Back in 2004 my family participated in the Safari Magical Gathering. Magical Gatherings were private ticket events started in 2003 held for large families but have been discontinued since. We had around 5 or 6 other large families with us for this Magical Gathering. Before we went on the safari, we were able to take photos as a group and then as individual families with Minnie Mouse. We then had the private safari in Animal Kingdom after the park had closed to guests which was followed by dinner at the Tusker House restaurant with live music. I have to say this event was a few years ago so I don’t completely remember all of the details however I do remember that it was a lot of fun. Our main host for the night was fantastic and it was nice to do something different in Walt Disney World all together as a family.
A year or two later, we also went to the International Dinner Magical Gathering in Epcot. Some members of my mom’s side of the family were also able to join us for this gathering since they were in WDW so we had an even larger group! The dinner was served buffet style at the Odyssey building (the deserted building to the left when heading into World Showcase). After dinner, a dance party was held with different characters at the Odyssey as well. More families were at this gathering compared to the Safari gathering. Following the dancing, we were able to eat dessert and watch Illuminations from a special location. Unfortunately, I was not able to find photos from this event and I don’t remember them taking any. We do have video of the event though so that we will always remember it.
These Magical Gathering offerings only lasted at Walt Disney World for a couple of years. We were not interested in any of the other ones but it would have been nice if they had created a few new gatherings and kept the program running. I’m guessing that they were discontinued due to lack of participation though. Magical Gatherings were unique experiences for large families who visit Walt Disney World often and wanted to do something different all together than just grabbing dinner.