the trusted name in attraction tickets

Disney World Special Events for 2013

by Leap on January 10, 2013

Happy 2013! We wanted to give you an overview of the major special events coming to the Walt Disney World resort this year to help as you plan "When to Visit." These special events (as well as some of the smaller events) are listed on our crowd calendar, which is another great tool for planning your vacation. Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at the special events at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens, and Universal Orlando. 

Pluto Topiary at Epcot International Flower & Garden FestivalSpecial events are listed in the order that they begin throughout the year. Dates have not been announced for all of these events, but rest assured, we'll add them here as soon as they are!

January

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend usually takes place the first weekend in January. In 2013, the dates were January 10-13. It is a full weekend of races, including Goofy's Race and a Half ChallengeDisney Family Fun Run 5KWalt Disney World Half Marathon and the headlining race, the Walt Disney World Marathon. Disney's Health & Fitness Expo also takes places throughout the weekend. The courses of the longer races take runners through all four Walt Disney World theme parks. Traffic around the theme park area is affected by the Walt Disney World Marathon. If you visit during this special event, expect travel time between the Disney parks to take longer. Registration for next year's race weekend Jan. 9-12 begins on April 9.

February

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend usually takes place the last weekend of February each year. It will take place February 22-24. Inspired by the Disney Princesses, this event is designed with women in mind. Weekend events include the Disney Royal Family 5KrunDisney Kids' Races, Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo, and the headlining event, Disney's Princess Half Marathon. The half marathon takes place in Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Traffic around these parks is affected by this race.

March - May

Cars at Epcot International Flower & Garden ShowEpcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is an annual event at Epcot each spring. In 2013, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival takes place March 6-May 19. Highlights of this special event include more than 100 topiaries throughout Epcot (more than 75 are Disney character topiaries), Flower Power Concert Series every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and designer presentations from HGTV stars and Epcot gardening experts. This year, guests can visit the Land of Oz, an interactive play area as well as circus-themed midway based on the Disney film “Oz The Great and Powerful.” Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included with regular admission to Epcot.

Flower Power Concert Series Lineup

March 8-10 Mickey Dolenz of The Monkeez

March 15-17 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

March 22-24 The Guess Who

March 29-31 Nelson

April 5-7 The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie

April 12-14 Paul Revere & the Raiders

April 19-21 The Village People (new!)

April 26-28 The Orchestra, Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II

May 3-5 Tommy Roe (new!)

May 10-12 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone

May 17-19 Starship starring Mickey Thomas

HGTV & DIY Network personalities scheduled for appearances and sessions*

March 8-10 Chris Lambton, "Going Yard"

March 15-17 Chris Grundy, "Cool Tools"

March 22-24 Egypt Sherrod, "Property Virgins"

March 29-31 Brandon Johnson, "My Yard Goes Disney"

April 5-7 Meg Caswell, "Meg's Great Rooms"

April 12-14 Jason Cameron, "Desperate Landscapes," "Man Caves"

April 19-21 Sara Peterson, editor, HGTV Magazine

April 26-28 Carter Oosterhouse, "Million Dollar Rooms"

May 3-5 Casey Noble, "Design on a Dime"

May 10-12 Dan Faires, HGTV.com's "DanMade"

May 17-19 David Bromstad, "ColorSplash," "Design Star All-Stars."

* Subject to changes

(See pictures of the 2012 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.)

(Read more about what to expect at this year's Flower & Garden Festival.)

May - June

Stars Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood StudiosStar Wars Weekends (Disney's Hollywood Studios)

For four weekends in May and June, Disney's Hollywood Studios hosts Star Wars Weekends. The 2013 dates are May 17-June 9. The event celebrates the legendary Star Wars Saga and the animated television series, The Clone Wars. Highlights include a Character Processional through the park, Star Wars character meet and greets, Disney Characters in Star Wars themed outfits, autograph opportunities from Star Wars celebrities and much more. This special event strongly effects the crowd levels at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Stars Wars Weekends is included with regular theme park admission.

(See the full list of scheduled celebrities for 2013 here.)

(See pictures from Star Wars Weekends 2011 here.)

