Walt DisneyWorld Resort

Disney Planner - September-December 2008
From ‘Not So Scary’ to ‘Very Merry,’ September to December
Is Filled with Festivals and Fun at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Pick your passion: Whether it's food, wine, music, art, sports, stargazing, celebrating a milestone birthday, holiday mirth or Mickey Mouse, September through December 2008 is a season when vacation wishes and dreams come true for Walt Disney World guests of many interests as Disney's "Year of a Million Dreams" showcases nearly a dozen special events.

Here's a snapshot of what's in store:

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Delectable foods and stellar wines and beers from some of the best "foodie" cities in the world -- places such as Lyon, France; Bologna, Italy; Cape Town, South Africa and trendy Cork, Ireland -- will tempt Walt Disney World guests Sept. 26-Nov. 9 at the 13th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. New festival flavors representing great "Cities in Wonderland" will deliver blissful bites with wine and beer pairings ($2 to $5 each) at more than 25 international and regional marketplaces surrounding the park's World Showcase. Cultural exhibits along the promenade will showcase entertainment and traditional crafts of several countries.

Eat to the Beat! concerts at America Gardens Theatre, with three performances each evening, offer a lineup of classic rock, oldies, jazz and funk hit-makers such as Spyro Gyra, Kool & The Gang and Jon Secada.

Other festival highlights include:
  • The Festival Welcome Center, with a Champagne and Wine Bar, complimentary wine seminars, book signings and festival keepsakes.
  • Some 250 Disney chefs and guest chefs conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting elegant dinners and tasting events.
  • The weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting event featuring tempting tastes from eminent chefs, more than 70 wines and beers and live entertainment.
  • Music, dance, acrobatics and "improv" acts at Epcot pavilions.

Most activities, such as wine and beer seminars, concerts and cooking demos, are included with admission. Activities that require reservations and separate admission include Party for the Senses, Food and Wine Pairings at Epcot restaurants, Epcot Wine Schools, Regional Feasts and other specialty events.


Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: The Disney characters are decked out in their Halloween finest, and guests are invited to do the same on 25 evenings between Sept. 5 and Oct. 31 when Magic Kingdom hosts this popular after-hours event. There's trick-or-treating galore and a chance to experience popular attractions during a 7 p.m.-midnight party which features two scheduled entertainment extravaganzas guests can see at no other time: the "Boo-to-You" Halloween parade and the bewitching "Happy HalloWishes" fireworks spectacular.

Parties are slated for Sept. 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 28, 30 and Oct. 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31.


Disney's Royal Quinceañera Weekend: For the first time, Walt Disney World Resort is offering a weekend dedicated to celebrating the most magical time in a Latina's life: turning age 15. The "weekend" (Aug. 29-Sept. 5 -- around Labor Day) will include a tradition-steeped extravaganza at Epcot that celebrates the passage from flat-soled shoes and dolls to high heels, elaborate gowns and young womanhood. Every young woman will walk into a breathtaking ball held in her honor and into a world of princesses, beauty and enchantment that only Disney can create, capped by a private viewing of the fireworks spectacular, "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth."

The exclusive Disney's Royal Quinceañera Weekend includes a 3-, 4-, or 5-night stay at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, theme park tickets and the Quinceañera celebration at Epcot.


Night of Joy: Regarded as one of the top contemporary Christian music events in the country, Night of Joy is on the move to a new venue in 2008. Disney's Hollywood Studios will host two talent-packed evenings Sept. 5-6 featuring a total of 16 acts including Gospel Music Association Dove Awards winners such as 2008 Artist of the Year tobyMac, Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Tomlin, Group of the Year Casting Crowns and New Artist of the Year Brandon Heath plus 2004 Artist of the Year MercyMe and internationally popular Grammy Award winners Rebecca St. James and Marcos Witt.

Guests attending Night of Joy, which takes place from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (after regular theme park hours), can combine an evening of rockin' Christian music with the thrills and chills of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror plus the shoot-'em-up fun of the newest Walt Disney World attraction, Toy Story Mania! For more information about the 2008 event and to purchase tickets, guests can visit disneyworld.com/nightofjoy or call 407/W-DISNEY. (Youth groups of 10 or more can visit www.nightofjoy.com/2008 or call 877/648-3569.) Guests are encouraged to buy tickets early as the event has sold out in recent years.

More than one million guests experienced Night of Joy from 1983 through 2007, a 25-year period during which the event was held in Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom.


Festival of the Masters presented by Sharpie®: More than 150 award-winning national and local fine artists will showcase their diverse creations at Downtown Disney West Side Nov. 7-9 during Festival of the Masters. An art festival for all ages, the 33rd annual 'Masters' includes live music and entertainment, chalk art sidewalk displays at Downtown Disney Marketplace and a children's activity area where budding young artists can create their own masterpieces.

Event hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day of the festival. Admission and parking are complimentary.


