Disney World Special Events, Festivals and Parties

LAST UPDATE: 10/18/19 This page covers Walt Disney World special events and annual festivals in the theme parks, Disney resorts and Disney Springs.

Notes:

Walt Disney World Special Events, Festivals & Parties

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January-May Events

June-August Events

September-December Events

New Year’s Day

Christmas decorations remain up throughout Walt Disney World through New Year, and generally several days past the first of the year.

There are special meals available at certain restaurants on New Year’s Day. You can reserve holiday meals up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).

Note that “holiday pricing” (i.e. higher prices) will be in effect for some restaurants (particularly the buffets and character meals) from mid-December through the first few days of January (holiday season). Other restaurants may charge a premium on New Year’s Day, so be sure to ask when booking reservations.

For New Year’s Day 2020, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, located at the top of Disney’s Riviera Resort, will offer a New Year’s Day Character Brunch from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. The cost is $59 per adult (age 10 and up) and $37 per child (age 3-9), tax & gratuity included. The Italian tradition is to wear red as a festive way to ring in the New Year, so accents of red are highly encouraged.

Chinese New Year

Each year in January or February the China Pavilion in Epcot has a Chinese New Year celebration. Usually there are Chinese acrobats and special activities for kids.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

In 2020, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will be January 8-12. Registration opened April 16, 2019 at 10 am ET.

The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is an entire running weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. Other highlights include a Half Marathon, Goofy’s Race-and-a-Half Challenge, a Family Fun Run 5K and Kids’ Races.

New for 2020, participants in the marathon will run through Blizzard Beach Water Park and spend more time running inside Epcot, and less time on the roads outside the parks.

Walt Disney World Annual & Season Passholders, Disneyland Annual Passport holders and DVC members are able to register ahead of the general public for some runDisney events. Check the Annual Passholder or DVC member website for details closer to the public registration date.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

In 2020, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be held January 17 – February 24.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts celebrates the visual, culinary and performing arts. There are art exhibits of Disney artists and musical performances throughout the Festival — from local bands to Broadway stars. Feast on artistic dishes with a Disney twist at themed food studios, eateries and dining events. You can also attend professional workshops and seminars to improve your own artistic skills. Usually, Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members get a discount on select experiences.

Along with the visual arts, Disney Theatrical brings a showcase of music and Broadway talent to the America Gardens Theatre stage. Disney on Broadway shows are included in theme park admission and takes place daily at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 pm. You can also book a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package that includes breakfast, lunch or dinner and a guaranteed priority seating at one of 3 concerts held the same day.

2019 Disney on Broadway Concert Series (schedule subject to change):

For kids, there is Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt; maps and stickers are available for purchase at various retail locations in Epcot. Kids search for artwork with Figment in the picture and add the location sticker to their map. Turn in the map to a Cast Member at a retail location to pick up a surprise.

Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package

In 2019, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package will be available for breakfast, lunch or dinner at participating Epcot restaurants, as part of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Cost will vary depending on restaurant and mealtime selected.

Dining packages include an appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage or one full buffet, where applicable, and guaranteed priority seating at one of 3 concerts held the same day. Dining reservations must be at least 2.5 hours prior to showtime.

Magic Your Way Dine and Deluxe Dine packages will be accepted as payment (requires 2 table service entitlements per Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package).

Walt Disney World Annual & Seasonal Passholders get a a 10% discount on dining packages for the Disney on Broadway Concert Series throughout the festival, and a 20% discount on dining packages at Biergarten Restaurant and Coral Reef Restaurant for lunch and dinner through January 31, 2019. Discount applies to the regular price of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Valid for the Passholder and up to three guests.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports

Spring 2019 was the Atlanta Brave’s final season of spring training at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is February 14 every year. Walt Disney World does not generally have any special events or activities for Valentine’s Day, but we have plenty of tips and ideas for adding some romance to a Walt Disney World trip.

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend

In 2020, the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend will be February 20-23. Registration opened June 4, 2019 at 10 am ET.

This annual event includes Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, a Family Fun Run 5K, and Kids’ Races.

Walt Disney World Annual & Season Passholders, Disneyland Annual Passport holders and DVC members are able to register ahead of the general public for some runDisney events. Check the Annual Passholder or DVC member website for details closer to the public registration date.

Mardi Gras

In 2020, Mardi Gras will be February 25.

A little-known event on Mardi Gras is the mini-parade through Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. Several departments of the resort build floats on golf carts. The floats are judged and then parade through the grounds. During the parade they throw New Orleans-style trinkets (beads, candy, doubloons) to the guests who line up to watch. If you will be at Port Orleans Resort on Mardi Gras, be sure to ask at the front desk when this event will take place.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

In 2020, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will be held March 4 – June 1.

During the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Disney punches up their landscaping at Epcot with additional topiaries, display gardens, wildlife habitats (including a butterfly garden) as well as offering some special tours. Outdoor Kitchens feature foods & beverages from the garden and grill. Garden Rocks concerts, featuring popular bands, rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre every night at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 pm and are included with admission to Epcot.

Garden Rocks Dining Packages are available for breakfast, lunch or dinner on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants.

For kids, there is Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration a springtime scavenger hunt. In each garden, search for the plant Spike has pollinated, identifiable by Spike himself and a Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration plant stake. Once you find him, add the corresponding sticker to your map. Maps and stickers are available for $7.44, tax included, at Port of Entry (at the entrance to World Showcase). After your search is complete, return your map to pick up a surprise.

MouseSavers.com reader Carrie B offers this tip: “Festival merchandise usually gets marked down 50% off one full week before the end of the Flower & Garden Festival.”

2019 Garden Rocks Concert Series (more artists will be announced at a later date; schedule subject to change):

Garden Rocks Dining Package

The Garden Rocks Dining Package, available for breakfast, lunch or dinner on select days, is offered during the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Dining packages are available at 15 Epcot restaurants. Cost will vary depending on restaurant and mealtime selected. Dining packages include an appetizer, entrée and dessert—or one full buffet or family-style dining, where applicable—along with a non-alcoholic beverage and a guaranteed seat at one of 3 Garden Rocks concert performances later that day. Dining reservations must be at least 2.5 hours prior to showtime.

