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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However, even though you may be a master of the times guide, did you know that there are several, unpublished entertainment offerings that happen throughout the day that are not made public on purpose?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 During this unpublished secret event, between 5 and 10 random characters will randomly appear to take photos, sign autographs and converse with guests for about 20 minutes before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Though there are a quite a few freebees at Walt Disney World, this unpublished event is one of the least-known around the resort.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. 

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Comments

A Kiss Goodnight is a truly magical experience. I should not be posting this because it could take away some of its magic if more people indulge in this special event. The park is its most quiet during this time and I have found myself being practically alone with the castle. Sssshhh....don't tell anyone else but you should check it out!

In reply to by MagicMomentsMom (not verified)

On our last trip, my wife and I were strolling around Magic Kingdom after the fireworks show and stumbled upon a show in front of the Castle. It was only the two of us there and, until I read this article, I thought we were watching a rehearsal for a show. It's awesome that it's an actual thing. We're definitely looking for it the next time we're there.

During our last visit in early October, we saw Peter Pan running and jumping through Fantasy Land. At first we thought it might be a guest dressed up for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party taking place later that night, but it turned out to be the real deal.

I really wish they would bring back the walk around characters. There is nothing fun about having to schedule into your park itinerary to wait in line to see a character. I really miss the spontaneous sightings of random characters. Seriously a major buzz kill to see a character and then have a crazy line that is cutoff. How do you explain that to a kid?

We stumbled upon the hoedown, no idea it was a secret as we weren't really looking for events and parades on our guides. But was a great surprise! We took tons of pics. It was a rare opportunity to see Song of the South characters and the two cow characters from the really early cartoons. I'd never even seen them in the parks before.

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