Early Fall has always been my favorite time to visit Walt Disney World®. The kids are back in school so crowds are smaller, the weather is perfect and some of the best events Walt Disney World® has to offer take place. You can catch the earlier scheduled Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the beginning of Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival all in one trip! Here is some of what will be happening this year:
A Spooktacular Celebration at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
This fall, the Magic Kingdom will be transformed into a home for happy haunts at “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.” This special ticket event returns this year for 25 nights of boo-tiful festivities at Magic Kingdom park. Guests are invited to dress up in favorite Halloween costumes for this “not-so-scary” occasion, where there is an assortment of trick-or-treat sweets waiting to be found.
Entertainment features the twice-nightly “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade,” a bone-rattling spectacle featuring Disney characters donning Halloween costumes. Also, for the first time ever, the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s Hocus Pocus will throw an evil Halloween party for the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.” This new show is a not-to-be-missed Halloween production and features appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and other great Disney villains, along with dancers, projections and special effects. For the fiendish finale, “Happy HalloWishes,” a green and orange fireworks display complete with Disney villains, will creep across the sky.
In addition to trick-or-treating, meet and greets with Disney characters in their festive Halloween costumes and Halloween treats and eats unique to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are available throughout the evening. For guests’ ghostly pleasure, a barbershop quartet of dead cowboys also will be serenading Frontierland with their chilling musical arrangements. Listen if you dare!
Party dates are September: 15, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27; October: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31; November: 1. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party webpage.
Savor the flavors at the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Disney guests can sip and savor fresh flavors from around the world during the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, presented by Chase Sept. 25 – Nov. 16, 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort. This year’s festival will include more than 30 global marketplaces, with four new food and beverage locations stretching into Future World. This will be first time the festival has expanded beyond the World Showcase.
Along the walkway toward Future World West, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese festival area will feature the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese sampler served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines) and the Wine Studio with premium wines on tap.
Near the Epcot Character Spot, the new Next Eats area will debut with Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. Sustainable Chew will feature three dishes, and Chew Lab will show off hot culinary tech trends like a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.
For more information and to book premium events, such as the the new Rockin’ Burger Block Party, Party for the Senses and Signature Dining Experiences, visit epcotfoodfestival.com.
New Downtown Disney Dining Locations and Roadway Ramps Opening Soon
Downtown Disney gives guests an assortment of options to “eat in style.” World-renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto and the Patina Restaurant Group will open Morimoto Asia, Morimoto’s first Pan-Asian restaurant, at Disney Springs in fall 2015. Morimoto Asia’s culinary elements will provide flavors from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving, and dim sum.
Guests with a flair for adventure (even those afraid of snakes) can visit Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in fall 2015. With a storyline centered on the pilot from the “Indiana Jones” films, this aviation- themed lounge will feature unique drinks and small plates. Themed décor like propeller-based ceiling fans, vintage travel posters and correspondence between Jock and Indy will immerse guests in a world of adventure. With a prime location along Lake Buena Vista and seating for 150, the venue is perfect for a sky-high good time.
A new way to get around also will be introduced to Downtown Disney this fall, improving access to the Orange garage. The flyover ramp on Buena Vista Drive will likely open first, with the I-4 slip ramp (with direct access from I-4, connecting near Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park) slated to open in time for the holiday shopping season.
The largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, Disney Springs will provide even more opportunities for guests to relax and enjoy themselves. When completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, with an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands.
‘Great Irish Hooley’ at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant features Irish Bands, Dancers and Craft Beers during Labor Day Weekend
The best of Irish entertainment featuring headliner Screaming Orphans will take over Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney Sept. 4-7 for the 4th annual “Great Irish Hooley.” The rockin’ long weekend, celebrating the half-way mark to St. Patrick’s Day, also will commemorate the iconic pub’s 10th year at Downtown Disney with performances by seven top Irish bands, authentic step dancing, and first-rate contemporary Irish cuisine by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. In addition to its featured menu of beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails, Raglan Road will spotlight four limited-edition craft beers brewed just for the Hooley by Ireland’s Rye River Brewing Company.
Labor Day weekend guests can celebrate Orlando’s only boutique Irish festival with performances beginning at noon Friday through Monday and continuing throughout each day. The Hooley also will feature Celtic face-painting Saturday through Monday. For complete entertainment schedule and more information, visit raglanroad.com or greatirishhooley.com.
Be Inspired by the Spirited Music at “Night of Joy” – Celebrating 33 years of Soulful Performances
Be inspired by the top names in Christian music at Disney’s Night of Joy 2015. This special ticket event will rock Magic Kingdom Park on September 11 and 12 from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. This year’s group of talented artists includes Night of Joy veterans like TobyMac, Skillet, Matt Maher and Jeremy Camp. Up-and-coming artists new to the event include Seventh Time Down, I Am They, and Veridia, alongside many other uplifting artists.
2015’s full lineup includes: (entertainment subject to change)
- Friday, September 11 – TobyMac, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Colton Dixon, Big Daddy Weave, Francesca Battistelli, Rend Collective, and I Am They
- Saturday, September 12 – Skillet, Lecrae, For King & Country, Mandisa, Matt Maher, Jamie Grace, Seventh Time Down, and Veridia
For more information and to purchase event tickets, visit NightofJoy.com.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Hosts Variety of Fall Events
The historic Disney Turn Back the Clock Weekend baseball tournament will give players and audiences a taste of old-time baseball at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. More than 30 teams from the U.S., Panama, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will compete in the tournament on Sept. 4 – 7.
Disney’s 20th annual Cross Country Classic, presented by New Balance, attracts colleges, high schools and middle schools from around the country each year. The fast 5K and 8K courses provide athletes a variety of terrain. The event will take place from Oct. 9 – 10.
The three-park nighttime event, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, will feature Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K and runDisney Kids Races, offering something special for runners of all ages. Participants can expect on-course Disney entertainment. To top off the evening, runners are invited to the exclusive Finish Line Party at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon will take place Nov. 6 – 7.
Eight men’s college basketball teams, including Alabama, Southern California and Notre Dame, will compete in the 2015 AdvoCare Invitational on Nov. 26, 27 and 29 at HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The event will feature 12 games over the three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 29.
The prestigious Disney Junior Soccer Showcase event will give younger age groups the chance to experience the same great national competition and top-notch tournament organization as their older counterparts in the original Disney Soccer Showcase in December. The Disney Junior Soccer Showcase will take place from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29