Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Events Calender. When should I travel to WDW?

When planning your Walt Disney World vacation, it is always nice to know before you go, what’s happening at The World during your traveling dates. Fancy seeing Magic Kingdom decked out for the Christmas holidays? Or indulging at Epcots Food an Wine festival? Perhaps you fancy a little trick or treating with Mickey and the gang? Read on to discover the regular events held at Walt Disney World, Florida.


January

Set yourself a fitness related New Years resolution? Then why not get it going in style with the, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend . Join thousands of participants from around the globe as they race through all four theme parks in a weekend where the smiles outnumber the miles. Guests aged 18 and over are welcome to sign up and take part, including those with disabilities as long as they can meet the 16 minute-a-mile requirement. Registration closes in November but fills up several months before hand. It costs $125 to register for the main race, including in the price is your souvenir race day t-shirt and program. The half marathon costs $120, or, why not run both for $285? Now there is a challenge to kick-start the New Year! There are also several family fun runs with shorter races, children’s prices varying from $10 - $25, adults $40.

Have a little Princess or Pirate in the family? January is the start of the Pirate and Princess Party. This is a separate ticketed event for an after hours party in MagicKingdom. Dress up your little Princess or swashbuckling Pirate and enjoy a night of treasure hunting, filling their goodie bags with chocolate coins and beads. They can dance the night away in Pirate caves and Princess courts with their favourite characters. This event also has its own unique parade, 'Disneys Enchanted Adventures', and the 'Music, Magic and Mayhem' fireworks extravaganza above CinderellasCastle. Prices are around $41.95 for adults and, $36.95 for the kids aged 3-9. (Prices subject to change), book early as you may pay additional dollars on the day of the event or may even find it sold out.

February

From one marathon to the next, February plays host to Disneys Princess Half Marathon Weekend . This weekend includes the half marathon, family fun run (5k) and kids only races. It costs $150 to register for the main event. You cannot beat running in tutus, tiaras and under the Castle with your Fairy Godmother on the stopwatch.


March

Fancy yourself a bit of a green thumb? March sees the start of Epcots Flower and Garden Festival . Explore the specially designed topiaries around Epcot, taking in some of the most spectacular horticultural displays, you will also have the chance to attend celebrity guest speakers talks and hands on seminars, exploring the more innovative planting methods. Every weekend during the event, you will find a celebrity musical performance over at the America Gardens Theatre, no additional admission fees required.

May

Is the force strong in you? May sees the start of the annual Star Wars Weekends. Held every weekend from May 20th to June 12, these weekends provide guests with special shows, celebrity appearances, presentations and memorabilia. You will get the chance to come face to face with some of your favourite droids, creatures, stars and creators of the films and television series, which in 2011 includes Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Ashley Eckstein (Ashoko Tano). You will be given the chance to have pictures and autographs with the celebrity guests but places are limited. Make sure you grab a FastPass before the park opens to secure your place in the autograph line. This event is included in your regular Hollywood Studios admission.


June

Sounds like Summer , the annual music event that plays host to selected copycat or tribute bands. Playing in Epcot, tribute bands in 2011 include tributes to; Janet Jackson, Journey, U2 and Eagles. No additional admission required.

July

Celebrate 4th July weekend in style, with specially designed fireworks, parades and shows. Note: this is an extremely busy time in the Walt Disney World calendar, so expect a dramatic increase in prices and crowds.

MNSSHP at Disney's Magic Kingdom is ghoulish fun for the whole family!
MNSSHP at Disney's Magic Kingdom is ghoulish fun for the whole family! | Source

September

Get ready for a little trick or treating! Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party kicks off this month, running until early November. An after hours additional admission event in MagicKingdom sees the park transformed, decorated in pumpkins, garlands, candy corn and more. Characters don their favourite costumes to take part in special photo shoots and the exclusive, Mickey’s Boo to You parade, which in 2010 saw the inclusion of Capt. Jack Sparrow. Be sure to see the start of the parade for a spook-tastic surprise, listen out for the hooves! It's not just the characters who dress up either. Guests of all ages are encouraged to come in costume (the tone of the event is 'not so scary', so guests in 'extremely scary' costumes deemed inappropriate will not be admitted) and trick or treat at designated stations throughout the park. Watch the Disney Villains take their trick or treating to the sky with a firework spectacular, Hallo-Wishes for a spooky take on the traditional display.

Nights of Joy will also take place one weekend this month. A contempory Christian music festival held at MagicKingdom. Listen to live music performances from rock, pop and gospel. Additional admission is required for this out of park hours event.

How about a little indulgence? September, through to early November, sees the start of Epcots International Food and Wine Festival . Explore more than 25 pavilions set up around the World Showcase that will tantalise taste buds, serving up tapas sized portions of regional specialities. Take classes from famous chefs and winemakers, offering special programs and demonstrations. You will also get the chance to meet and greet with the chefs in book signing events and the chance to purchase special merchandise. Fancy a tune to that bite? The Eat to the beat event will take during the evening, a varied line-up of classic rock, soul, R&B, jazz and funk. No additional admission required but some signing and demonstrations may require a fee.

Sept 30 - Oct 1st also sees the Wine and Dine Half Marathon take place where you will race at night, then attend a private after party through till morning.

November

Time to get into the festive spirit! Nov 26th - Dec 30th gives you a chance to celebrate the holidays through the different customs from around the world in their, Holidays Around The World celebration. Stroll through the World Showcase, listening to storytellers share customs and lore from their homeland. There are also meet and greet opportunities with Santa and Mrs.Clause, as well as a showcase for Kwanza and Hanukkah. During the same dates, you can experience the Candlelight Processional . See the poignant Christmas Story narrated by celebrities, backed by a 50 piece live orchestra and mass choir.

Head over to MagicKingdom for the festive celebrations during, Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party . A separate ticket event held after park closure, drink complimentary hot chocolate and eat cookies as you wander through the Christmas wonderland. Experience the magical Holiday Wishes festive fireworks, and, Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas Parade. Both exclusive to the event and filled with Christmas Cheer. There will also be a snow fall on Main Street USA, and a magical Castle Dream Lights production projected onto Cinderellas castle itself. Meet and greets with your favourite characters in their holiday costumes too. Over 20 years ago, a businessman in Little Rock, Arkansas, put a string of 1000 lights on the outside of his home. As the years went by the display got bigger and bigger, causing him to buy his neighbours houses to decorate and eventually landed him in court as a 'public annoyance' (The houses adorned with over 3million lights by this point!). In 1995, Osbourne sold the lights to Walt Disney World, where they have been unveiled every Thanksgiving since. Made up of 5 million lights, 32 miles of extension cables, 66 snow machines, 100 gallons of snow fluid a night and, 43 hidden Mickeys, be sure to head over to Hollywood Studios to experience the magic!

What's your favourite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?

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