I was finally able to check “closing down Magic Kingdom” off my bucket list! I had been trying to do this for a while but it never worked out. This time the stars aligned and it couldn’t have been a more perfect night, so I thought I’d share some of my personal tips with you all.
Do it with friends. If they love Disney that’s a bonus. All you really need is someone in your crew who’s ’bout it and down for whatever. Having someone to share the experience with makes it so much more enjoyable.
Watch Happily Ever After on the hub grass. Finding a spot here puts you in a useful position, it’s not only a great spot to watch the fireworks, you’re out of the way so you wont get taken up in the waves of people heading to the exit once it’s done. Grab some food and park here about an hour before the show. Once the show is done hang back as the crowd thins, then head towards the castle in the opposite direction of most everyone else.
Or, skip the fireworks all together. Been there, done that? One of the best times to ride the most popular rides is during Happily Ever After. You may even luck out and catch a beautiful firework display just as you plummet into the cold water on splash mountain. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the mass exodus.
Take advantage of the night time photo ops. There’s currently a Rapunzel lantern photopass opportunity that is only done after sundown. This is a perfect time to try it.
In fact the whole Rapunzel bathroom area is absolutely magical at night. Yes, I just called a bathroom area magical.
Be prepared to wait. You’re going to need to be patient as the tens of thousands of guests exit. There’s lots to do during park hours, but you may have to get a bit creative once the park is officially closed (Read: Make sure your phone is charged and your camera is good for low light pics). Not only do you have to wait for the guests around the park to leave, you also have to wait for everyone at the table service restaurants to finish their meals and leave as well.
Keep an eye out for security and management. You know you’re one of the last people in the park once you see park management and security hovering nearby. It’s actually pretty cool, they sweep through each section of the park and once a land is empty it’s roped off and guests are no longer allowed in. When all the lands are clear they meet on Main Street and form a polite “force field” of sorts; as you move toward the exit they stay a few paces behind to remind you that you don’t have to go home, but you aren’t heading back toward the castle. Because of this, make sure you don’t go too far down Main Street if you intended on doing anything closer to the castle because you may miss your opportunity.
Pics or it didn’t happen. This is a must. It’s like a bucket list item within a bucket list item. The memories are cool and all but the actual pic is the mic drop that will make you the envy of all your Disney fanatic friends. Special thanks to management who were nice enough to allow me time to hit ALL the angles, and even helped me film a video!
Enjoy your stretch limo ride. Staying onsite and using Disney transportation? Another bonus to closing down the parks is you get to check “solo bus ride” off your bucket list.
I always enjoy chatting with the cast members and the drivers have some of the best stories. My driver was even nice enough to write “Tinkerbell” on the bus sign!
Magic kingdom is THE park of choice to close down, but I have all the other parks on my bucket list as well. One down, many more to go!