What are the 10 magical events that are must-do experiences for any Disney fan? Let’s chat about that today! Some are no or low cost, others can be a little pricey but you can bet that any event at Walt Disney World is worth it! Some of these I have personally been to, others I am dying to try and have heard raves about!! In no certain order…
1. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – This festival is coming up soon! It takes place in EPCOT and runs from September 27th to November 11th this year. Taste your way around the World Showcase, partaking in food & wine from all over the world brought to you by amazing chefs and wine connoisseurs! Most of this festival is included with park admission! We can’t wait to try this out for the first time in October. I’m counting the days…
2. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP for short) – This party takes place in the Magic Kingdom. Trick or Treat your way around the park in a sincerely sweet way, and it really isn’t so scary! Most rides will stay open to enjoy. Don’t forget your costumes – yes even YOU mom and dad;) This party takes place on select nights September – October. Tickets sold separately.
3. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP for short) – This party also takes place in Magic Kingdom and is one of our family’s FAVE events. It costs extra to do this one too, but believe me you won’t regret it. Select rides (most of the best ones!) stay open late for all party-goers, and there are special little parties in multiple locations around the park with music and even some dancing. They even serve you hot cocoa, coffee and cookies!! Don’t miss the special parade and Holiday Wishes and you may even see some snow if you hang around Main Street. This is one of the most magical events I’ve been to!
4. Candlelight Processional – This special holiday event is held in the American Gardens Theater in Epcot most nights between late November through right after Christmas. There is a celebrity narrator and a 50-piece orchestra that plays along while the choir sings beautiful holiday songs. This is such a great event to get you in the holiday spirit!! Tickets are extra and you can book a dinner with it, if you choose, that guarantees great seating for the show and Illuminations. We saw the show with Neil Patrick Harris and loved every minute of it!
5. Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Do you love driving around your town looking at all the amazing Christmas lights? Well, hold on to your winter caps! This spectacle includes MILLIONS of lights dancing to music in Hollywood Studios. The great thing about this? It’s included with admission to the park. Yay!
6. Holidays Around the World – This is a few little events all wrapped up into one! First of all, each country in World Showcase of EPCOT decorates themselves for the holidays. Then, all of countries have special speakers, shows or storytellers that dazzle you with holiday cheer! We love this!! This is included with regular park admission and is such a cool way to learn how the holidays are celebrated worldwide.
7. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Each spring EPCOT comes alive, vividly, with flora and fauna! We haven’t experienced this event yet but I can’t wait to go and see what the talented gardeners do with the flowers and shrubs!! Enjoy themed flower, topiary and garden displays of your favorite Disney characters and movies. Learn how to grow and tame your home garden, grab a bite to eat as the chefs pull out seasonal goodies, and listen to some awesome live entertainment. Most of this Festival is included with park admission!
8. Star Wars Weekends – Do you have a Star Wars fan in your family? Then you have to be a part of this special event! These special weekends take place every spring in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Some actual Star Wars actors appear on select dates, so bring that Death Star for them to sign! Other activities include the Jedi Training Academy for kids under 12, special Star Wars themed shows, and tons of characters from the movies. This event is included with park admission – out of this world!
9. runDISNEY – Do you enjoy running? From family fun runs, to 5k and 10ks, allll the way up to the big marathons…Disney has you covered! People from all over the world show up to run in these one-of-a-kind courses. Can you imagine running through Magic Kingdom & EPCOT before they open to the public for the day? How about dressed in a tutu with your favorite Princess cheering you on? Then the Princess Half Marathon just may be for you! Check out runDISNEY for all runner events!
10. New Years Eve Fireworks – This technically isn’t a special event but I can tell you that the fireworks in Disney World, particularly Magic Kingdom, are a once in a lifetime type of experience!! I have never seen so many fireworks, EVER!! You don’t even have to be IN Magic Kingdom to enjoy them. Head to one of the resorts to experience it!!
Also, Disney loves to CELEBRATE with you, so even if you can’t make one of their special events, you can make one of your own. Let your travel agent know what you are planning to celebrate and you will be provided special buttons to wear throughout your trip! You won’t believe how awesome the Cast Members are at celebrating with you!!!
Tina works full time as a school counselor in an elementary school. She lives close to Baltimore, MD with her husband Dave and her 13 year old stepdaughter, Ashley. They also have a furry family member, a cat name Frodo, that keeps life interesting in their house! Tina began visiting Disney World as a child with her family, and now her, Dave & Ashley take a trip to the World every year. She considers herself a Disney “fanatic” and once her family is finished one trip, she is already planning their next one. Tina loves to find the best deals, even in the busy seasons (she can only go when schools are off!) and loves sharing those deals & tips with anyone and everyone! What Tina loves most is the magic of WDW, it makes her feel like a kid again. She hopes that every family has the opportunity go to the World and experience the magic for themselves because it has a way of reminding its visitors that dreams do indeed come true! Read more of Tina’s work on her blog A Not So Bland Life, where she writes about home decor, cooking, couponing, traveling, and and of course, Disney!