What Happens When Walt Disney World Closes At Night?

(Photo Credit: Disney)

One question people ask a lot is about what happens at the Walt Disney World parks after they close to guests?

The answer is “a lot.”

So much is done by the night-crew, you just never see them. After the guests leave, the parks become incredibly busy.

Don’t even think about trying to hide out overnight because they will find you and it isn’t worth facing a ban for trespassing. Some people have managed to get away with it for awhile, but I don’t recommend it.

After closing there is a third shift that comes in and works through the night doing a wide variety of jobs.

  1. Cleaning

Overnight a lot Cast Members come in and clean the Kingdom. Now, this is not a good reason to leave your trash all over.  I have seen the images of overflowing trash cans, which is not a guests fault. But, I have also seen trash all over after a nighttime show or parade by guests. I’ve even seen dirty diapers on the sidewalk.  Ew! Do NOT do that.

While guests return home or to their hotels, cleaning crews come in and sweep and hose down walkways, streets, and sidewalks. They clean up bathrooms and attractions making it all show ready for the next day.

2. Repairs

The best time to fix issues with attractions, touch up paint, spruce up animatronics and more, is at night. This is when a lot of the basic repairs and checks happen to make sure that the rides are ready to go when you are.

3. Special Event/ Holiday Prep

If you are a Disney parks fan you likely have seen the videos where Main Street U.S.A. is decorated, practically overnight for a holiday. Or the big shift from Halloween to Christmas?

This is thanks to the night crew.

Over at EPCOT this is when some of the kiosks get moved out for events or topiaries will appear for the Flower & Garden Festival.

4. Filming

After hours is the perfect time to do some filming in the parks. It’s empty and quiet so it’s a great time to do specials, commercials, and more. If they need a nighttime setting they have it, or they can wait until early morning, before park opening, to catch some of those lighted shots they need.

One such special comes to mind, The Holiday Magic Quest, as it was filmed at night.

5. Testing

Disney after hours is when a lot of testing gets done on attractions or even big, upcoming shows. Fireworks, nighttime spectaculars, stage shows, holiday happenings and more often are rehearsed after hours.

Just know that simply because the park is closed doesn’t mean it’s sleeping!

How many here besides me would love to see all the hustle and bustle after hours? There’s a “tour” Disney could offer.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.