Children's Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart: PGA TOUR tradition continues Nov. 6-9 when pro golf's top tier returns to Walt Disney World Resort and to Disney's Magnolia course for the 38th consecutive year -- the eighth longest streak of same-course use in pro golf. As the last official money event of the year, the Classic promises a scramble among players jockeying for positions in the final money standings, a key factor in determining who makes the fields of TOUR events in 2009. Stephen Ames is reigning champion.


ABC Super Soap Weekend presented by Colgate® Total®: One of the largest annual soap opera fan events held anywhere in the world, ABC Super Soap Weekend presented by Colgate® Total®, returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park Nov. 15-16. Stars from the ABC Daytime dramas "All My Children," "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital" step off the television screens and into the theme park in meet-and-greet autograph and photo sessions, celebrity motorcades, star conversations, interactive games and more.

Admission to the 13th edition of the soap fanfest is included in regular admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Fans will be able to visit disneyworld.com/SuperSoapWeekend for additional information.


Old Spice Classic: NCAA "Sweet 16ers" Tennessee and Michigan State top an eight-team lineup that ESPN Regional Television is serving up as a Thanksgiving weekend feast of college basketball in The Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports and on ESPN2 and ESPNU Nov. 27, 28 and 30. The third edition of the Old Spice Classic also features five more teams that played in the NCAA and NIT tournaments in spring 2008.

Georgetown, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Gonzaga, Siena and Wichita State round out the lineup of teams that amassed a combined 181 victories during the 2007-08 season. They will play 12 games over the three days of the Old Spice Classic. North Carolina State won the tournament in 2007.


Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party: On 18 select evenings in November and December, guests can experience the enchantment of "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade" and the excitement of a holiday-themed fireworks spectacular, "Holiday Wishes--Celebrate the Spirit of the Season," during a special after-hours party inside the Magic Kingdom theme park.

The jingle-jolly event also features live Disney character stage shows, like "Celebrate the Season," Mickey's "Twas the Night Before Christmas" Show and Fantasyland Pavilion Cotillion, character greetings, cookies and cocoa, and even "snow" on Main Street, U.S.A. Plus, the most-popular Magic Kingdom attractions are open to party guests.

Dates are: Nov. 10, 11, 14, 16, 20, 21, 30; Dec. 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19. Admission to this event requires a separate ticket.


Holiday Highlights: It was once suggested that while there's no place like home for the holidays, the next best place on the planet may be Walt Disney World Resort. The good news is that guests don't have to choose: They can experience the sparkling decorations and joyous seasonal entertainment throughout the Vacation Kingdom and still be home for Christmas, because the festivities begin weeks before December 25. Here's a sampling of what's in store:

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights -- As "snow" falls overhead, the Streets of America backlot cityscape at Disney's Hollywood Studios comes alive with millions of holiday lights that dance to music, animating sparkling displays to create twirling carousels, marching toy soldiers and even Santa and his reindeer taking flight. The synchronized music and light show is presented in collaboration with famed Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne, who developed the dazzling display for his daughter more than a decade ago at his Little Rock, Ark., home. The spectacle is included with Disney's Hollywood Studios admission.

Holidays Around the World / Candlelight Processional -- An Epcot tradition continues with holiday customs from around the globe, international storytellers, a nightly tree-lighting ceremony featuring Disney characters, a stunning display of snow-white and colored lights, and Candlelight Processional. A beloved Disney tradition that began long before Epcot, Candlelight Processional features celebrity guest narrators accompanied by a mass choir and 50-piece orchestra for a retelling of the Christmas story. All of the Epcot holiday fun is included with regular theme park admission.

Castle Dream Lights -- A dazzling lighting spectacle transforms the iconic Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom into a glimmering, shimmering ice palace at holiday time. Bathed in more than 200,000 tiny white lights, the castle glows and glistens nightly. It's all a fulfillment of Cinderella's holiday wish, as guests learn during a special show that climaxes with the transformation of the famous Magic Kingdom icon.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade -- A Disney's Animal Kingdom tradition, the procession results from Mickey Mouse's invitation to a special group of friends to join him on a holiday adventure. The parade is filled with gaiety -- the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings of the season. Mickey and his friends are no exception. They've added holiday accessories to their safari costumes. Add in some special music and you have a combination that celebrates the holidays as only Disney's Animal Kingdom can.

The holiday fun begins as early as Nov. 10 with the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, which will showcase the Castle Dream Lights. Disney park officials are currently checking in with Santa's elves to find out when they'll have everything else ready to meet and treat Walt Disney World guests.


Disney Parks is encoring its 2007 "Year of a Million Dreams" in 2008 with more dreams, even bigger dreams, more dreams money can't buy, dreams only Disney can make come true. Among the over-the-top experiences for the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway being awarded to eligible lucky guests in the right place at the right time is a New Year's Eve night stay inside Cinderella Castle Suite. Talk about a dreamy way to usher in 2009!

Academy Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Specializing in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney Vacations
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