Sundance Vacations: Disney Events in July, August, and September 2016

Sundance Vacations: Disney Events in July, August, and September 2016

Planning Your Disney World Package during the summer of 2016


July, August and September are months that travelers flock to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, like no other time of the year.

Why? The weather is nice and children are on summer vacation from school, so the park is pretty busy all three months.

What’s there to do in Disney World during July, August and September 2016? Well, what isn’t there to do?!

Sing-along or dance to some amazing musical entertainment such as the Sounds Like Summer concert series, the Christian sounds during the first ever Night of Joy celebration or the Jungle Book: Alive with Magic soundtrack.

Have some summer fun in the water with “Frozen” Games stars Kristoff and Olaf or get all glammed up with your favorite Disney costume for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party.

Sundance Vacations already helped you with Planning Your Walt Disney World Package in January, February, or March 2016 as well as Planning Your Walt Disney World Package in April, May, or June 2016 and you’re ready to see what July, August and September 2016 Disney events have in store for you.

Let’s take a look at what’s planned in the parks for the upcoming summer!

July 2016 Events in Disney World – For an Action-Packed Trip

Disney World is sure to be full of lights, action and games for the whole family this upcoming July 2016.

Right in the middle of summer, Orlando sees temperatures in the high 80s to even 90s, but that doesn’t stop Disney World crowds from coming! The month starts off at its strongest with dense Independence Day travelers flocking to the park to celebrate the summer’s only national holiday.

The good news is, the park is at its peak on the 4th of July, meaning there are extended “Extra Magic Hours” and limited refurbishments during this month. In fact, Epcot has no scheduled refurbishments for July 2016 and well as no water park construction!

But be warned, Sundance Vacations suggests travelers arrive one-and-a-half to two hours prior to the park opening on busy days and just as early to get a good spot before their scheduled fireworks shows.

Whether you’re arriving for the big Fourth of July spectacular or coming to the your favorite Frozen Summer Games in the waterpark, July 2016 in Disney World shouldn’t disappoint those who are prepared to experience some exciting activities regardless of a little congestion.

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Independence Day – The Fourth of July

Disney World will explode with dazzling fireworks to celebrate Independence Day at the parks this 2016 with their “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”

Disney’s Fourth of July fireworks shows are certainly unique and patriotic! Be sure to arrive early to get a good viewing spot.  Original image from Disney.

The colors blaze over Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom on July 3 and 4 for a 15-minute pyrotechnic show. In fact, it is one of the only holidays at Disney, alongside of Halloween and Christmas, where Disney World’s castle perimeter also bursts out fireworks, leaving you surrounded by lights and experiencing the splendor from more than just the sky.

Other places at Disney to watch fireworks shows include Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

See the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show at Epcot for a special five-minute patriotic extension of their usual fireworks display or head over to Hollywood Studios to see the lights shoot up high above the Chinese Theatre for that parks Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration. They have live entertainment and a DJ starting at 6 p.m. in front of the Chinese Theater for a night of rock ‘n’ roll before the explosions go off.

Keep in mind that although the Hollywood Studio’s firework show is the least attended display on the Fourth of July, it is also the smallest park and the only big holiday celebrated all summer, so this Disney event is definitely going to draw in some crowds; but, boy, should it be a show worth seeing!

Sounds like Summer Concert Series

Disney’s Sounds like Summer Concert Series began in June and includes nightly performances of classic hits by tribute rock bands.

Learn more about the schedule by visiting our previous story, PLANNING YOUR WALT DISNEY WORLD PACKAGE IN APRIL, MAY OR JUNE 2016, and scrolling down to June’s Disney Events for 2016.

Check out the line-up for this upcoming July:

  • June 25 -July 1: Simply Tina – A Tribute to Tina Turner
  • July 2- July 9: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 10- July 16: Bruce in the USA – A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
  • July 17- July 23: DSB – A Tribute to Journey

Bastille Day

Each year on July 14, Epcot celebrates the French holiday La Fete Nationale, otherwise referred to as Bastille Day, in recognition of fall of the monarchy in 1789.

