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 2021 and 2022 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 Walt Disney World events in 2021 and beyond on our Crowd Calendar. You can also see crowd levels and park recommendations on the days that events are taking place. We've even got a whole post detailing some of the very best times to plan a Disney World trip in 2021 and 2022.
While 2020 and some of 2021 featured modified events, things continue to open up further and further around the resort in the second half of 2021. In fact, the first EPCOT festival without "Taste" in its name since the park reopened is EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, which started July 15! Of course, there are other fun events going on, such as Boo Bash and Very Merriest After Hours events, and of course, we can look forward to Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration. runDisney events will move from virtual to in-person, beginning with November's Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend. 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!
Full Schedule of Events at Disney World in 2021 and 2022
JULY - DECEMBER 2021
EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival — July 15 to Nov. 20, 2021
The popular EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival returned July 15 and is running through Nov. 22, 2021. If you're looking for Disney World 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. Most years, guests can spend time sharpening their culinary and beverage skills in seminars (but these are not hoppening this year). There are also usually opportunities to partake in special dining experiences with celebrity chefs for an additional charge (also not hoppening this year). This a major event, and we recommend using our EPCOT Food & Wine Festival guide to help you make the most of it!
The Eat to the Beat! Concert Series is not being held this year, but other musical acts and entertainment, such as local bands, Mariachi Cobre, JAMMitors and Voices of Liberty, will continue to entertain guests. 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 from 2021's event below.
Disney After Hours Boo Bash (Magic Kingdom) — Aug. 10 to Oct. 31, 2021
Get ready for Halloween at Magic Kingdom with the new Disney After Hours Boo Bash! The separately ticked event takes place on select nights from Aug. 10 to Oct. 31, from 9 p.m. to midnight (or 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. depending on the date). Festivities include Halloween character cavalcades, character sightings throughout the park, performances from the Cadaver Dans, spooktacular decor, lighting and music, treat stops and more. Guests can dress up in their best costumes and enter the park as early as 7 p.m. without a day ticket or a Disney Park Pass reservation. Tickets for Disney After Hours Boo Bash are now sold out online for all event nights.
Boo Bash takes the place of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party normally includes a "Hocus Pocus" stage show, special fireworks, Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade, rare character greetings and more.
Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration — Begins Oct. 1, 2021
Someone is turning the big 5-0! "The World's Most Magical Celebration" will kick off Oct. 1, 2021, and run for 18 dazzling months all across the resort! Guests can take in special entertainment, including a new cavalcade at Magic Kingdom, and new nighttime spectaculars with "Harmonious" at EPCOT and "Disney Enchantment" at Magic Kingdom. Disney's Animal Kingdom will debut a new daytime performance, "Disney KiteTails," and each of the park's icons will become "beacons of magic," featuring special "EARidescent" decor, lighting and more. Characters will don their best party attire, and several new additions will open as the event progresses. The very first? Remy's Ratatouille Adventure will open with the event on Oct. 1, 2021, in EPCOT.
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend — Nov. 4 to 7, 2021
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. Half-marathoners and Disney Two-Course Challenge participants can celebrate at an exclusive post-race party at the Food and Wine Festival. You can find more event and registration details on the runDisney site. In 2020, this event took place virtually from Nov. 5 to 8, 2020 — but the event will resume in person in 2021!
Disney Very Merriest After Hours (Magic Kingdom) — Nov. 8 to Dec. 21, 2021
Similar to Boo Bash, the all-new Disney Very Merriest After Hours event will ring in the holiday season at Magic Kingdom. On select nights from Nov. 8 to Dec. 21, you'll be able to enjoy Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime parade, Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, character sightings, castle projections, ride overlays and, of course, festive food! The event runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and event tickets will allow early entry starting at 7 p.m. without daytime admission or a Disney Park Pass reservation.
While Disney Very Merriest After Hours is a separate event, there are still many festive holiday Disney World events. 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.)
Disney Very Merriest takes the place of one of our favorite Disney World events, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. The party normally 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.
