By Renee Virata, TravelingMom.com
Known as the Most Magical Place on Earth, Walt Disney World knows how to celebrate every month of the year. From holidays and festivals to birthdays and new babies – Walt Disney World celebrations are practically perfect in every way.
January – Start the New Year at Walt Disney World
January is one of my favorite times to visit Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The holiday crowds have thinned and the Disney World Marathon Weekend helps everyone kick off their New Year’s resolution in style!
The Walt Disney World Marathon weekend starts the second week January. With multiple race distances, there is a runDisney race for everyone. The 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend will be January 8-12th.
During the second half of the month, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts opens and lasts through February. The annual festival gives guests a multi-sensory art experience with spectacular art displays, visually stunning cuisine and Broadway-worthy live performances.
February – Love is in the air
During the month of February, guests can experience one-of-a-kind workshops, dine on delectable delights and listen to award-winning Disney music as the Epcot International Festival of the Arts continues.
Valentine’s Day brings specialty treats, romantic dining opportunities and a chance to see a royal couple or two as the princes sometimes join the Disney Princesses at their meet and greets.
The last weekend of the month, hundreds of Disney Princesses flock to Disney World to run the Princess Half Marathon. The weekend includes a 5k, 10k and a half marathon, all fit for royalty.
The Princess Half Marathon weekend runs February 20-23 in 2020 and I have it marked on my calendar. It is on my bucket list to run with the Disney Princesses!
March – Spring is Blooming
Spring is in full bloom during the month of March. Disney World celebrations continue with the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Epcot comes to life with bright colors as gorgeous Disney-themed topiaries decorate the park. Outdoor kitchens line the walkways in and around the World Showcase.
But the real fun begins with the Garden Rocks concert series! In 2019, performers such as Simple Plan, Air Supply and Richard Marx take the stage. The 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival runs March 6th through June 3rd.
April – Disney is egg-cellent
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival blooms on for the entire month of April. Make sure to check The Garden Rocks Concert Series schedule to see if your favorites are hitting the stage!
The force is strong as Wookies, Jedis and sith lords take over Disney World during runDisney’s Star Wars Rival Run weekend. The 2020 runDisney Star Wars weekend takes place April 16-19, 2020.
Easter is celebrated resort-wide at Disney World. A special Easter bunny meet and greet is available at Magic Kingdom along with an Easter processional pre-parade. Epcot hosts the Eggstravaganza Easter Egg Hunt during the Flower and Garden Festival. Special dining options are available at restaurants throughout Disney World and church services take place at the Contemporary Resort. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa annually features elaborately decorated chocolate eggs. They are a sight to behold!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates Earth Day with the one-day “Party for the Planet” on April 22. The special event includes immersive activities for all ages, enhanced animal encounters and more.
May – Celebrate Moms in Style at Disney World
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival rolls on during the month of May. And The Garden Rocks Concert Series brings in new entertainment to keep the party fresh!
Mother’s Day is special to all of us and Disney knows how to celebrate moms everywhere. Expect to see specialty treats available for the weekend of Mother’s Day at select locations in the theme parks. And select table service restaurants host Mother’s Day brunches fit for a queen!
June – Summer Starts Here
The first few days of June bring the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival to a close.
Father’s Day is a quiet affair in the parks, but there are wonderful things to do to honor dads. Try an amphicar ride in Disney Springs, a round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course or mini golf at one of Disney’s two miniature golf courses.
For Disney Vacation Club Members there are usually a special brunch for Mother’s Day and a lunch for Father’s Day. You must call member services to book these reservations.
July – Celebrating the Red, White and Blue
The month of USA Independence! Disney World goes all out for the Fourth of July. Expect special performances at Epcot’s Voices of Liberty and look for Mickey and friends to be decked out in red, white and blue.
Magic Kingdom will have “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” The fireworks extravaganza usually takes place on July 3rd and 4th, offering guests more than one chance to experience the spectacular show.
August – Summer Meets Fall at Disney World
As summer ends, Disney World heats up! 2019 is going to be a huge year for Disney World celebrations.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party kicks off August 16, 2019 and runs through November 1st! This is my absolute favorite special event that takes place at Disney World. It’s the hottest party in the world.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom includes unique meet and greets, trick-or-treating and the Boo to You Halloween Parade. Keep in mind: This is a hard-ticketed event, so there is an added cost. But it is oh so worth it!