After an active day with the kids, pick yourself up a bottle of wine at Les Vins de France to uncork in your room for later! Original image from Disney.

The French holiday directly translates as “The National Celebration” and commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, where troops ambushed the medieval prison in Paris. This storming ultimately marked the beginning of the French Revolution and democracy in France.

Walt Disney World’s France Pavilion in Epcot celebrates this historical triumph by welcoming guests for an educational experience at the Kidcot Fun Stop from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. each July 14. People will learn about the significance of this day from Cast Members and by watching a 20-minute film about French history.

Kids can even participate in French painting or other crafts such as learning to make cockades, which are felt buttons typically worn on hats. Everyone will receive a certificate for learning and listening and be able to wrap up the day with a croissant or baguette at the Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie. Parents can treat themselves to a flute of champagne there and kids can get their favorite Ratatouille merchandise from the gift shop.

Although Disney does not celebrate as the French do with dancing and fireworks, the French Pavilion Bastille-Day experience is a great stop for history buffs looking for a low-key day at Disney World.

Click here to learn more about Walt Disney World’s Bastille Day at Epcot.

Frozen Games

Get ready for the Frozen Games at Blizzard Beach Water Park this July through August 2016!

Hit Frozen characters Kristoff and his snowman buddy Olaf left Arendelle this summer to be a part of their favorite winter-themed games at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Are you team Kristoff or Team Olaf?

The two will be hanging out at the Observation Deck near Summit Plummet to start and end the day as well as to keep everyone updated on their team’s triumphs and to crown the winning team.

Activities kids can participate in include ice-pail relays, a “snowball” water balloon toss, ski-pole limbo and water-slide races.

The games began May 27 and go on till August 21. Admission to the event is included in your Blizzard Beach ticket purchase and features all-day events available for signup at the park entrance.

It’s sure to be a “cool” event for your little Frozen fans!

August 2016 Events in Disney World – For a Summer Vacation without Crowds

Although the weather is still pretty intense come August, things begin winding down in the park as Disney prepares for large events in September. That being said, August 2016 is a great time to visit Disney World for a fun summer vacation without crazy crowds!

The first two weeks of August are generally still busy with parents taking advantage of the last few days of their children’s summer vacation. Guests will still enjoy the Frozen Games with Kristoff and Olaf until the third week of August, but after that, crowds drop very low for the rest of the month as kids get back to school.

Many travelers like to come to Walt Disney World when there’s a lot of events and action in the park, but some guests prefer to skip the lines and get their autographs and thrills on calmer days in the park.

If that’s you, August is your month to go!

The only major event for August 2016 at Disney takes place at the tail end of the month: the Pixar Party Trading Event. Other than that, be sure to check out a special showing of The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic when you visit this year.

Check out what this month has in store.

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Pixar Party Trading Event

walt-disney-world-cinderellas-castle-sundance-vacationsCan you “pin”-point where exactly you got your first Disney pin?

Grab your Disney pin trading collection and head over to the World ShowPlace in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort for the Pixar Party Trading Event!

This Disney event takes place on both Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27, 2016 and marks 30 years of Pixar, the animation studio that has been making films, shorts and your favorite stories in the Vault for three decades.

With your admission guests receive four trading board vouchers — to ensure everyone has equal access to the pin trading boards — and have the opportunity to auction their pins and meet Disney Pin Merchandisers.  Pin fanatics can also participate in a Pixar Party scavenger hunt and get the opportunity for Disney Group Design Artists to sign their display cases.  In addition, you will receive a special welcome pin as well as a goodbye pin to show off your attendance or even buy your own limited edition commemorative pin gifts.

Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 6:30 p.m. on Friday while doors open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. on the last day of the event, Saturday.  Super excited to go? Make sure you register NOW through before tickets run out, sales started at the end of April.

