Did you know that during a leap year, on February 29th, Magic Kingdom stays open for twenty-four hours? Neither did I until our family vacation to Disney World this year happened to encompass that day. Since it was a once in a lifetime (or at least a once every four years) opportunity we decided to do something crazy and let Anders and Danica stay up way, way past their bedtime. Because every kid should know what it’s like to eat their weight in corn dogs and ride the tea cups at 3 A.M. Don’t you agree?
Disney World in itself is a fantastic experience to share as a family, but planning your trip to coincide with one of the many special events they hold each year is a great way to get even more out of your vacation. There are many to choose from and they are scheduled throughout the year so no matter what season you have your eye on for a visit, there is likely something very special going on at Disney World.
Here are 5 events you should keep in mind before booking your next trip:
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Forget trick-or-treating from door to door! Dress your children in their Halloween best and bring them to the Magic Kingdom to collect delicious treats from around the park. Then take a seat on the sidewalk and watch the Headless Horseman led “Boo-to-you” Halloween parade featuring the stars of the Haunted Mansion attraction. Finish the night off with the Happy HalloWishes firework show. This year the event runs from September 11- November 2.
- Epcot International Food and Wine Festival – There’s a little something for everyone at Disney World and this event tops the list for adults looking to have a little fun in the House of Mouse. If you are a lover of good wine and great food, this festival is for you. Featuring appearances by celebrity chefs, 30 international food and beverage marketplaces, culinary demonstrations and wine seminars, and live music — this is a date for Disney you will want to mark on your calendars. In ink. This year it is happening on September 28 – November 12.
- Star Wars Weekends – If you have a fan of the force in the family, you’ll want to visit Disney in the spring when Hollywood Studios celebrates the film. Kids can participate in a Jedi Training Academy, have their favorite movie memento signed by a cast member, and end the day with a dance party amid Ewoks and Wookies.
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – What’s better than celebrating Christmas with those you love? Spending part of the holiday season at Disney, of course. Gain special access to park attractions, take a stroll down Main Street while the snow falls, watch a very special Holiday parade, and enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa while watching a fireworks extravaganza. This event occurs from November 9 to December 21 this year.
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival – Have a green thumb in the family? Even if you can’t manage to keep a house plant alive, everyone can appreciate the brilliant colors of the gardens in full bloom at Epcot. The park is littered with botanical beauty including topiaries trimmed in the image of your favorite characters. There are interactive areas for the kids and the folks at HGTV and the DIY Network are on hand to teach you their tips and tricks to spruce up your home garden. This event is being held from March 6 to May 19 in 2013.
Before you arrive, be sure to download the Disney Mobile Magic App so you can easily locate your favorite characters, check out the wait times for attractions, and make dinner reservations from your phone. Have you ever visited Disney World during a special event?