Oh, it’s that time of the year! Yes, it’s August and maybe a little too early for some to be celebrating everything pumpkin spice and everything nice. However, I’ll be honest ~ I’m really okay with that. Why? I’m okay with it because it this is the time of year when Walt Disney World begins transforming for all that happens the last third of the year. I mean, we’re talking autumn at Walt Disney World, people ~ Halloween, festivals, seasonal treats and more! Do YOU know what’s happening around the parks this year? Well, I just happen to have the lowdown ~ including NEW events. So, let’s kick this into action and get you up to speed!
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Autumn at Walt Disney World
I am a sucker for all things fall and festive. I grew up in New England, so I love the pumpkins, hay bales, oranges and browns. The smell of pumpkin spice and nutmeg makes me smile. It’s perhaps one of the things I miss about having moved away. The anticipation of celebrating holidays that bring families and friends together ~ well, it just gives me more reason to get up in the morning with a smile on my face.
At Walt Disney World, yes ~ they start the celebrating early around here and when it’s still 10000°F. Everybody has their guess as to why and, trust me, I have my own theory, but the point is that, once the calendar page turns to August, BAM! It’s all about fall!
What am I talking about? Okay….looks like I have to flesh this out a little more for you all. Let’s go….
The Fall Decorations Come Out!
You cannot tell me that you haven’t seen the magical videos where Cast Members transform the parks overnight ~ like magic! In particular, I’m talking about Magic Kingdom park. I can vividly remember family trips several years in a row in August. One day, we visited Magic Kingdom and it was still summer. The next? Wow! Pumpkins and autumn leaves were EVERYWHERE! It was amazing! (Yes – even in the extreme heat!)
Once this transformation occurs, Main Street U.S.A. is dressed from top to bottom with the colors of fall. Stationary jack-o-lantern scarecrows stand in the middle of the Town Center Hub to greet Guests. The Confectionary (among other delicious venues) are stocked with sweet treats that look and taste like autumn. It’s all about welcoming in the new season and everything that comes with it. I can just smell the autumn sweetness now! Yum!
An Extra Special Celebration THIS YEAR: Haunted Mansion’s 50th
Okay, foolish mortals. This one is exclusive to THIS YEAR!! On August 9th, The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland will celebrate its 50th anniversary. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! So, over there, Guests will have opportunity to purchase commemorative merchandise items and experience opportunities that will truly immortalize their visit.
Well, we can’t have a celebration for ONE Haunted Mansion and not the other, can we?? (Well, I guess we can, but I’m glad we don’t have to do so!). Walt Disney World is ALSO going to be celebrating here on the East Coast at Magic Kingdom. If you’re roaming the kingdom on August 9th, be on the lookout for opportunities to adopt a ghost, purchase your own death certificate and stock up on specialty items, such as this adorable Madame Leota.
For more information on what will be available, check out this post from the Disney Parks Blog!!!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Now, this is an event that is a “treat” for all generations! While it used to start in September, Disney Parks bumped it back a few weeks to August so that more Guests can enjoy the not-so-spooky festivities during their Disney vacations!
This year’s party will open its doors on August 16th and take place on select nights until November 1st between the hours of 7 PM and midnight.
While the regular day Guests are ushered out one way, Party Attendees will be welcomed through a special entrance where the fun begins with treat stations. Enjoy an entire evening of stage shows, unique character meet-and-greets and delicious specialty desserts found throughout the park. Nearly everywhere you turn, there will be frightfully delightful treats, grim grinning ghosts, eerie entertainment and Disney Characters that go bump in the night!
NEW ADDITIONS THIS YEAR include more attraction overlays!! Joining Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean is Mad Tea Party with specialty lighting and music to keep with the spirit of the evening.
Monsters Inc Laugh Floor will also join in the fun with a brand new treat trail from our Human World into the Monster World. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with a comic cast of monsters eager to learn more and more about this holiday we call Halloween.
Oh – and calling all Hallo-Wishes fans!!! This year, the fireworks display is BRAND NEW as Magic Kingdom will be introducing Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular! Yes, this will take Hallo-Wishes place, but promises to be just as entertaining and exciting. However, they will continue to showcase Hocus Pocus Spelltacular, the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet, and the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade.
I’m getting so excited!!!!!!