  • 2019 Garden Rocks Dining Packages went on sale December 13, 2018. For more information or to make a reservation, go to the Garden Rocks Dining Package page or call 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463). Please note: admission to Epcot is required and is not included in the price. Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Easter

In 2020, Easter Sunday will be April 12.

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

Hotel Events

Some of the Disney hotels offer egg hunts, egg decorating, characters in Easter costumes, etc. to their guests on Easter morning. If you are staying at a Disney hotel, inquire at the front desk when you arrive.

Grand Floridian Resort pastry chefs usually display elaborate edible Easter Eggs in the lobby. In 2019, the Easter Eggs were on display April 1- 27.

Special Meals & Meal Pricing

There are special meals available at certain restaurants on Easter Sunday. An Easter Brunch is usually held each year at the Epcot World ShowPlace located between Canada and the United Kingdom pavilions. Regular Epcot admission is required. You can reserve holiday meals up to 180 days in advance on the Walt Disney World dining page or by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).

Note that “holiday pricing” (i.e. higher prices) will be in effect for some restaurants (particularly the buffets and character meals) for the two weeks on either side of Easter. Other restaurants may charge a premium on Easter Sunday, so be sure to ask when booking reservations.

Religious Services

In the past, services have been held on Easter Sunday only in the Fantasia Ballroom at the Contemporary Resort. Catholic Mass is at 8:00 am and 10:30 am. A Protestant service is held at 9:15 am. If you plan to attend, it is best confirm the time and location with the front desk or concierge.

You may not park at the Contemporary for these services, so to get there, you must do one of the following:

Star Wars Rival Run Weekend

In 2020, the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend will be April 16-19. Registration opened July 16, 2019 at 10 am ET.

This event includes a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon; runners can choose which side of the Force they will run for.

New for 2019, runners can register for two special challenges. There is the Star Wars Rival Run Challenge, which involves running the 10K and the half marathon during the race weekend. There is also the runDisney Kessel Run Challenge, where runners complete the Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon at Walt Disney World and run the Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon at home.

Walt Disney World Annual & Season Passholders, Disneyland Annual Passport holders and DVC members are able to register ahead of the general public for some runDisney events. Check the Annual Passholder or DVC member website for details closer to the public registration date.

Party for the Planet at Animal Kingdom

In 2019, Party for the Planet was held April 20-22.

Animal Kingdom celebrates the magic of nature and Disney’s commitment to conservation with a Party for the Planet! There are family-friendly experiences and special interactions with the animal care experts and education instructors throughout the park. There are also unique character appearances and special entertainment.

In 2019, Tiffins Talks with Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, was offered April 20-22 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at Tiffins Restaurant. During a 4-course lunch featuring global dishes, desserts and specialty beverages, Joe Rohde will discuss his travels and adventures from the the Kazakh Eagle Festival in Mongolia to the temple ceremonies of Bali and more. Tickets cost $211.94 per person, tax included. Regular admission to Animal Kingdom is required.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is a celebration of Mexican heritage and commemorates a Mexican victory in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. There is a relatively low-key Cinco de Mayo celebration centered on the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, tied in with the International Flower & Garden Festival. It usually features some sort of special activity for families.

Mother’s Day

In 2020, Mother’s Day will be May 10.

On Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, some Walt Disney World Resort restaurants offer a special brunch menu.

Disney H20 Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon

In 2019, Disney H20 Glow Nights were held at Typhoon Lagoon on Thursdays and Saturdays (except Thursday, June 20) from May 30 – August 24, from 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Guests could arrive as early as 6:00 pm.

On select summer nights, special lighting effects transform Typhoon Lagoon Water Park while Buzz, Woody and Jessie throw a Beach Party inspired by their friend, “Partysaurus” Rex. Activities include dancing on the beach, party games, and meet ups with Buzz, Woody and Jessie, plus, all attractions will be open.

The cost is $62.84 per adult (age 10 and up) and $57.51 per for child (age 3-9), tax included. Please note: Disney H20 Glow Nights are a separate ticketed event and the party is not included in daytime admission.

Annual Passholders save $15 off the gate price on select nights, when you purchase tickets in advance.

  • 2019 tickets for Disney H20 Glow Night went on sale January 15, 2019. Tickets can be purchased through Undercover Tourist (there’s a small discount), or direct from Disney via the Disney H2O Glow Nights page or by calling (407) 939-1872. Please note: this ticket does not include daytime admission to Typhoon Lagoon.

Independence Day (July 4)

Magic Kingdom offers a special Independence Day fireworks show on July 3 & 4 in the Magic Kingdom above Cinderella Castle. There are also dance parties in Tomorrowland and Frontierland during the fireworks show. These activities are included in regular park admission.

At Epcot, on July 4 Disney characters are dressed in patriotic attire throughout the day at the American Adventure Pavilion. Voices of Liberty, the eight-part a cappella group, has a special performances at the American Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 pm. These activities are included in regular park admission. In the past, on July 4 there was a special Independence Day version of Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth. On October 1, 2019 Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth was replaced with Epcot Forever We don’t know if there will be a special version of the show for July 4.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom does not offer fireworks since they would disturb the animals.

If you plan to visit one of the theme parks on July 4 (particularly if it falls on a weekend), be aware that it is one of the most popular days of the year. The parks may reach full capacity at some point during the day, and you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) to the parks until the crowds die down again, usually around dinner time. (This can happen even if you have a ticket, even if you’re staying at a Disney resort and even if you have dining reservations in the park. If the park is full, it’s full — Disney has to follow fire codes!) For that reason it’s best to arrive first thing in the morning and stay in the same park all day, or if you plan to leave, don’t plan anything (like dinner reservations) that would require you to re-enter in the afternoon. Bring any items you may need later and stow them in a locker when you arrive (the lockers will also sell out). Get FastPasses right away if you think you will want to ride anything, because the lines will be very long by noon.

Special Meals

For 4th of July in 2019, Disney offered Woody’s Roundup Barbecue Buffet at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on July 4-6 from 6:15 pm – 9:15 pm in the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. In addition to a barbecue buffet, there were character meet and greets, camp-style carnival games, a Make-Your-Own Toy Station, a Buzz Lightyear playtime zone and more. At the end of the night, guests could head to the Porte Cochére to view the Magic Kingdom nighttime spectacular. Tickets are $149 per adult (age 10+) and $99 per child (age 3-9), tax and gratuity included. Space is limited. Reservations can be made online or by calling (407) 939-3463.

