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Essential Guide to Festivals & Seasonal Events at Walt Disney World

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 22 February 2024
  • Revised 15 March 2024
Essential Guide to Festivals & Seasonal Events at Walt Disney World
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 22 February 2024
  • Revised 15 March 2024
Essential Guide to Festivals & Seasonal Events at Walt Disney World
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 22 February 2024
  • Revised 15 March 2024
One of the many joys of Walt Disney World Resort is that no matter what time of year you visit, there will always be something fresh and exciting to see and celebrate. And Disney knows how to celebrate in style...

Popular annual holidays such as Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are unforgettable experiences at Walt Disney World Resort. And there are many other special events throughout the year including Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and the Fourth of July, too.

To find your season of choice, check out our guide to the best Disney World festivals at each park in 2024 and beyond...


As a resort dedicated to innovation, culture and nature, it’s no wonder that EPCOT plays host to some of the best and most varied Walt Disney World events on the calendar. 

The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts kicked off this year's celebrations between 12th January and 24th February 2024.  If you missed it, there's always next year for this annual event.

The festival blends visual, culinary, and performing arts, offering an enchanting atmosphere. We're talking about sipping wine while watching a live mural painting and indulging in a masterpiece-inspired dessert. EPCOT transforms food into a true art form, featuring culinary delights like sushi doughnuts and deconstructed dishes that tantalise both your eyes and taste buds. In particular, don't miss the chance to witness DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series, bringing an extra dose of magic to this already spectacular event.

Springtime blooms with the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival from 20th February through to 27th May 2024. One of EPCOT's most established and best-loved events, this beautiful festival showcases resplendent floral displays including more than two dozen intricate topiaries of your favourite Disney characters, as well as 200,000 new bedding plants in the gardens around the park, various exhibitions and educational activities, and more than 15 outdoor kitchens serving loads of tasty food items to try.

Summer and early autumn are prime time for the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival – one of the most popular throughout the whole of the resort – lasting for around three-and-a-half glorious months, so there’s plenty of opportunity to catch it.

This festival is a chance to indulge, have fun and try something new. Located in the World Showcase area of the park and in addition to the 11 individual country pavilions there are around 28 pop-up food and drink booths exhibiting a world of culinary flavours and delights, from sangria in Spain to black lager in Brazil, and everything in between.

Finally, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays embodies the spirit of the festive season from Thanksgiving at the end of November to Christmas and the New Year. And while there are no specific events like in the other Disney parks, the whole holiday period enjoys a fun festival theme with dedicated food and drinks booths, decorations, and plenty of incredible shows to see.

Magic Kingdom Park

Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park hosts epic seasonal holiday events from August through to December, including the famous Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both sets of festivities include spooktacular fireworks displays, dazzling parades and exclusive entertainment like shows, parties and a range of themed merchandise to take home with you.

Top tip: During Halloween, watch out for infamous Disney villains and characters wandering round the park, and don’t miss the trick-or-treat gift bags to be found at candy stations.

And if you're dreaming of a bright Christmas in the Sunshine State, it truly is dazzling at Walt Disney World Resort. From the magnificently adorned Christmas trees in each park to the glittering lights, colourful garlands and splendid gingerbread displays – there’s nothing on earth quite as breathtaking as a Disney-style Christmas.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

While there are no major annual festivals exclusively within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park outside of the Christmas holiday season, there is certainly plenty to see and do throughout the year. One of our favourite celebrations is Earth Day on 22nd April. This is a day that holds a very special place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom because it opened its gates for the first time on Earth Day, almost 26 years ago!

From 18 – 24 April 2024, the park will be celebrating everything Earth-related with a special Disney Character Cruise on Discovery River, alongside numerous fun activities to do and lots of limited-edition merchandise and souvenirs to collect, as well as new themed snacks and treats to get stuck into.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A new addition to the Disney events calendar in 2023 was Disney Jollywood Nights, a marvellous nighttime event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that ran from mid-November to mid-December and celebrated the holiday season in a distinctly glitzy, Hollywood vibe.

The main ticketed event – the aptly named Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! – featured shows, Christmas sing-alongs, spectacular fireworks, state-of-the-art light projections, and more on specific nights throughout the festive season. Let’s hope this one comes back for Disney World festivals in 2024 and beyond.

Walt Disney World Resort

The success of a one-off marathon race in Walt Disney World Resort sparked a series of excellent events within the parks called runDisney. These family-friendly events are open to park-goers of all ages and abilities to be able to run, walk or roll together amid the enchantment of the Disney parks, from smaller 5 km routes to full-on marathon runs. With food, drink and entertainment along the way, these events are heaps of fun and offer magical experiences for all, while you get to keep fit at the same time. Commemorative medals are awarded at the end – and you may just see your favourite Disney characters, too.

There are a multitude of races throughout 2024 and beyond including the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, the runDisney Springtime Weekend in April, the Disney Wine & Dine 10 km, which takes place in the autumn alongside the stunning Epcot Food & Wine Festival, or the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January 2025.

Ready to join the party? Browse our Walt Disney World Holidays for 2024 & 2025 to find the best deals and itineraries for you.

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