Top 10 Walt Disney World rides to ride at night

August 14, 2023, 10:42 PM · If you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, here are 10 attractions that you might consider waiting until after nightfall to experience, because they're even better in the dark.

Or, if you don't want to wait to experience these, maybe come back and ride them another time in the evening, just to see how different an attraction can be before and after sunset.

10. Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover – Take a leisurely 10-minute tour through the top of Tomorrowland in a slow-moving transport vehicle of the future. A favorite among many, because you can see how lit up Tomorrowland is at night. This is a ride I wish you could ride over and over again without having to leave your seat.

Test Track

9. Test Track – Test Track is a fun dark ride that should stay dark, especially when you make it to the outside portion of the track. Yes, you don’t want to burst out of a cool dark building into scorching heat, but when the doors open to the dark it adds way more to the excitement when whipping around the track at 65 mph.

Pandora at night

8. Na’vi River Journey – Let me just say Pandora at night is such a cool experience with bioluminescent plants and large flora that you just want to continue that in a ride - and that ride would be the Na’vi River Journey. Feel the immersion as you journey through very much alive Pandora into a Na’vi boat cruising down the river while enjoying those cool lights and sounds of the rainforest.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

7. Kilimanjaro Safaris – Many of the animals are active early in the morning, but when it starts to get dark, those animals like the party. I mean, haven’t you heard cats in the middle of the night? From antelope to wildebeests to lions, all take on a new personality when the sun starts to set.

Expedition Everest

6. Expedition Everest – Roller coasters add a new level of thrill in the dark because it’s less predictable - not being able to see where you are going. But one thing you can predict is that when you reach the top of Everest, you can catch a cool glimpse of Animal Kingdom, and maybe that Yeti, if he shows up.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – This is one of my favorite all-time rides for all the fun little drops, twists, and turns it has when riding the wildest ride in the wilderness. It becomes my favorite ride of all of Magic Kingdom when I can ride it at night and see all the lands of the park. You can make out every area and take in a great view of Cinderella's Castle for a good second.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

4. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Nothing is spookier than riding Tower of Terror at night. From seeing the partially lit neon sign of the Hollywood Tower Hotel to when the door opens just before you drop adds to the spookiness and the story of that one fateful night....

Jungle Cruise

3. Jungle Cruise – Hey didn’t I mention safaris at night are better because animals are more active? Well, the animals here always know how to put on a good show, but you certainly pay more attention to the sounds of the jungle at night, which makes it seem more realistic, especially for the kiddos.

Haunted Mansion

2. Haunted Mansion – You knew this was going to be on the list, and here it is. No explanation is needed here, just that this is a must-ride at night whenever you have the chance. Go during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and see a ghost host of characters in front of the Gracey residence.

Slinky Dog Dash

1. Slinky Dog Dash – Slinky Dog Dash is a great ride to begin with but an even cooler ride at night. The zipping through the well-lit Toy Story Land in the dark makes it feel like you’re looking through a child’s Christmas tree. It’s a ride I always like to ride twice, even when the lines get long.

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Replies (16)

August 14, 2023 at 11:04 PM

Great list, Big Thunder during the fireworks is fantastic!

August 15, 2023 at 4:24 AM

Thanks! Yes, Big Thunder during fireworks is the best!

August 15, 2023 at 4:49 AM

Astro Orbiter

August 15, 2023 at 6:36 AM

Love this list! I put Tower of Terror at #1 if you ever have the good luck to ride it while it is dark AND raining… (chef’s kiss)

Dumbo is cool at night for the littles
Splash was great a night, and I’ve no doubt will be again

And even though WDW is my home resort, special shout out to Radiator Springs Racers at DCA at night

August 15, 2023 at 9:24 AM

I think it is a great list, and a great idea to think about with how hot it has been lately. Just being in line at haunted mansion is hard to beat for me. And I bet tower is great, but I’m too afraid to ride it :)

August 15, 2023 at 9:35 AM

Can't forget the new one, Tron.

August 15, 2023 at 10:11 AM

Awesome list and topic here. I've never had the chance to try Kilimanjaro Safaris at night but glad it's a great experience after sunset. Same for Slinky Dog Dash but just because it is so darn hard to get on at any time without investing a few hours!

I've been on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during hard ticket events at night and its also a winner. Someone else mentioned Dumbo as well and I can't agree more. Splash Mountain back in the day is cool too. My last ride on it in the States was at night with the fireworks in the background. Lovely stuff.

August 15, 2023 at 10:19 AM

Great call on Tron. Just being in the queue with the lights and music is a vibe of its own

August 15, 2023 at 11:07 AM

obviously not a Walt Disney World attraction, but Matterhorn at night is a whole different beast. If you can get on it while the fireworks are going... just the best.

August 15, 2023 at 11:32 AM

The Matterhorn deserves a mention, feels even cooler at nighttime going in and out of the mountain.

August 15, 2023 at 11:59 AM

100% love the tower of terror.

August 15, 2023 at 1:35 PM

Big thunder mountain and slinky tied for first.

August 15, 2023 at 1:43 PM

@ Jacob, I was thinking the same thing. If there was DLR list, Radiator Springs Racers would definitely belong as well!

August 15, 2023 at 2:27 PM

Great point, Jay! Racers is amazing at night.

August 16, 2023 at 1:46 PM

Isn't the River Journey, indoors ????

August 20, 2023 at 1:30 PM

Great subject! Looks like we have to take a trip to AK at night for the safari and Pandora!

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