Bastille Day

On July 14 the France Pavilion in Epcot celebrates Bastille Day, which commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution. This is a low-key event, but there are special activities for kids and adults.

Gay Days

In 2020, Gay Days will be held June 2-8. While this is not a Disney-sponsored event, it is a very well-attended one.

Gay Days originally began in 1991. At the time it was “Gay Day in the Magic Kingdom,” a single day when the gay and gay supportive community was encouraged to “Wear Red and Be Seen” while visiting the world’s most popular theme park. Over the years it has grown to a week-long event. Visit GayDays.com for more info.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

The 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will be held August 29 – November 23.

Each fall, Epcot hosts the International Food and Wine Festival, a several-weeks-long celebration that includes both “free” (i.e. included in Epcot admission) and separately ticketed events such as Party for the Senses, food and wine pairings, specialty dinners, culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage and cheese seminars. Epcot guests can enjoy the flavors of more than 25 international marketplaces dotting the World Showcase promenade. Tapas-sized portions of regional specialties run $3 to $8 each; recommended wines and/or beers pairings are available at each kiosk as well.

Annual highlights include:

For kids, there is Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak, a search throughout the World Showcase for Remy statuettes and the ingredients he needs to make his signature ratatouille. Maps and stickers will be available for $9.95 plus tax at the following locations in Epcot: Disney Traders, Festival Center, Pin Central and World Traveler (International Gateway). Return your map to the redemption location by the last day of the Food & Wine Festival to pick up a surprise.

A Few Tips

Certain Epcot International Food & Wine Festival events, demonstrations and seminars (such as the Sunday Brunch with the Chef, Party for the Senses, Eat to the Beat dining packages, cheese and beverage seminars) require reservations and payment of an additional fee over and above park admission. Check the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival page for a complete list of these events. Please note: these events are very popular and it is advisable to book as early as possible. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Eat to the Beat Concerts

Enjoy musical evenings during the Food & Wine Festival with the “Eat to the Beat” concerts scheduled August 29 – November 19, 2019 at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 pm on the America Gardens Theatre stage.

Please note: In 2019, the Eat to the Beat Concert series will end a few days earlier than the Food & Wine Festival in order to prepare for the Candlelight Processional.

Enjoy musical evenings during the Food & Wine Festival with the “Eat to the Beat” concerts scheduled August 29 – November 19, 2019 on the America Gardens Theatre stage. On Sundays through Thursdays, performances are at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, performances are at 6:30, 7:45 and 9:00 pm.

You can make FastPass+ reservations for the Eat to the Beat concert series. Normal FastPass+ booking guidelines apply. You can also book an Eat to the Beat Dining Package that includes breakfast, lunch or dinner and a guaranteed seat at the Eat to the Beat concert held on the same day.

2019 Eat to the Beat Concert Lineup (schedule subject to change):

Eat to the Beat Dining Package

The Eat to the Beat Dining Package, available for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is offered during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Dining packages are available at 14 Epcot restaurants. Cost will vary depending on restaurant and mealtime selected. Dining packages include an appetizer, entrée and dessert—or one full buffet or family-style dining, where applicable—along with a non-alcoholic beverage and a guaranteed seat to the Eat to the Beat Concert held on the same day. Dining reservations must be at least 2.5 hours prior to showtime.

Halloween at Walt Disney World (Overview)

Halloween decorations start going up in the Magic Kingdom in late August (generally before Labor Day weekend) and are complete in time for the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

If you are staying at one of Disney’s resorts over Halloween, ask the front desk concierge whether any special events are planned. Frequently the resorts do offer some kind of festivities.

Disney Springs offers live entertainment such as music, storytelling, a dance party, stilt walkers and/or magicians on Halloween.

New!New for 2019, Typhoon Lagoon will offer some Halloween activities and food on October 31 only. At the Clock Tower Stage there will be a DJ Dance Party. And near the Clock Tower will be a meet and greet with Mickey and Donald in their pirate costumes. There will be Halloween crafts, such as tie-dye projects, coloring pages and mini-pumpkins to decorate. There will be 3 spots to go trick or treating: Typhoon Lagoon’s front entrance, Singapore Sal’s and Safe Harbor. Singapore Sal’s will also have a carved pumpkin display. Happy Landings Ice Cream, will serve the I-Scream Cone, made with Orange Dole Whip Soft Serve, a sandwich cookie waffle cone, Halloween sprinkles and a white chocolate surfboard.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

In 2019, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will be offered from 7:00 pm to midnight on August 16*, 20*, 23*, 27*, 30*; September 2*, 6*, 8*, 10*, 13*, 15*, 17*, 20*, 22*, 24*, 27*, 29*; October 1*, 3*, 4*, 6*, 8*, 10*, 11*, 14*, 15*, 17*, 18*, 20*, 21*, 24*, 25*, 27*, 29, 31 and November 1*.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is held on select nights in August, September and October each year from 7:00 pm to midnight, after the regular closing of Magic Kingdom, and requires separate admission. (You don’t have to have paid admission on the same day to the Magic Kingdom in order to attend the special after-hours event.) Guests with Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets are admitted to the park as early as 4:00 pm. You will need to get a wristband that allows you to stay in the park after the party begins.

Admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party includes trick-or-treating for adults and kids, costume parades for little ones, character meet-and-greets, fortune tellers, Halloween riverboat ride, two performances of Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween parade and, in 2019, a new fireworks show: Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular. Plus, most of the major attractions are open. You can purchase tickets to the Halloween Fireworks Dessert Party, which includes a view of the fireworks show.

New for 2019, you can purchase tickets to Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at Tony’s Town Square, which includes access to a reserved viewing area for the parade.

Attendees can wear costumes (subject to a few rules based on safety and appropriateness), but guests ages 14 and older are strongly discouraged from wearing layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body. They may be subject to additional security screening. Check Walt Disney World’s costuming guidelines for more details.

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, performed on the Castle Forecourt Stage, features the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s Hocus Pocus. With the help of the Disney villains, Winifred, Mary and Sarah gather together sinister shadows, nefarious nightmares and the power of their frightful friends to conjure the ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Potion and cast a spell on everyone in the Magic Kingdom Park.

