Disney Special Events: Guide to the Best Moments

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Written By Carlos Braga

Welcome to the enchanted world of Disney special events. Throughout this essay, you will find a variety of experiences that go beyond the usual park visit. From the magical decoration of the Magic Kingdom in all seasons of the year, to unforgettable dinners filled with haute cuisine at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. We'll take you to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios and reveal the magical side of Disney as night falls at Disney After Hours events. And, for those who think Disney is just about fun, get ready to enter the competitive and exciting world of RunDisney marathons. Each topic will inform and hopefully inspire you to explore and experience these wonderful events for yourself.

Magic Kingdom in all seasons

The magic never stops at Disney's Magic Kingdom. Throughout the year, the park transforms to embrace the changing seasons, featuring special events that add that extra touch of enchantment to the already wonderful experience of visiting the “happiest place on earth.” Want to know what the park has to offer in each season of the year? Let's find out together!

During spring, the Magic Kingdom looks even more radiant when it celebrates the annual “Flower & Garden” festival held at Epcot. The transformation is stunning with hundreds, if not thousands, of flowers and plants making visitors feel like they are walking into a fairytale. Spring also marks the beginning of Star Wars Weekends, a celebration dedicated to all fans of the Star Wars saga.

When summer arrives, the park transforms to host “Incredible Summer” which includes special parades and themed characters from the movie The Incredibles. It is worth remembering that during the summer months the park stays open for longer allowing visitors to enjoy the attractions until later.

This fall, get ready for the scariest time of the year at Magic Kingdom. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special nighttime event that includes a themed parade, fireworks show and multiple trick-or-treat spots. In addition, the park's attractions and characters are decorated for Halloween, making the visit a truly unique experience.

Finally, in winter it's time for Cinderella Castle to come to life with “Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party”. The Christmas celebration includes live shows, a Christmas-themed parade and, of course, the fascinating lighting of Cinderella Castle, which is a spectacle in itself.

In every season of the year, the Magic Kingdom transforms and offers an extra touch of charm. Whether it's flower-filled spring, lively summer, spooky autumn or bright winter, each season brings its own kind of magic. Even for those who have visited countless times, there will always be something new and exciting to see and do at Magic Kingdom, every season of the year.

Image of the enchanting Magic Kingdom at Disney. The image shows Cinderella's Castle surrounded by colorful flowers and beautiful landscape.

Dining events at Disney

Disney, in addition to being one of the main responsible for the magic that sweetens our hearts, also has a series of enchanting gastronomic events, each with its own enchanting particularities. Disney is constantly dedicated to ensuring that its culinary experiences are spectacular and provide truly unforgettable moments. After all, the trip to this magical world goes beyond fun attractions and roller coasters, it also seduces our taste buds and enchants us through flavors.

The gastronomic harvest at Disney parks is abundant throughout the year, but some special dates are worth highlighting. Among the long-awaited events, we have the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This event, which takes place in autumn, invites us to explore flavors from different parts of the world, with more than 30 kiosks offering food and drinks from the most varied nationalities.

If you are a fan of art and gastronomy, your event at Disney is the Festival of the Arts which takes place in January and February. This event combines visual, culinary and performance art into an immersive cultural celebration. The “Food Studios” section features artistically designed dishes that are true works of art.

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And for those who love sweets and Christmas, the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party It's pure celebration. This winter event combines the magic of Christmas with a variety of themed desserts and festive drinks as you watch a fabulous fireworks display.

Another event that takes place in winter is the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, where visitors can enjoy delicious California food, wine and beer while participating in wine, beer and cheese seminars, as well as cooking workshops with renowned chefs.

For little adventurers, Disney offers Remy's Ratatouille Hide & Squeak, which takes place during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Here, children can have fun with a gastronomic treasure hunt game, where they will have to help Remy find the ingredients for his ratatouille.

In short, every season of the year, Disney renews its colors, flavors and aromas, providing authentic and enriching experiences, perfectly combining the park's characteristic magic and culinary fantasy. Therefore, in addition to planning which parks to visit and which attractions to prioritize, also remember to check the schedule of Disney gastronomic events. It's a way to make your trip more enjoyable and unforgettable.

Image of a Disney themed culinary event showcasing various dishes and beverages from around the world

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Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Entering the Galaxy: What can Star Wars fans expect from Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios?

The Star Wars universe came to life at Star Wars Weekends events at Disney's Hollywood Studios. These events allow fans to experience epic adventures worthy of a galaxy far, far away.

To begin with, visitors can have the opportunity to meet their favorite characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and even Darth Vader, throughout the park. How about a selfie next to these iconic characters? Furthermore, you can still collect autographs throughout the day.

The entertainment is complete with daily parades full of Star Wars characters and, for the bravest, there is the Jedi Training Academy, where children can learn the ways of the Force and fight against the most feared villains in the saga.

Of course, we cannot fail to mention the attraction Star tours which brings you an intergalactic mission with beloved Star Wars characters. Each trip is a new experience, as there are several possibilities for different adventures.

Of course, the Star Wars vibe goes beyond the attractions. Imagine eating in themed restaurants and cafes with dishes inspired by the saga? We can highlight the “Han Solo barbecue” flavored popcorn or the “Wookiee Cookies”.

And at the end of the day, you can still be dazzled by the spectacular fireworks show “Star Wars: Symphony in the Stars” accompanied by an unforgettable soundtrack composed by John Williams.

