Every day is a special day at Walt Disney World! But, sometimes Disney pours out a little extra pixie dust and arranges special events that are completely worth the extra ticket admission (if necessary), in our opinion. Count down with us as we list the top 5 special events at Disney World that you’ll want to add to your Disney “must-do list” today!
Editor’s Note: We understand that with the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, some of the advice in this article may not apply. (You can read everything you need to know about the phased reopening by clicking here). Special events at Walt Disney World have either been modified (Taste of Food and Wine Festival) or canceled (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party). However, we will continue to share articles that give guidance on a “normal” vacation to Walt Disney World, along with any special changes or instructions you may need to be aware of during the phased reopening to provide the best tips we can regardless of when you are visiting. ~ Chad & Cindy
5 – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
This annual event at Epcot has become a popular favorite among many Disney fans! The International Flower and Garden Festival is a spring event in which Disney has a chance to show off their impeccable landscaping and gardening skills. Bright colors, sense satisfying aromas, and lush greenery are just about everywhere you turn at Epcot during the festival. While there are a few extra admission costs for tours and events, most all of the Flower and Garden Festival is open to any guest entering Epcot’s gates with a valid theme park ticket! The festival boasts breathtaking gardens, topiary art in the form of several favorite Disney characters, how-to seminars, outdoor kitchens, play areas for the kids, a butterfly garden, and an outdoor concert series with some classic hits. We purposely try to arrange our trips around the spring season, so we don’t miss the beauty! This festival runs from early March to early June.
4 – Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Visit the World Showcase at Epcot this holiday season. Explore how each of the 11 countries celebrates the holiday season with unique traditions that include all of the senses. Taste the delicious holiday cuisines, listen to seasonal music, and be prepared to take photos of the special costumed performers. The best part, in our opinion, is the Candlelight Processional! A 50-piece orchestra, a mass choir, and a celebrity narrator share the story of Christmas. We have goosebumps just thinking about it! Just like the Flower and Garden Festival above, all guests need is a valid park ticket to enjoy this special event. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Epcot glow under all the shimmering lights!
3 – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
While we’re talking about the Christmas season, what better way to celebrate than to party with Mickey! Head on over to Magic Kingdom on specific days between early November through mid-December for a Christmas party unlike any you’ve ever experienced. Crowds dwindle as Magic Kingdom is open on Christmas Party evenings only to special event ticket holders. The attractions are still open, so wait times are typically short! But most importantly – experience snow on Main Street U.S.A., check out the characters in their holiday best, sing along to your favorite Christmas tunes, catch the parade, and ooh and aah in the glow of fireworks! During the Christmas Party, guests can experience Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, which is a live stage show in front of Cinderella Castle. Buy your special tickets as soon as possible, as this event does tend to sell out.
Editor’s Note: no decision has been made on whether or not the 2020 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will run this year. It may not, as the Halloween party was canceled.
2 – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Have you ever wanted to taste your way around the world? Well – we have a special annual event for you! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is held from late August through mid-November. When you enter that World Showcase at Epcot with valid theme park admission, you’ll immediately begin to smell the flavors of the world. Stands and kiosks seem to be just about everywhere with special sampling and plates of uniquely flavored food, plus beer and wine, from several different countries. Why not “Eat to the Beat” while you’re enjoying the amazing food with a concert series led by popular artists! Special demonstrations and seminars are also available such as mixology, culinary, and even cheese seminars. Some of the special seminars are an extra fee, but there are several experiences included in your park admission. The other costs, of course, are the food and wine you plan to taste! There are Food and Wine Cards you can purchase, so you don’t have to reach for the wallet at every station, which acts much like a gift card.
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the Food and Wine Festival has been modified. Click here to learn more about the Taste of the Food & Wine Festival taking place in fall 2020.
1 – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Magic Kingdom’s ghosts and goblins come out to party! But, no worries – this party is definitely family-friendly and “not-so-scary” for that reason. We rank Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the number one spot because, well, this Mouse knows how to throw one awesome Halloween Party! Kids especially love trick-or-treating as Magic Kingdom is open to special ticket holders for the party only (just like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party). The dates for the party are select nights from mid-August through November 1. The great news is most all of the attractions are open and with crowds much smaller, guests can hop off and on rides easily. What would trick-or-treating be without costume?! Guests of all ages are welcome to wear costumes but keep in mind there are costume guidelines. The evil Sanderson Sisters use their magic in the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. One of our favorite parts has to be the Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade which has all of the favorite Disney characters in their spooktacular Halloween costumes, along with an appearance from the creepy Headless Horseman. We can’t wait!
Editor’s Note: Because of the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the 2020 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has been canceled.
What is your favorite special event? We’d love to hear from you!
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