Top 5 Disney Hotels – After Dark!

Melissa RichesonBlog, Resorts

Walt Disney World Resorts don’t let a little thing like the setting sun get in the way of a good time. Many resorts offer things like s’mores around a campfire, outdoor movies, and live entertainment to keep the fun going right up until bedtime. Here are our Top 5 Disney Hotels – After Dark!

Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our Top 5 Disney Hotels - After Dark!

Animal Kingdom Lodge has an enchanting ambiance at night. Photo by WDW Shutterbug.


Animal Kingdom Lodge comes alive in new ways after dark. The signature dining experience at Jiko offers not only sumptuous meals, but also an enchanting ambiance that includes open cooking and even a gorgeously lit sunset wall. The animals of the savannah like the nightlife too, and you can view their antics using free night vision goggles offered by cast members near the hot tubs. Or if you prefer a more up-close-and-personal experience, reserve your spot on an exclusive Starlight Safari for an additional fee. Night time is truly wild at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Art of Animation is one of our Top 5 Disney Hotels - After Dark!

Art of Animation has lots of after dark activities. Photo by Mike Billick.


With larger than life theming and plenty of kid-friendly activities, Art of Animation is always a fun, immersive environment, and nighttime is no exception. The Cozy Cones at the Cars pool glow in welcome, just like they did for Lightning McQueen. But the main action is always at the Big Blue Pool, where you can splash the night away with Nemo and friends and enjoy the underwater music. Stay for the not-too-late movie under the stars each night at 8:30 poolside.


The BoardWalk is known as quite a hotspot of entertainment once the sun goes down, and staying at the BoardWalk Resort puts you right in the heart of all the action. Live performers begin around dusk with daring feats, comedic timing, slights of illusion, and more, while lounges and nightclubs come alive until the early morning hours. Families can take a trip on a surrey bike or grab an ice cream flight at Ample Hills. Adults can check out AbracadaBar for cocktails, Jellyrolls for lively dueling pianos, or Atlantic Dance Hall to get their groove on. At the end of the evening, be sure to venture out on one of the Friendships for a stunning view of the BoardWalk lights over the water.  With all that going on, it’s no wonder The BoardWalk Inn makes our list of Top 5 Disney Hotels – After Dark!

Port Orleans Riverside is one of our Top 5 Disney Hotels - After Dark!

Visit Port Orleans Riverside for YehaaBob. Photo by Mike Billick.


Lots of Walt Disney World Resorts have live entertainment, but none boasts the longevity and classic charm of YehaaBob Jackson at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort. YehaaBob is known for his incredible showmanship at the piano, and his performances include audience participation that will have the whole family smiling. He was even awarded the high honor of the Disney Legends Award in 2013 for his continued iconic presence at the River Roost Lounge since May of 1997. You can find YehaaBob tickling the ivories and crooning the lyrics Wednesday through Saturday evenings, usually at 8:30 and 10:30 for a ninety minute show.

Polynesian Village  is one of our Top 5 Disney Hotels - After Dark!

The Polynesian Village glows with tikis, a volcano, the Electrical Water Pageant… and the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks! Photo by WDW Shutterbug.


When the tikis are lit and the volcano is glowing, you know it’s going to be another great night at the Polynesian Village Resort. Kick the evening off with a one-of-a-kind luau performance at the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show complete with hula and fire dancing. Later, a walk out to the waterfront will be rewarded by the sparkling Electrical Water Pageant beginning around 9:00, followed by a lovely view of the Happily Ever After fireworks over Magic Kingdom. Tropical nighttime perfection!

Our Top 5 Disney Hotels – After Dark prove that night time is the right time at Walt Disney World Resorts. Which resort is your favorite to hang out in after dark?

By Melissa Richeson


Learn more about the special nighttime attractions at Walt Disney World, including additional resort activities, in the June issue of WDW Magazine.

Learn more abotu Hotels - After Dark in our june issue.

About the Author

Melissa Richeson

Melissa Richeson is a contributing writer for WDW Magazine. If Melissa were a Disney character, she’d be Belle, the book-loving, dreamy-eyed optimist. As a mom of four, Melissa knows that for most of us, bargain hunting must always go hand in hand with magical memories, and she’s always delighted to share a Disney tip (and a cup of limeade) with a friend. In addition to her insatiable love for Disney, Melissa also enjoys writing, paddle boarding, and throwing impromptu family dance parties.