August 29, 2019 marks a momentous day for Walt Disney World. After four years of waiting, phase one of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The 14-acre expansion is sure to be surrounded with fanfare.
Not a Star Wars fan? Never fear! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival opens the same day. Running from August 29 to November 23, the 2019 Food and Wine Festival is the longest running festival in Disney history. Tasty treats, cocktails and mocktails along with culinary workshops make the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival a fan favorite.
Part of the Food and Wine Festival is the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. With genres ranging from Christian to Pop to Rock, there is something for everyone’s listening pleasure.The 2019 Eat to the Beat Concert Series ends a few days before the Food and Wine Festival ends. The last concert will be November 19, 2019.
September – Spooky Fun for All
School is back in session, but that doesn’t mean the party stops at Walt Disney World! September is filled with frightful fall fun.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party continues with delightful screams and spooktacular fun for guests of all ages. The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival cooks up mouthwatering tidbits through the month. And the Eat to the Beat Concert Series rocks the month away.
October – Trick or Treating at Disney
October is a quiet month at the Disney Parks. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party keeps trucking along with the Boo to You Parade and trick or treating fun. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival continues along with even more Eat to the Beat live performances.
November – Thankful for a Year of Disney Fun
In 2019, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend starts on October 31st with the first day of the Health and Wellness Expo. The runDisney event takes place over the weekend wrapping up on November 3rd.
Overnight, Disney World transforms into a holiday wonderland with the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on November 8, 2019. Snow falling on Main Street, U.S.A, “A Frozen Holiday Wish” firework spectacular and complimentary snacks are just a sample of the wondrous happenings at the Christmas party. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a hard-ticketed event and runs until December 22, 2019.
Thanksgiving dinners can be found at select dining locations at Walt Disney World Resort featuring special menus. Liberty Tree Tavern is a favorite among guests with its traditional meal and colonial theme. Locations serving up a Thanksgiving feast are announced closer to the holiday season.
The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays brings holiday traditions from around the world to the World Showcase. Experience seasonal favorites from different countries at the holiday kitchens. Listen to the sounds of “Joyful! A Celebration of the Seasons” and go on a merry scavenger hunt with Chip and Dale.
Hear celebrity narrators retell the story of Christmas with a full orchestra and choir at the Candlelight Processional. This magnificent performance has become a holiday tradition for many families. Celebrities include Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg and Pat Sajak.
Dates for the 2019 holiday festivities have not been released, but the 2018 dates were November 18-December 30th.
December – Celebrate the Holidays at Disney World
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates extend into the third week of December to the delight of everyone. This is a party no one wants to miss with a holiday parade, characters in their holiday best and sparkling Christmas lights lighting Cinderella Castle.
And Epcot International Festival of the Holidays sticks around until the end of December. Listen to the tales of the holidays and try treats around the World Showcase. And don’t forget to visit Santa in the American Pavilion! I highly recommend purchasing the Candlelight Processional dining package to score guaranteed seating as many of the shows fill to capacity in December.
New Year’s Eve is a celebration at Disney World! Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios all ring in the New Year with special offerings. From stunning firework displays, character meet and greets and dance parties.
No matter what day or what month, someone is celebrating something at Disney World. So, if you’re celebrating a birthday, first visit or an anniversary, start your celebration by grabbing a celebration button from the front desk. Special occasion button choices include popular options such as “I’m celebrating,” “First Visit” and “Happily Ever After.” There is also an ear hat for birthday celebrations or wedding ears for those celebrating an anniversary.
Make your celebrations even more magical with an in-room celebration from Disney Floral and Gifts or have a personalized cake delivered to a special dinner. Princesses and princes ages 3 through 12 can start their big day with a trip to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique while older guests can try the Character Couture makeover at one of the Disney resort salons.
While not guaranteed, I have found that Disney Cast Members will go out of their way to make a special day a little sweeter. When wearing our celebration buttons, we’ve gotten well wishes around every corner, a free cupcake at dinner for a birthday celebration or an extra special character interaction with a favorite character.
Start Planning Your Disney Vacation Today!
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