without a crowd.

Astro Orbiter at the Magic Kingdom at night
Credit: Disney

Book an Early or Late Reservation

One of the easiest ways to see a Park before it opens or after it closes is by booking a dining or experience reservation outside of those times. Some popular Walt Disney World restaurants will allow dining reservations to be booked as late as at Park closing (or even after on rare occasions). Not only does this mean that you can maximize your time in the Park, but when you finish dining and leave, you can leisurely stroll out of a near-empty Park. Don’t worry, transportation back to your Resort or the parking lot will be available to you as long as there are Guests still in the Park, although keep in mind they may be limited; you may have taken the Skyliner to EPCOT, but you may have to take the bus back.

Oga’s Cantina at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios regularly posts reservations after the Park closes, and there’s nothing like an empty Batuu at night. If you’d rather be the first people in the Park, try booking an early breakfast reservation, or the first slot at Savi’s Workshop in Galaxy’s Edge. Both of these can occur before the Park opens, meaning a Cast Member will walk you through an empty Park to your destination.

A mother and two children in front of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World during an after hours event
Credit: Walt Disney World

Get In Line at Closing

If you don’t want to dine late or spend money on an expensive reservation, there’s a free way that all Guests can get a glimpse at the Parks after hours, and that’s by waiting in line at an attraction. Disney’s usual policy states that as long as you are in line for an attraction by the time the Park closes, you’ll get to ride it. That means if you get on line for Test Track at 8:59 p.m., you may walk off it at 9:30 or later, meaning you’ll walk through the Park after it closes. But don’t be late! Those doors will close at 9 p.m. on the dot, so make sure you don’t get caught running.

family taking a photo at disney world after hours
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

After Hours Events

If you want to experience Walt Disney World after hours WITH the inclusion of rides and attractions, try attending one of the After Hours events. These are hard-ticket events, meaning they require an additional ticket, where a Park will remain open for three hours after its usual closing time to a small number of Guests. This means much lower wait times for attractions, and the Park feels like a ghost town as you walk around! Included in your ticket is also complimentary, unlimited soda, popcorn, and ice cream novelties. If you’re willing to purchase a ticket, this is an amazing way to experience the Parks after dark.

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