(Watch a video of the opening Character Processional here.)

(Read helpful tips for attending Star Wars Weekends here.)

June - July

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series (Epcot)

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series takes place every summer at Epcot. The dates are June 9-July 27. Every night at the America Gardens Theatre, guests can sit back and listen to some of the world's greatest tribute bands. There are typically three performances on each night the event takes place. Sounds Like Summer Concert Series is included with regular admission to Epcot.

2013 Lineup

Stayin’ Alive

A Tribute to the BeeGees: June 9 - June 15, 2013

Hotel California

A Salute to the Eagles: June 16 - June 22, 2013

Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot

The Ultimate Billy Joel Tribute Show: June 23 - June 29, 2013

Slippery When Wet

The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute: June 30 - July 6, 2013

SouthBound and Company

A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd: July 7 - July 13, 2013

The Police Experience

A Tribute to The Police: July 14 - July 20, 2013

2U

A Tribute to U2: July 21 - July 27, 2013

September

Night of Joy (Magic Kingdom)

Night of Joy is a contemporary Christian music festival that takes place each September at Magic Kingdom. This year, the event is September 6 and 7. During the event, there are live performances by music superstars across a variety of genres included rock, pop and gospel. Featured artists in 2013 include Skillet, Newsboys, Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman, TobyMac, MercyMe, Francesca Battistelli, Britt Nicole, for KING & COUNTRY, We As Human and Jamie Grace. Night of Joy is a separately ticketed event and is not included with regular admission to Magic Kingdom.

September - October

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2011Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Magic Kingdom)

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place at Magic Kingdom on select nights each fall. Event highlights include Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks, Villains Dance Mix & Mingle Castle Stage Show, trick-or-treating throughout the park and Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is not included with regular admission to Magic Kingdom; it is a separately ticketed event. It is recommended you purchase tickets in advance; it is common for nights to sell out.

(See pictures from Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2012 here.)

(Watch a video of Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade here.)

(Watch a video of Happy HalloWishes Fireworks show here.)

(Read tips for attending Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party here.)

2013 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Dates

September: 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27 and 29

October: 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31

November: 1

September - November

Epcot International Food & Wine FestivalEpcot International Food & Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival takes place every fall at Epcot. This year, the festival runs Sept. 27 through Nov. 10. The festival features more than 25 international marketplace kiosks, which will offer tapas-sized portions of regional specialties as well as recommended wine and beer pairings. Another event highlight is the Eat to the Beat! Concert Series, which will feature internationally acclaimed artists. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is included with regular theme park admission.

Eat to the Beat! Concert Series

The Go-Go's: Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Edwin McCain: Oct. 10-11

The Manhattan Transfer: Oct. 12-13

Spin Doctors: Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Christopher Cross: Nov. 2-3

Other performers include The Pointer Sisters, Smash Mouth, Boyz II Men, Sister Hazel, Air Supply, Hanson and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (dates not yet listed).

(Leap and Mommy Frog Eat Their Way Around the World)

(Watch our video from the 2012 Festival)

(Kid-Friendly Dining at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival)

November

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend usually takes place over the last weekend of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The event combines the magic of a runDisney race with the festivities of the Food & Wine Festival. 

November - December

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas PartyMickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (Magic Kingdom)

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event held on select nights each winter at Magic Kingdom. Event highlights include Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (watch the video), Holiday Wishes fireworks (watch the video), Celebrate the Season Castle stage show (watch the video), and a magical snowfall over Main Street, U.S.A. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet your favorite Disney characters decked out in their holiday finest as well as complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is not included with regular admission to Magic Kingdom; it is a separately ticketed event. It is recommended you purchase tickets in advance; it is common for nights to sell out.

(Highlights of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2012)

(Read the Frog Family Guide to Mickey's Very Christmas Party here.)

(Experience the Sights & Sounds of the Christmas Party here.)

2013 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Dates

November: 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21 and 22

December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 20

November - January

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing LightsThe Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

(Disney's Hollywood Studios)

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is a special event held each winter at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This massive seasonal display features millions of lights perfectly synchronized to music. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included with regular admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

(What to expect at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights)

(Experience the Sights & Sounds of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights here.)

