As a longtime Disney Passholder, I’m always seeking out new and unconventional ways to enjoy Disney that don’t just entail going inside their Parks for the day and experiencing the rides and attractions. Luckily for me, Disney offers a whole host of ticketed events and packages that help keep me from ever hitting that “Disney wall” and have me constantly coming back for more. There is nothing yawn-worthy here—just a bunch of unique events and sensational experiences that really bring the magic to life!
In this list we’ll not only explore the special event tickets, but also the extra packages you can add to your Disney park day. Count down with us as we highlight 5 ticketed events you might be missing at Disney World.
5. Fantasmic! Dining Package
Fantasmic! is an incredible show held at night inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios (also inside Disneyland). This spectacular and intriguing stage performance and fireworks show features over 50 stage performers, laser effects, pyrotechnics, and captivating projected visages on a giant wall of water. Because of the phenomenal reputation this attraction has received over the years, many a park guest deems it a “must-do” during their Disney vacation. On a busy Fantasmic! night, the amphitheater can expect to accommodate as many as 10,000 guests (including standing-room in the back) and if you don’t get there early enough (especially during peak touring seasons), you might not even get inside as it commonly reaches full capacity. With the Fantasmic! Dining Package, you won’t ever find yourself on the “outs” as you will receive guaranteed and preferred VIP seating during this show. Along with the seating incentive, you will also be able to choose between a lunch or dinner dining package between select restaurants which includes an entrée, dessert and beverage (non-alcoholic). This package is a great time saver for those who do not wish to arrive early to secure a good seat to the Fantasmic! performance which can cut precious time out of your park day.
4. Holiday Events
The two holiday events that have people buzzing with anticipation each and every year are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These special events do not require the additional purchase of a regular park day admission and are limited to those who secured a ticket to get in (i.e. Even though I am a Passholder, I would still need to purchase the separate event ticket to experience). What makes these holiday events (or should I say “celebrations!”) so completely wonderful and worth-every-penny are the enticing perks that are unique only to these events. Aside from the fact that these special ticketed events will offer you smaller crowds (worth the ticket price alone!), there are special character appearances, unlimited goodies (candy at the Halloween Party and cookies/hot cocoa at the Christmas Party), special parades, stage shows and fireworks as well as specialty food and merchandise. These parties really give the holidays that “extra something” and accomplish it in a very Disney way!
3. Night of Joy
This special event takes place only twice a year, typically during the first or second weekend in September. Contemporary Christian artists perform their hits on stages throughout the Magic Kingdom Park, adding a jubilant, heart-lifting sense of joy to the already magical property. This music festival brings gospel performers as well as Christian rock and pop artists, complete with an inspiring and soul-touching message of hope. The attractions and rides usually guarantee shorter queues during the more popular performances, and most artists perform more than once per evening. Entrance to Night of Joy requires a separate ticket for admission, but does not require the purchase of a regular park day admission to the Magic Kingdom.
2. Fireworks Dessert Party
The Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is a glorious fireworks show and simply the perfect way to end your Magic Kingdom park day. The only problem is, the best viewing spots in the park can get quite crowded with eager spectators and have you crammed and jammed in a not-so-pleasant way with perfect strangers. Enter the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party, a special add-on package to your Magic Kingdom park admission that allows you a nearly unobstructed view of Cinderella Castle in an open and uncrowded setting during the fireworks show. The best part of this package is the all-you-can-eat display of mouth-wateringly scrumptious dessert offerings (tiramisu, cookies, mini tarts, assorted pastries, ice cream and much more!). You can truly kick back and relax, coffee and sweet treat in hand, and not worry about arriving hours early to secure a standing-room-only viewing spot somewhere else on Magic Kingdom property. This event party ticket is incredibly popular, especially for those of the sweet tooth kind! Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.
1. Villains Unleashed Party
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the setting for this spooky soiree with Disney’s notorious and nastiest villains. This one-night-only, after-hours event held in late summer includes themed food, live performances and photo opportunities with 50 infamous baddies of Disney lore. Select theme park rides and attractions will be open for guests to enjoy, as well as special stage shows and dance parties. The evening is topped off with a phenomenal fireworks finale called Villainy in the Skies. This wickedly fun event does require a special event ticket and because of the one-night-only nature will sell out rather quickly so be prepared to make advanced reservations as soon as they open (typically the beginning of summer).
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