Today I wanted to share with you some fun stuff that happens around the holidays at Disney World! Aside from decorating the parks beautifully and festive cupcake goodies available everywhere, Disney has special events that really enhance the magic of your visit! I'll talk about some of the big events here- lots of extra fun for the littles :)
New Years Eve
If your wee ones are night owls, Disney of course puts on a spectacular fireworks display. The crowds at the parks (particularly Magic Kingdom) are a bit insane, but certainly an event to remember! Select restaurants also offer NYE reservations. I'd highly recommend California Grill- you can view the fireworks show from the top of The Contemporary Resort- a view that can't be beat!
Special dinner reservations are available to share an intimate meal with your spouse, or make it a special event for the whole family and share the love! Be sure to keep an eye out on Disney's website for when these reservations are made available- not all restaurants participate.
Saint Patrick's Day
Be sure to head to Disney Spring's Raglan Road for a true taste of Ireland and some incredible Irish Step Dancing performances and other traditional Irish bands. One of our family's favorite eateries year-round! They even bring some little ones on stage to learn a few dance steps- too cute!
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival- Epcot is transformed with topiaries and gardening delights all over the place! See your child's favorite character created entirely of plants and flowers! Also, like the fall event at Epcot, you'll find food booths set up around the park to indulge in many unique eats! Also enjoy interactive play areas for kids, tips for gardening at home, and concerts!
Atlanta Braves Spring Training- Is your family a baseball fan? Call the ATL your home? Is your little one a sports nut? Be sure to check out ESPN's Wide World of Sports and catch a game!
Star Wars Weekends- Throughout the month of May, be sure to check this out! Featuring everything Star Wars. From celebrity guest appearances to special dining experiences, Jedi Training Academy to a special parade- Hollywood Studios is all things out of this world!
Check out Epcot for an Easter Egg Hunt around the World Showcase.
There are 2 Catholic Masses & 1 Protestant service at The Contemporary Resort on Easter Sunday.
Easter brunch reservations are available at select restaurants.
Fourth of July
Of course Disney puts on a huge fireworks display- not to be missed!!
|Night of Joy concert in front of the castle!|
Night of Joy- A truly blessed experience! A two-day Christian concert featuring the most popular Christian artists in the business! A separate ticketed event at Magic Kingdom, which means you can enter the park as early as 4pm and regular guests are required to leave by 7pm. Most of the major rides are open with relatively LOW wait times! There are three stages located throughout the park featuring different groups throughout the evening- each band plays roughly a half hour set. If your favorite band isn't playing, be sure to check at Universal Studios, as they host a Christian festival that same weekend, so your favorite may be playing over there instead!
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival- Ok, so this isn't so much for the kids, but it's a huge perk for the adults!! Set up all around Epcot's World Showcase are food booths where you can get appetizer portions of foods and drinks from all around the world. It could actually be a great way to stretch your meal budget, as the portions are kid-friendly (so you only spend a few bucks on your child's meal instead of buy a whole meal!). Definitely a must-do if you're visiting during this time! Throw in some extra learning and take the chance to learn more about the different cultures represented from around the world! Don't forget to catch the concerts featuring well-known bands!
|Wine & Food Festival portions from the Ireland booth|
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! This is a separate ticketed event at Magic Kingdom. That means that the park closes to regular guests at 7pm, and if you don't have a party wrist band, you'll be directed to leave the park. If you have a party ticket, you can enter the park as early at 4pm that day- so just relax that morning at the resort or Disney Springs and then head to Magic at 4pm and save your regular park ticket for use on another day- it's a great way to stretch your tickets and practically get a whole extra day at the park! There's dance parties, trick or treating trails, special event-only merchandise, the major rides are open with relatively LOW wait times, and it's your only chance to see the spectacular Halloween parade- arguably Disney's best parade!
There are special dinner reservations available at various restaurants. So if the only time you can visit Disney is over the holidays, you can still get your fill of turkey and stuffing! Check the Disney site frequently for when the reservations open up- holiday meals are only available at select restaurants.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! This is another separate ticketed event at Magic Kingdom. That means that the park closes to regular guests at 7pm, and if you don't have a party wrist band, you'll be directed to leave the park. If you have a party ticket, you can enter the park as early at 4pm that day- so just relax that morning at the resort or Disney Springs and then head to Magic at 4pm and save your regular park ticket for use on another day- it's a great way to stretch your tickets and practically get a whole extra day at the park! There's dance parties, free cookies & hot cocoa, special event-only merchandise, the major rides are open with relatively LOW wait times, and it's your first chance to see Disney's Christmas parade before it debuts at the park during normal hours!
Holidays Around the World- Epcot's World Showcase includes special performers and storytellers at each country to share their country's holiday traditions! Really neat if your kids are old enough to sit through the stories (or they're napping in the stroller, you can sit and listen hehe). Might be fun to purchase ornaments from each country to commemorate your trip!
Candlelight Processional- This one holds a special place in my heart as it truly conveys the reason for CHRISTmas to me. This is an event at Epcot that takes place a few times each evening throughout December. A celebrity narrator reads through the Scriptures highlighting the life of Christ, accompanied by a full orchestra and choir performing some of the most well-known holiday hymns and songs. If you can, grab a "Candlelight Processional Dinner Package" reservation available on the Disney website- this gets you a ticket to the show so that you don't have to wait in line for hours to try and get into a performance! Yes, it's really that sought after. So if you get the dinner package, you only have to line up about a half hour early in order to secure your seat.
Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights- No, we're not talking about Ozzy here. This is an entire street in Hollywood Studios lined from top to bottom with Christmas lights that "dance" in sync to the music! So grab some hot cocoa and spiced nuts, enjoy the light show, and be sure to stay for the snowfall! Not to be missed! SO festive! This is the last year that they're having it, unfortunately, but there's rumor it may appear somewhere else in Disney in years to come, so fingers crossed!
Gingerbread Houses- If you have some down time (maybe a stray afternoon thunderstorm, or a day off from the parks), be sure to pop on the monorail and over to Disney's Boardwalk! The resorts on those two lines feature some incredible gingerbread displays, and you can purchase your own gingerbread there too! Really incredible displays from a moving carousel to a 10 foot tall house! This is an underrated Christmas experience, but we really love it!
|Gingerbread Carousel at Beach & Yacht Club Resort|
|Christmas Tree at POP Century Resort|