There is always a desire to see and do everything when you are on a Disney World vacation, this can be very dangerous. The danger comes when the kids are over tired from long days and late nights. So how do you enjoy night time entertainment and not ruin your vacation after the second day. Keep your kids as close to their regular routine as possible, alternate late nights and early nights. On the first night resist the urge to stay out all night no matter how excited you are. This is where planning before the trip helps, you will have to know the park hours during your vacation, parade times and when the fireworks are. Knowing these things will help you plan which nights you want to/can stay out late without sacrificing enjoyment in the parks the next day. Don’t plan an early morning after a late night out, pick a park that opens later that day or sleep in and enjoy the resort pool and head out in the afternoon. In our trips we have not done a lot of attractions during the evening hours and make sure we hit the parades and fireworks. For example if we go to the Magic Kingdom, we will arrive at about 5pm and see what is available for fastpass. Once I’ve got our fastpass tickets we will eat and then explore the parks. During the time we explore the parks we slow down and look around at all the “Disney Details” and just enjoy our surroundings and being there. We will walk around and go on a few of the less busy attractions until it’s time to pick a spot for the night time parade. When picking a spot for the parade keep in mind that you may be staying there to watch the fireworks too. We have found that a great place to watch the parade and fireworks is from the exterior sidewalk of the central hub at the end of Main Street. At this location you will get a great view of the parade and be far enough away from the Castle to get a full view of the fireworks. At Epcot we like to spend the evening walking around World Showcase and eat around the world, going from counter service to counter service trying the different foods it has to offer. Once we have had our fill, we get a spot for Illuminations . When we are at Hollywood Studios the 50’s Prime Time or the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater is a must for dinner. They both have great atmosphere, the Sci-Fi offers the drive in movie feel of days gone by, however, kids may get a little scared of the movie clips but adults will find them comical. At the 50’s Prime Time you are taken back in time with authentic era decorations and the waiters and waitresses are great entertainment. You are treated like family at the 50’s and are sometimes required to set the table or other various tasks throughout the meal, make sure to use your manners and eat all your greens or the whole restaurant will know your mistakes. One time my mother hid her vegetables she didn’t eat. As a result she got a special dessert, a bowl of whip cream with vegetables at the bottom, the waiter made her take a bite after telling everybody what she had done. After going on a few attractions, head over to Fantasmic and line up early it fills up fast. Animal Kingdom does not have a nighttime fireworks display. The simple reason can be summed up in one word, STAMPEED.
Remember, being well rested makes for a more enjoyable vacation and helps to avoid the final melt down, which we discussed in previous posts.