2023 Walt Disney World Events: Special Events Calendar for Disney

One of the things to know about Walt Disney World is that there is a lot going on. Yes, visitors are coming from around the world to check out Cinderella’s castle, meet Mickey, and hug a princess. But visitors are ALSO coming to run marathons, do sporting competitions and experience different festivals and celebrations in the four Disney parks.

It is important to have a general idea of what is happening at Walt Disney World throughout the year. Some of the events draw large crowds which will add to the overall business and wait times in the parks. You may choose to avoid planning your vacation during these events.

Some events, like the EPCOT festivals, may draw you to Disney World! We have been to Disney during the Food and Wine Festival and loved it!

If you are a runner, you may choose to pick a time to go to Disney during one of the runDisney events.

2023 disney world special events

Disney World Event Guide

We have given you a guide as to what is happening at Walt Disney World in 2023. There are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Holidays are always busy at Disney World, so we have noted the major ones below
  • runDisney events are very festive but can also have impacts on park hours and events. The races start very early in the morning but the longer races, particularly the marathon, may impact opening times. These do draw crowds – both runners and spectators. Be sure to check out the runDisney page to stay up to date. 
  • Many of the sporting events and competitions happen at ESPN Wide World of Sports. This is on the Disney property. Participants of these events often stay at the Disney value hotels and will visit the four Disney parks during their stay. These athletes are NOT at the Disney Parks the entire time, but you will see busier buses, hotels, and a general uptick in crowds.
  • EPCOT festivals, particularly the Food and Wine Festival, draws locals in on the weekends.

Ticketed Events

A few of the events at Walt Disney World  are special ticketed events. You will need to purchase a ticket in order to attend the festivities. These events often start in the evening (around 7:00pm) and guests without tickets will need to leave the park early. You cannot stay in the park without a ticket even if you have a dining reservation.  

Mickey’s Not-So Scary Halloween Party

This event happens at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park. It includes trick or treating, character meetings, and eerie entertainment. A special Halloween themed fireworks show called Not So Spooky Spectacular and a Boo-to-You parade! Cost is $109 and up.

If you have an event ticket you may enter the park at 4:00. Theme park reservations are not required unless you plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom prior to 4:00.

Magic Kingdom Halloween
Image used with permission from mouse.whisperer

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This event is at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park where you will see Minnie’s Wonderful Christmas Time Fireworks, a Christmas parade, and enjoy special holiday treats! Cost is $139 and up.

If you have an event ticket to this party you may enter the park at 4:00. Theme park reservations are not required unless you plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom prior to 4:00.

Disney’s H20 Glow After Hours

This special event takes place at Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon water park. The park will close to non ticketed guests and you will enjoy a magical evening at the water park!

You can find out more information about these special events here.

2023 Special Events at Walt Disney World

Here are all the special events happening at the Walt Disney World Resort. Be sure to check out our crowd calendar to give even more information about the crowds and weather at Disney World.

January 2023 Events

January 1 – New Years Day

January 4 – 8 runDisney Marathon (entire Walt Disney World Resort)

January 9 through February 9 – Festival of the Arts TENTATIVE

January 13 – 15 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships

January 16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Epcot festival of the arts

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

February 2023 Events

February 2 – 7 is the NFL Pro Bowl Week with the actual Pro Bowl on February 5

February 3 – 5 National Dance Team Championship

February 10 – 12 National High School Cheerleading Championship

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

February 17 – 21 President’s Day Weekend with President’s Day on February 20

February 17 – 20 Twirl Mania International Championships

February 23 – 26 runDisney Princess Half marathon Weekend (Walt Disney World Resort)

Cinderella's Castle Disney World

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

March 2023 Events

March 1 – July 1 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival (Dates tentative)

March 3 – 5 Contest of Champions Nationals

March 10 – 12 UCA International All Star Championship

April 2023 Events

All month – Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot

April 2 – Chip and Dale’s 80th Birthday

April 9 – Easter

April 13 – 16 runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend To the Finish line….and Beyond! (EPCOT)

April 17 – 23 Earth Month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

April 22 – Earth Day 25th Anniversary at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Tree of life

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

April 22 – 24 US All Star Federation Cheerleading and Dance Worlds

April 27 – 30 The Summit-Varsity All Stars Cheerleading and Dance Championship

April 29 – 30 Dapper Day at Walt Disney World (Tentative)

May 2023 Events

All month – Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot

May 4 Star Wars Day.  May the Fourth be with you!

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

May 5 – Cinco De Mayo

May 27 – 31 Memorial Day Weekend

May 27 – August 26 Disney H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon (Tentative)

beauty and the beast epcot belle

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

June 2023 Events

All month – Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot

All month – Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon

June 3 – 5 One Magical Weekend at Walt Disney World

July 2023 Events

The Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot ends this month

All month – Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon

July 4 – Independence Day

July 13 – Food and Wine Festival at Epcot starts (Tentative)

Epcot signature drink

August 2023 Events

All Month Food and Wine Festival at Epcot

August 11 – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at magic Kingdom begins (ending on October 31)

August 22 – 26 Princess Week (Tentative)

August 26 – Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon ending

September 2023 Events

All Month Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

All Month Food and Wine Festival at Epcot

September 4 – Labor Day

Food and Wine Festival sign

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

October 2023 Events

All Month – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (ending on the 31st)

All Month Food and Wine Festival at Epcot

October 7 – 11 Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day

October 16 – 100th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company

October 31 – Halloween (check out our favorite Disney Halloween shirts and costumes!)

November 2023 Events

Food and Wine Festival at Epcot ends November 18 (Tentative)

November 7 – Election Day

November 2 – 5 runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

November 7 – December 21 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park (Tentative dates)

November 11 – Veteran’s Day

November 18 – 26 Thanksgiving Week (Thanksgiving 23rd)

November 18 – Mickey and Minnie’s 95th birthday

November 24 Festival of the Holidays at Epcot (ending on December 25th)

photo credit Alexis Lariscy

December 2023 Events

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (Ending December 21)

Festival of the Holidays at Epcot (Ending December 25th)

December 25 – Christmas

December 31 – New Year’s Eve

Generally speaking, most of these events will be happening around the same time in 2024. This should help in your planning for future Disney World vacations! Of course, if you do happen to be at the parks during one of the special events don’t worry.

We have tips to help you save time in the parks and tips to help you avoid long wait times. You will have a blast!

About disneywithdavesdaughters

Dave and his daughters have been going to Disney for 30+ years, all on a teacher's budget . They love helping families have the most magical Disney vacation ever by sharing all their expert family secrets. Feel free to send them a message or follow along on Instagram!