Disney World is a special place – a place where there are daily parades, fireworks, and a variety of delicious food, but at various times during the year, Disney World takes on an even more special air with specialty events for guests to enjoy. Some of these events are separate, hard-ticket events, while some are included in the price of admission, either way, these events are worth the time and money to experience at least once in your Disney-going careers.
7 – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – offered every year between mid-September and Halloween, this hard-ticket event allows guests to explore the Magic Kingdom in all of its Halloween vestments and also meet-and-greet with a variety of Disney characters. Guests also can trick-or-treat at various locations throughout the park. Additionally, guests are treated to Mickey’s Boo To You Parade, as well as the special HalloWishes fireworks display. Prices vary depending on the day of the week and how close to Halloween you plan on visiting.
6 – Any runDisney event – at various times throughout the year, runDisney puts on a variety of events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland that allow guests to run through the parks. Costs vary depending on the length of the race, but the fun and majesty of running through the parks surely outweigh the cost. Currently, runDisney offers 4 events at Disney World throughout the year – the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (January), the Disney Princess Half Marathon (February), the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon (April), and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon (November). If you aren’t a runner, Disney offers a variety of beginner’s races and fun runs, so every member of your family can join in the fun!
5 – Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – happening every year between mid-March and early May, this event puts on display marvelously manicured topiaries in the design of your favorite characters. The topiaries are displayed throughout Future World and World Showcase and it helps welcome in the spring season as the park comes alive with color. In addition to the topiaries, there are various specialty food booths offering unique and delicious options. Disney also puts on workshops and speakers on a variety of topics.
4 – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – following on the heels of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, this specialty event allows guests to wander the Magic Kingdom once it has been adorned with its Christmas decorations. Similar to the Halloween event, guests are treated to delicious treats and characters in Christmas garb. Also special to the Christmas event, are special fireworks and a special holiday parade (which is my favorite)!
3 – Epcot International Food and Wine Festival – every year from late-September to early-November, World Showcase adds booths for many more countries, so guests can sample the cuisines of these countries. During Food and Wine, Disney also puts on musical acts at the American Gardens Theatre. The food booths serve smaller tapas-style plates to allow guests to sample more of the food and each booth also serves drinks local to that country. It is a popular event, so try and avoid going on the weekends and go during the week when the locals are not visiting.
2 – Star Wars Weekends– from mid-May to mid-June, Hollywood Studios is transformed into a fan’s paradise allowing guests to meet characters from the films and attend panels with actors and crew. Disney also creates specialty food items for guests to sample and creates a collector’s paradise in Darth’s Maul for everything from food items to t-shirts to specialty art. At the end of the day, there are special fireworks. It will be interesting to see how Star Wars Weekends changes once the newly announced changes at Hollywood Studios go into effect.
1 – Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – this event is in its final year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It is being phased out at Hollywood Studios because of the changes occurring with Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land. It is unannounced as to whether Disney will be moving this popular holiday event to another location or whether it is done for good. I would highly recommend that you check this event out in its current location because the spectacle of the lights and music are truly amazing.
Have you been to any of these events? What is your favorite special event to do while at Disney?
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper