PlanningThe ParksTips

WAIT: Before You Book, Do You Know These Important Disney Dates for 2023?

If you are hoping to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in 2023, there are some important dates that you will want to be aware of before you finalize your plans. Look at the calendar to see if any important events or holidays could impact the Disney Parks.

We have the important dates throughout 2023 that you will want to keep in mind when planning your 2023 Walt Disney World vacations.

Mickey and Minnie in Christmas sweaters
credit: Disney

All the Holidays

Holidays are a magical time to visit Walt Disney World. The holidays also can be a hectic time to visit Walt Disney World. Be aware of when holidays fall this year as you plan your vacation.

Visiting during Christmas is one of our favorite things, but you have to be prepared. Take time to look over these holidays celebrated throughout 2023, so you can plan accordingly.

Late 2023

The most popular holidays of the year happen towards the end of 2023. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Ever are the three most popular times to be at Walt Disney World. In 2023, Thanksgiving falls on November 23. Walt Disney World restaurants will celebrate this holiday by featuring special dishes and unique menu items. Get those dining reservations early thorough because they go quickly. Liberty Tree Tavern become one of the hardest to get reservations during this week.

The Christmas celebration starts early at Walt Disney World. We hope to see Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party again in 2023, which will start in early November and run through late December.

The dates around Christmas are some of the busiest of the year. We love going to experience all the unique holiday offerings, but it does take some extra planning and patience.

Halloween is also a popular time to be at Walt Disney World. As the year gets closer to October 31, more Guests head to the Magic Kingdom specifically to experience the decorations and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Crowds at Disney

Three Day Holidays

Other holidays that bring larger crowds to Walt Disney World are the three-day holidays. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, President’s Day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day all see bigger crowds. Families take advantage of kids not having school and offices being closed.

If you want to escape the cold during these three-day weekends, you might see an increase in crowds. Play ahead, and you will have a magical time.

Spring and Summer

Don’t forget about those holidays in the spring and summer months. Easter brings large crowds as many schools use this time for extended holidays.

You will also see larger crowds on Mother’s Day. The biggest crowds during the summer will surround the 4th of July. This has become an extremely popular time to visit as GUests love to experience the fireworks at both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT to celebrate the holiday.

Walt Disney World does a fantastic job of making these holidays special. With unique food offerings and extraordinary decorations, holidays are a magical time to be in the Disney Parks.

Family observing artist at EPCOT
credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Celebrations and Events

When looking at when to visit Walt Disney World, take time to look at Disney’s calendar of events. Throughout the year, Disney celebrates different events; you might not want to miss out on some of them.


Over in EPCOT, four significant festivals take place throughout the year. Each of them brings unique cuisine, entertainment, and decorations to EPCOT. They are each extraordinarily unique, so look to see if one appeals to you.

The year starts with the short but amazing Festival of the Arts. This focuses in on all the arts bringing in Broadway performers, artists, and fantastic cuisine. This festival takes place for a few weeks, from mid-January to mid-Feburary.

After the Festival of the Arts, Guests can enjoy the beautiful Flower and Garden Festival. This gorgeous festival brings EPCOT to life with topiaries, gardens, and the Garden Rocks Concert Series. The Flower and Garden Festival occurs from around the beginning of March through July.

The original festival is the Food and Wine Festival. This focuses on cuisine from around the world and runs from July through November. This brings in a lot of locals on the weekends, so keep that in mind when planning.

The wrap up the year, EPCOT has the Festival of the Holidays. With this festival, Guests can experience holiday traditions from around the world. Featuring cuisine and storytellers that bring the traditions to EPCOT.

The EPCOT festivals are a wonderful experience. Think about which would appeal to you and consider planning a time to visit.

Run Disney Event Disney World
runDisney Events

Throughout the year, Disney hosts four runDisney events. These beautiful events bring runners from all over together to celebrate their accomplishments. Even if you aren’t running, be aware of these dates. Not only will you see a slight increase in crowds, but transportation and dining can also be slightly impacted when runners participate in longer distances.

Walt Disney World Marathon Week takes place during the second weekend of January. Princess Weekend will be from February 23 to 26 this year, followed by runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend on April 12 to 16. Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend is typically the first week of November.

Even if you aren’t running, be aware and prepare to cheer for those participating in these events.

Credit: Disney
Disney Openings

2023 will see a significant opening during the spring. Tron Lightycyle Run is scheduled to open on April 4, 2023. Be aware of this opening date, as it will impact crowds, especially in the Magic Kingdom. Guests have been waiting for this ride to open for a long time, and we anticipate high crowds surrounding this opening date.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ is scheduled to open in Spring 2023. Once dining reservations open for this new restaurant in Toy Story Land, they will go quickly. Be aware that Toy Story Land might be slightly crazy when it first opens.

Taking time to check in on those Disney projected openings can be important when planning a trip.

Those are some of the more important dates in 2023 that you need to be aware of when planning your Walt Disney World vacation.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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