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When the sun sets on the Magic Kingdom, a lesser-known side of Walt Disney World comes to life: its adult nightlife. Beyond the realm of princesses and pirates, adults seeking a different kind of Disney magic will find a plethora of after-hours options to explore at Florida's sprawling Disney resort.
Here are your best options for Disney nightlife, many of which are limited to adults only:
Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) is among the most expansive spots on Walt Disney World property to find nightlife, given the sheer scale of the outdoor shopping and dining district.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of bars and lounges sprinkled throughout, and many of them are open late.
Sip on handcrafted cocktails at the elegant AbracadaBar, a hidden gem reminiscent of a 19th-century magician's parlor, or step into the industrial gothic-themed restaurant and bar The Edison which has entertainment, too.
Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar is a hidden gem, themed to aviation. When you step into the rustic hangar adorned with vintage travel artifacts, you'll be transported to a bygone era of exploration. The bar's extensive menu features craft beers, handcrafted cocktails and small plates. Whether you choose to unwind at the outdoor waterfront patio or immerse yourself in the intimate interior, Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar offers an atmosphere that effortlessly combines nostalgia with sophistication.
For a nonalcoholic beverage, head to the rooftop of the Coca-Cola Store, which has a beverage bar that serves up classic and exotic sodas — many of which you won't find elsewhere in the U.S. but are served elsewhere in the world. Order the "Tastes Around the World," which lets you try up to 16 different beverages from various countries.
House of Blues is a popular option with live entertainment every evening. Hours vary, but it generally closes at 11 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 p.m. on weekends.
If you want something more bar-like for your Disney World nightlife experience, Raglan Road is an Irish-themed pub. In the evenings, it usually features Irish musicians playing instruments including the banjo and fiddle, often accompanying Irish dancers. Raglan Road Irish Pub generally closes about 11:30 p.m. The entertainment usually starts about 5 p.m.
While not nearly as large as Disney Springs, there’s another shopping, dining and entertainment area worth visiting — Disney's BoardWalk. It’s a Coney Island-style boardwalk that frames Disney's BoardWalk Inn hotel, and it’s also walkable from a few resorts, including Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (which comes in at the best Disney World hotel for adults), as well as both the Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme parks.
The Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk is a Disney nightclub for those 21 and older. It plays popular music from the '80s, '90s and today, and it opens at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Although the nightclub opens late, it stays open until 1 a.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to get your groove on (and your cardio in). The BoardWalk, as a whole, is a great place for Disney World nightlife.
It’s also home to Jellyrolls, a dueling piano bar that’s so popular Disney’s website recommends that you head in early.
Jellyrolls’ pianists accept requests for any song you can think of, making this a great location to bring a bunch of friends with varied musical tastes. There is a cover charge, though members of the Disney Vacation Club receive a 10% discount.
Jellyrolls is one of the best spots for adult nightlife because the bar is available only to those over 21. The bar opens at 7 p.m. daily, and guests can enjoy the music and entertainment until 1:45 a.m.
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Disney After Hours
Disney After Hours is a separately-ticketed event offered on a few, select nights per year. If you manage to snag a spot, you'll get late-night access after the parks close.
There are four locations where you can experience Disney After Hours:
Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
While this event isn’t exclusive to adults, it takes place quite late, which means a lot of children may not be up for the task. Event start times vary per park, but at Hollywood Studios, for example, the event starts at 9:30 or 10 p.m. and ends at 12:30 or 1 a.m., respectively. If you’ve purchased a ticket for this event, you can maximize your time by entering the park starting at 7 p.m.
Along with exclusive entertainment and shorter wait times for rides, Disney After Hours events include snacks with the cost of your ticket. At Hollywood Studios, this means you’ll get ice cream, popcorn and select bottled beverages for free during the event.
At Epcot (where all the good alcohol is located), you’ll get the same, but you’ll also get to take advantage of bars such as Rose and Crown Pub in the United Kingdom pavilion.
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Disney resort lounges
Even if you’re staying off property, it’s worth heading over to some of the Disney resorts to take advantage of these amazing nightlife options.
There are many Disney resorts, but you’ll find the best lounges and bars at the higher-end options — such as Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
Featuring a variety of tiki drinks served in collectible cups, this lounge opens every day at 3 p.m. However, from 8 p.m. until close about midnight, visits are limited to those 12 and over.
The Enchanted Rose at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is an elegant affair that’s open until about 11 p.m. and is based on the movie “Beauty and the Beast.” There, guests can nosh on shareable bites and beverages including cocktails, martinis, spirits, beer, cider and non-alcoholic options.
» Learn more: 6 perks of staying at a Disney resort
Disney nightlife, recapped
Disney isn't full of nightclubs or saloons, but it does have some good options for visitors who want to stay out well after dark. If you’re searching for somewhere to hang out and have a good time, head to Disney Springs, the BoardWalk or one of the resorts for a great late-night adventure.
Otherwise, consider Disney After Hours for a midnight experience at the theme parks — with unlimited ice cream included.
(Top photo courtesy of Walt Disney World)
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