Essentials Planning The 101 Series

Special Events 101: Memorable After-Hours Activities

Whether it's Christmas, Halloween or the middle of April, these Special Events are excellent add ons to your vacation!

Did you know that at certain times in a year, one of the Disney Parks closes early and hosts a seasonal after-hours event? These separately-ticketed events are usually based around a holiday like Halloween or Christmas. Over a period of about 2 months, the park will close early (around 7:00pm) on select days to host the events. Sometimes, however, the event may not be based on a holiday, but rather be based on a theme (Like the Disney’s Pirate and Princess Party, which sadly no longer exists). Not only are they fun seasonal activities to add to your experience, but sometimes these events have special offerings and an exception to one of the park’s rules. Are you interested? Here are the two main events that happen every year, along with another one that debuted this year.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party


Every year, during the months of September and October, Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. During this party, most of the Magic Kingdom attractions will be open and you get to experience exclusive shows like the Boo To You Parade, Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular and Happy Hallo-Wishes, a Halloween-themed fireworks show. Of course, no Halloween is complete without trick-or-treating! Cast Members will supply you with bags to use at Trick-or-Treat stations around the park. Trust me, by the end of the night, your bag will be filled to the brim with candy! Anyone can trick-or-treat, adults and children (and, if you have a food allergy, Disney hasn’t forgotten you! Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, and other allergy-free candy is available at certain locations). Oh, and one more thing…I mentioned earlier an exception to a certain rule. Well, only during the party, adults 14 and over are allowed to dress up! I’ve stated before many times on this website that according to Disney’s rules, adults 14 or older are not allowed to wear costumes to the parks. However, the Halloween Party is the only exception to this rule.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party



Previously touched on in Planning Your Trip 101: The Essentials

Closely following Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This event begins in November and goes on until the end of December. Now, the Christmas Party is a very similar premise to the Halloween party, except it’s Christmas themed, of course. Most of the attractions will be open and you get to see four different exclusive shows: Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, A Frozen Holiday Wish, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Holiday Wishes, A Christmas-themed fireworks show. There isn’t trick-or-treating, but certain locations will be giving out hot chocolate, cookies and other goodies for free. At the end of the night, it snows on Main Street USA as you exit the park!

Star Wars: Galactic Nights


This event is going to have the least amount of information because it only debuted this year. However, I promise I will update it once more information on future events surfaces.

You may or may not have remembered me teasing this in my previous post here. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you might have heard about Star Wars: Galactic Nights. It happened for the very first time on April 14th, 2017, the same weekend as Star Wars Celebration. Instead of Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios closed early at 7:00pm to host a Star Wars-themed event until 12:00am. I had the privilege of being there for the sold-out event, and Disney has now announced that there will be more Galactic Nights events in the future. The exact dates have not yet been announced. If you have ever experienced Disney’s previous Star Wars Weekends, this is the exact same thing, except all the activities are packed into one night. Most of the attractions are open, you can experience exclusive versions of shows, and it turns out that this event is now the second exception to the costume rule. When this event was announced, it was also announced that cosplay was allowed, meaning that once again guests 14 and older can wear costumes!

Everyone's Guide To Disney is an advice and planning blog for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Jada, who has been visiting Disney for now 12 years (and counting) writes from her personal experience, and hopes to help others have the best Disney trip they possibly could.

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