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The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival starts today and goes until November 14th. I was to this festival once, many years ago, with a different traveling companion than I have now. It was before my yearly trips to Disney, and before my studies of Walt Disney World began. We didn’t really know about the International Food and Wine Festival, so we made our way around the World Showcase and ate a little and drank a little. We didn’t really experience it the way we should have. Many years later, my wife and I would love to be there over the next six weeks, but work and airfare will keep us home. It’s okay though, there are going to be many, many people that will be discussing it and tweeting about it and sharing pictures and stories and info, that anyone that reads them all will feel as if they are there, also. I saw an article by Debra Martin Koma on AllEars.net and she says this is her “favorite annual event at Walt Disney World.” I’ve been sensing this from a lot of people. But it got me to thinking, if you are a Disney neophyte, you might not know about the many different Disney Annual Events, So I decided that I would bring to you (the Disney Neophytes, and everyone else also) The Unknown Magic of Disney’s Annual Events.

Before I even get into them, I will tell you there are some that I have not attended, because of the time of the year they are held, but I will refer you to great sites to help give you information about them.


Picture by Bill Iadonisi
from wdwfacts.com
 For example, we have not been to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party. We hope to be able to get to this someday, but with our jobs, my wife and I just can’t get off this time of year. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun; it is a Special Halloween themed event where “guests of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. Even better, you can collect delicious candy as you trick-or-treat around Magic Kingdom theme park.” They also have the Boo to You parade that features characters from the Haunted Mansion as well as your Disney favorites, Happy HalloWishes, a special Fireworks show and other Magical Halloween treats. For More information check out: http://tinyurl.com/n7becf  For a great article about it go to wdwfacts.

For those people that haven’t traveled to Disney or even Florida for that matter in December, the weather is not always hot. Sometimes, in the winter months it gets downright chilly. Low 50’s high 40’s are not uncommon in the winter months. If you are coming from a colder climate, this is a nice change of pace, but after being there for a few days, it starts being cold again. So for those people that think Christmas time in Disney would be really weird because of the heat, sometimes, that’s not really the case, especially at night. And this is when my favorite Annual Event takes place. It is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is just a neat, event. We went years ago, the day after Christmas and got to experience the party. What a Magical Experience. You go from the park during the day, which is decorated for Christmas a little, to this unbelievable holiday extravaganza that transforms in just a few hours. The things they do for the Party are really cool. One of the things they do, that even as I write about it, has me amazed is they make it snow on Main Street USA. I know this isn’t a big deal, Ski Resorts do it all the time, but when you are walking past the Main Street Bakery, smelling fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, and looking at the red and green castle, snow is an amazing touch. Like Mickey’s Halloween party there are special activities that happen all night long, a special parade, special shows and special character appearances. The same time this special event is going on in the Magic Kingdom, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing lights happens over in Disney Hollywood Studios, and the Candle Light processional takes place in Epcot. All of these things together make for a very Merry Christmas season in Disney (All of these events start in November and end around Christmas).

My Wife’s favorite Annual Event in Walt Disney World is Star Wars Weekends. Weekends from May through June, are set aside in Disney Hollywood Studios to celebrate the Star Wars Saga. They have the original actors from the movies come in, they have special Jedi Training session, and they have character meets with everyone from the Ewoks, to Darth Vader. Even as a non-Star Wars person, I have to say it was a Magical Experience to see the Stormtroopers patrolling
above the front gates and discussing what we were doing below them and also later to have one walk up on us from behind and pose for a picture with my wife and son. It is a pretty neat weekend.




A lot of the Annual events do overlap each other. The same time that Star Wars weekends take place; the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is finishing up. It usually starts in March and ends in May. We had the pleasure of attending this the same weekend we went to Start Wars Weekend, a few years back. It was a very relaxing event that had some neat presentations, great flowers and a very cool Magical Experience. The really go all out to make all of Epcot Flowerful, so that everywhere you go, there are topiaries, special flower beds and beautiful colors all around. They also bring in a Butterfly tent, as you walk through this small enclosure and there are hundreds of Butterflies. It was so cool, to be able to reach your arm out and have a butterfly land on you. My sons, face was lit up all day after he held a bunch of different butterfly that day.





Some other Annual events that not been able attended yet, the Night of Joy in September, the Disney Marathon Weekend, and the Disney's Princess Half Marathon weekend, which take place in January and February respectively. There is one other
Weekend Event that I am sorry to say I have not been to, but hopefully one of these years, I will; it is ESPN the Weekend. As big as sports fans as we are, every year, we watch it on TV, listen to it on the Radio and catch up on it on-line. Some day I’d like to be there in person.


So, now you know, For Special Magical Experiences, Disney offers different special events annually. To find out more about them, go to http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-events/ then book your vacation and go enjoy!
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