A note from Mommy Frog: The Walt Disney World Theme Parks are temporarily closed until further notice in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease, or COVID-19. For more details about park closures, read our blog post, which we will continue to update with the latest news.
Festivals. Concerts. Food. (That's our personal fave!) It seems like there's always one occasion or another to visit. Events are some of the biggest reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort! While some of Disney World's special events fall during what was once considered more "off-peak" times in spring and fall, others hoppen during very busy times. Many of the Disney World events have become so popular that they bring more people to the parks! Here is the full schedule of Disney World events in 2020 to help you plan your visit.
For those of you who have already picked your dates, this post also serves as a guide to what will be hoppening while you're there. You'll find all of the Disney World 2020 events on our Crowd Calendar. You can also see crowd levels and park recommendations on the days that events are taking place.
We update this post throughout the year as new event details are released and dates are added. Be sure to bookmark this page if you've got a trip coming up to stay up-to-date on all of the exciting events to come!
Guide to Walt Disney World Special Events in 2020
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend — Jan. 8-12, 2020
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2020 Weekend will feature Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, Dopey Challenge, runDisney Kids Races, Walt Disney World 5K & 10K, Walt Disney World Half Marathon and the headlining race, the Walt Disney World Marathon. The runDisney Health & Fitness Expo will take place, Jan. 8-11, 2020. The courses of the longer races take runners through all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.
Disney races are some of the Disney World events in 2020 that will bring in heavy crowds. Crowd levels are usually affected by the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend since the event brings in thousands and thousands of runners and spectators each year. Traffic around the resort is also affected by the Walt Disney World Marathon. When visiting during this special event, expect travel time between the Disney parks to take longer. Registration opened on April 16, 2019 (the majority of the races have already sold out). We have a separate post on what to expect at the Disney World Marathon if you want to start planning.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts — Jan. 17 - Feb. 24, 2020
This new-ish Epcot festival (it debuted in 2017) has quickly become one of our favorite Epcot events! The festival celebrates visual, performing and culinary arts. There are usually gallery exhibits, living statues, artist appearances and much more that take place during the festival. The Disney on Broadway Concert Series inside the America Gardens Theatre have nightly performances.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts is typically included with admission to the park, but there are separately ticketed events within the festival itself if you are looking for additional experiences such as culinary classes or art workshops. Here is our full guide to Epcot International Festival of the Arts if you're planning a trip during this time next year.
Disney After Hours - Select nights from January 2020 until May 2020
On select nights, guests can stay after park closing in this separately-ticketed event to experience Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom after dark. Your event ticket includes admission to the park beginning at 7 p.m., though the events themselves begin a few hours later once the park officially closes. Ice cream, popcorn and select beverages are also included in the cost of admission.
Disney Villains After Hours (Magic Kingdom) — Select nights from Feb. 7, 2020, until July 2020
Disney Villains took over Magic Kingdom during this uniquely themed After Hours event last summer, and it's plotting a wicked return. Guests have exclusive access to Magic Kingdom for three hours after normal park operations. Your favorite fiends plot to take over the universe during the stage show, Villains Unite the Night, in front of Cinderella Castle, and Maleficent the Dragon makes special appearances throughout the evening.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend — Feb. 20-23, 2020
Inspired by the Disney Princesses, this event is designed with women in mind. Weekend events will include the Disney Princess 5K, Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, Disney Fairy Tale Challenge and the headlining event, the Disney Princess Half Marathon. The half marathon takes runners through Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Traffic around the parks is typically affected by this race every year. Registration opened June 4, 2019, and the 5K and 10K races have already sold out.
MARCH - JULY
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival — March 4 - June 1, 2020
As the second event in the lineup of the Epcot festivals in 2020, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival blossoms each spring. This festival features more than 100 topiaries spread throughout the park. There are an abundance of food offerings at 17 outdoor kitchens scattered around World Showcase and Future World to enjoy while admiring the character topiaries. Popular kitchens include the locally-grown Florida Fresh, the Citrus Blossom and the Honey Bee-stro.
Guests can also delight in the hundreds of butterfly species residing at the festival's screened butterfly house. In 2020, the festival concerts will take place at America Gardens Theater every night during the event. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included with regular admission to Epcot. This is one of the most colorful and popular Disney World events!
Check out the sights and sounds of Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival below!
Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon Weekend — April 16-19, 2020
Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon Weekend has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. All participants will receive a refund for their race registration from RunDisney.
Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon 2020 Weekend features iconic rivalries from "Star Wars." Weekend events include the Star Wars 5K, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars Rival Run Challenge and the runDisney Kids Races, as well as the headlining half marathon. Registration opened July 16, 2019. Start perfecting using the Force (maybe it can help you punch it to beat your best race time?).