For a quick video on the event, here’s a clip from the Walt Disney World site: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
ATTENTION FOOD ALLERGY FRIENDS!!
For those who have to manage food allergies on your Disney vacation, THIS is the event you do NOT want to miss!!! We spent years having to avoid Halloween because of the dangers involved with various treats and candy containing allergens to which our son is allergic. At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Disney has a history of partnering with tremendous companies who focus on food allergy friendly items. Last year, our son RAKED it in and walked away feeling as if he had had the most magical night of his life! THAT was pure pixie dust!
For more about that story, feel free to check out my post about our experience AND the video below!
Epcot International Food & Wine
This is perhaps my favorite festival of the year over at Epcot. I mean, I love the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival for many reasons, but this one in the fall just has a sophistication about it that makes me feel like it’s okay to be an adult at Walt Disney World.
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicks off on August 29th and runs until November 23rd this year. Guests who attend will have opportunity to experience culinary demonstrations, various seminars, classes and more, as well as enjoy the bites served at the multiple outdoor kitchens situated around World Showcase.
For the littles, there is a map Guests can purchase that will keep your gems guessing as they search for Remy in Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak game! The map sends Guests on a scavenger hunt around World Showcase and has stickers to signify that you found the tiny chef in designated locations.
FOOD ALLLERGY FRIENDS!!
Curious how to manage food allergies with regard to the outdoor kitchens during Epcot festivals? We’ve done it ~ and successfully! Here’s a post that details what we learned and gives tips on how YOU could possibly experience the same!!
Pssst – Annual Passholders!! Do not miss out on the goodies you can get by attending the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!! Here’s the lowdown from the Disney Parks Blog ~ click here! I am sooo in love with these coasters!!!!
Introducing Epcot Forever ~ A Brand New Fireworks Display at Epcot
On September 30th, Guests will bid a fond farewell to the decades of entertainment provided by Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The ginormous globe will light up for the last time in Showcase Lagoon and the park will usher in a new show that will be astonish the masses for a period of time. On October 1st, the very first showing of Epcot Forever will be seen and, with it, we will witness the “spark of imagination” that started it all. This new light show will incorporate dazzling fireworks and stunning laser effects, as well as choreographed kites set to tunes that have become theme park favorites.
While I confess that Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was not my favorite fireworks display seen in and around the parks, I do find myself a little emotional with its farewell. It’s all I’ve known at that park. It’s like Wishes….but I grew very quickly to enjoy Happily Ever After, so I have hope for this one to do the same.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens
Oh, yes!! This is the land we’ve been waiting for!!! Many have had the chance to travel to a galaxy far, far away on the West Coast, but the East Coast has been waiting ever so patiently for our Route 66 of the galactic airways to open. While some have had sneak peeks here and there (such as those of us who attended the Disney Social Media Celebration in July), full up experiences are happening RIGHT NOW with Cast Member previews taking place early August and Annual Passholder previews occurring later in the month (just prior to the full opening to the public).
With two promised out-of-this-world attractions (Millennium Falcon: Smugglers’ Run in August, Rise of the Resistance in December), tons of delicious intergalactic bites and a plethora of stellar native-to-Batuu merchandise, I can already tell it is going to take more than one trip to this visit all this new land has to offer.
Are you planning on visiting Batuu this year? Since we are Premium Annual Passholders, we will be heading to this new land earlier than the public. I’ll be sure to bring you my thoughts and opinions once we return to Earth (wink wink).
Extra Extra Magic Hours
But wait – with everyone coming to visit for the above opening, the festival and the holidays, how will we find time to enjoy the parks??? Ah ~ yes, I have more to share!!! For those Guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel between September 1 and November 2, 2019, special privileges will be extended so that they may enjoy even MORE time at select theme parks. Yes – that includes Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!!
The EXTRA EXTRA MAGIC HOURS will take place before the park opens and valid theme park admission and hotel ID will be required. They will be offered every day between the dates noted above at the following parks:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios ~ including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and more (from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily)
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park ~ including Pandora: The World of Avatar and other attractions throughout the park (from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM daily)
- Magic Kingdom park ~ including favorites in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland (from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM daily)
What else is coming???
- Disney Skyliners begin operation September 29th!!
- Disney’s Riviera Resort opens up this December!!