In Frontierland, prospector Cactus-Flower Cate rounds up youngsters for the “Frontierland Costume Promenade,” where kids can show off their costumes. The “Frontierland Costume Promenade” takes place just prior to each run of Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade.

Several attractions will be transformed just for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party worth the money? Depends on how much you are “into” Halloween. Some of the experiences available during the party are not offered at any other time, so it allows you to enjoy Magic Kingdom in a unique way.

Although the number of people admitted each night is limited, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party can feel quite crowded, particularly on weekend nights and the last couple of nights it’s offered. The rides will be less busy than they would be at that time on a regular park night, but the headliners can still build up some decent wait times, and the special character meetings will often have quite long lines. Don’t necessarily expect to walk onto every ride. The party is more about the parades and Halloween “atmosphere.”

It’s fun to have dinner at one of the in-park restaurants like Jungle Skipper Canteen, Tony’s Town Square, Liberty Tree Tavern or Be Our Guest just before the party. This allows you to be in the park right when the festivities begin. The in-park restaurants book up quickly, so make reservations as early as possible (180 days in advance).

Adult ticket prices start at $84.14, tax included, when purchased in advance and $94.78, tax included, at the gate (if available). In the past, Friday nights in October and the final week leading up to Halloween have sold out in advance.

New for 2019, Walt Disney World is offering a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Pass. This pass allows you to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party every event date except for Halloween night (October 31, 2019). There are a limited number of these passes available. If you already have a ticket to this event, you can modify your event ticket to a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Pass. This pass is only available for purchase at Walt Disney World ticket windows. The cost is $318.44 per person, tax included.

2019 Regular prices for all guests:

*Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Annual and Seasonal Passholders can buy advance discounted tickets for all August and September dates and selected dates in October. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

2019 Discount prices for DVC members & Annual Passholders:

In the past, Active Duty, Retired, and Permanently Disabled US Military (with current military ID) have been able to purchase discounted tickets for themselves and up to 5 family/friends for select dates. The tickets may be purchased at any theme park ticket window or Guest Relations Office. They may also be available at Shades of Green or MWR/ITT locations, which do not charge tax. Tax is added if purchased at the theme parks.

  • 2019 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets went on sale January 15, 2019. Tickets can be purchased through Undercover Tourist (there’s no discount, but it can be convenient if you’re buying other tickets at the same time), or direct from Disney via the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party page.

Halloween Fireworks Dessert Party

In 2019, the Halloween Fireworks Dessert Party will be offered August 16, 20, 23, 27, 30; September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29; October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31 and November 1 as part of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

This separately ticketed event includes a private dessert buffet with a view of the Halloween fireworks show.

The Halloween Fireworks Dessert Party costs $89.46 per adult (age 10+) and $53.25 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax included. Admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is required and is not included in the price. Please note that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a separate ticketed event and is not included in Magic Kingdom Park admission. Reservations are highly recommended.

Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at Tony’s Town Square

New for 2019, Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant will be offered on August 16, 20, 23, 27, 30; September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29; October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31 and November 1 as part of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

This separately ticketed event includes a selection of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, along with beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages and access to a reserved viewing area for Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade. Cruella will be at the party mixing and mingling with the guests.

Beginning at 9:30 pm, attendees can pop in and out of Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at their leisure. At 11:00 pm, attendees will have access to a special reserved viewing area for Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade as it makes its way down Main Street, U.S.A. This party continues until 12:30 am, ending 30 minutes after Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way costs $105.44 per person, tax included. Admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is required and is not included in the price.

  • Reservations for the 2019 Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at Tony’s Town Square opened on June 18. Reservations can be made on the Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way page or by calling 407-939-3463Please note: admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is required and is not included in the price.

Return To Sleepy Hollow at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

In 2018, Return to Sleepy Hollow took place on September 28-30, October 3-7, 10-14, 17-21 and 24-31 at 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm.

Enjoy a group viewing of the 1949 Disney animated classic film The Legend of Sleepy Hollow inside the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground’s Tri-Circle-D Ranch stables and an up close and personal encounter with the Headless Horseman. All attendees, age 3 and older, will receive an exclusive limited edition pin.

  • General seating costs $22 per person, including tax.
  • Premium seating costs $38 per person, including tax, and includes a priority photo opportunity with the Headless Horseman and a Halloween treat bag.
  • Guests age 2 and under are admitted for FREE, but are asked to sit in a parent’s lap.

New for 2018, there was a dessert party at 9 pm, the cost is $60 per person, including tax. Attendees of either show can go to the dessert party.

  • 2018 Return to Sleepy Hollow reservations opened on March 23. Call (407) WDW-TOUR (939-8687) to book. Space is extremely limited.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

In 2019, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend will be held October 31 – November 3. Registration opened March 19, 2019 at 10 am ET.

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend includes the Mickey’s Holiday 5K, the Half Marathon and Kids’ Races and the Disney Wine & Dine 10K. All of the races, including the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, have a morning start time. The Post Race Party will take place Sunday evening at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, finishing with exclusive runner access during the later hours

Runners who complete the Disney Wine & Dine 10K on Saturday and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Sunday within the pacing requirements will receive Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge Medal. Registration for Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge is required to receive the Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge Medal.

Walt Disney World Annual & Season Passholders, Disneyland Annual Passport holders and DVC members are able to register ahead of the general public for some runDisney events. Check the Annual Passholder or DVC member website for details closer to the public registration date

Advocare Invitational

The 2019 Advocare Invitational will be held November 28, 29 & December 1 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Each year ESPN cooks up a Thanksgiving weekend basketball feast so big that even if a match-up or two turns out to be a proverbial “turkey,” the event still will provide roundball junkies with a memorable holiday treat.

Thanksgiving

In 2019, Thanksgiving will be November 28. Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November.

Walt Disney World does not offer a Thanksgiving parade or decorations in the parks. (However, the Christmas decorations are normally in place by Thanksgiving weekend.)

There are special meals available at many Disney World restaurants on Thanksgiving. Reservations for holiday meals can be booked up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).

