Few things are as special to us as closing time in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Standing in front of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom–or in front of any of the various castles, really–in a nearly empty park is truly special. It’s even more special once “When You Wish Upon A Star” starts playing and the castle begins to sparkle as the Kiss Goodnight starts.
If you’re not familiar with The Kiss Goodnight, it is one of the most chills-inducing moments at Walt Disney World for us. It’s a secret “show” in the Magic Kingdom that plays thirty minutes after the park closes (and 30 minutes after that…) and bids guests goodnight, and a fond farewell. Cinderella Castle cycles through lighting schemes and twinkles as a narrator delivers a heartwarming spiel.
We have gushed about this experience over and over again, and even recommended it as one of our favorite things to do that every Walt Disney World fan should try to experience at least once. In that post, we said that too few Disney fans know about this, based on only a handful of guests sticking around to watch the Kiss Goodnight most nights. It’s been a while since we wrote that, and we wanted to raise more Kiss Goodnight “awareness,” so we thought we’d revisit the topic for new readers. While the Kiss Goodnight is not some huge production with special effects, elaborate details, or anything of that sort, it’s pure Disney magic.
Now, the cynic might say it’s a polite way for Disney to say “get out” to guests still loitering around by Cinderella Castle, and I guess that’s one way to look at it. We, on the other hand, find it to be an emotional experience and one that is the perfect way to end a long day in Magic Kingdom.
It’s something that everyone should experience at least once. Maybe you’ll disagree with us and side with the cynics…but we’re betting most Disney fans aren’t tremendously cynical.
I highly recommend just camping out on a park bench in the Hub/Central Plaza facing Cinderella Castle around park close, and watching the park pass you by until the Kiss Goodnight starts. Watching Magic Kingdom wind down for the evening as guests slowly head home, exhausted and elated, is a neat experience on its own.
After watching the Kiss Goodnight from the Hub, there’s the long walk down Main Street USA towards the exit. (In my case, with pauses in between for more photos!) It gives me goose bumps just thinking about. You connect with the park on a different level, and really appreciate Main Street more. At this hour, it really feels like a quaint street in a small town from a bygone era, where life moves at a slower pace.
It also feels a bit like a mystical street, as you find your senses are heightened (which would be truly magical, I suppose). You can hear the background music better, notice details you didn’t see during the day, smell the scents of the Confectionary, and feel the crisp nighttime air as you walk down Main Street. It’s a special experience.
This is a scene we’ve experienced many, many times–pretty much any night we visit Magic Kingdom. It never gets old. If I close my eyes, I can picture it in vivid detail, but I still wish I were there right now…don’t you?!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Have you seen the Kiss Goodnight? What did you think of it? If you haven’t seen it, will you try to watch in on your next trip? Share any questions or additional thoughts you have in the comments!