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays (EPCOT) — Nov. 26 to Dec. 30, 2021
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays takes place each winter; in 2021, the festival will run from Nov. 26 to Dec. 30. Storytellers from many of the countries, such as La Befana at the Italy pavilion, recount holiday customs from their respective countries (they didn't appear in 2020 but no word yet if they will return in 2021). We expect Santa Claus to make special pop-up appearances too! There's also seasonal food from each country available for purchase. Buon appetito!
Good news — the Candlelight Processional has been confirmed to return in 2021! Instead of hosting choirs from the community, the cast member choir will expand. Celebrity narrators will be announced at a later date. The Candlelight Processional is typically 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, 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 — Begins Nov. 12, 2021
Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park will celebrate the jolly season, starting Nov. 12. Guests can wave at favorite characters in their holiday best, as well as Santa, in Festive Flotillas along Discovery River. At night, check out the Tree of Life Awakenings — Holiday Edition, during which the tree shimmers and sparkles along to a musical score. There will also be special seasonal decorations and food to enjoy around the park!
Holiday Celebrations at Disney's Hollywood Studios — Begins Nov. 12, 2021
Share a meal with Santa Goofy, Minnie Mouse and friends at Hollywood & Vine for a Christmas feast. Sunset Season's Greetings typically 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. Plus guests can catch Santa driving by in a special seasonal motorcade!
Holiday Celebrations at Disney Springs — Begins Nov. 12, 2021
Holidays at Disney Springs is a special event that replaced Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney (the previous name for the entertainment area). Holiday decorations include the Disney Springs' Christmas Trail, a trail of trees decorated and themed as Disney characters. In the evening, guests visiting areas within Town Center, West Side and The Landing encounter a magical snowfall. Jock Lindsay's Holiday Bar will return again with holiday decor and a limited-time menu. Holidays at Disney Springs is a free Disney World event, and we can't wait to see what's in store for 2021!
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend — Jan. 5 to 9, 2022
The Walt Disney World Marathon 2021 Weekend featured 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. Normally, the courses of the longer races take runners through all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. In 2021, the event moved to a virtual race for the health and safety of participants, but it will resume in-person in 2022 (though some races have virtual counterparts).
If you're planning a trip that overlaps with a race, you should know that Disney races are some of the Disney World events 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. 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 — TBD (Usually early January to late February)
Grab a paintbrush, and let your imagination flow! This EPCOT 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. In 2021, a modified version of the festival ran from Jan. 8 to Feb. 22. Normally, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series offers nightly performances at the America Gardens Theatre, but instead, the Voices of Liberty serenaded us with the new "Disney Songbook." We expect that the festival will be back in full swing for 2022!
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 to inspire you.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend — Feb. 24 to 27, 2022
Inspired by the Disney Princesses, this event celebrates strong, determined women. Weekend events included the Disney Princess 5K, Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, Disney Fairy Tale Challenge and the headlining event, the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Normally, the half marathon takes runners through Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, but the race was converted to a virtual event for 2021. Traffic around the parks is typically affected by this race every year. In 2022, the race will offer both in-person and virtual options.
MARCH - JUNE
EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival — TBD
As the second event in the lineup of the EPCOT festivals, EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival blossoms each spring. This festival features more than 100 topiaries spread throughout the park. There is an abundance of food offerings at the outdoor kitchens scattered around World Showcase and Future World to enjoy while admiring the character topiaries. Popular kitchens in 2021 included the locally-grown Florida Fresh, Citrus Blossom and Honey Bee-stro. In 2021, the festival took place from March 3 to July 5.
Guests can also delight in the hundreds of butterfly species residing at the festival's screened butterfly house. The festival concerts take place at America Gardens Theatre 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!
See what was in bloom at EPCOT's 2021 Flower & Garden Festival below!
runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend — March 31 to April 3, 2022
Formerly the Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon, this all-new runDisney event will offer up a new theme each year. Details for the event are still TBD, so keep hopping back!
We hope you found this list of Disney World 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!