Note that “holiday pricing” (i.e. higher prices) will be in effect for some restaurants (particularly the buffets and character meals) from the weekend prior to Thanksgiving through the weekend after Thanksgiving. Other restaurants may charge a premium on Thanksgiving Day, so be sure to ask when booking reservations.

Christmas at Walt Disney World (Overview)

First, be sure to read our survival guide to visiting Walt Disney World at Christmas!

Christmas decorations at the Walt Disney World Resort usually begin going up in early November. The decorations are gradually added at night and are substantially complete at Magic Kingdom by the time of the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (in 2019, that will be November 8), with the resorts and other parks completed by the day after Thanksgiving. Each theme park will have an enormous decorated Christmas tree at the park entrance and are a popular place to take a photo. The decorations usually start coming down about January 3.

Each of the theme parks and Disney Springs have their own themed decorations, as well as special holiday entertainment and activities. Some activities are included with general admission, such as Cinderella Castle Dream Lights in Magic Kingdom and the Candlelight Processional in Epcot. There are also a number of dessert parties that include access to a reserved viewing area for that park’s evening holiday fireworks or projection show. While these parties can be somewhat pricey, it is one way to be sure you get a good view of the show, without having to spend time staking out a spot (which is time you can’t be going on rides).

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The Disney Resort Hotels are also decorated for the holidays, and each of the Deluxe resorts each have a decorated Christmas tree in their lobby. The Deluxe resorts also have fantastic edible displays. Beach Club Resort usually has a fully detailed, life-sized gingerbread carousel in the lobby. The lobby of Yacht Club Resort has had displays such as a miniature New England-style train racing through a sugary rock mountain surrounded by a candy-coated model village. The Contemporary Resort and BoardWalk Resort always have a gingerbread display.

The biggest edible production is a gingerbread house at Grand Floridian Resort that is large enough that it doubles as a real bake shop. Featuring gingerbread using a classic Austrian recipe, the bake shop offers freshly baked items such as cookies, ornaments and miniature gingerbread houses. Other homemade items for sale may include Stollen Bread, chocolate peppermint bark, lollipops and special Grand Floridian logo boxes filled with truffles. Demonstrations of how to decorate a gingerbread house take place in front of the bake shop. The gingerbread house usually opens in mid-November.

Christmas at Magic Kingdom

For 2019, Magic Kingdom will have holiday entertainment and décor staring November 8.

Disney decorates Cinderella Castle for the holiday season with a “Dream Lights” effect that makes the Castle seem to be covered in ice. Over 200,000 lights are draped over the turrets and roofs of the Castle to create this beautiful effect. A short show called A Frozen Holiday Wish and a castle lighting ceremony (featuring Queen Elsa from Frozen) is held each evening, usually around 6:15 pm, and the lights remain on, slowly changing colors, for the rest of the evening.

Each year during the holiday season, Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise. As you make your way through attraction queue, check out all the merry décor that’s been mailed to the skippers, or that they’ve created themselves. They even add a few holiday jokes to their tours to help everyone get in the spirit.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held after the regular closing of Magic Kingdom and requires separate admission.

Christmas at Animal Kingdom

New for 2019, Animal Kingdom will have holiday entertainment and décor staring November 8.

On Discovery Island, there will be a celebration of winter, with sparkling white holiday decorations, animal-inspired luminaries and wireframe lanterns in the shape of birds. At night, the Tree of Life awakens with a series of wintry tales, complemented by holiday-inspired music.

Over in Dinoland, U.S.A., you can gather ‘round Truck-O-Saurus for the Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale, along with some interactive fun and games.

In Asia, the residents of Anandapur will decorate in celebration of Diwali, the holiday festival of lights in India. Glowing flowers, lanterns and more will illuminate the square between Anandapur Theater and the waterfront stage.

The village of Harambe in Africa will blend the inspiration and style of western traditions with the colors and textiles of African celebrations. The performers in Harambe will add holiday-inspired enhancements to their performances.

The holiday spirit even reaches Pandora – The World of Avatar, where the ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora bring a little Christmastime fun to their alien home, with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, combining vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.

Christmas at Hollywood Studios

For 2019, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will celebrate the holidays November 8, 2019 – January 5, 2020.

Toy Story Land will be decorated for the holidays with oversized cranberry-and-popcorn garland, a 10-foot-tall Hamm sugar cookie and more. Guests can hear sleigh bells ringing on Slinky Dog Dash, while Alien Swirling Saucers will offer two holiday tunes with themed lighting. Characters will dress up as well; Woody and Jessie will sport special holiday vests and sprigs of holly on their hats, while Buzz Lightyear will wear a snazzy Santa hat.

Santa Claus can usually be found at the Once Upon a Time shop through December 24. Santa Goofy takes over from December 25 – 31 when Old Saint Nick returns to the North Pole.

Each night during Sunset Seasons Greetings, billboards on Sunset Boulevard comes to life and tell a tale, courtesy of iconic characters sharing their love for the season. All the while, the Hollywood Tower Hotel — a.k.a. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — magically transforms, bringing to life the characters’ stories. This experience runs continuously throughout the night.

The holiday spectacular Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! takes place nightly above and around the Chinese Theater. Reserved viewing is available if you purchase tickets to the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party.

Just for the holidays, Olaf joins the cast of For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at the Hyperion Theater. The holiday version of the show includes a seasonal finale featuring Olaf and three songs from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.

Holidays at Disney Springs

For 2019, Holidays at Disney Springs will be held November 8, 2019 through January 5, 2020.

Holidays at Disney Springs includes a variety of holiday entertainment, specialty foods and festive décor. Enjoy Toy Soldier stilt walkers, Snowflake performers, pop carolers and a cappella groups. There are special performances celebrating Kwanzaa, songs and stories in honor of Hanukkah as well as a holiday-themed DJ dance party and a nightly tree lighting ceremony.

Meet Santa at the Christmas Tree Trail cottage, across from Once Upon a Toy. Check in a the podium and give them your mobile phone number to secure your place in a virtual queue line. You can take pictures with your own camera or use PhotoPass. Santa will be greeting guests daily through December 24.

For kids, there is Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt – use the clues to find Stitch’s gifts for his family. Pick up a Holiday Gift Hunt booklet containing a map, clues and stickers at any participating location. Visit each gift hunt site, spot the hidden Stitch holding up one of his presents and then match the correct gift sticker to its corresponding location on the map. Then go to a redemption center to collect a festive surprise.

