How to Spend Your Evening When the Disney Theme Parks Close Early

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The days of late nights in the parks are currently on pause. With a few exceptions, mainly on weekends, the Walt Disney World theme parks close around dinner time or shortly thereafter. If you’re used to spending your time enjoying the evening in the parks you may be looking for other ways to spend your evening. Here are some ideas for how to have an enjoyable evening at Walt Disney World even when the parks close a little early.

  • Head to Disney Springs
  • Stroll around Disney’s Boardwalk Resort area
  • Order dinner to-go from a resort restaurant
  • Make the latest dining reservation available
  • Browse the park’s merchandise shops at the front of the park
  • Enjoy your resort’s pool
  • Venture beyond Walt Disney World property

The obvious and most popular way to spend an evening at Disney would be at Disney Springs. If you’re staying at a Disney hotel there will be complimentary bus transportation to this incredible dining and shopping destination. Most of the restaurants and shops are open until 10:00 p.m. Do some browsing, have a delicious dinner, or do a little bar hopping. Our readers have submitted over 500,000 surveys and our site have ratings and information for every restaurant at Walt Disney World. Some of the highest ranked options at Disney Springs are: Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, The BOATHOUSE, and Wine Bar George. For something casual, but still delicious, The Polite Pig and D-Luxe Burger are both highly rated.

Homecomin’ 1981 Salad
Pretty, but sultry: after two rounds of storms at Disney Springs on August 9, 2019, it was still hot and humid.
Disney Springs as evening begins

Another great dining destination is Disney’s Boardwalk Resort area. If you’re spending time at EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios then you can easily walk to the Boardwalk area. This resort area has multiple deluxe hotels that surround the sparkling Crescent Lake. There are several restaurants here, a bakery, and a few merchandise shops. It’s even worth a trip just to enjoy the atmosphere and stroll around the hotels. Some locations are still temporarily closed, but there is still a good amount of dining options to enjoy. At Disney’s Beach Club the classic Beaches and Cream is perfect for an evening treat. Or grab a nightcap at the Crew’s Cup Lounge at the Yacht Club.

If you prefer not to dine at a restaurant right now, a great option is to order food to-go from participating resort restaurants, such as Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kona Cafe at the Polynesian, The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Ale & Compass Restaurant at the Yacht Club. You can place your order via the MyDisneyExperience app and the app will notify you when your order is ready for pick up. Enjoy something from Kona Cafe and make your own picnic on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon at the resort’s beach area.

Seared Gnocci and Chocolate Flight To Go at The Wave

If are comfortable dining at a restaurant right now then consider making the latest available dining reservation in the park. Our team secured a 6:15 p.m. reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom one evening and was treated to a nice, quiet evening stroll out of the park after enjoying a scrumptious meal. If you struggle to find the exact time and location you want for a reservation then use our free Reservation Finder tool.

Although the attractions no longer admit guests after closing time, the park’s large merchandise shops at the front of the park often remain open up to an hour after the published closing time. This is a great way to wind down, browse, and gain a little extra time in the park while the crowds clear out. For a more relaxing way to spend the evening, head back to your hotel and enjoy the pool.

Finally, if you’re truly a night owl and want to get out and explore, consider venturing beyond the magical bubble of Walt Disney World. If you’re near the West side of property, such as near Animal Kingdom, head our to US Highway 192. There’s lots of spots along this major road, but one of the best and newest destinations is Sunset Walk. This shopping and dining destination at the Margaritaville Orlando Resort has free parking and often has live entertainment in the evenings. If you’re towards the East side of property, near Disney Springs or Magic Kingdom, it’s a 10 -15 minute trip to International Drive. Two great destinations here with dining, shopping and entertainment are ICON Park (home of the ICON Wheel) and Pointe Orlando.

How do you like to spend the evening at Walt Disney World?

 

Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

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