Special Events at Disney World: Sunshine, Fireworks, & Mickey!

Happy 4th of July! There are lots of great special events to enjoy during this month of America’s Birthday!

Independence Day (July 4, 2014)Walt Disney World celebrates July 4th with a big bang!  Get ready for special fireworks at the theme parks with longer park hours for even more fun!  Theme park admission is required for the fireworks show inside the park; however, if you have read previous posts, you already know there are great places outside the parks to view the fireworks (pssttt…. position yourself here for free viewing of the fireworks:  Boardwalk Bridge close to Swan & Dolphin and Boardwalk for Epcot; Polynesian Resort for Magic Kingdom fireworks shows).  Expect heavier crowds on July 4th in all the parks except Animal Kingdom which doesn’t have fireworks due to the great animals there.  The monorail has extended operating hours July 3-5:

July 4: 

  • Epcot monorail 8:00 am – 2:30 am
  • Resort monorail 7:00 am – 3:00 am
  • Express monorail 7:30 am – 2:00 am

July 5:

  • Epcot monorail 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • Resort monorail 7:00 am – midnight
  • Express monorail 8:30 am – 11:30 pm

Taproom Takeover (July 2-8)  inside the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will have regionally brewed craft beers on tap in the Cabana Bar and Beach club.  Eight different brews will be featured as the hotel partners with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa; several beers will also be available in the Lobby Lounge in the Dolphin.  Beers to be served include: Helles Lager, Invastion Pale Ale, Maduro Brown Ale, Jai Lai IPA, Cigar City Cider, Cigar City Apple Pie Cider, Florida Cracker White Ale, Tocobaga Red Ale, Wandering Pelican Black Ale, and Cuban Espresso Brown Ale.  This event is a fundraiser for Operation Homefront on July 4.  This organization provides emergency support to our military families all over the US.  Homefront IPA began in 2011 specifically to raise money and awareness for Operation Homefront.  Homefront IPA is aged on Louisville Slugger maple bats and infused with fresh orange peel.   A portion of the sales of Homefront IPA will be donated to the organization.   

Celebration Town Center’s World Famous 4th of July  partners with MegaCon to bring the 2nd annual A Sci-Fi 4th of July family-friendly event to Florida.  Featured in this 4th of July celebration is a movie themed costume contest (7:30 pm) with big prizes; a synchronized fireworks show set to Sci-Fi themed music, bounce houses, live music by Oliver’s Queen, Jordyn Kane, DJ Tami, Gina Marie Incandela, Dixieland Jazz Band, and a huge tribute to our Veterans!  Come one, come all for fun for all ages!  Parking and Admission are FREE!  Free park and ride shuttle will be available from 215 Celebration Place. 

 Sounds Like Summer Concert Series (through July 26, 2014):  Rock ‘n’ Roll hits continue to rock Disney’s Epcot at the American Gardens Theater!  This annual live concert series continues to recreate legendary musical bands and hits!  Get your groove on and dance under the skies to your favorite Rock! Three shows nightly at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:00 pm, except on July 4 when show times shift slightly to 5:15 pm, 6:30 pm and 7:45 pm. 

  • June 29-July 5: Don’t Look Back – Boston Tribute Band
  • July 6-12: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 13-19: Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 20-26: 2U – A Tribute to U2

 After Hours Wind Down (through September 15): gives you time (from 9:20 pm to 11:00 pm) to wind down for a few hours after the park closes at these four park locations: La Cava del Tequila (Mexico); Spice Road Table (Morocco); Tutto Gusto (Italy), and the Rose and Crown (United Kingdom).  Cost is $35 per person plus tax and gratuity, which includes small plates for noshing with a beverage flight.  Reservations are required.  You can stop by Epcot Guest Relations for tickets. 

Harambe Nights at Animal Kingdom Park (July 1 – August 9, 2014) is a series of special ticketed events on Saturdays! Harambe Nights begin with a reception with appetizers, beer and wine in AK’s Harambe Village, followed by a special presentation, in the new Harambe Theater, of The Lion King Concert in the Wild, a 55-minute version of The Lion King story accompanied by a live orchestra, choir and special guest narrators.  The finale for this fun-filled event is a street party with buffet stations throughout the Harambe area of Animal Kingdom Park.  General admission for Harambe Nights is Tickets range $119 – $134 for adults; $79 – $94 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Theme park admission is included for the special event only and parking is complimentary.  No other attractions, entertainment or offerings outside the designated event area will be available.  Please make advance reservations as special Disney events are very popular.  

Frozen Summer Fun Live! (July 5 – September 1, 2014): Join in the celebration of Disney’s Hollywood Studios of Frozen, featuring Disney’s newest princess!  This specially themed daily event includes a character procession, sing-alongs with Elsa and Anna, fireworks, a polar playground, ice carving demonstrations, and an ice skating rink, concluding with a nightly party with live band. Don’t miss Disney bringing to life Anna and Elsa’s fairy tale kingdom of Arendelle!  Most activities are included with Hollywood Studios park admission.

Rock Your Summer Side dance parties:  Disney Hollywood Studios launched the Rock Your Summer Side dance parties last week.  Each event runs from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  You can dance to great songs spun by a DJ with Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang.  Mickey, Minnie, and their friends will be hand dressed in summer attire.  Dance parties are included with Hollywood Studios park admission. No reservations required!

 Disney Soccer Academy 2014 is a four-day instructional camp featuring appearances form professional English Premier League players and Brazilian Soccer Stars. The Fourth Annual Superstar Edition runs through July 10.  Reservations are required.  Session 3:  July 7-10, 2014.   Here’s a free downloadable event kit and printable event information for your convenience.  Be sure to register soon!

Till next time!  Have a magical July! ~ Leigh Anne

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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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