Top 10 Special Events at Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World is even more amazing when you add in all of the special events.  Special events at Walt Disney World are seasonal offerings that occur during certain times of the year.  Some of them require special admission, while others are part of the regular theme park admission.  Here is a look at the top 10 special events at Walt Disney World:


10. Epcot International Festival of the Arts – Epcot

This is the newest festival to be offered at Epcot.  It is held early in the year and features a variety of different types of art including, visual, dance, singing, culinary and more.  There are a variety of special events and entertainment for guests to enjoy.  All of this great fun is also included with the regular admission to Epcot, too.

9. RunDisney Races

There are a few different RunDisney race weekends that are offered at Walt Disney World throughout the year.  There is the Marathon Weekend in January, Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, Star Wars Rival Run Weekend in April and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Each of these events offer a variety of different race options, including kids’ races.  This is definitely an extremely unique way to experience Walt Disney World.  These races require an admission fee and registration opens up months in advance for each race, which limited registrations allowed.

8. Star Wars Galactic Nights – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This limited event is hosted after hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Guests have the opportunity to experience a variety of different Star Wars themed activities.  There are character interactions, stage shows, panel interviews, photo backdrops, special event merchandise and more.  It is a must-experience event for all of the Star Wars fans out there.  This event requires separate event admission in order to attend and there are only a limited number of tickets that are sold.


7. Epcot Flower & Garden Festival – Epcot

This is one of the most beautiful events at Walt Disney World.  This festival takes over all of Epcot with beautiful flowers and greenery.  There are a variety of culinary demonstrations using the freshest ingredients, along with a variety of stands and kiosks with amazing food to try.  There are great events offered to educate guests on gardening, caring for plants, learning about different types of plants and more.  Even better, this event is included in regular admission to Epcot and doesn’t require an extra charge to attend.

6. Mickeys’ Not So Scary Halloween Party – Magic Kingdom

If you enjoy good Halloween fun, then you will definitely want to head over to Magic Kingdom on select nights in August, September and October.  During this party, guests are able to dress up in their costumes (as long as they adhere to Disney costume guidelines) and trick or treat around the park.  There is also a special parade, fireworks show and other entertainment.  There are rare character meet and greets and other special entertainment around the park, too.  It is a fun time for guests of all ages to enjoy.  This event is held after regular park hours and requires a party ticket to attend.  There are a limited number of tickets that are sold.

5. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Epcot

This is one of the most delicious times to visit Walt Disney World.  During the festival, offered in the fall, there are over 40 different stands and kiosks representing a variety of countries, regions and types of cuisine.  You have the opportunity to sample a variety of different foods and wines as you venture around the park.  There are also culinary demonstrations, chef meet and greets, special meals and more.  This festival event is included in regular admission to Epcot and won’t require an additional ticket to attend.

4. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Magic Kingdom

This is another party event at Magic Kingdom Park where guests get to be immersed in the holiday spirit.  During this event, guests can watch it “snow” on Main Street, U.S.A. as the holiday parade comes through.  There is a special fireworks show and a variety of other holiday entertainment.  Guests at the event will also get to enjoy unlimited cookies, cocoa and other holiday favorites from stations found in each of the lands.  This is a limited ticket event and occurs after the regular park hours.  Guests are encourages to wear their holiday clothing or even pajamas while they experience the magic of Disney at Christmas.

3. Candlelight Processional – Epcot

This is an extremely popular event offered at The American Adventure pavilion within Epcot’s World Showcase.  This event is the telling of the story of Christmas with a choir accompaniment.  The story of Christmas is told by a celebrity host (past hosts have been Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, etc.) and is offered every night, a couple times a night, during the holiday season.  This event is included in Epcot theme park admission.  If you want reserved seating, there are dining package options so that you won’t have to wait in line.

2. Party for the Planet – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom, first opened on Earth Day, April 22nd, 1998.  Around the anniversary of the park opening Disney hosts a fantastic event, Party for the Planet.  During this event, there are dance parties, animal encounters, photo opportunities and more.  The event is included in park admission and doesn’t require any additional admission to attend.

1. Epcot International Festival of Holidays – Epcot

During the holiday season, the World Showcase at Epcot comes alive to celebrate the occasion.  There are special entertainment and storytellers at each of the pavilions within the World Showcase to educate guests on different Christmas stories like the story of the nutcracker.  You can also meet Santa and other Christmas figures.  These encounters are free and included with regular admission to Epcot.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!