I've been going to Disney World for 20+ years. If you're not hitting rides during the fireworks, you're doing it wrong.

  • Disney World's fireworks are amazing, but after you've seen them, there's a better use of your time.

  • Lines for rides are much shorter (or non-existent) during fireworks, so you can walk right on.

  • Riding popular attractions during the fireworks shows also helps me save on Genie+ costs.

The fireworks at Disney World are magical. Magic Kingdom and Epcot come alive with lights, project mapping technology, and beautiful music.

But I think if you've seen them once, you've seen them enough. Instead, I take advantage of the significantly shorter lines and hit some of my favorite rides — sometimes multiple times.

Most guests crowd around the castle during the fireworks

Some guests flock to the front of Cinderella Castle several hours before Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom. But crowds really start to descend upon the hub area and all down Main Street half an hour before the show starts — which can be a large source of anxiety for some.

crowds of people waiting for the fireworks show at magic kingdom
The crowds for the fireworks at Magic Kingdom can stretch all the way down Main Street.Timothy Moore

Luckily, at that point, some of the best rides become ghost towns. I've been able to walk right on popular rides like Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad instead of waiting in line. On busier nights, there will still be lines, but they're much shorter than during the day.

Some rides with fun lights, like Big Thunder, are also extra fun to ride at night. And when the Tron coaster eventually switches to a traditional standby queue (right now, it's only virtual), I know I'll be heading there for nighttime rides during the fireworks.

The fireworks are a good time to hit the rides at Epcot, too

Epcot's fireworks don't draw the same level of crowds as Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom but the back half of the park can get especially crowded because the fireworks are over the World Showcase Lagoon.

That said, hit rides at the front of the park, like Soarin' and Test Track, during the fireworks show. The outdoor launch of Test Track is really cool to experience when it's dark, and if you time it right, you might be speeding around the track as the fireworks go off.

Epcot's popular ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind still uses a virtual queue, but I suspect it'll be good to ride it during the fireworks show once it switches to standby.

I also save some money by hitting the popular rides at night

haunted mansion decorated for christmas at magic kingdom
haunted mansion decorated for christmas at magic kingdom

Some rides are also fun to ride at night because of added lighting effects.Timothy Moore

By hitting up rides during the fireworks show, I also find I don't need Genie+, a paid service that allows you to skip or jump ahead in lines at certain attractions. It can cost $15 to $20 a person a day, and it requires you to regularly check your phone to see which rides are available.

Knowing I'll spend the fireworks show hopping on popular rides also means I can spend my day moving at a more leisurely pace — enjoying food, people-watching, and checking out some of the less crowded rides during the day.

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