This year the Food & Wine Festival runs through to Monday 14 November. Over the years the festival has been expanded and now features additional ‘happenings’ including Beverage Seminars, What’s Cookin’ with, Mix it, Make it, Celebrate it, Cheese seminar and Culinary Demonstrations in the Festival Centre plus Festival Dining Events in the World Showcase.
I think the majority of visitors attend to stroll around the world sampling the festival exclusive foods and wine. There are an additional 38 marketplace stands as well as the usual eateries. This year features 5 new marketplace stands including the Chocolate Studio and the Islands of the Caribbean – where we got a rather nice frozen mojito!
We also enjoy the Eat to the Beat series of concerts and have been lucky enough to catch Chaka Khan and Boyz II Men.
The only downside if there is any is that you may find your waistline increases and your spending money decreases – as there are a lot of tasty temptations along the way.
One of our favourite annual Disney events – we definitely recommend it
Yesterday we had a Disney day. As an annual passholder I was able to get my friend a 1 day hopper ticket for $79 plus taxes.
We started at Magic Kingdom. You can tell it is low season as the monorail was on a real go slow and as we arrived they announced it was going out of service.
Bag check and added security and then we were in. All themed for Halloween the first spot was Snow White with no.line! After a photo call we headed down the Main Street and arrange some fast passes. We took a turn on the Tomorrowland transit, had lunch and then went on Its a Small World , Pirates of the Carribean and Buzz Lightyear. After a little retail therapy we decided to head over to Epcot.
We had just arrived at Epcot when the afternoon storm broke – we decided to sit it out in the car lot and then headed in. This time on the way in we had a photo opportunity with Daisy Duck! We 7were visiting for the Food & Wine festival rather than the rides, howe’ve, there were very few lines – we could even have queued to see Anna & Elsa in only 20 minutes.
Tickets for Disney’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which is held annually at the Magic Kingdom are now on sale.
We love going to the Halloween party as it is a separately ticketed event – so you don’t have to have a ticket for Disney – just the event. Officially the event opens at 7pm, however, you can gain entry from 4pm and as the tickets are usually cheaper that the day ticket with entrance numbers limited it is a great way to see the park, experience the main rides, enjoy special extras like trick or treating and a special Halloween parade.
Even as you enter the park you start to see all the beautiful little extra details – pumpkins, ghosts, autumn displays – all tastefully done and fun so as not to scare the younger children.
Having said all that this year I have noticed that there has been a large uplift in prices for some of the dates – depending on which day you decide to attend, you may pay significantly more than previously.
The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 ticket prices range from to $72-$105 for adults and $67-$100 for children (ages 3-9) without tax. Children under 3 are free. Disney have added an additional 4 dates this year with the party running on select dates from September 2nd to October 31st
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 dates are as follows:
September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Advance Ticket Dates By Price
$72 adults/$67 children: September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 25
$79 adults/$74 children: September 29, 30
$85 adults/$80 children: September 23
$86 adults/$81 children: October 2, 6
$91 adults/$86 children: October 4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27
$95 adults/$90 children: October 7, 14, 21, 28, 30
$105 adults/$100 children: October 31
The cheaper the ticket, the quieter the day as a general rule with the 31st October understandably being the busy day of all.
So what can you expect and is it worth the money? For us the answer is yes. If you only have a few days in Orlando and want to just do one park, why not consider just doing this event – it would be cheaper and less busy?
Get there for 4pm, the entrances are divided at that time for general admission one side and Halloween party admission at the other. You receive a wrist band on entrance and are given a bag for your trick or treating (the trick or treating does not begin though until 7pm when the event officially opens).
From 7pm all the main rides remain open, you cannot fast pass them, but as the numbers are controlled there is generally no need to. There are 2 parades – Boo to You! which start with a headless horseman – the parade is worth viewing and the quieter of the 2 is the 2nd one. The Hallowishes Fireworks display is extremely good too. When we have visited the event we have never experienced any long queues and have never queued for longer than 20 minutes for anything!
Trick or treating is available all night and the queues are a lot quieter towards the end of the evening.
The final and key thing to mention is about the wearing of costumes. Late 2015, Disney instituted tighter security procedures for entering the parks (we have been asked to go through the metal detector on a couple of occasions now) and banned costumes for adults. The guidance for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party have now been published and are as follows:
- Disney may deny admission to anyone or remove anyone who is wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or could detract from other guests’ experiences.
- Guests may dress as their favorite characters, but cannot pose for pictures or sign autographs.
- Costumes must be family-friendly and not obstructive, offensive, violent or objectionable.
- Costumes must not contain weapons that resemble or could be mistaken for real weapons.
- Costumes may not contain sharp or pointed objects, or materials that might strike another guest.
- Guests who do not abide by the guidelines may be refused entry or removed unless their costumes can be modified to acceptable standards.
For guests ages 14 and up:
- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and subject to additional security screening.
- Costumes may not reach or drag the ground.
- Capes should not go below the waist.
- Themed T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts and hats are OK to wear
- Transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus are OK. Headwear must not cover the face.
- Masks are not allowed.
For guests ages 13 and under:
- Costumes and some masks may be worn
So there you have it – more information can be found and tickets may be purchased at MNSSHP
Star Wars Awakens…
New at Hollywood Studios there is a 15 mins show at the Center Stage (where the Sorcerer’s Hat used to be). The show is called Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away – when we went to the Park it was showing everyday except Tuesday’s in the afternoon from 12.30 – 6.30pm. It’s a live stage show celebrating iconic moments from the Star Wars saga featuring popular Star Wars characters like Darth Vader, Darth Maul, R2D2 and C-3PO.
Also new was Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – this is a 25 mins show near Star Tours – it is interactive and great fun for any young Star Wars fans. If you have children aged 4-12 years that want to participate they will need to visit the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost (located near no. 19 on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Guidemap) early in the day to reserve a spot in the training – no fast pass available and space is limited.
Star Wars: Path of the Jedi is a new saga film experience, including footage from Star Wars The Force awakens. Lasting 10 mins – it can be a nice break from the Floridian sun!
Star Wars Launch Bay has opened and here you can enjoy character greeting with Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. Also at the Launch Bay you can view movie props, play games and screen videos.
Not new but also on the Star Wars theme is the Star Tours – The Adventure Continues ride – this is a 3d motion stimulated space flight. FP+ available.
The highlight for me were the Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular firework display. Although we can actually see these fireworks from our villa, there is nothing like experiencing them at the park with the full show, music, theatre – absolutely fantastic. We viewed the fireworks from just outside Oscar’s Super Service near the entrance, we had a great view of the fireworks and were then able to make a quick retreat before the main exodus.
If you just want to view the fireworks and don’t want to pay to go into the park – you can see them from near the Boardwalk – if you take the pathway that walks round towards Hollywood Studios you will gain a good view.