So, prepare your lightsaber, put on your favorite Star Wars outfit and come be part of this magical universe at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Remember, the Force will be with you, always.

Image showing Star Wars fans wearing themed t-shirts and holding lightsabers during the Star Wars Weekends event at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney After Hours

Thinking about Disney is always synonymous with magic and joy, isn’t it? We have to admit, Disney theme parks know how to delight visitors and expand that smile on the faces of everyone who walks there. But did you know that they become even more special when the sun sets? Let's find out about After Hours events in Disney parks and what are its main attractions.

One of the most anticipated moments at Disney parks are the special events that start after normal operating hours. These are called 'After Hours', which allow visitors to enjoy attractions, shows and shows in a completely different and even more magical nighttime atmosphere!

One of the highlights of these events is “Villains After Hours” at Magic Kingdom, where the most loved (and feared) villains from Disney films take to the streets of the park to interact with visitors. Have you ever thought about bumping into Maleficent or Captain Hook in the early hours of the morning? In addition to the fun encounters with characters, there are also distractions such as the “Villains Unite the Night” fireworks show and the Maleficent's Dragon Parade, which are simply unmissable.

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For Pixar fans, Disney's Hollywood Studios offers “Disney After Hours Toy Story Land.” In it, guests are invited to join Woody, Buzz and the gang on adventures through Andy's Amusement Park. Best of all, lines for the park's famous attractions, like Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, shorten considerably, giving visitors the chance to enjoy them more than once.

Another highlight of post-closure events at Disney parks is the abundance of themed snack options available. At “Disney Villains After Hours”, for example, visitors can taste dishes inspired by the most beloved villains in the Disney universe, such as the Maleficent Cone ice cream, or the Dark Magic drink, inspired by the classic wizard from Fantasia.

And to top it off, how about enjoying a very special version of Happily Ever After, the Magic Kingdom's projection and fireworks show? During “Disney After Hours”, the show gains additional elements that can only be enjoyed during these special nights – a truly unique experience!

If there's one thing that can be confirmed, it's that After Hours events at Disney parks transform an already special experience into something truly unforgettable. But remember: tickets for these events are sold separately and tend to sell out very quickly. So, if this is an experience you want to have, plan your visit in advance and get ready for nights of lots of magic and fun in Mickey Mouse Land.

An image of happy people enjoying the After Hours events at Disney parks

RunDisney: Marathons and sporting events

The events RunDisney These are true encounters between sport and Disney magic. But do you know what opportunities these events offer for sports fans? Walk, run, half marathon or even a full marathon – regardless of experience level, the events RunDisney offer something special for everyone.

Imagine running or walking against the backdrop of one of Disney's incredible parks. At events RunDisney, you certainly won't be alone, as you are accompanied by thousands of other people who are passionate about sport and Disney.

There is also the opportunity to participate in themed races, all to make the experience even more special. There are races dedicated to Marvel superheroes, to competitions themed around Disney Princesses. This is a fun way to enjoy the sport and still show your love for the characters that have impacted your life.

One of the biggest advantages of events RunDisney is that they offer specific packages for runners. This includes special items such as themed t-shirts, medals for those who complete the race and, of course, the opportunity to experience the Disney parks in a unique way.

Furthermore, the events RunDisney provide an excellent rationale for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Without a doubt, training for a race in one of the Disney parks serves as a great motivation to continue exercising regularly.

Finally, run an event RunDisney It's more than just participating in a race. It's an opportunity to create incredible memories. Imagine the thrill of crossing the finish line with Cinderella Castle or Spaceship Earth in the background. Not to mention the chance to take amazing photos with Disney characters along the route.

Therefore, if you are a sports and Disney lover, you cannot miss the incredible opportunities offered by the events RunDisney. These are unique sporting experiences, full of magic and enchantment that only Disney can provide. So, shall we train? See you there!

People running in a Disney park during a RunDisney event.

Indeed, there is no shortage of memorable experiences when it comes to Disney special events. Through the magical moments that only the Magic Kingdom can provide, to the plate of incredible flavors at gastronomic events. From total immersion in the culture and stories of the incredible Star Wars franchise, to enjoying Disney under a starry sky at its After Hours events. Not to mention the exciting RunDisney universe where competition meets Disney joy. Each of these events is an opportunity to delve even deeper into the magic of Disney, to discover new worlds, to enjoy fun moments and simply to enjoy an unforgettable time. So let's keep dreaming, laughing, eating and running toward the magic of Disney special events.

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About the Author Carlos Braga:

Unparalleled experience in Orlando and Disney! As a former Universal Orlando team member and a passionate devotee of the magic of Disney, I have become a true Orlando travel expert. Before becoming a renowned travel consultant dedicated to Orlando, I had already made hundreds of visits to the parks, cultivating my knowledge and passion mainly over the last 7 years as a consultant and specialist in Disney travel.

My journey into this enchanted world began in 1995, when I took my first trip to Orlando. Since then, my love for Disney and the city has only grown. In 2023, we celebrate the sixth anniversary of 'Partiu Disney Parks', consolidating our role as one of the main sources of information about Disney and Orlando Parks.

During these six years of existence, we have continued to offer quality and updated content, being the reliable source for all those looking for essential information to plan their trip to Disney and Orlando. With my vast experience and passion for this magical destination, I am here to guide you every step of the way towards the most incredible Orlando and Disney experience!