Holidays at Disney World – Ranked
Many people like to plan their vacations around holidays. You will enjoy extra celebrations if you travel during holidays! There are so many amazing holidays at Disney World that it may be difficult for you to choose one to plan your vacation around. So we’ve ranked our favorite holidays at Disney World!
12. New Years
Christmas decorations remain in place through the New Years celebration, so Disney World wont appear much different than Christmas. There are, however, special dining opportunities for New Years. You’ll have to make reservations through Disney Dining for these experiences. You will also get to see amazing New Years fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.
11. Valentines Day
While there are no special celebrations, there are lots of opportunities for romance at the most magical place on earth. That’s why so many people make Disney the destination for their engagement, wedding, or honeymoon each and every year! Think you can’t enjoy romance with your kids around? Think again! You can make time to connect with your partner, even if you’re on a family trip. We’ve written an entire post on ways you can experience the romance of Disney World. Check it out here.
10. Mothers Day
Mother’s Day is a low key holiday at Disney World. The Disney Resort restaurants offer up a specialty brunch menu to celebrate moms. It’s highly recommended to make reservations if you’re going to visit one of these restaurants on Mother’s Day because they do fill up! You can make reservations through Disney Dining or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
9. Gay Days
While this holiday is not an official Disney sponsored event, it is extremely popular among the LGBTQ community and their supporters. Disney does offer some specialty treats and souvenirs during Gay Days, but you won’t find any specialty activities. This event originated as “Gay Day of Magic Kingdom” in 1991, but has since grown into a week long extravaganza where supporters are encouraged to wear red. Learn more about this event at GayDays.com.
8. Cinco de Mayo
The beautiful celebration of Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is in honor of Mexican heritage and commemorates a Mexican victory in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. This is another relatively low-key holiday that takes place at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. Disney has tied Cinco de Mayo in with the International Flower & Garden Festival. You’ll find lovely traditional Mexican music and attire, along with some Cinco de Mayo themed activities.
7. Chinese New Year
Each year in January or February the China Pavilion in Epcot has a Chinese New Year celebration. It’s one of the lesser known holidays at Disney World, but it’s also one of the most engaging. You will find Chinese acrobats and special activities for kids, as well as specialty attire in shades of red and gold. They even have ornate Mickey and Minnie ears to celebrate the occasion!
6. Mardi Gras
A little-known secret of Disney World is that Port Orleans hosts a mini-parade for Mardi Gras each year. The resort cast members build floats on golf carts and then parade through the grounds of the resort. During the parade the cast members will distribute New Orleans style flare, (beads, candy, etc) for guests lined up to watch. If you’re staying at Port Orleans during Mardi Gras, be sure to ask the front desk when they will have their parade! In addition to the celebrations at Port Orleans, several Disney Springs restaurants offer specialty menu items to honor Mardi Gras, such as House of Blues and Maria & Enzo’s.
5. Earth Day
Earth Day is a big deal at Disney. Animal Kingdom hosts special events and activities throughout the park on Earth Day. You’ll find expert speakers, behind-the-scenes tours, specialty food and merchandise, unique photo opportunities and meet & greets, and so much more. Disney offers a special Path Less Traveled tour to uncover hidden details within Animal Kingdom Park. You can find more infromation about this amazing holiday celebration here.
Celebrations for Easter happen all over Disney World! Here are the highlights:
- Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny meet & greet near Town Square in Magic Kingdom
- Easter Egg-stravaganza scavenger hunt in Epcot
- Egg Hunts, egg decorating, and Easter costumes at various Disney World Resorts
- Elaborate Easter Eggs displayed at the Grand Floridian Resort
- Specialty meals available at designated restaurants on Easter Sunday
- Easter Brunch at Epcot (between Canada and UK pavilions)
- Easter Sunday Religious Services (Catholic Mass and Protestant) at the Fantasia Ballroom at the Contemporary Resort
Disney Springs also has a plethora of activities for Easter. Check out the list of fun things to do from 2019 here.
3. Independence Day
The 4th of July is full of exciting celebrations at Disney World. They host a special Independence Day fireworks show on July 3rd and 4th instead of the Happily Ever After fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. There are also special dance parties in Tomorrowland and Frontierland during the fireworks show. At Epcot, you’ll find the Disney characters dressed in patriotic attire at the American Adventure Pavilion. A special Woody’s Roundup Barbecue Buffet is offered at Disney’s Contemporary resort from July 4 to 6. Along with the Barbecue, other special events, games, and character meet and greets are offered as well. Traditionally, Independence Day is not only one of the most popular holidays at Disney World, it’s also one of the busiest days of the year. Expect Disney Parks to reach full capacity.
Second only to Christmas, Halloween is truly spectacular at Disney World. Halloween decorations start going up in late August and stay up through November 1st. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party is a special ticketed event offered on select nights at Magic Kingdom between August and November. Costumes are encouraged, special meet and greets are available, and Disney offers themed food and merchandise. Outside of Magic Kingdom, you’ll find a celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Epcot between October 31 to November 2. Many of the resorts and Disney Springs will be decorated in a fall theme as well.
Christmas at Disney is unlike any other celebrations. The festivities start right after the Halloween decorations come down on November 1st. All of the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs will be decked out in holiday décor. You can purchase tickets to another specialty event at the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which typically starts the second week of November and ends the first days of January. Additionally, you will find more specialty events than you can possibly attend in a single day, including unique character meet and greets that you won’t find any other time of year. You’ll also find plenty of amazing holiday treats and merchandise. Every family should experience Christmas at Disney World at least once. Its truly a magical experience.