Walt Disney World Annual and Seasonal Events Schedule

 

Walt Disney World Seasonal Events

Event dates & entertainment are subject to change. While every effort is made to update information, contact Walt Disney World direct at (407) W-DISNEY to confirm information before your trip.

 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017  November 2017

 

December Events

Pop Warner Sports Tournaments

December 3-10, 2016
Each December, Pop Warner championship tournaments are held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for football in the Pop Warner Super Bowl and in Cheer & Dance National Championships. Some public exhibitions may be scheduled and guests can expect heavy bookings by youth groups at some resorts, especially All-Stars.
Participation: Some public exhibitions may be scheduled
Location: Wide World of Sports
Impact: Heavy bookings at some resorts by youth groups, especially All-Stars resorts and some moderate resorts that are offered to these groups at a discount; possible increase in park crowds during evening hours.

Club Villain

Select Nights December 2016
Club Villain is offered on select Friday and Saturday nights in September and October, as well as on Halloween night, October 31! The party host Dr. Facilier (from The Princess and the Frog) welcomes guests to an evening of food, cocktails, music and villains. Be a guest of Dr. Facilier’s parlor of mystical mishaps complete with musical numbers and a wicked mix from his house DJ. Villain appearances for the evening include Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil, and the Evil Queen. This is a special ticket event occurring on select nights.
Participation: Ticketed event open to the public. Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park is required and not included.
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Options are at 5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Impact: Minimal. This event takes place in the Sunset Showcase found near Rock n’ Roller Coaster.

Holiday Happenings & Events

Early November 2016 – Early January 2017
(Dates for specific events will vary)
Walt Disney World Resort is all aglitter during the holiday season with dazzling lights, spirited song and even snow flurries. Throughout the Walt Disney World there is caroling, enhanced parades, tree lighting ceremonies, visits by Santa, amazing decorations, special dining and ticketed events.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Spectacular

November 14 – December 30, 2016
Delight in the sights and sounds of an all-new nighttime holiday spectacular. The show is jam-packed with special effects, holiday music, fireworks—even snow! During the show, we find that while Christmas Day is almost here, Jolly Old Saint Nick is nowhere to be found. Luckily, Wayne and Lanny from “Prep & Landing” are on the job… and they won’t rest until Santa’s back at the North Pole.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Impact: Heavy crowds in and around Hollywood Boulevard before and during performance times.

As a reminder, The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights was retired, with 2015 being the final year for the holiday spectacular.

 

Candlelight Processional

November 25 – December 30, 2016
A breathtaking retelling of the Christmas story in words and music complete with a 50 piece orchestra, choir and celebrity guest narrator. Tickets for the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages will go on sale sometime summer 2016.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required) A separate ticketed dinner package is available that includes reserved seating. Click the link above for details.
Location: Epcot
Impact: Heavy crowds in and around the America pavilion before and during performance times.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mid-November – Mid-December 2016
The Magic Kingdom will be transformed into a winter wonderland for this holiday fete. Snow will descend on Main Street, Mickey and friends will be garbed in seasonal apparel, and Cinderella Castle will once again shimmer in ice as special holiday fireworks, parades and shows await. This is a special ticket event occurring on select nights. Tickets will go on sale sometime summer 2015
Participation: Ticketed event
Location: Magic Kingdom
Impact: Early closings at MK for ticketed events. Possible heavier than usual dinner crowds at MK restaurants and resorts.

Christmas Week

Participation: Public
Location: World-wide
Impact: Heavy booking at resorts for end of December. Extreme crowds on Christmas week and between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Resort prices at their most expensive.

New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2016
From celebrations in the theme parks to upscale dining experiences and dancing on Disney’s BoardWalk, take your pick of how you want to ring in the New Year.
Participation: Public & ticketed
Location: World-wide
Impact: Heavy booking at resorts. Extreme crowds at all parks. Cirque du Soleil and Disney Quest at Downtown Disney restricted for ticketed events. Atlantic Dance Hall at Boardwalk restricted for ticketed event. Extended Park hours and special fireworks.

