2024 Walt Disney World Events: Special Events Calendar for Disney

One of the things to know about Walt Disney World is that there is always 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 busyness and wait times in the parks. You may want to avoid planning your vacation during these events.

The biggest special events at Walt Disney World each year are:

  • runDisney races
  • EPCOT festivals – Food and Wine, Flower and Garden, International Festival of the Arts
  • sporting events at ESPN

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

Disney World Event Guide

We have given you a guide as to what is happening at Walt Disney World in 2024. There are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Holidays are always busy at Disney World, so we have noted the major ones below. Anytime there is a three day weekend the Disney theme parks will be busier than normal.
  • 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. 
run disney transportation sign
  • 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 at Walt Disney World

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.

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.

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!

Encanto at EPCOT  Flower and Garden Festival

Disney After Hours

Disney After Hours takes place at EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom on select dates beginning in January, 2024. You can find out more information about Disney After Hours here.

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

2024 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 find even more information about the crowds and weather at Disney World.

Cinderella's Castle

January 2024 Disney Events

  • January 1 New Year’s Day
  • January 1 – 3 Holiday Activities
  • January 3 – 7 runDisney Marathon. Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is happening and some schools are still on break which makes this a busy time at Disney World.
  • January 12 Festival of the Arts and Cuisine
  • January 12 – 14 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships (Tentative)
  • January 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Martin Luther King weekend (Jan. 13 – 15) brings a 3 day federal holiday weekend and college Cheerleading and Dance competitions. While this weekend isn’t one of the busiest, it is wise to be aware that crowds are higher than what you may expect.
Epcot festival of the arts sign
Photo Credit Alexis Larcy

February 2024 Disney Events

  • February 2-4 National Dance Team Championship. This is a nation wide dance team competition which brings higher attendance.
  • February 9-11 is the NFL Super Bowl Weekend with the actual Super Bowl on February 11
  • February 14 Valentine’s Day
  • February 9-12 National High School Cheerleading Championship This is a very prestigious, televised competition (ESPN). This competition brings in 20,000 athletes.
  • February 11-17 Mardi Gras Week
  • February 16-19 Twirl Mania International Championships
  • February 16-20 President’s Day Weekend with President’s Day on February 19
  • February 22-25 runDisney Princess Half Marathon weekend.  The half marathon event also includes a 5k, 10k, and the Disney Fairy Tale Challenge.  (Tentative)
  • February 28 – May 27 The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. You will see beautiful topiary displays of Disney Characters throughout Epcot. This is truly a beautiful festival! During this time there is also a concert series.
monorail and epcot ball

March 2024 Disney Events

All Month – EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival
All Month – Spring Break across the USA

  • March 1 Egg-stravaganza Easter egg hunt at EPCOT
  • March 3 – 5 The Contest of Champions is an open dance and drill competition that takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World. (Tentative)
  • March 10 – 12 UCA International All Star Cheerleading Championship (Tentative)
  • March 29 – April 1 Easter weekend. The week before Easter and Easter weekend are generally a very busy time as many students are off of school coinciding with spring breaks. 
  • March 31 Easter Sunday
Disney Easter egg
Easter egg at Disney’s POP Century hotel

April 2024 Disney Events

All Month – EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival
First half of the month – Spring Break across the USA

  • April 12 – 15 runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend To the Finish line….and Beyond! (Tentative)
  • April 16 – 22 Earth Week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • April 18 – 20 ICU Cheerleading World Championship (Tentative)
  • April 26 – 29 US All Star Federation Cheerleading and Dance Worlds
  • April 26 – 29 The Summit-Varsity All Stars Cheerleading and Dance Championship (Tentative)
  • April 28 – 29 Dapper Day at Walt Disney World (Tentative)
Snow White EPCOT Fower and Garden Festival

May 2024 Disney Events

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival – ends May 27

  • May 1 Disney’s Hollywood Studios 35th Anniversary
  • May 4 Star Wars Day. May the Fourth be with you!
  • May 5 Cinco De Mayo
  • May 19 – September 1 Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon. (Tentative)
  • May 24 – 28 Memorial Day Weekend
  • May 27 Memorial Day – Holiday weekend and the beginning of summer break in some parts of the country. Memorial Day is not only the unofficial start to summer in the general USA, it is also the summer kick off at Disney World! The parks start to stay open later beginning Memorial Day (usually staying open until 10:00 rather than 9:00).
  • May 29-June 3 Gay Days Orlando (Tentative)
Chewbacca and Rey in Galaxy's Edge Hollywood Studios

June 2024 Disney Events

  • All month – Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon
  • June 1 – 3 One Magical Weekend at Walt Disney World (Tentative)
  • May 29-June 3 Gay Days Orlando (Tentative)
  • June 30 – Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in Magic Kingdom Opens

July 2024 Disney Events

All month – Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon

  • July 3 – 9 Fourth of July Weekend
  • July 4th Independence Day
  • July 25 – November 16 Food and Wine Festival at Epcot (Tentative Date)
Drink at EPCOT

August 2024 Disney Events

All month long: Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. The Epcot Food and Wine Festival. 

  • August 9 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom begins (ending on October 31)
  • August 18 – 24 World Princess Week (Tentative)
  • August 18 – 24 Department of Defense Warrior Games (Tentative)

September 2024 Disney Events

All Month – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom
All Month – Food and Wine Festival at Epcot

  • September 1 – Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon ending
  • August 30 – September 3 (Labor Day Weekend) 
  • September 2 Labor Day
Food and Wine Festival sign

Photo Credit Alexis Larcy

October 2024 Disney 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 11-15 – Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day 
  • October 31 Halloween

November 2024 Disney Events

  • November 1-4: Wine and Dine Half Marathon will bring a bit heavier crowds. This runDisney event is taking on a fun twist this year by highlighting Disney villains!
  • November 4 – 10 Jersey Week (Tentative)
  • November 6 – December 20 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom
  • November 11 Veterans Day (observed) – Federal holiday which brings heavy crowds
  • November 24 – 30 Thanksgiving Holiday week 
  • November 29 – December 25 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot

December 2024 Disney Events

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom (Ending December 20)
  • 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 2025. 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!

Author

    by
  • David Flavin

    Dave visited Disneyland as a little boy and made his first visit to Walt Disney World in 1972. He has been visiting Disney World every few years since!

    Dave and his wife took their young family to Disney World several times all while on a teacher's budget. He knows how precious time and money are, and his goal is to help you not waste either while you are on your Walt Disney World Vacation.

    Dave's three kids are grown up and married. Dave loves his role as a grandfather to 9!

    Dave's favorite attraction at Walt Disney World is The Pirates of the Caribbean. When he isn't writing about Disney he enjoys composing music for Disney+ series, hanging out with his wife and their golden doodle, and being with his family.