If you are planning a trip to Disney World you may have read about special ticketed events that are available at Magic Kingdom.
But, what does "special ticketed event" even mean?
Basically, all four parks have a handful of special events you can pay extra (on top of your regular park ticket) to attend.
Many of these events are great add-ons or fun "extras" to do during a vacation. Check out these guides to help you decide if you want to book them for your trip.
What do you get with a special event ticket?
All of the special events below are different (so be sure to check out the linked guides for more information!), but here's some general things you can expect at specific events:
- Unique and exclusive character meets - like those at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
- Little to no waits on popular attractions - like at Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours, and Early Morning Magic
- Exclusive seating for popular shows - like what you get when you book a dessert party or the Signature Celebration Package
- Extended park time - like what you find with the seasonal parties, Early Morning Magic, and both After Hours events
- Exclusive entertainment offerings including stage shows, fireworks*, and parades* - like what you find with the seasonal holiday parties and Disney Villains After Hours (*fireworks and parades available at the holiday parties only)
- Small snacks or even a full meal - all special events listed below include food of some kind, however, each event provides something different
A few nights a week from August-December, Magic Kingdom closes early so that seasonal parties can be held for guests who paid to attend.
These parties include special treats, parades, fireworks, and shorter lines for rides. Get all of the details in the guides below.
Paid special events
If maximizing rides is your things, then these events are for you.
The park closes and only the people with tickets get to attend these events which allow you to go on rides over and over and over again.
Fireworks dessert party
One of the hardest parts about the Happily Ever After fireworks at Magic Kingdom is finding a spot to take it all in.
To make it easier, Disney offers several different dessert parties that provide guaranteed viewing of this popular show.
You can find detailed ticket information and pricing (including tips for saving some money on a few of the options listed) in the guides linked above.
Are special events worth the money?
We are firm believers that you don't have to spend anything extra in order to have a fabulous vacation.
You should know that your park ticket alone is plenty to fill up all your vacation hours with almost limitless enjoyment.
But, sometimes it might be fun (or even make sense) to add one of these special events onto a vacation.
Here's what we mean:
One popular reason people choose to add on one of these special events is to celebrate something special.
Traveling for a birthday, anniversary, or graduation? One of the events listed above are a fun way to mark the occasion.
Maximize short trips
If you have a short trip and want to maximize your time in the parks (so you can knock out as many attractions as possible!), Early Morning Magic and both After Hours events can help you do just that.
The smaller crowds (and lower wait times and lines) that are found during these events means you can get a lot of stuff done in a short period of time.
Think of it in terms of the total number of attractions you'll be able to ride (and not how many hours you'll be in the park).
Try something new
If you are a frequent visitor to the Walt Disney World Resort, special events are a great way to try something new.
The holiday parties are a lot of fun (especially if you enjoy unique characters!) and both the regular After Hours and Villains After Hours are fantastic opportunities to explore the park without having to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with the crowds.
To make a trip easier
If the thought of trying to ride all your favorite attractions stresses you out or you are just looking for ways to make your travel "frictionless", special events like the ones above are a great way to do that because in many instances the perks these events provide can make a trip a bit easier and less stressful.
For example, if you really want to see the fireworks but the thought of finding the perfect spot in the crowds is overwhelming, a dessert party might be worth the cost for you.
Whatever your reason, you can rest assured that Disney has lots of different special event options to choose from!