Additional Events During December

Nothing Scheduled at this Time

 

January Events

Holiday Happenings & Events

Early November 2016 – Early January 2017
(Dates for specific events will vary)
Walt Disney World Resort is a magical wonderland during the holiday season with dazzling lights, spirited song and even snow flurries. Throughout the Walt Disney World there is enhanced parades, visits by Santa, amazing decorations, unique Holiday performances, special dining and hard-ticketed events.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

This event has been retired. 2015 was the final year for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
This holiday light display on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Streets of America, features millions of sparkling holiday bulbs designed by Arkansas businessman and philanthropist Jennings Osborne as a gift to his daughter and the guests of Walt Disney World Resort.

Club Villain

Select Nights January 2017
Club Villain is offered on select Friday and Saturday nights in September and October, as well as on Halloween night, October 31! The party host Dr. Facilier (from The Princess and the Frog) welcomes guests to an evening of food, cocktails, music and villains. Be a guest of Dr. Facilier’s parlor of mystical mishaps complete with musical numbers and a wicked mix from his house DJ. Villain appearances for the evening include Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil, and the Evil Queen. This is a special ticket event occurring on select nights.
Participation: Ticketed event open to the public. Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park is required and not included.
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Options are at 5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Impact: Minimal. This event takes place in the Sunset Showcase found near Rock n’ Roller Coaster.

Walt Disney World Marathon

January 4 – 8, 2017
The Walt Disney World Marathon is an annual 26.2-mile adventure that winds through all four Disney theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The weekend also features a half marathon, a 10k, a 5K, kids races, special multi-day challenge races, a five-day health expo, and more.
Participation: Registered Event
Location: Property-wide
Impact: Possible heavy resort bookings by marathon participants and early morning traffic impact on race day.
2016 Race Info: January 6-10, 2016; Registration opens April 28, 2015

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

January 13 – 20, 2017
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts celebrates visual, culinary and performing arts inspired from all around the world set against the incomparable backdrop of Epcot. The event will take place Fridays through Mondays and will feature gallery exhibits, foodie experiences with art-inspired menus, live Broadway-style entertainment and more.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Extra crowds at Epcot, especially throughout World Showcase, mostly on weekends.

Additional Events During January

Youth Group Competitions and Exhibitions – Takes place at various times January through March. Youth activities (i.e. sports, dance, cheerleading, singing, bands) may be scheduled in public areas. These activities may create heavy bookings at some resorts, especially at the All-Star Resorts, by youth groups. Because of the additional traffic, the noise levels may be significantly increased. In addition, there may be possible random closure of certain park attractions for use as event venues such as Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

NFL’s 2017 Pro Bowl – The 2017 Pro Bowl is coming to Orlando and will be played at Camping World Stadium near downtown. While the actual Pro Bowl will not be occurring on Walt Disney World property, there will be a moderate impact on the Walt Disney World Resort as the Pro Bowl teams’ practices, an NFL Flag football event and other youth football events will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

February Events

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

January 13 – 20, 2017
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts celebrates visual, culinary and performing arts inspired from all around the world set against the incomparable backdrop of Epcot. The event will take place Fridays through Mondays and will feature gallery exhibits, foodie experiences with art-inspired menus, live Broadway-style entertainment and more.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Extra crowds at Epcot, especially throughout World Showcase, mostly on weekends.

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend

February 24 – 26, 2017
Join your fellow princesses in a royal quest that will take you through 13.1 miles of the Walt Disney World Resort. Also taking place this weekend are the “Disney Enchanted 10k,” “Glass Slipper Challenge,” “Cinderella Royal Family 5K,” “runDisney Kids Races” and “Fit for a Princess Expo”.
Participation: Registered Event
Location: World-wide
Impact: Possible heavy resort bookings by marathon participants and early morning traffic impact on race day.

Additional Events During February

Black History Month Celebrations – February 1-28, 2017 – Guests at Walt Disney World will be able to celebrate Black History Month at the America Adventure Pavilion in Epcot with new historical displays, important artifacts, and book signings.

Super Bowl – February 5, 2017 – Walt Disney World resort may offer special activities to celebrate the Big Game.

Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2017 – Walt Disney World resort may offer special meals to celebrate the occasion.

Mardi Gras – Feb 28, 2017 – Annual mini-float parade (themed golf carts decorated by resort cast members) at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (both French Quarter and Riverside) on Fat Tuesday. The parade features music, select Disney characters & beads, and candy is given out along the parade route. Ask for parade time at front desk. Read more on our MFL Blog.