AUGUST - DECEMBER
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Magic Kingdom) — Select nights from August to October 2020
One of the most popular Disney World events is Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. It takes place at Magic Kingdom on select nights each fall. The party's biggest highlights are watching Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular fireworks show and Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. The party features trick-or-treating in the park and Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes. The party is not included with regular admission to Magic Kingdom and requires a separate ticket. We recommend purchasing tickets in advance since these parties do sell out ... but we're hoppy to say that you can purchase your tickets from your favorite frogs! If you're thinking about going, check out our guide to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for all of the spooky-fun details.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival — August to November 2020
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival takes place every fall as one of the most popular Epcot events. If you're looking for Disney World 2020 events with plenty of food and drink, this is one of them! The festival features more than 25 international marketplace kiosks, which offer tapas-sized portions of regional specialties, as well as recommended wine and beer pairings. Guests can spend time sharpening their culinary and beverage skills in seminars, too. There are also opportunities to partake in special dining experiences with celebrity chefs for an additional charge. This a major event, and we recommend using our Epcot Food & Wine Festival guide to help you make the most of it!
Eat to the Beat! Concert Series is included with admission to the park. The concerts feature many acclaimed artists. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is included with regular theme park admission.
Get a taste of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival with our sights and sounds video below.
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend — Nov. 5-8, 2020
The Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend combines the magic of a runDisney race with the festivities of the Food & Wine Festival. Races include the Disney Fall Feast 5K, Kids Races and the Half Marathon. The half marathon takes place at nighttime! You can find more event and registration details on the runDisney site.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (Magic Kingdom) — Select nights from November to December 2020
One of our favorite Disney World events, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, is a special event held on select nights each winter at Magic Kingdom. The party runs from 7 p.m. until midnight. The big highlights from this event are Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration castle stage show, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime fireworks and magical snowfall over Main Street, U.S.A.
There are also plenty of opportunities to meet your favorite Disney characters, some of whom are decked out in their holiday finest. Cookies and hot cocoa are included with admission to this separately ticketed event. It is recommended you purchase tickets in advance because it is common for nights to sell out. Get your party ticket, and check out our guide to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party so that you can get in on all of the holly jolly fun, too!
While Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate event, there are still many festive holiday Disney World events in 2020. Each one brings merriment with the right touch of Disney. Let our complete guide to Disney World holiday events be your holiday planner! (Consider it our gift to you.)
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays (Epcot) — November to December 2020
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays takes place each winter. Storytellers from many of the countries, such as La Bafena at the Italy pavilion, recount holiday customs from their respective countries. Guests can also have their picture made with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the American Adventure Pavilion! There's also seasonal food from each country available for purchase. Buon appetito!
The Candlelight Processional is performed three times nightly. The show tells the story of Christmas with a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. Much like other Epcot festivals in 2020, Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is included with regular admission to Epcot. We have tips on all of these festivities (and yes, the food, too) in our full guide!
Holiday Celebrations at Disney's Animal Kingdom — November to December 2020
In 2019, Animal Kingdom rang in the festive season with more holiday decorations and entertainment than ever before. Discovery Island featured life-size puppets of winter animals such as reindeer, penguins and polar bears that interacted with guests, accompanied by serenading musicians. In Asia, the theatre district was decorated in celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights in India. The Tree of Life had special holiday awakenings, as well. Hopfully, we'll see these adorable puppets return in 2020!
Holiday Celebrations at Disney's Hollywood Studios — November to December 2020
Debuting in 2017, Sunset Season's Greetings lights up Tinseltown as snow falls and dazzling projections light up the Hollywood Tower Hotel to tell special holiday tales from your favorite characters. This show takes place intermittently throughout the night. Be sure to stick around until the end of the night for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks spectacular!
Holiday Celebrations at Disney Springs — November to December 2020
Holidays at Disney Springs is a special event that replaced Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney (the previous name for the entertainment area). It offers live entertainment, festive decor and fun photo ops. Holiday carolers, Toy Soldier stilt walkers and street performers make random appearances, and a live DJ hosts a dance party for all ages.
Holiday decorations include the Disney Springs' Christmas Trail, a trail of trees decorated and themed as Disney characters. You also have the opportunity to meet Santa at the end of the Christmas Tree Trail. Holidays at Disney Springs is a free Disney World event in 2020.
We hope you found this list of Disney World 2020 events hopful as you plan your visit. By now you've realized that the parties, festivals and events are some of the best reasons to visit! If you are looking for more tips, check out the When to Visit Orlando page on our Orlando Planning Timeline!