Special Disney World parties and events (and if they’re worth it) – PREP054

There are several special events and parties held at Disney World that you might want to do during your trip.

Today, I have info on each of those, including what each event includes, how much it costs (if anything), if I think it's worth it and the best times to go to each.

I also have a quick tip if you'd like to enjoy the fireworks from the special parties without attending the event.

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.

Podcasts I recommend

Disney World podcasts:

  • DIS Unplugged
  • Be Our Guest
  • WDW Radio

Business podcasts:

  • Smart Passive Income
  • Fizzle
  • The James Altucher Show

Parties and events of Disney World

Flower and Garden Festival

  • When it's held: early March through mid-May
  • What it includes: topiaries, workshops, HGTV celebrity appearances, musical acts from the 70s, outdoor kitchens, gardens, play areas
  • Cost: No extra cost beyond your Epcot park ticket except for a couple of special tours
  • When to go: weekends will be busier but that's when the musical acts appear
  • Worth it? I wouldn't plan a whole trip around it but it's nice to visit if you happen to be there during that time
  • More info: https://wdwprepschool.com/flower-and-garden-festival-epcot/

Star Wars Weekends

  • When it's held: weekend in mid-May through mid-june
  • What it includes: celebrity appearances, Star Wars character experiences, special food and merchandise, Symphony in the Stars fireworks, character dining
  • Cost: No extra cost beyond your Hollywood Studios park ticket except for the premium package
  • When to go: mid-May party dates will be better than later dates
  • Worth it? Yes, for Star Wars fans
  • More info: https://wdwprepschool.com/complete-overview-of-star-wars-weekends-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

  • When it's held: at Magic Kingdom from 7-midnight a few times a week during September and October
  • What it includes: trick-or-treating, chance for everybody to wear costumes, special parade/fireworks/castle show, character meet-and-greets, shorter waits at rides (for most party dates), magic photo shots
  • Cost: this is a hard-ticketed event that requires a separate ticket that costs $62-71
  • When to go: September dates will be less crowded than October dates
  • Worth it? Yes, for people who can stay up until midnight
  • More info: https://wdwprepschool.com/guide-to-mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/

Food and Wine Festival

  • When it's held: at Epcot from mid-September through mid-November
  • What it includes: food booths, musical acts from the 80s and 90s, premium events, celebrity chefs, seminars
  • Cost: no extra cost except for the premium events
  • When to go: weekends are busy so I'd recommend going on a weekday
  • Worth it? I wouldn't plan a whole trip around it but it's fun to do if you're already planning to be there during this time
  • More info: https://wdwprepschool.com/complete-overview-of-epcots-food-and-wine-festival/

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

  • When it's held: at Magic Kingdom from 7-midnight a few days a week in November through mid-December (except for Thanksgiving week)
  • What it includes: special parade and fireworks, character meet-and-greets and dance parties, shorter lines on rides (usually), cookies and hot chocolate from restaurants
  • Cost: hard-ticketed event that costs $62-71
  • When to go: November dates are usually better than December
  • Worth it? While not as popular as the Halloween party, I still think it's worth it for groups who are able to stay up until midnight
  • More info: https://wdwprepschool.com/holiday-christmas-season-at-disney-world/

Frozen Summer Fun

  • When it's held: in 2014, the dates were July 5-September 28
  • What it includes: sing-along, ice skating, dance party, character procession, fireworks
  • Cost: no extra cost beyond your Hollywood Studios park ticket except for the premium package
  • When to go: Not sure if the event will return for 2015
  • Worth it? For Frozen fans, it's worth it, but the premium package isn't necessary

Villains Unleashed

  • When it's held: in 2014, it was held on August 23
  • What it includes: meet-and-greets with rare characters, dance party, special stage shows, merchandise, fireworks
  • Cost: this was a hard-ticketed event that cost $67
  • When to go: Not sure if the event will return for 2015
  • Worth it? Many complaints about the event having long lines and issues

Quick tip of the day

Just want to watch the fireworks for the special parties but don't want to pay to enter? Read this DISboards.com post for detailed locations to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks.

You can also watch Hollywood Studios fireworks (which only take place during special events) from outside the park for a great view.

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5 Comments on "Special Disney World parties and events (and if they’re worth it) – PREP054"

newest oldest most voted
The Frozen premium package was, as you said, certainly not necessary…. but was still a lot of fun! I really appreciated having reserved seating for all of the events at such close proximity to the stage. They tape off a special area for the kids, so you can hang back and know that they 1) have a great view 2) are very safe 3) can enjoy their unlimited ice cream in peace, haha and 4) aren’t being shoved out of the way by obnoxious, selfish adults – a problem we had at other parades. The desserts offered at the end… Read more »
Hi Shannon – Thanks for the great podcast! I was wondering if some of the events above are allergy friendly. The events I was specifically wondering about are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the premium events at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. My 2nd question is for Kenny the Pirate – Thank you for the write up on the Frozen Summer Fun. The maps are great. I’m assuming green are the prime locations and red are areas to avoid for the fireworks. Am I correct? Also, do you know what time the fireworks are? Thank you!!

I have read that at the Halloween party, you can swap your Halloween candy at guest services for allergy friendly fare (and they have a few to chose from).
One good site for allergy friendly is http://www.glutenfreedairyfreewdw.com/ She also links off to other allergy sites, so it’s a good starting point if your allergy issues aren’t gluten or dairy.

Hi Shannon, I always listen to the podcast because it definitely has more info than the show notes. This time you left the quick tip of the day out of the show notes. Not sure if it was a mistake or if it was intentional. Still wanted to let you know in case it was a mistake. Thanks!

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