President’s Weekend – Third weekend in February (February 18-20, 2017) – While no specific events are planned, this is traditionally the start of spring break season. Possible heavy booking at resorts. Extra crowds possible in all parks. Longer park hours with more frequent scheduling of fireworks, parades and some

Youth Group Competitions and Exhibitions – Takes place at various times January through March. Youth activities (i.e. sports, dance, cheerleading, singing, bands) may be scheduled in public areas. These activities may create heavy bookings at some resorts, especially at the All-Star Resorts, by youth groups. Because of the additional traffic, the noise levels may be significantly increased. In addition, there may be possible random closure of certain park attractions for use as event venues such as Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

 

March Events

Atlanta Braves Spring Training

Select Dates March – April 2017
The Braves will return to Champion Stadium at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in 2017 for their 19th season of spring training featuring some of the best teams in baseball. Watch as the Braves play teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and more.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

March 1 – May 29, 2017
Epcot’s Future World and World Showcase will bloom with more than 30 million colorful blossoms, interactive garden activities for kids and workshops with gardening experts during this annual spring festival. Also during the festival are Marketplace Food Kiosks, topiaries that fill the park, and the Garden Rocks Concert Series.
Participation: Open to public (theme park ticket required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Possible extra crowds at Epcot. Additional live entertainment at World Showcase

Additional Events During March

Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival – March 17, 2017 – Raglan Road restaurant and Disney Springs throws a yearly celebration centered around St. Patrick’s Day that lasts for several weekends, which features live entertainment, dancing, face painting and more! Read more on our MFL Blog.

Spring Break – Mid-March – Mid-April, 2017 – During this crowded time of the year, Disney employs a number of strategies to disperse crowds, including offering additional entertainment at alternative parks other than the Magic Kingdom and opening or offering seasonal restaurants or dining options.

Youth Group Competitions and Exhibitions – Various times January through March. Youth activities (i.e. sports, dance, cheerleading, singing, bands) may be scheduled in public areas. These activities may create heavy bookings at some resorts, especially All-Stars, by youth groups, where the noise levels may be significantly increased. Possible random closure of certain park attractions for use as event venues such as Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

April Events

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

March 1 – May 29, 2017
Epcot’s Future World and World Showcase will bloom with more than 30 million colorful blossoms, interactive garden activities for kids and workshops with gardening experts during this annual spring festival. Also during the festival are Marketplace Food Kiosks, topiaries that fill the park, and the Garden Rocks Concert Series.
Participation: Open to public (theme park ticket required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Possible extra crowds at Epcot. Additional live entertainment at World Showcase

Star Wars – The Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend

April 20 – 23, 2017
Guests will be able to feel the power of the force with runs for Star Wars fans of every age including the “Star Wars Half Marathon”, “Star Wars 10K”, “Star Wars 5K”, and the “runDisney Kids Races.” Guests looking for a bigger challenge can participate in the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge combining the Star Wars 10K and Half Marathon. May the Force be with you!
Participation: Registered Event
Location: World-wide
Impact: Possible heavy resort bookings by participants and early morning traffic impact on race day.

Additional Events During April

Animal Kingdom’s Birthday – April 22, 2017 – Opening April 22, 1998, the park turns 19 this birthday. No special festivities are scheduled.

Earth Day – April 22, 2017 – Animal Kingdom celebrates Earth Day with special events held throughout the park and inside Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, while ‘The Seas with Nemo & Friends‘ pavilion at Epcot celebrates marine animals.

Dapper Day – April 29-30, 2017 – Inspired by the original Disney park designer’s illustrations, which often featured extremely well dressed guests enjoying the Magic Kingdom, this unofficial Disney event invites park guests to don elegant fashions from vintage-inspired to contemporary chic and visit the park with other stylish guests. Dapper Day is not a Disney sponsored event and guests do not have to participate. Learn more at dapperday.com.

May Events

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

March 1 – May 29, 2017
Epcot’s Future World and World Showcase will bloom with more than 30 million colorful blossoms, interactive garden activities for kids and workshops with gardening experts during this annual spring festival. Also during the festival are Marketplace Food Kiosks, topiaries that fill the park, and the Garden Rocks Concert Series.
Participation:
Open to public (theme park ticket required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Extra crowds at Epcot. Additional live entertainment at World Showcase

Star Wars Weekends

This event been canceled.
Each summer Disney’s Hollywood Studios turns into a giant Star Wars fan-fest on the weekends. There are up-close meet-and-greets for Walt Disney World guests with your favorite Star Wars characters and actors from the film series as well as interactive games, parades, presentations, music and fun for the whole family.

