Walt Disney World with its four full sized theme parks offers a wide variety of entertainment options. When it comes to nighttime spectaculars, Walt Disney World has you covered! Here is a guide to all the evening entertainment options you can find at Walt Disney World.
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Fantasmic!- Hollywood Studios
Fantasmic! is a Disney classic when it comes to nighttime spectaculars. The show takes you into the colorful imagination of Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Along with Mickey, the show features Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Aladdin, and The Lion King. The Evil Queen from Snow White gathers together classic Disney villains including a larger-than-life Maleficent to turn Mickey's dream into a nightmare so Mickey will have to save the day.
The show can be frightening for little ones with explosions, the larger-than-life dragon, and loud noises. You can see our extensive guide to Fantasmic! at Disneyland here to see if the show is right for your kids. The Disneyland version isn't much different than the Walt Disney World one.
Fantasmic! plays nightly at 8PM in Hollywood Studios inside the Sunset Boulevard theater. Make sure to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the show to ensure that your entire party gets a seat. Seating will begin 90 minutes prior to showtime and on busy days of the year there will be folks lined up already to get seated. Guests in the first few rows may get wet.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular- Hollywood Studios
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is a project show with lighting, lasers, and pyrotechnics. The show features music from the Star Wars films along with familiar characters with special effects and fireworks. This is a must see show for any Star Wars fan! The show now includes a new action sequence from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The show typically runs nightly at 8:30PM in Hollywood Studios. The best spot to view this show is near Grauman’s Chinese Theater/The Great Movie Ride since the show is mainly projected on that.
Like much of the night time entertainment at Walt Disney World, we recommend reserving your spot in advance for the best view.
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth- Epcot
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth tells the story of the history of earth and life with a scene focused on hope for the future. Part one focuses on the birth of Earth told through flames and fireworks in the lagoon along with projections and lights. Part two tells the story of life with stories working together into one tale. Part three ends with comets of light in the sky and reveals a lotus flower in the lagoon as a symbol of hope for the future.
You can view IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nightly at 9PM in the World Showcase Lagoon. Like most shows at Walt Disney World, show up early to get the best spot.
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is no longer showing at Epcot.
Epcot Forever- Epcot
Epcot Forever features the “spark of imagination” that started it all at Epcot and will transform into a nighttime extravaganza into a celebration of all things Epcot. The show will include fireworks, laser effects, and choreographed kites set to favorite theme park music.
You can view Epcot Forever nightly at 9PM in the World Showcase Lagoon. Like most shows at Walt Disney World, show up early to get the best spot.
And following the limited time run of Epcot Forever at Epcot, a new nighttime spectacular called HarmonioUS will be the largest ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over.
Rivers of Light- Animal Kingdom
Rivers of Light is a beautiful display of music and animal folklore on the Discovery River in Animal Kingdom. The show celebrates the beauty of living things combining water, sound, and light effects. You will see lights turn into the spirit forms of animals like Tiger, Turtle, Elephant, and Owl.
The show will transport guests to Asian jungles and tropical oceans to African savannahs and North American mountains. The show features footage from Disneynature and floating set pieces set to an original musical score and display finalizes in a blend of song, light, color and earthly elements.
Rivers of Light plays nightly at 6:30, 7:45, and 9:00 in Animal Kingdom with dining packages available as well. Make sure to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the show to ensure that you get a good view.
Update: Rivers of Life is now permanently closed and will be replaced with a brand new nighttime spectacular.
Tree of Life Awakenings- Animal Kingdom
After the sun goes down, you can view the Tree of Life Awakening every 10 minutes until the park closes. You can find the Tree of Life at the center of Animal Kingdom. During this awakening you will see flickering fireflies and light up the animal spirits carved into the tree's trunk- displaying colorful visuals and images. The awakening celebrations the balance and harmony of living things. Don't miss this stunning display of Walt Disney World entertainment!
Electrical Water Pageant – Magic Kingdom
This nighttime parade on the river features Disney music along with sea creatures, American Flags, and twinkling stars. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy a stirring and inspirational medley of patriotic songs, all while stars and stripes float along the shimmering lagoon surface.
The recommended options for viewing this Walt Disney World entertainment offering according to Walt Disney World's website:
- Disney's Polynesian Village Resort – Beginning at 9:00 PM
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (including Narcoossee's) – Beginning at 9:15 PM
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Beginning at 9:30 PM
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground – Beginning at 9:45 PM
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Beginning at 10:10 PM; in instances when the Happily Ever After fireworks show takes place at 10:00 PM, the Electrical Water Pageant will begin shortly following its conclusion
- Right outside the entrance of Magic Kingdom park – Beginning at 10:35 PM, during Extended Theme Park Hours only
Once Upon A Time- Magic Kingdom
This show consists of a story told by Mrs. Potts and her son Chip with the images being projected onto the Cinderella Castle. The projections feature scenes from favorite Disney classics like Cinderella, Peter Pan, Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, and Beauty and the Beast.
This show runs approximately 14 minutes and can be seen nightly on Cinderella's Castle at 7:30PM.
Fireworks- Magic Kingdom
And of course, it's not a trip to Disney without viewing the fireworks at Magic Kingdom! The fireworks show runs nightly beginning at 9:30PM and the show will vary with seasonal offerings. Typically, you can expect to see the Happily Ever After fireworks show which focuses on the heart and heroism of Disney classics. The show runs 18 minutes in length and features projections along with fireworks and music. You can see the full listing of Walt Disney World fireworks offered throughout the year here.
Also, keep in mind many of Walt Disney World entertainment options offer dining packages with reserved seating which you can read all about in our dining package guide to Walt Disney World here.
Ready to Plan Your Walt Disney World Entertainment?
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- What to Do When it Rains at Disneyland? Use Our Disneyland Rain Guide!
- Disney Springs: Ultimate Guide to Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment
- Attraction Guide to Walt Disney World’s: Magic Kingdom
- Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios Attractions Guide
- Attraction Guide to Walt Disney World’s: Epcot