Stroll through the Christmas Tree Trail, a collection of custom-decorated trees. Each one has been designed to capture a popular Disney theme. Begin your walk near the play fountain outside Once Upon a Toy in the Marketplace.

There are over-sized toy sculptures throughout Disney Springs, the perfect place to pose for family photos.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

For 2019, Epcot International Festival of the the Holidays will take place November 29 – December 30.

For Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, each pavilion’s holiday celebration comes to life for through the sharing of joyful music and time-honored traditions. Each night, Epcot Forever, a new, limited-time spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers and choreographed, special effects kites, completes the celebration. (Epcot Forever will run into 2020 and then be replaced by a new nighttime spectacular.) Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is included with regular Epcot admission.

There will be live musical performance and multiple Holiday Kitchens, serving up holiday cookies and other sweet seasonal treats from around the world. Use the Festival Passport to track your purchases of five select holiday cookies, then, stop by Holiday Sweets and Treats to receive a special complimentary “completer” cookie and a glass of milk! The Gingerbread Bake Shop in Epcot is a life-sized gingerbread house is made entirely of gingerbread, cookies and icing.

Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and pose for a photo at The American Adventure.

Kids can be on the lookout for Chip and Dale in each World Showcase pavilion. Once you spot them, add the corresponding ornament sticker to your map. The Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree map and stickers can be purchased for $7.44, tax included, at select merchandise locations (while supplies last). Return the completed map to the designated location and exchange it for a festive surprise.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

In 2019, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! will be performed November 8, 2019 – January 5, 2020.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! is a nighttime holiday spectacular in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that takes place above and around the Chinese Theater. Santa Claus is missing and the search-and-rescue mission to get The Big Guy back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve is all part of the fun. Enjoy memorable holiday moments from Disney films including Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, Bambi, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and more. This show combines state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and Christmas music to create a dazzling, one-of-a-kind holiday experience for guests – capped by a special message from Santa himself.

Reserved viewing is available if you purchase tickets to the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party

In 2019, the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Party will be offered from November 8, 2019 – January 5, 2020.

The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party takes place offered nightly, 1.5 hours prior to each performance, near Echo Lake. This separately ticketed event includes a private dessert party, a special VIP character meet and greet and reserved viewing for Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and Disney Movie Magic. Each dessert party guest will get a pair of 3D HoloSpex glasses to use while watching Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! The glasses create spectacular holographic illusions of gingerbread men, candy canes, snowflakes and ornaments on any bright point of light.

The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party costs:

  • $89 per adult and $53 per child (ages 3-9) for November 8 – December 21, 2019 and January 2-5, 2020 (including tax and gratuity)
  • $99 per adult and $59 per child (ages 3-9) for December 22, 2019 – January 1, 2020 (including tax and gratuity)

Seating at the dessert party is mainly outdoors and uncovered and seating is limited. Wheelchairs and ECVs can be accommodated. In the event of potential rain, the dessert party will be moved to an alternate covered location.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Scrooge McDuck

Scrooge McDuck by Sam Howzit (CC)

In 2019, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be offered from 7:00 pm to midnight on November 8*, 11*, 12*, 14*, 15*, 17*, 19*, 21*, 22*, 24*; December 1*, 3*, 5*, 6*, 8*, 10*, 12*, 13*, 15*, 17*, 19*, 20 and 22.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held after the regular closing of Magic Kingdom and requires separate admission. (You don’t have to have paid admission on the same day to the Magic Kingdom in order to attend the special after-hours event.) The event is held from 7:00 pm to midnight on select nights, usually running from about the second week of November through approximately a week prior to Christmas. Guests with Very Merry Christmas Party tickets are admitted to the park as early as 4:00 pm. You will need to get a wristband that allows you to stay in the park after the party begins.

Admission to the event includes complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, “snow” on Main Street, holiday stage shows, carolers, two performances of Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime parade and the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime fireworks show. Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration is presented on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage. Mickey and his pals invite some of their friends for an unforgettable Christmas party filled with music, dancing, color and fun. During A Frozen Holiday Wish, Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom—transforming Cinderella Castle into a sparkling, icy centerpiece for the celebration. Plus, most of the major attractions will be open.

New for 2019, select Magic Kingdom attractions are receiving holiday enhancements just for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. On Tomorrowland Speedway, you’ll cruise a festive freeway filled with thousands of lights and stylized décor. The crew at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor will have a special holiday-themed show just for the party. Space Mountain will have special lighting and high-energy holiday tunes, and at the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland, the teacups will spin to one of four new holiday combos of lights and music.

New for 2019, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime fireworks show will celebrate the magic of Christmas with medleys of holiday songs, from “Joy to the World” and “Deck the Halls” to “Up on the House Top” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”

You can purchase tickets to the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace, which includes a private dessert party with a view of the fireworks. For access to a better viewing area you can purchase tickets to the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing, which includes a private dessert party and admission to a reserved viewing area for the fireworks.

You can purchase tickets to Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party, which includes a selection of hors d’oeuvres, desserts and access to a reserved viewing area for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.

Is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party worth the money? Depends on your plans. Be aware that the same parades, shows, “snow” experience and fireworks (but not the hot chocolate and cookies) are offered as part of regular admission if you visit Magic Kingdom starting the day after Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ends, through New Year’s Eve. So if you will be visiting Magic Kingdom between the day after the party and New Year’s Eve, it might not be worth the extra money to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party earlier in the month. The special ride enhancements, special character meet and greets, some special decorations, and some commemorative merchandise are only available at the party.

Although the number of people admitted each night is limited, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can feel quite crowded, particularly on weekend nights and the last couple of nights it’s offered. The rides will be less busy than they would be at that time on a regular park night, but the headliners can still build up some decent wait times, and the special character meetings will often have quite long lines. To give you some idea, on the final sold-out night of 2013, before the party started the wait time for Space Mountain was hovering between 40-45 minutes. After the party started, the wait went down to 15-25 minutes. On the other hand, the Haunted Mansion didn’t change; it was 10-15 minutes before the party started and 10-15 minutes after the party started. It can be a lot of fun to attend if you want to get into the Christmas spirit in late November or early December, but don’t necessarily expect to walk onto every ride. The party is more about the parades and Christmas “atmosphere.”

