Walt Disney World Announces Mystery Fall Event and Last Minute Anniversary Celebrations

-Reported by Theme Park Tourist

Though Walt Disney World fans might typically associate the fall season with cooler temperatures, lighter crowds, and of course the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, in 2016 this season is going to be jam-packed with special events and limited-time experiences.

Though not all of these experiences have been officially announced or detailed yet, here is everything we know right now about all of the special events that we are expecting to happen in the next few months at the resort, including one that is set to take place just a week from today!

1. The 45th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom – October 1

Image: Disney

Though it might not be as historic as Disneyland’s 60th anniversary (which recently wrapped up its nearly two-year run just a few weeks ago) The Magic Kingdom will be celebrating its 45th operating year in just a few days, on Saturday, October 1, 2016. Though merchandise for this event was detailed this past summer in the video below, fans have been wondering if Disney would actually commemorate this occasion in the park and though Disney cut it a bit close, the resort did confirm yesterday that there would be some special activities happening inside the Magic Kingdom to mark this special occasion next Saturday, including the following:

  • Entertainment: There will be a special presentation on the Cinderella Forecourt Stage at 9:30 AM commemorating this anniversary.
  • Merchandise: There will be a limited release t-shirt and pin available at the Emporium, with other commemorative products available for purchase throughout the park both on the actual anniversary date and throughout the rest of the year.
  • Food & Beverage: Themed treats will be available at Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern. Though these have not been detailed yet, we’d bet a special cupcake will be in the lineup (is it even really a special event if there isn’t a commemorative cupcake?)

Image: Disney

Though the list isn’t all that impressive right now, at least Disney is doing somethingto commemorate this special date at the Magic Kingdom (considering how late they announced these festivities, fans were starting to wonder), and rumors are circulating that some rare characters might make an appearance as part of the festivities. If Disney celebrates this anniversary the same way they have in the past there will also likely be a commemorative button given to guests as well.

However, no matter what happens, next Saturday will still be a special day to be at the Magic Kingdom. And if you can’t make it, Disney already has much of the 45th anniversary merchandise already available to purchase online here.

And while this event in the parks is going to be included with admission, there’s a rumored new upcharge event that is happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this year that Star Wars fans won’t want to miss…

2. Star Wars Galactic Nights (rumored to be happening December 17)

Last year, to celebrate the blockbuster opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney’s Hollywood Studios held a special after-hours event that followed a sold out screening of the film at the nearby Disney Springs AMC theater. And although not yet officially confirmed, several sources are reporting that a similar event celebrating the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film will debut at the park in time for the release of this new movie in December. Reportedly simply titled Star Wars Galactic Nights, this new (ish) event will take place on December 17th (the day after the film’s wide release) and will likely seem very familiar for those who went to last year’s event

The 2016 edition of this event will again begin with a film screening at the Disney Springs AMC, with guests then moving to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 8:00PM, after the park closes to regular guests. The festivities will last until midnight, and during this time guests will be able to enjoy special Star Wars-themed entertainment around the park.

Image: Disney/Lucasfilm

Though not confirmed yet, we are expecting a special activity lineup similar to last year’s event, which included a DJ Dance Party and the chance to experience the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster with a Star Wars soundtrack. A select number of attractions (including the Tower of Terror and Star Tours) were also available during last year’s event as well and though the Star Wars: A Symphony in the Sky nighttime spectacular which debuted last year has since been discontinued, we’d imagine that Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will likely have a performance as a part of this event as well. Hopefully we’ll know more specifics about Star Wars Galactic Nights when this event is formally announced in the next few weeks.

3. #WonderFALLDisney (Happening this fall)

Image: Disney

Earlier this week Disney announced a new limited-time initiative that would highlight the best of fall at Walt Disney World resort known as #WonderFALLDisney. However, it remains unclear whether this is actually a seasonal event at Walt Disney World (along the lines of Limited Time Magic) or just another marketing initiative, similar to Unforgettable Happens Here from earlier this year. Though nothing has really been confirmed (other than a name) we’d lean towards the former, just because Disney’s PhotoPass Day event was so successful earlier this year, we can’t see Disney not trying to duplicate their success this fall with a few similar events as part of this celebration of the season.

Though fall is typically a slower time at Walt Disney World, with the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival already in full swing and a little over a month left for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, there is quite a lot going on at the resort. And now with the the Magic Kingdom’s 45th anniversary is just a few days away and a new Star Wars event happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the near future (plus whatever #WonderFALLDisney is), it looks like this fall just got a whole lot more exciting!

Will you be visiting Walt Disney World this fall? What are you most looking forward to doing?



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Don Korta
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