It’s hard to imagine having enough energy after the parks close that you’d need anything else to do, but let’s face it…you’re on vacation and excitement is high. And while hiding out in Magic Kingdom until you’re forcibly removed may sound like a fun idea, it’s not recommended. So here are the Frog Family’s favorite things to do after-hours at Disney.
1. Explore Your Resort
Sometimes we want to head back to our hotel, but we aren’t quite ready to hit the sack. Staying at the Disney resort takes care of this dilemma just by being a Disney resort. Between the amazing pool complexes, on-site arcades and acres of perfect “hide and seek” opportunities, it can be difficult to get Tad and Lily to call it a night. [Read Why the Frog Family Stays On-Property (blog) for more benefits of staying at a Disney resort.]
Downtown Disney offers lots of options for family-friendly late-night fun. Use a ‘Fun Visit’ at DisneyQuest, Disney’s 5-story indoor interactive theme park, catch a movie at the AMC Downtown Disney 24, or experience a breathtaking, 360-degree view of Walt Disney World Resort 400 feet in the air on Characters in Flight. Mommy Frog also likes to take the opportunity to do a “little” shopping.
3. Watch Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant
Tad and Lily have fallen in love with this nightly water parade that features “boat-floats” that light up in time with music. The parade takes place on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake and usually begins after the 9 p.m. fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. Disney’s Electrical Pageant can be viewed from the beaches of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and from Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (Watch our video of the Electrical Water Pageant.)
4. Take a Stroll on Disney’s BoardWalk
It’s popular among adults for its nightclubs, but Disney’s BoardWalk and the surrounding area is really fun for families, too. There are carnival-style games, funnel cake-kiosks and hot dog stands, and great nighttime views of the waterway and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. While you’re there, you and your family can also take a late night stroll along the beach in the front of the neighboring resorts.
Both open until 11 p.m., Disney has two miniature golf courses: Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course inspired by Fantasia and Disney’s Santa Claus-themed Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course. Each course actually consists of two courses, one for the non-golfers among us (AKA members of the Frog Family) and one that’s a little more difficult.
6. Take a Fireworks Cruise
Although your specialty cruise will begin when the parks are still open, you’ll have a spectacular view of Wishes Nighttime Spectacular or IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and you won’t have to deal with large crowds exiting the parks. (Hey…You’ll have more time for my other after-hours ideas!)
7. Tell Bedtime Stories
With teeth brushed, clothes laid out and plans made for the next day, all four of us like to crowd around my laptop in the middle of the bed and look through all the pictures we took that day. It’s technically not a bedtime story, but watching Tad and Lily drift off to sleep as we talk about all the fun we had is one my favorite things to do after-hours.
Whatever you plan to do after the parks close, make sure you and your little ones get plenty of rest for the next day. You’ll want to have lots of energy for “during-hours,” right? And be sure to hop over to the Plan Your Days in Orlando page inside our Orlando Planning Timeline for more tips!