It’s fun to have dinner at Tony’s Town Square or Liberty Tree Tavern just before the party. This allows you to be in the park right when the festivities begin. The two restaurants book up quickly, so make reservations as early as possible (180 days in advance).

Typically, ticket prices are least expensive for early November, a bit more for mid-November and early December and most expensive for the last few dates in December. In the past, the last party before Christmas has sold out well in advance. Tickets purchased on the day-of (if available) will cost an additional $10 per ticket, except for December 20 & 22 where the advance purchase prices is the same as the day-of price.

2019 Regular prices for all guests:

  • $105.44 (age 10+), $100.11 (age 3-9) for November 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21
  • $116.09 (age 10+), $110.76 (age 3-9) for November 8, 15, 22; December 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15
  • $122.48 (age 10+), $117.15 (age 3-9) for November 24; December 1, 6, 13, 17
  • $137.39 (age 10+), $132.06 (age 3-9) for December 19
  • $148.04 (age 10+), $142.71 (age 3-9) for December 20,22

*Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Annual and Seasonal Passholders can buy advance discounted tickets for most November dates and selected dates in December. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

2019 Discount prices for DVC members and Annual Passholders:

  • $100.11 (age 10+), $94.79 (age 3-9) for November 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21
  • $110.76 (age 10+), $105.44 (age 3-9) for November 8, 15, 22; December 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15
  • $117.15 (age 10+), $111.83 (age 3-9) for November 24; December 1, 6, 13, 17
  • $132.06 (age 10+), $126.74 (age 3-9) for December 19

In the past, Active Duty, Retired, and Permanently Disabled US Military (with current military ID) have been able to purchase discounted tickets for themselves and up to 5 family/friends for select dates. The tickets may be purchased at any theme park ticket window or Guest Relations Office. They may also be available at Shades of Green or MWR/ITT locations, which do not charge tax. Tax is added if purchased at the theme parks.

  • 2019 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets went on sale April 8, 2019. Tickets can be purchased through Undercover Tourist (there’s no discount, but it can be convenient if you’re buying other tickets at the same time), or direct from Disney via the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party page.

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace

In 2019, the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace will be offered November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22 as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

This separately ticketed premium event includes a private dessert party with a view of Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime fireworks. Enjoy holiday-themed cupcakes and desserts along with sparkling cider, signature lemonades, specialty Christmas drinks, hot chocolate, coffee or tea.

The Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace costs $89.46 per adult and $53.25 per child (age 3 to 9), tax included. Admission to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is required and is not included in the price of this package. Seating will be available at the dessert party on a first-come, first-served basis, but every table features views of Cinderella Castle.

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing

In 2019, the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing will be offered November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22 as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

This separately ticketed event includes a private dessert party and admission to a reserved viewing area for the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime fireworks. Enjoy holiday-themed cupcakes and desserts along with sparkling cider, signature lemonades, specialty Christmas drinks, hot chocolate, coffee or tea.

The Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing costs $73.49 per adult and $43.67 per child (age 3 to 9), tax included. Admission to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is required and is not included in the price of this package. Seating will be available at the dessert party on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party

In 2019, Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party will be offered at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant on November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22 as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

This separately ticketed event includes a selection of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, along with beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages and access to a reserved viewing area for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.

Beginning at 9:30 pm, attendees can pop in and out of Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party at their leisure. At 11:00 pm, attendees will have access to a special reserved viewing area for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade as it makes its way down Main Street, U.S.A. This party continues until 12:30 am, ending 30 minutes after Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party costs $105.44 per person, tax included. Admission to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is required and is not included in the price.

  • Reservations for the 2019 Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party opened on July 16. Reservations can be made on the Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party page or by calling 407-827-7348Please note: admission to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is required and is not included in the price.

Candlelight Processional

In 2019, the Candlelight Processional will be offered November 29 through December 30. There are normally three performances each night, at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 pm. In 2019, the Candlelight Processional schedule was first announced on June 3.

The Candlelight Processional is an annual event at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase at Epcot. It consists of a celebrity narrator presenting the Biblical Christmas story, plus a large choir and an orchestra performing traditional religious Christmas carols. The Processional is an explicitly Christian religious presentation with a “church service” feel to it. Each show runs about 40 minutes. You’ll need to line up at LEAST 45 minutes prior to the show if you want to have any hope of getting in (or buy the Candlelight Processional Dining Package for guaranteed entry).

There is no additional charge for the performance over and above your Epcot admission.

2019 Candlelight Processional Narrators (schedule subject to change):

  • November 29 – December 1: Ming-Na Wen
  • December 2 – 5: Neil Patrick Harris
  • December 6 – 7: Whoopi Goldberg
  • December 8 – 10: Isabella Rossellini
  • December 11 – 12: Chita Rivera
  • December 13 – 15: Gary Sinise
  • December 16 – 18: Pat Sajak
  • December 19 – 21: Warwick Davis
  • December 22 – 24: Stephen Curtis Chapman
  • December 25 – 26: Edward James Olmos
  • December 27 – 28: Marlee Matlin
  • December 29 – 30: Lisa Ling

Candlelight Processional Dining Package

You can purchase a special Candlelight Processional Dining Package. With this special package you pay a flat rate for a sit-down meal at an Epcot restaurant and you receive “preferred seating” for the Candlelight Processional. Admission to Epcot is not included in the dining package price.

Lunch and dinner packages are available at select Epcot restaurants. Breakfast is available at Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk and Garden Grill in The Land Pavilion in Epcot. Cost will vary depending on restaurant and mealtime selected.

Based on our experience, getting the package may be the only way you’ll get a seat at all, particularly on weekend nights. Expect to wait in a significant line to enter the show, even if you have the package.

Holiday Sleigh Rides

During the month of December, Disney offers 25-minute “sleigh” rides through the woods from the Ft. Wilderness Campground. (The horse-drawn vehicle is wheeled but made to look like a red sleigh, complete with sleigh bells!) Each person receives a special limited-edition pin. After your ride you can stroll through the barn to check out where the horses live and learn more about them.

You can book up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-PLAY (939-7529).