(Watch the lights "dance" to holiday music here.)

November

Festival of the Masters (Downtown Disney)

Festival of the Masters is held one weekend each November at Downtown Disney. Festival of the Masters is an open-air art festival featuring more than 150 award-winning artists. There are a number of activities for children and families throughout the weekend. Festival of the Masters is free to attend.

(Watch a video of the 2011 Festival of the Masters here.)

November - January

Festival of the Seasons (Downtown Disney)

Festival of the Seasons is a special event held each winter at Downtown Disney. Festival of the Seasons offers live entertainment, festive decor, fun photo ops and much more. There are holiday carolers, costumed stilt walkers and street performers and a holiday dance party with a deejay. Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney is free to attend.

November - December

Holidays Around The World - Candlelight Processional (Epcot)

Holidays Around The World - Candlelight Processional is a special event that takes place each winter at Epcot. Holidays Around The World features Storytellers such as The Monkey King in the China Pavilion and Father Christmas in the United Kingdom Pavilion who recount holiday customs from their countries. Candlelight Processional is performed three times nightly and retells the story of Christmas with a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. Holidays Around The World - Candlelight Processional is included with regular admission to Epcot.

Candlelight Processional Narrators

Nov. 29-Dec. 1: Gary Sinise

Dec. 2-3: Neil Patrick Harris

Dec. 4-5: Ashley Judd

Dec. 6-7: Whoopi Goldberg

Dec. 8-10: Sigourney Weaver

Dec. 11-13: Dennis Haysbert

Dec. 14-16: James Denton

Dec. 17-19: Edward James Olmos

Dec. 20-22: Trace Adkins

Dec. 23-25: Steven Curtis Chapman

Dec. 26-28: Blair Underwood

Dec. 29-30: Amy Grant

(Read more about the Holidays Around The World - Candlelight Processional here.)

(Watch highlights of Holidays Around The World here.)

(Watch the Candlelight Processional here.)

Related: Special Events at Universal Orlando

Related: Special Events at SeaWorld & Busch Gardens

For more help in deciding when to visit, check out our crowd calendar, refurbishments and closings page, and seasonal packing lists. You'll find more resources for when to visit inside our Planning Page!

Comments
Sort newest to oldest Sort oldest to newest
DizNut Jan 18, 2013 at 10:49 a.m.

Do you get to visit ALL the special events and get paid for it? Can I visit the parks, get expenses paid in return for articles?

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease

Reply
maria Apr 4, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.

I see you skip August ???? Thinking of doing trip on this month.

Reply
FrogBlog Apr 4, 2013 at 9:33 p.m.

Oddly enough, August doesn't have any events -- at least that have been announced!

-- Leap

Reply
laura s. Jan 20, 2014 at 8:35 p.m.

we are looking to start planning for jan 2015. When do they start publishing info about reservations, crowds, etc for the next year? not finding much past end of nov right now. thanks!

Reply
FrogBlog Jan 27, 2014 at 1:17 p.m.

Hi Laura,

Disney resort room reservations can be made 499 days in advance. If you are planning a stay at the resort, you can book now through June 2015, but you would need to call for that. As far as next year's January crowds go, they will be available starting Feb. 1 on our Crowd Calendar.

Hope this helps.

Leap

Reply
Leave a comment
Name is required. Email is required. Please input a comment.
New! Orlando Planning App
Free for Download in the Apple App Store

Your handheld guide and planning tool for all of the Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando parks.

Learn More
Free Download Free for Download in the Apple App Store

Headed to Disney World?

Learn how to Skip the Lines with the Frog Family Guide to FastPass+. Print it before you go!

FastPass+ Guide (PDF)
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando® Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando Resort, LEGOLAND® Florida and more.

Archived Posts
In the Frog Pond
In the Frog Pond
Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation
monthly news, planning tips and special deals
Email Newsletter
Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

©2000-2015 Undercover Tourist. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions

Create An Account

In order to save your favorite items, you'll need to create an account.
Already have one? Sign in.

An Undercover Tourist account allows you to:

Join The Frog Family
No thanks ×