Alternatives to paid events – PREP124

Disney World has lots of extra things you can pay to attend, but they are definitely not necessary and have alternatives.

I also have some news for you and a quick tip with an easy way to find a spot to view parades and fireworks.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Alternatives to paid events

Event: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Description: Held on select nights at Magic Kingdom, tickets in the past have been around $65-70, provides special fireworks, parade, treats, character interactions
Alternative: Enjoy the park decor outside of the party and watch the fireworks outside of Magic Kingdom, either at a restaurant or just by finding a spot on the beaches of the monorail resorts

Event: Dessert parties within parties
Description: Disney has sometimes offered dessert parties that take place during events which give you a VIP viewing area and desserts
Alternative: Instead of using some of the party time that you already paid for, snag your own desserts and find a good viewing spot

Event: Fireworks dessert parties (also discussed in episode 113)
Description: Disney World has fireworks dessert packages available for a special viewing area, drinks (non-alcoholic at MK, but alcoholic options at the other locations), and desserts. These parties are always available at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, sometimes available at Hollywood Studios, and probably will be offered at Animal Kingdom soon.
Alternative: Snag your own desserts and find a good viewing spot

Event: Dinner packages
Description: Booking a dinner package at 1 of the participating restaurants will give you a meal there, plus the ability to sit in a reserved section for the nighttime show. Currently available for Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios and will eventually be available for Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom
Alternative: Not a terrible deal, especially if you're on the Disney Dining Plan (since the # of credits is the same with our without the dinner package), but you can get a FastPass+ as an alternative

Event: Disney After Hours
Description: Disney just announced this $149 option which gives you the ability to stay at Magic Kingdom for 3 hours past the official closing time. You can get in as early as 7, will have access to some popular rides, and get drinks and treats.
Alternative: If I had a short trip, I might consider this. Otherwise, onsite guests could plan to attend one of the late night Extra Magic Hours to be able to stay late at Magic Kingdom, often with shorter lines.

Event: Disney Early Morning Magic
Description: This event is not yet confirmed, but reportedly will give you the ability to enter Magic Kingdom at 7:45 a.m. to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan's Flight, and Winnie the Pooh, as well as eat breakfast at Pinnochio Village Haus. Tickets are likely to be $69 for adults and $49 for kids. Theme park tickets are required.
Alternative: Make a breakfast reservation at Be Our Guest, order as much (or as little) as you want, finish up before park opening, and position yourself to visit attractions as soon as the park opens.


  • Agent P's World Showcase Adventure at Epcot is allowing guests to use their own smartphones starting this week.
  • FastPass+ for parades and fireworks at Magic Kingdom have been removed. You can see my touring info for all 4 parks for a current list.
  • Updated park hours for April and September came out this week and October hours were published.

Quick tip of the day

An easy way to find a spot to watch fireworks and other nighttime shows is to look for the people with cameras on tripods. The usually know what they're doing and where to get a good view.

If you want to plan ahead, you can use our fireworks/nighttime show viewing tips.

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3 Comments on "Alternatives to paid events – PREP124"

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And what do you think about the fireworks cruises? If you’ve never seen Wishes, is it worth doing the Pirates and Pals cruise or would it better to watch it from the park. Or are there better locations? We’ll be traveling with an almost 3 year old.

For our Halloween week visit, we’re going to skip the party (the kids’ choice!) and do Minnie’s seasonal Halloween dinner at Hollywood & Vine. Between that and just being in the parks, I don’t think we’ll feel like we’re missing anything. Except Jack Skellington. 🙁

Do you think the Disney Early Morning Magic will effect the way BoG guests are allowed onto Mine Train? In the past they sent us through the fast-pass side before the masses arrived from rope-drop.

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