Additional Events During May

Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Birthday – May 1, 2017 – Opening May 1, 1989, the park turns 28 this birthday. No celebration plans have been announced.

Cinco de Mayo – May 5, 2017 – Annual special family/kids activities at Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

Mother’s Day – May 14, 2017 – Special meals and deals are offered throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

 

June Events

Star Wars Weekends

This event been canceled.
Each summer Disney’s Hollywood Studios turns into a giant Star Wars fan-fest on the weekends. There are up-close meet-and-greets for Walt Disney World guests with your favorite Star Wars characters and actors from the film series as well as interactive games, parades, presentations, music and fun for the whole family.

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series

Mid June-Mid July 2017
You’ll be dancing to classic Rock ‘n’ Roll hits under the skies of Epcot’s open-air American Gardens Theater! Sounds Like Summer is an annual live concert series at Epcot theme park that brings together a talented collection of tribute bands to authentically recreate the classic hits of legendary musical icons. There are three shows nightly.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Heavy crowds in and around the America pavilion of World Showcase in the evening.

Additional Events During June

School Summer Break – Time varies across the country, but general occurs the last week of May until mid-August. Families with school-age children will be visiting Walt Disney World in greater numbers. This can result in heavy bookings at resorts and longer lines in parks and restaurants. During this time, there will be longer park hours with more frequent scheduling of fireworks, parades and some shows.

Gay Days – First Week of June – Non-Disney sponsored event occurring yearly the anytime from the last few days of May through the first week of June. Actual dates vary yearly. Unofficial public and private events take place at Disney & other Orlando locations. Scheduled events in specific Walt Disney World parks on specific days. Possible extra crowds in specific parks, one each day. Possible early closings of some theme parks, water parks for private parties. Visit Gay Day’s Official web site for additional info.

Father’s Day – June 18, 2017 – Select Disney Springs restaurants offer special meals for dad!

July Events

Independence Day

July 4, 2017
Get ready for a treat as Walt Disney World celebrates Fourth of July with a unique choice of fireworks shows at several different theme parks.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required for activities at the parks)
Location: World-wide
Impact: Heavy crowds in all parks except Animal Kingdom. Longer park hours and special firework shows.

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series

Mid June – Mid July 2017
You’ll be dancing to classic Rock ‘n’ Roll hits under the skies of Epcot’s open-air American Gardens Theater! Sounds Like Summer is an annual live concert series at Epcot theme park that brings together a talented collection of tribute bands to authentically recreate the classic hits of legendary musical icons. There are three shows nightly.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Heavy crowds in and around the America pavilion of World Showcase in the evening.

Additional Events During July

School Summer Break – Time varies across the country, but general occurs the second week in June until mid-August. Families with school-age children will be visiting Walt Disney World in greater numbers. This can result in heavy bookings at resorts and longer lines in parks and restaurants. During this time, there will be longer park hours with more frequent scheduling of fireworks, parades and some shows.

Bastille Day – July 14, 2017 – Annual special family/kids activities at France Pavilion at Epcot.

 

August Events

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Late August – Mid-November 2016
Savor fine wines and delectable cuisine at Marketplace Food booths during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This festival features live entertainment, guest chefs, culinary demonstrations & seminars,  special lunches & dinnersexciting dining experiences and more. Additionally Epcot Food and Wine Festival features the Eat to the Beat Concert Series and Dining Packages.
Participation:
Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Extra crowds at Epcot, especially throughout World Showcase, mostly on weekends. Some Epcot venues may be restricted for ticketed events. Possible late evening traffic impact near and around Epcot on evening of.

Additional Events During August

School Summer Break– Time varies across the country, but general occurs the last week of May until mid-August. Families with school-age children will be visiting Walt Disney World in greater numbers. This can result in heavy bookings at resorts and longer lines in parks and restaurants. During this time, there will be longer park hours with more frequent scheduling of fireworks, parades and some shows.

