Coolest Summer Ever Archives

May 16, 2015

Magic Kingdom's 24-hour party is perfect way for this family to make memories


While many families will focus on traditions of backyard barbecues and swimming for Memorial Day weekend, my family will usher in summer with our own tradition of staying up all night in the Magic Kingdom.

As Walt Disney World annual passholders, we are fortunate to be able to spend plenty of time in the theme parks on a regular basis. Some might wonder why would we want to brave the crowds and deprive ourselves of sleep when we go could back to the Magic Kingdom any day. After all, our children go to school all day before we head to the Magic Kingdom.

Sure, my husband and I enjoy the party atmosphere and some of the special entertainment, but what really drives us is our kids' desire to stay up all night in The Most Magical Place on Earth. They are old enough at 10 and 12 to actually make it until dawn, and their excitement is the stuff of family memories that we will recount for years to come. For them, the thrill isn't necessarily to stay in the park for 24 hours straight but to stay up all night in the park. Remember when you were younger and staying up on New Year's Eve was a big deal? Well, multiply that by 1,000!

Of course we will check out the special entertainment that will be offered at the Coolest Summer Ever kickoff event and the short middle-of-the-night queues for favorite attractions, but we also have a few must-do's of our own:

** Although guests are invited to dress up in costumes, we usually save that for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Instead, my daughter loves to wear Disney-themed pajamas for the event, and I may or may not be joining her this year. She's too old to wear her pajamas in public otherwise, but my daughter used to love changing into her PJ's in the park as a little girl.

** Our first stop on Main Street, U.S.A., is The Emporium to shop for event merchandise. Because we all have plenty of Disney T-shirts and don't purchase souvenirs on each visit like vacationers, this is a treat. We each add one of the all-nighter T-shirts to our collections.



** My favorite souvenirs are photos of my family at locations you can't snap on any other day. Last year, there were clever clock backdrops that guests could pose in front of with their arms forming the clock's hands to tell the time. We also stop in front of a clock on Main Street, U.S.A., right before we leave the park to show how late we were able to stay up.


** Sweets! More hours in the Magic Kingdom means more opportunities to sample the specialty food items, right? It's been hot weather at the last two 24-hour parties, so we have gravitated to the Eye Scream Sundaes and Mickey's Kitchen Sink Sundaes at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. This is one night where I don't limit the kids' sugar intake.

** Our last stop is breakfast in the Magic Kingdom. My husband and I are night owls, so our kids very rarely have the opportunity to eat breakfast in the theme parks, which qualifies it as special in their minds. This year, I will be leading the crew to breakfast because it's the first time Mickey waffles - my favorite -- will be served at the event.

Of course, then, we have another tradition, in which we drive home and go to bed and sleep into the afternoon.


May 12, 2015

What to expect at Walt Disney World's Coolest Summer Ever 24-hour party


In less than two weeks, Walt Disney World will host its third annual 24-hour party to kick off the summer travel season. Each 'all-nighter' has taken place at the Magic Kingdom on Memorial Day weekend and has included special entertainment, unique food options and even themed merchandise. Plus, guests are invited to dress in costumes to show their #DisneySide.

This year's Coolest Summer Ever event takes place from 6 a.m. May 22 until 6 a.m. May 23., and Disney officials have teased us with a few hints about the magic to be offered that night. Here's what we know so far:

** "Frozen" characters Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff will welcome park guests at 6 a.m. after an opening show and ceremony. (Although there has been no official announcement, it's widely thought that Olaf will begin meet-and-greets that night. The popular snowman has been seen meeting guests at resort hotels and private events since the fall. No word on Kristoff, and Elsa and Anna already are stationed every day at Princess Fairytale Hall.)

Teen Beach 2's Maia Mitchell, Ross Lynch, Grace Phipps and Garrett Clayton

** A host of Disney Channel and Disney XD actors will appear in the Magic Kingdom during at least two themed events. First, the stars will serve as Grand Marshals during the Festival of Fantasy parade at 3 p.m. Afterward, look for some of the actors to join the Club Chill DJ dance party from 4 to 11 p.m. in Tomorrowland. (There also will be previews of upcoming films and music videos.) The actors who have been confirmed, include:

From 'Jessie': Karan Brar, Skai Jackson and Peyton List
From 'Austin and Ally': Ross Lynch, Laura Marano and Calum Worthy
From 'Liv and Maddie': Dove Cameron
From 'Teen Beach 2': Maia Mitchell, Garrett Clayton and Grace Phipps
From 'Decendents': Sofia Carson
From 'Mighty Med': Bradley Perry and Jake Short

Please note that there has been no indication as of yet that the actors will do meet-and-greets with guests.

** After the dance party in Tomorrowland, Rockettower Plaza becomes the location for sing-along screenings of Disney's "Frozen" from midnight to 4 a.m.


** Other late-night dance parties will be hosted by Disney characters wearing their pajamas in Frontierland and the Castle Hub. Characters announced so far include Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Goofy. (At the first party, guests were able to meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who were dressed in their PJs, in the Town Square Theater. Last year, although they appeared for the opening and closing ceremonies, the famous pair did not meet with guests individually, and many of us were disappointed. We are hoping that changes this year because that was one of our favorite souvenirs.)

** A morning dance party will take place, as well. Join your favorite heroes from "The Incredibles" in the #IncrediblesSuperDanceParty in Tomorrowland, starting at 9:30 a.m.

** Radio Disney personalities Ernie D, Brooke, Candice and Nate will broadcast live from the event from 8 a.m. to midnight.

** There will be additional showings of regular parades. The Move It! Shake it! Dance and Play It! Street Party will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 5:40 p.m., and the Main Street Electrical Parade will step off at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa 'put Magic Kingdom Park 'on ice' with pre-MSEP parade appearances,' according to the Disney Parks Blog.


** Annual Passholders were invited last month to pre-order the event T-shirts, which feature Olaf and change colors when exposed to sunlight.

** A live Magic Cam feed will allow fans from home to catch glimpses of parades, shows and fireworks at select times during the event.

** For the first year, Mickey waffles will be served for an early-morning breakfast in the park. That's an unusual occurrence for quick-service restaurants at the Magic Kingdom, although they are routinely available at the character breakfasts. See you in line!

Take a look back at the all-nighter events in 2014 and 2013.


Return to Blog Central

About Coolest Summer Ever

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Coolest Summer Ever category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Christmas at Walt Disney World is the previous category.

custom cakes is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.