Also be sure to check out this awesome Disney article on pin-trading tips or make your own awesome DIY Disney Pin Trading Display Shadow Box: The Ultimate Guide to Disney Pin Trading and Collecting.

The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

Did you love the new Jungle Book movie by Walt Disney Pictures? Starting May 28, Disney World introduced a staged, theatrical performance titled “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” to celebrate their blockbuster success.

Are you ready to enter the jungle with Mogley and his friends?
Are you ready to enter the jungle with Mowgli and his friends?

The play is performed under the stars twice each night at 9 and 10:30 p.m. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the new outdoor Discovery River Theater and tells an adaption of the Disney movies’ story.

Follow the lead character Mowgli and his animal friends through the jungle! Learn more about Indian culture through Bagheera the panther’s narration with singers, dancers, musicians and stunning visuals. Special effects include fire, water-screen projections and more.

Sing-along to the hits “Bare Necessities,” “Trust in Me,” and “I Wan’na Be Like You” and get ready to enjoy this 25-minute show with friends and family.

Read more about the performances on Walt Disney World News.

Why is this event listed under things to do in Disney in August when the show started the end of May? June and July are so packed with events it might be better to see the Jungle Book show this month while things in the park are more laid back, which is why we are listed it under Disney events for August 2016.

September 2016 Events in Disney World – For the Food and Wine or Beer Enthusiast

September 2016 at Disney World is full of events tailored towards the food and beverage lover!

The Labor Day holiday weekend is alive with Irish music and drink samplings during the Great Irish Hooley Festival!

Spend a night rocking out during the brand new Night of Joy celebration at Disney, where Christian bands come together for two nights of worship.

And who could overlook the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival? Sample one-of-a-kind meals from all across the world and drink until your heart is content.

Not big on all the food and drinks? You’ll still be able to hit some night life at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Despite all the crazy Disney events happening in September, crowds are generally pretty low as kids get back to school and the rain sweeps in during Orlando’s peak hurricane season, but don’t let a little rain deter you from all the thrilling events happening this year!

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Get ready for a spook-tacular night of fun at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this September at Disney World!

Disney events include trick-or-treating for both the adults and kids, costume parades for your kids to show off their Halloween attire, character meet-and-greets, fortune tellers, a Halloween riverboat ride and so much more.

Did we mentioned that most of the attractions are still open too? This includes the Princess Fairytale Hall where you’ll see Anna, Elsa, Snow White and Aurora.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is running from 7 p.m. till midnight starting September 2, 2016 and runs on select nights throughout October.

In addition to all these not-so-scary experiences, there are also Halloween shows and performances.

Watch the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular in front of Cinderella’s Castle and be amazed by the talented actresses playing Disney’s Sanderson Sisters.

Catch a preview of the show below:

Ready to see some of the scariest Disney villains? Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog and more Disney antagonists will be at The Diamond Horseshow in Liberty Square.

The good news is, you do not need to have admission to Magic Kingdom that day to go since it is a separate ticket purchase. You can actually get into the park with your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket as early as 4 p.m., giving you a few “free” hours in the park before it closes at 7 p.m. and the party starts!

Check out the following list for the dates of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party:

Sundance Vacations Disney World Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party Schedule

Be sure to check up on wardrobe rules during this celebration. For example, children may not bring in plastic or fake weapons such as a toy sword with their Halloween costume and there are rules for posing for pictures with other guests. Please visit Disney for costume guidelines.

Ticket sales began on May 5, 2016 so be sure to order them on or call (407) 934-7639 to order.

Great Irish Hooley Festival

Pack your favorite green attire for the Irish Hooley Fest!
Pack your favorite green attire for the Irish Hooley Fest!

This year’s fifth annual Great Irish Hooley Festival will be held at from September 3 to 5 at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs, formerly known as the Downtown Disney area.

