Some of the best things in life aren’t free. Disney World offers up magic for millions of guests daily with, or without park admission. There is a multitude of things to do for fun and entertainment, especially if you have some extra room in your budget. Some experiences are available for an additional charge, while others merely require you to be in the right place at the right time. You still need to make room in your budget for purchases though. These are some of the best extra experiences and events you can enjoy at Walt Disney World for a little extra money.
Of course, no special event list would be complete without Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both parties grant after-hours access to park guests with an admissions pass.
Come in costume for the Halloween event. Revel in the entertainment of a villainous musical review, a ghoulish Boo-to-You nighttime parade and special fireworks spectacular. Plus, trick or treat around the park and experience new effects and interactive adventures on select attractions.
For the Christmas Season, there’s no place like Magic Kingdom for the holidays. In this after-hours event, guests are treated to a special Christmas parade and a Frozen performance that ends with a magical transformation of Cinderella Castle. The Fireworks show is even better than the Halloween version and snow falls over Main Street.
Both events feature character photo opportunities, dance parties, and delicious seasonal treats. It’s the perfect Disney celebration.
MAGIC KINGDOM AFTER DARK
The next time you are working out your vacation plans make sure you check the dates for this event. Magic Kingdom After Dark is a whole new way to experience the world’s most popular theme park. The event is ticketed, but it does not require additional park admission, as some other events do. What that means is that you can attend this late night event without paying for the daytime and you can use the morning for leisure time to conserve energy.
Event guests are allowed admission a few hours before the park closes at 11:00. Then you get three hours in the park with significantly reduced crowds. Rides have little to no wait time, and desserts and snacks are offered for free.
Throughout the year Epcot hosts three festivals. The Most famous and longest running is the International Food and Wine Festival. This festival includes seminars for everything from cooking, to tasting, to drink mixing. Marketplaces around the park offer delicious small plates with drink pairing options. It is a foodie paradise. Food and Wine operate in the late summer and fall. Spring gives rise to the Flower and Garden Festival, which also features food and drinks, but places emphasis on horticultural arts. Finally, the Festival of the Arts brings all forms of art to the forefront; from painting to performance, to (of course) culinary.
While food and wine serve as a consistent through-line for each of these festivals throughout the year, The International Food and Wine Festival places significant emphasis on the culinary arts. The Festival of the arts marketplaces makes available all varieties of Disney themed artwork, while Flower and Garden populate Epcot with stunning topiary displays.
STAR WARS: A GALACTIC SPECTACULAR DESSERT PARTY
The ultimately paid event for the Star Wars Fan (until Disney figures out how to let you fly the Millennium Falcon). Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still gearing up for the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars Land, which is currently under construction. In the meantime, there are continuous shows, and character meet and greets to provide a healthy dose of that tale that happened “A long time ago in a galaxy far away.”
A day in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is peppered with Star Wars experiences, including Star Tours. Then in the evening, it culminates with Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular. This is a whole immersive fireworks spectacular that uses projection mapping to create pulse-pounding show elements all around you. How on earth could you make it any better? By bringing dessert.
A ticket to this event guarantees you premium viewing for the show. Meaning you don’t have to stake out your spot hours in advance. That way, you can do more and still get the best view available. Plus, you get to eat delcious desserts and themed specialty beverages. The dessert party takes place in a venue surrounded by set pieces inspired by the Star Wars Universe. To further solidify the memorable night the viewing package includes the Disney Movie Magic show and a souvenir Star Wars novelty.