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

First, be sure to read our survival guide to visiting Walt Disney World at Christmas!

There are special meals available at certain restaurants on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You can reserve holiday meals up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).

Note that “holiday pricing” (i.e. higher prices) will be in effect for some restaurants (particularly the buffets and character meals) from mid-December through the first few days of January (holiday season). Other restaurants may charge a premium on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, so be sure to ask when booking reservations.

Religious services have been held on Christmas Day only in the Fantasia Ballroom at the Contemporary Resort. Catholic Mass will be held at 8:00 am and 10:30 am. A Protestant service will be held at 9:15 am. If you plan to attend, it is best confirm the time and location with the front desk or concierge.

You may not park at the Contemporary for these services, so to get there, you must do one of the following:

  • take the monorail to the Contemporary
  • take a boat to the Contemporary
  • take resort transportation (monorail, boat or bus) to the Magic Kingdom and transfer to a shuttle bus serving the Contemporary resort

New Year’s Eve

First, be sure to read our survival guide to visiting Walt Disney World at Christmas! (The advice also applies to New Year’s Eve.)

Disney Springs is also a VERY popular place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you are planning to take a taxi or ride-share back to your hotel after midnight, be prepared for long lines and/or wait times! Wait times for the Disney buses may be longer than usual too.

Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios all stay open late on New Year’s Eve and offer extra entertainment, usually including live performances, extra parades and fireworks. These festivities are included in regular park admission.

New for 2019, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open until midnight to celebrate New Year’s Eve. There will be special New Year’s Eve-themed food and drinks, along with DJs in Asia, Discovery Island and DinoLand U.S.A. As midnight approaches everyone can gather around Discovery Island and Asia to watch a special New Year’s Eve countdown on the Tree of Life. Energetic music and lighting displays will welcome in 2020.

Christmas decorations remain up throughout Walt Disney World through New Year, and generally several days past the first of the year.

Special theme park events for New Year’s Eve are usually offered, including special fireworks, dance parties, live bands, etc.

Atlantic Dance Hall

New Year’s Eve at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort includes a video DJ. You must be 21 years of age or older (with ID) to enter Atlantic Dance Hall on New Year’s Eve, and the event requires a separate ticket.

Special Meals

There are special meals available at certain restaurants on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. You can reserve holiday meals up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).

Several Disney Resort Hotels offer a special New Year’s Eve party that include a meal as well as dancing, character appearances, fireworks viewing or other activities. There are several rooftop restaurant celebrations and Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers an adult-only celebration as well as a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party. See below for more information about these events.

Note that “holiday pricing” (i.e. higher prices) will be in effect for some restaurants (particularly the buffets and character meals) from mid-December through the first few days of January (holiday season). Other restaurants may charge a premium on New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day, so be sure to ask when booking reservations.

For New Year’s Eve 2019, Flying Fish on Disney’s BoardWalk, will offer a multi-course, prix fixe menu. Seatings are available from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm -10:00 pm on December 31, with a sustainable seafood tower and intermezzo included in the second seating. The cost begins at $150 per person, tax & gratuity included. Please note: there is a dress code for this event.

For New Year’s Eve 2019, Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will offer a special waterside dinner on December 30 & 31. Earlier dinner times feature a relaxed, casually elegant experience. Later dinner times include an upbeat three-piece band and a dance floor. The cost varies depending on the date and seating time. Please note: there is a dress code for this event.

For New Year’s Eve 2019, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will offer a New Year’s Eve celebration that includes a Champagne reception, a dégustation wine dinner and music provided by a live harpist. The cost is $652.47 per person, tax included. Please note: there is a dress code for this event.

  • For more information or to book a reservation for these New Year’s Eve meals, visit the restaurant’s webpage.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Rooftop Restaurants at Disney Resort Hotels

For New Year’s Eve 2019, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, located at the top of Disney’s Riviera Resort, will host Mezzanotte at Topolino’s: An Italian Masquerade from 8:00 pm – 12:15 am. The cost is $550 per person, tax & gratuity included. Please note: there is a dress code for this event.

For New Year’s Eve 2019, Tolédo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, located at the top of Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, will offer Feliz Ano Nuevo: A New Year’s Eve Party from 8:00 pm – 12:30 am. The cost is $400 per person, tax & gratuity included. Please note: there is a dress code for this event.

For New Year’s Eve 2019, California Grill, located at the top at Disney’s Contemporary Resort , will offer An Elegant Evening Under the Stars from 8:00 pm – 12:30 am. The cost is $675 per person, tax & gratuity included. Please note: there is a dress code for this event.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney Countdown to Midnight is December 31, 2019 from 8:00 pm until 12:15 am on January 1, 2020 in the Fantasia ballroom. This celebration includes dining, live music, libations and more. An interactive band and DJ will fill the dance floor (and Mickey and Minnie may make a special appearance). Welcome in the new year with a glass of bubbly and a viewing of the New Year’s Eve fireworks in the Magic Kingdom. This party is designed for guests 18 and older. The cost is $299 per person, tax and gratuity included.

Disney Ink & Paint Club Experience – Located adjacent to the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this special reception takes place 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Ticketed guests can visit a special lounge throughout the evening. The reception menu will be available from 7:00 pm -8:30 pm. This vintage Disney Animation-inspired room has silver Chiavari chairs, metallic tables and references to classic Disney Animation filling the room. Disney Ink & Paint Club is only available as a part of a combination ticket that includes access to both the Disney Countdown to Midnight and the Ink & Paint Club; the total cost is $499 per person, tax and gratuity included.

Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration is for children of all ages, and is a family-friendly way to ring in the New Year with a Disney•Pixar-inspired dinner in the Ballroom of the Americas. In 2019, the Pixar Party will be offered December 30 and 31 from 8:00 pm until midnight. The decorations include theatrical backdrops, set pieces and fun props that re-create the worlds of the Pixar films. Characters from Toy Story, The Incredibles, Cars and Up will join the party. Special activities for kids include: Pixar face painting, a balloon artist and a boot camp with Sarge, while an interactive DJ will spin hits from Radio Disney. Dinner is buffet style. At midnight, the celebration will head outdoors to ring in the New Year with a viewing of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. The cost is $199 per person, tax and gratuity included.