Planning Walt Disney World

Top 5 Special Events You Need to Experience at Walt Disney World

A trip to Walt Disney World is special no matter when you go, but throughout the year Disney puts on several special events that can make you visit even more magical!

Here are my Top 5 Specials Events that you need to experience at least once during a trip to Walt Disney World!

5.  Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival: Held every spring at Epcot this special event is free with park admission (not including food and other select experiences).  Flower and Garden Festival highlights often include Educational designer presentations, Themed flower and garden displays where you’ll learn new tips and techniques you can try at home, Interactive play areas for kids, Topiary displays of Disney characters, An energetic concert series featuring live performances of popular hits.  Plus the amazing Outdoor Kitchens allow you to experience seasonal foods throughout World Showcase.  The weather is wonderful and the overall crowd levels aren’t too bad either.

4. Epcot Festival of the Arts: All new for 2017 is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Experience the ultimate cultural celebration as food, art and entertainment perfectly merge into this all-new event! Kick off your year with 6 superb weekends featuring world-class cuisine, visual art and live Broadway entertainment! Spring has sprung early at Walt Disney World Resort! From January 13 through February 20, Epcot is hosting the most colorful, delicious, musical celebration for the arts ever—it’s everything you love about the park, rolled into one spectacular salute. Introduce your inner connoisseur to the first annual Festival of the Arts, an exciting extravaganza replete with extraordinary artists, gourmet fare, stage productions and other amazing acts. Different events are scheduled each week, so pack your palate—and your palette—because magic truly is in the eyes of the beholder!

3.Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival: Taste your way around the world!  Visiting celebrity chef’s, demonstrations, mixology seminars, and special concerts make this event a can’t miss!  Plus with food booths set up throughout World Showcase featuring cuisine and beverages from around the world, there really is something for everyone!  This festival has been happening every fall for the past 20 years!  Dates for 2016 have yet to be released but you can usually plan on the very end of September through mid November.  Valid theme park admission is required and while most Epcot International Food & Wine Festival events are included with admission to the Park, several experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee, including food and refreshment samples, entry into Premium Experiences and entry into Cultural Dining Opportunities.

2. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:  This is a ticketed event that take place in Magic Kingdom on select nights during the months of November and December. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a time for wishes to come true, with  magic, cheer and enchantment for Guests of every age!  Events include special meet and greet opportunities, snow on Main St U.S.A.,  complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, a special lighting of Cinderella’s Castle and a fantastic holiday fireworks show.  For 2015 parties start at 7pm with guests being allowed into Magic Kingdom at 4pm.

1. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: A must every fall, this ticketed event held on select nights at Magic Kingdom is sure to be a family favorite! Dress in your favorite costume and get ready to trick-or-treat at this Halloween-themed event filled with rare character interactions, special entertainment, Mickey’s “Boo to You” Parade and HalloWishes fireworks.  For 2017 parties start at 7pm with guests being allowed into Magic Kingdom at 4pm.  Keep an eye out for date information and ticket prices for the 2017 event!

Which event is a must for you?  Have you experienced all five?  Honestly, Food & Wine is probably my favorite but that’s the foodie in me talking!



Alissa has been visiting Walt Disney World and Disneyland for the past 30+ years. She's more of an East Coast girl, so you can usually find her chasing a toddler through Magic Kingdom or snacking her way around the world at Epcot! She loves sharing planning tips and tricks with friends, family, and our readers.