 

September Events

Free Dining

Most of September (and possibly beyond)
Participation: Special discounted vacation package for specific dates Disney has released for the public to book in recent years; there is no guarantee Disney will offer the Free Dining vacation package each year!
Location: World-wide
Impact: Heavier than usual crowds for this time of year. Heavy restaurant bookings and lines at counter service. Click here for more information on Free Dining at Walt Disney World.

Night of Joy

September 8-9, 2017
An annual celebration, this event will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and features top contemporary Christian music performers. The long-running series has played to a combined audience in excess of 650,000.
Participation: Ticketed event open to public
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports; 7:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Impact: Low impact on the theme parks

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Select Nights Mid-September – Late October 2017
Adults and children can trick or treat their way through the Magic Kingdom while experiencing Halloween magic throughout the park with Disney characters, special parades and fireworks and more. Guests of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. This is a special hard-ticket event occurring on select nights.
Participation: Ticketed event open to the public
Location: Magic Kingdom, 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Impact: Early closings at MK for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Crowds in the Magic Kingdom may be lesser on party days due to the early closure of the park. Guests with event tickets may begin entering the park as early as 4 p.m.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Late August – Mid-November 2017
Savor fine wines and delectable cuisine at Marketplace Food booths during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This festival features live entertainment, guest chefs, culinary demonstrations & seminars,  special lunches & dinnersexciting dining experiences and more. Additionally Epcot Food and Wine Festival features the Eat to the Beat Concert Series and Dining Packages.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required; some separately ticketed events)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Extra crowds at Epcot, especially throughout World Showcase, mostly on weekends. Some Epcot venues may be restricted for ticketed events. Possible late evening traffic impact near and around Epcot on evening of.

Additional Events During September

Great Irish Hooley Festival – September 2-4, 2017 – This Labor Day weekend party at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney features top Irish bands playing traditional and rock tunes, Irish Dance Workshops for the whole family, structured set dancing, Celtic face painting and authentic food and beverages.

 

October Events

Halloween/Fall Events

October 1 – October 31, 2017
There’s just so much to do at Walt Disney World during the Halloween season. In addition to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, special parades, decorations and fireworks in the parks, there’s lots to do on Halloween day at the Disney resorts too. And, at Disney Springs the Halloween/Fall season is celebrated the entire month of October with special photo spots, pumpkin patches, an Oktoberfest band and more.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Select Nights Mid-September – Late October 2017
Adults and children can trick or treat their way through the Magic Kingdom while experiencing Halloween magic throughout the park with Disney characters, special parades and fireworks and more. Guests of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. This is a special ticket event occurring on select nights.
Participation: Ticketed event open to the public
Location: Magic Kingdom, 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Impact: Early closings at MK for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Crowds in the Magic Kingdom may be lesser on party days due to the early closure of the park. Guests with event tickets may begin entering the park as early as 4 p.m.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Late August – Mid-November 2017
Savor fine wines and delectable cuisine at Marketplace Food booths during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This festival features live entertainment, guest chefs, culinary demonstrations & seminars,  special lunches & dinners, exciting dining experiences and more. Additionally Epcot Food and Wine Festival features the Eat to the Beat Concert Series and Dining Packages.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required; some separately ticketed events)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Extra crowds at Epcot, especially throughout World Showcase, mostly on weekends. Some Epcot venues may be restricted for ticketed events. Possible late evening traffic impact near and around Epcot on evening of

Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Late October 2017
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin showcases a passion for food and beverage during the Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. Elevate your knowledge of wine appreciation in a series of beverage seminars or just enjoy great food. Live entertainment is included.
Participation: Open to public
Location: Swan and Dolphin hotels
Impact: Generally the same as Food & Wine Festival.

Additional Events During October

Epcot’s Birthday – October 1, 2017 – Opening Oct 1, 1982, the park turns 35 this birthday. No special festivities are planned at this time.

Magic Kingdom’s Birthday – October 1, 2017 – Opening Oct. 1, 1971, the park and Walt Disney World resort turns 46 this birthday.