This Labor Day event will feature upbeat Irish music by award-winning bands, step dancing workshops to learn the moves yourself, Celtic face painting as well as delicious Irish food and beverages.

Last year, in 2015, they had craft beer Master classes taught by an actual craft brew master, however, we’re still awaiting more details on these classes and their musical entertainment lineup for 2016. Check back in with Sundance Vacations for updates.

Night of Joy

Never heard of Night of Joy at Disney World? That’s because it’s new!

This is the first time ever that this Christian concert series will be coming to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex! It will be held on September 9 and 10 from 6:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. and feature Christian bands and singers from many varieties of holy music including rock, pop, alternative, folk and other worship genres.

The expo will have vendors, tasty food trucks and a family activity zone. In addition, there will be three different indoor and outdoor venues including the Champion Stadium, HP Fieldhouse and the Jostens Center where guests can see performances from an assortment of artists throughout the night.

Transportation will be provided from select theme parks to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from 4:30 until 7 p.m. Pickup locations include: all four Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Please note that this is a separate event which requires you to purchase a ticket. Keep in mind, if you buy a two-day pass on or before August 9 you will receive admission to either Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon from September 6 to 12. Talk about a nice perk!

2016 Night of Joy tickets went on sale on April 13, so if you’re interested in attending, consider buying your tickets early before this new Disney event sells out.  Although the concerts begin at 6:30 p.m., venue doors open at 5. Seating is not reserved and is on a first-come basis.

For more information or question about the event, visit or call (877) 648-3569.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

wines-for-disney-articleWe all need some us time. Ditch the kids and come to Disney with your sweetheart or besties for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this September!

This two-month-long event begins September 14 and lasts until November 14 inside of Epcot at Walt Disney World.

There are food and wine or beer tastings and culinary demonstrations included in your admission to Epcot, plus additional packages to purchase for dedicated samplers.

Try unique meals from more than 25 international regions at the Global Marketplaces in the World Showcase promenade. Over 270 chefs from Disney and across the country will be cooking up meals, some even conducting live culinary demonstrations to learn how to cook like a professional.

Enjoy music from some of your favorite bands on select nights for Eat to the Beat this September at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. Last year, guests saw performances by American Idol’s David Cook, Fuel, Sugar Ray and more. Dont fret, those same artists are back again this year. Here are the bands and performers on the Eat to the Beat 2016 lineup for September:

  • September 16-18: Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas
  • September 14-15: Wang Chung
  • September 16-18: Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • September 19-20: Air Supply
  • September 21-23: BoDeans
  • September 24-25: Fuel
  • September 26-28: Sugar Ray
  • September 29-30: Los Lobos

All concerts take place at the American Gardens Theater at Epcot’s American Pavilion and are included in your Epcot admissions cost.

Conclusion: 2016 Summer Disney Events are Sure to Satisfy!

There’s no better time to visit Walt Disney World than during Florida’s sunny summer.

Whether you’re planning on coming in July for Independence Day or to splash in the water parks during the Frozen Games, this mid-summer month is wonderful for guests who love lots of action.

August at Disney promises exclusive deals at the Pixar Party Trading Event for avid pin traders and brand new performances from your favorite Jungle Book stars.

Last but not least, September is the ideal month of our food and wine connoisseurs and our Halloween diehards with the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

Which month are you planning your upcoming trip to Walt Disney World with Sundance Vacations?

Tell us in the comments below or share this article with your friends and family to start planning your Disney adventure.

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About the Author

Jennifer Villa
Digital Marketing Coordinator at Sundance Vacations

Jennifer writes for our travel blog. She is also responsible for creating a lot of the awesome videos you see on our Sundance Vacations YouTube channel, managing our online charity efforts and helping with other social media projects.

Sundance Vacations: Disney Events in July, August, and September 2016
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Sundance Vacations: Disney Events in July, August, and September 2016
There are tons of things to do in Disney World in July, August and September with Sundance Vacations! What Disney events are you planning to attend?
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Sundance Vacations