You can go to Walt Disney World, buy a park ticket, and aside from things like food or souvenirs, never spend another dime.
But…..(there’s always a but, isn’t there?!) in addition to all the fun things your regular park ticket can get you at Magic Kingdom, you have the option to add-on some additional stuff to your trip, too.
There are things like tours, magical makeovers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and even fun things outside the parks like miniature golf or Cirque du Soleil shows.
Magic Kingdom has its own list of special ticketed events, too. These Enchanting Extras are just that – extras that cost extra money, but if you are looking for a way to celebrate something special or just want to add a little dash of pixie dust to your next trip, one of these may be just the thing!
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 are 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
- Exclusive seating or viewing areas for popular shows – like what you get when you book a dessert party
- Extended park time – like what you find with the seasonal parties and After Hours events
- Exclusive entertainment offerings including stage shows, fireworks, and parades – like what you find with the seasonal holiday parties
- 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.
We absolutely LOVE the parties at Magic Kingdom. Yes, they can be crowded, and sometimes the weather doesn’t always cooperate, but we always have so much fun! There is a reason they are offered so many nights every year: they are extremely popular.
So, if you are considering one, make sure you check out the guides for our advice on when to purchase your ticket. (Spoiler: the sooner, the better!)
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Held several nights a week from mid-August to the end of October, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a family-friendly Halloween-themed event where you can trick-or-treat, watch one of our favorite parades (Boo to You), meet unique and fun characters, plus lots more.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Much like the Halloween party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is also held several evenings a week from early November through about the week before Christmas. There are fun character meet and greet opportunities, amazing fireworks and a parade that smells as good as it looks, plus – snow (aka snoap) on Main Street!
Disney After Hours – Magic Kingdom
If maximizing rides is your things, then this special event is for you.
Over the years, there have been several different versions of After Hours events that have happened at a few different parks, including Magic Kingdom. Despite the different names, the core of what happens at each is the same:
After Hours events are specially ticketed events designed to let you enjoy the parks with minimal crowds. Because the number of tickets sold to each event is limited, you’ll be able to enjoy lots of attractions without long waits. There are complimentary snacks included and just like the name suggests, these events take place AFTER the park’s official closing time. The late night isn’t great for little ones, but it can be fantastic for anyone who prefers the nighttime to day.
Fireworks dessert parties
One of the hardest parts about the fireworks at Magic Kingdom is finding a spot to take it all in.
To make it easier, Disney offers dessert parties that provide guaranteed viewing of this popular show.
You can even add on a dessert party reservation to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
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.
In general, tickets go on sale a few months before the events happen. In the case of the dessert parties, those typically go on sale sometime around 60 days out – but don’t panic if you don’t see any availability right at 60 days. Sometimes Disney doesn’t release the reservations on time.
Keep in mind that everything we mentioned above is extremely popular and often sell out, so if you are debating on whether or not to spend the extra money, don’t wait too long after tickets go on sale to decide.
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 to Walt Disney World 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!), spending extra for an event like After Hours 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 After Hours is a fantastic opportunity 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!
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