November Events

General Tips: November is a transition month. There will still be fall and Halloween activities during the first part of the month, and then celebrations will switch to Christmas and other holiday activities. Pay close attention to the dates of the events this month.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Late August – Mid-November 2017
Savor fine wines and delectable cuisine at Marketplace Food booths during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This festival features live entertainment, guest chefs, culinary demonstrations & seminars,  special lunches & dinnersexciting dining experiences and more. Additionally Epcot Food and Wine Festival features the Eat to the Beat Concert Series and Dining Packages.
Participation:
Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Epcot
Impact: Extra crowds at Epcot, especially throughout World Showcase, mostly on weekends. Some Epcot venues may be restricted for ticketed events. Possible late evening traffic impact near and around Epcot on evening of.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

November 2 – 5, 2017
Start out by running through the theme parks with world-class Disney entertainment along the way to help the miles fly by. The icing on this cake? An exclusive after-hours party at Epcot celebrating the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. 2016 brings some new aspects to the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. There will now be a 10K, as well as a two race challenge, plus the Half Marathon will now take place during the morning, instead of being a nighttime race. The weekend will also include a three-day expo, “Mickey’s Holiday 5k,” kids races and a lot of special Disney touches. The half-marathon will start at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and finish outside of Epcot. Participation: Registered Event
Location: World-wide
Impact: Possible heavy resort bookings by participants. This is a late-night event and should not greatly effect park availability, but may have some traffic issues during the race. Registration opens January 17, 2017.

Holiday Happenings & Events

Early November 2017 – Early January 2018
(Dates for specific events will vary)
Walt Disney World Resort is all aglitter during the holiday season with dazzling lights, spirited song and even snow flurries. Throughout the Walt Disney World there is caroling, enhanced parades, tree lighting ceremonies, visits by Santa, amazing decorations, special dining and ticketed events.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Spectacular

Early November 2017 – Early January 2018
Delight in the sights and sounds of an all-new nighttime holiday spectacular. The show is jam-packed with special effects, holiday music, fireworks—even snow! During the show, we find that while Christmas Day is almost here, Jolly Old Saint Nick is nowhere to be found. Luckily, Wayne and Lanny from “Prep & Landing” are on the job… and they won’t rest until Santa’s back at the North Pole.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required)
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Impact: Heavy crowds in and around Hollywood Boulevard before and during performance times.

As a reminder, The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights was retired, with 2015 being the final year for the holiday spectacular.

Candlelight Processional

Late November 2017 – December 2017
A breathtaking retelling of the Christmas story in words and music complete with a 50 piece orchestra, choir and celebrity guest narrator. Tickets for the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages can also be purchased.
Participation: Open to public (theme park admission required) A separate ticketed dinner package is available that includes reserved seating. Click the link above for details.
Location: Epcot
Impact: Heavy crowds in and around the America pavilion before and during performance times.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mid-November – Mid-December 2017
The Magic Kingdom will be transformed into a winter wonderland for this holiday fete. Snow will descend on Main Street, Mickey and friends will be garbed in seasonal apparel, and Cinderella Castle will once again shimmer in ice as special holiday fireworks, parades and shows await. This is a special ticket event occurring on select nights.
Participation: Ticketed event
Location: Magic Kingdom
Impact: Early closings at MK for ticketed events. Possible heavier than usual dinner crowds at MK restaurants and resorts.

ABC Filming of Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade

Date TBD (Typically filmed in early November)
Participation:
Public (theme park admission required). Registration for spectators is necessary.
Location: Magic Kingdom
Impact: Extreme crowds in the Magic Kingdom, especially around Main Street; some shows and parades may be canceled. Main Street will be closed off during one of the taping days from parking opening through about 5 p.m. and other sections of the Magic Kingdom will also be roped off, causing delays through the afternoon. Visit our Holiday Activities & Events page for specific info on the parade taping.

Additional Events During November

Jersey Week – First or Second Week in November – New Jersey Teachers Convention is held during this time, and schools in the state are out of session. Many Jersey families choose to vacation at Walt Disney World during this time resulting in decreased availability at resorts. Possible extra crowds at all parks.

Dapper Day Fall Soiree – November 18-19, 2017- Inspired by the original Disney park designer’s illustrations, which often featured extremely well dressed guests enjoying Epcot, this unofficial Disney event invites park guests to don elegant fashions from vintage-inspired to contemporary chic and visit the park with other stylish guests. Dapper Day is not a Disney sponsored event and guests do not have to participate. Learn more at dapperday.com.

Thanksgiving – November 23, 2017. Restaurants will offer special menus for the day. Likely extreme crowds on Thanksgiving weekend, especially at MK; heavy bookings at sit-down restaurants.

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