Walt Disney World has no shortage of entertainment options. From regular character meet and greets to live performances, there are tons of ways you can fill a day at Walt Disney World without going on a single ride.

However, even though you may be a master of the times guide, did you know that there are several, unpublished entertainment offerings that happen throughout the day that are not made public on purpose? These “secret” events aren’t always scheduled, but if you find yourself at the right place at the right time, you can take part in some truly memorable events that are so far off the beaten path, some Cast Members might not know about them! 

1. Character Palooza at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Image: Joel, Flickr (license)

Character Palooza is a character meet and greet experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that occurs on most days when the park has performances of Fantasmic between the hours of 4 PM and 7 PM. During this unpublished secret event, between 5 and 10 random characters will randomly appear to take photos, sign autographs and converse with guests for about 20 minutes before disappearing. 

Because Character Palooza features characters that appear in the Fantasmic finale, it is a great way to meet rare characters like Brer Fox, the Genie, Mushu, Meeko and more. Though this event is really amazing, one drawback is the location for Character Palooza is always changing. Past locations include the Streets of America, Echo Lake, and the gates near Tower of Terror, and there's no telling where Character Palooza will happen on a given day. And if you’re hoping to get some inside info from a cast member on where this event is taking place, don’t get your hopes up, as most Cast Members won’t divulge any information about this event.

In fact, Disney doesn’t even deploy PhotoPass photographers prior to Character Palooza in an effort to avoid tipping off eagle-eyed guests on the lookout for this secret event’s location. Though there’s some element of luck involved in catching Character Palooza, for those who are committed (and don’t mind jogging around the park for three hours) this is a unique and rewarding event to experience.

2. Magic Cookie Hour at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Image: Disney 

Though there are a quite a few freebees at Walt Disney World, this unpublished event is one of the least-known around the resort.  Every Saturday from 2-3PM, guests can head over to the Roaring Forks restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to take part in Magic Cookie Hour. During this special event, guests will be able to grab a freshly-baked sugar cookie and decorate it with up to three colors of icing and all the sprinkles anyone could want. 

Though this event only happens at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, you don’t need to be a guest of this resort (or staying anywhere else on property) to take part in this fun, weekly event. 



The secret cookie hour isn't secret. Almost all the Disney's resorts properties,do the free decoration cookie hour. In Disney's beach resort, roast marshmallows and give it to the guest.

We ( my daughter and I) were taken off guard this past September when walking around fantasy land. My daughter was admiring the lanterns and completely absorbed in seeing rupunzels tower when quite suddenly rupunzel herself skipped by with Flynn rider in tow. To my amazement and completely surprize they did a circle dance with us, hugged my daughter and then skipped off again.
This was all during a parade that had absorbed most of the other visitors to the main street area. So the experience was actually really private and completely amazing.

In August Flynn Ryder was wandering around asking if anyone had seen Max. He interacted with us as we exited Peter Pan's flight; handed us a card with his picture on it as well. He was perfectly Flynn!

At Animal Kingdom Lodge they have cookie decorating as well. It happens every day at one pm in Boma: Flavors of Africa restaurant downstairs. It's free to the public and a lot of fun.

The most awesome thing happened to us while we were in Epcot one day. Even though my family has been to Epcot a ton afterwards, this one time was very, very special. We were walking the world showcase when we saw a bus full of characters. It was obviously a character bus with the characters sticking their heads out. The characters got out of the bus at a back alley way and proceeded to take pictures (no PhotoPass), sign autographs. Needless to say, Chip and Dale were very mischievous! We had an absolute blast with classic Disney characters with absolutely NO line whatsoever! It truly was magical!

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