Festivals and events at Walt Disney World are like icing on a three layer cake. The parks are already pretty amazing no matter when you go, but throw in a party or festival and you will have a reason to return every year to reclaim the magic. Some of you may be thinking, festivals, what festivals? It’s true not everyone goes to Disney for the events, some just go for the rides and amazing food. But if you’re looking for more reasons to visit, or just want to add a little bit more fun we’ll share when and where it’s all happening anytime of year.
For some, festivals and events at Walt Disney World could be a double edged sword. Yes, you get the extra fun but you may also get the extra crowds, longer lines at security and spend more money than planned. Here’s what we love, and a few things we don’t, about the festivals and events that happen every year at Walt Disney World. Maybe one of these will fit the kind of vacation you’re looking for.
WALT DISNEY WORLD FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
JAN- FEB: International Festival of the Arts
January and February at Walt Disney World are most reserved for the runDisney marathon and the princess half marathon. While runners the world over flood into WDW it’s only actually for a very short time. These don’t tend to be runners in need of a vacation at the same time. These are runners simply attending yet another marathon. That said, most of January and February have been low crowd levels for Disney, hence the arrival of the newest addition to Epcot’s World Showcase to help boost attendance. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts debuted in 2017 to great acclaim. Similar to the extremely popular food and wine festival, the arts festival showcases foods and art disciplines from each country. Styles seen are diverse and eclectic and a great opportunity to see emerging artists and honor the arts. One of the many educational elements in Walt Disney World, this festival in particular makes a great homeschool lesson if you’re bringing the kids.
MAR- MAY: Flower and Garden Festival
If you’re heading down to Disney for Spring Break in Florida you may want to rethink the crowds. That said we like trying for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival early March or late May. Once you hit mid March to April you’ll be battling for space with spring breakers, high school bands and competitions. What we love about Flower and Garden festival is that its super low key! Lets face it, you got plants and flowers all over the place, everything is beautiful and they even throw in amazing Flower and Garden Food to sweeten the deal. If you aim for early in the festival you get to celebrate Easter with an egg hunting scavenger hunt. Just stop by the gift shops at the front of the World Showcase to grab the instructions/ map and make your way around the world. This is one of the longer running traditional Epcot festivals and the horticulturalists take on a huge task keeping everything looking amazing and fresh through the almost three month run. We also love that it’s super easy to do Flower and Garden with Kids ! While Epcots other more notable festival, Food and Wine, can sometimes be challenging with little ones or strollers Flower and Garden is the opposite. Theres no racing to the next beer cart, or stumbling into the Those and Crown here. Everything at this festival is leisurely, it truly feels like you’re on vacation and its a great time to be at Walt Disney World before the summer heat hits.
JUN-JUL: Summer Concert Series
We haven’t gone to Disney during the summer months for a few reasons. The main reason however was shared with us by a native Floridian one day on a Disney bus. She said, “Summer? Are you kidding? We don’t go outside in the summer!” If you do like heat and humidity in the high 90’s however Epcot does have their Summer Concert Series which runs every night during the hotter months and is probably a lovely event with a cold drink in hand on any summer evening. That said, if we did frequent in the summer, you would find us at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon and not necessarily at a festival.
AUG- NOV: International Food and Wine Festival & Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is by far our favorite Disney Festival. Even though we’re not big drinkers and always have little G with us, we still have the best time at Food and Wine. The whole atmosphere at Epcot is infused with cultural music and flavors and there are always things to try that are non-alcoholic and amazing foods that aren’t too exotic if you have picky eaters. Food and Wine with Kids is actually something we’d recommend especially if you could stay away from the weekend days. The kids can play Remy’s Hide and Squeak and earn a pin/keychain at the end of the game to take home. Attending this festival has become a tradition for us so we compiled some Food and Wine Festival Tips & Tricks since we have a ton of experience with this one. This time of year we also attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which gives us a little more fun and a little less drunk people, always a nice bonus. Either way nothing beats the Fall season, if not sometimes rainy season, at Walt Disney World simple because everything is decorated, it’s cooler and there’s more happening.
NOV- DEC: Holidays Around the World and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’re humming this tune early because this will be our first year to be at Walt Disney World during the holidays. The ever infamous Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom and the Holidays around the World at Epcot have us reeling with excitement. While you may think that the holidays at Disney may sound like too much to handle, we like to think its what makes us real Disney fans. True, the ability to snag holiday flights before they become too expensive, figure out the best holiday week to avoid crowds or grab the free dining plan offer may take some practice, but it is possible. We’ve even pulled together a checklist to keep you visiting during the holidays a few times over if it so strikes your fancy. Things to know about both of these events is that Disney is pretty magical during the holidays and sees huge crowds. Note, this time of year at Disney is not for the faint of heart. It is however the most beautiful time of year to visit, simply because your able to see the decorations, experience the holidays through the lens of different cultures and enjoy some lovely mild not found at other locations around the country.
Festivals at Walt Disney World Review
As you can see, there is always something going at Walt Disney World and chances are while you may not necessarily go for a festival, you’re sure to enjoy one while you are there. Check out our Festivals and Events tab here on the blog for all our reviews of the ones we’ve attended so far.
And if you have any favorite festivals or events chime in and let us know what you think!