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Best Day Ever at WDW and Disneyland: Part 2

Plan your BEST DAY EVER at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

As we continue to plan our magical vacations to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, we are often overwhelmed with all of the amazing and wonderful things the Disney Parks & Resorts have to offer. There is just so much. So how does a family decide to narrow down what will get included on the itinerary? 

I’m here to help. 

Welcome to the continued blog series called “Best Day Ever”. This new series will help you plan for long and short-term adventures at the parks. Each article throughout the year will provide you with a 3-6 month outlook on what’s coming to the parks – both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. I’ll highlight some of the well known events such as the EPCOT Festivals and Holidays festivities, but also include one or two options found off the beaten path that may not be on your radar. Adding something new and unique to your plans each time you visit keeps things fresh and exciting! I may add a few posts throughout the year that highlight very specifically one of those events and share the do’s and don’ts, must do’s, tips and tricks.

Piggybacking from my friend Gina’s “Love of the Magic Inspiring Itineraries” articles so thoroughly and thoughtfully crafted for destinations worldwide, I will share something similar for our “happy place”. 

Welcome to the second edition of Inspiring Itineraries – Disney style!

Let’s get started.

Best Day Ever at Walt Disney World

If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World in April, May or June 2023, be sure to include one or more of the following activities on your “must do” list and create your BEST DAY EVER. 

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April

Traveling in April

  • The weather is GREAT! The weather in April is superb. The temperatures are rising, and while you may get a super hot weekend, the temperatures usually hold steady in the low 80s. It’s a great time of year to visit.
  • It’s one of the busiest months of the year. With Spring Break happening all across the country, the parks will be busy… especially during the first two weeks of the month.
  • Crowds tend to be lower at the END of the month. If you can avoid the Spring Break crowds and visit after, you will miss the long lines and heavy crowds. Late April is a prime time to visit the parks.

Best Day Ever Overview of Events

  • Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt at EPCOT begins March 13, 2023
  • Easter Events at Walt Disney World
  • January 4 – June 28 2023: Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios Select Nights
  • March 1- July 5, 2023: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
  • April 3, 2023: Happily Ever After Fireworks Show in Magic Kingdom Returns
  • April 3, 2023: Epcot Forever Nighttime Spectacular Returns
  • April 4, 2023: TRON Lightcylce/ Run OPENS in Magic Kingdom
  • April 13- April 16, 2023: runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend To the Finish Line…and BEYOND
  • April 22, 2023: Earth Day, Animal Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary
  • April 29-30, 2023: Dapper Day at Walt Disney World

Animal Kingdom Turns 25!

This is such a wonderful year to visit Animal Kingdom! Turning 25 on Earth Day, April 22, 2023, the park will be filled with fun activities and extra treats to celebrate the special day. As conservation initiatives are at the heart of Animal Kingdom’s mission, take some time to learn and understand all that we can do to help our earth and animals. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the big days. In the meantime, check out this great article on the magic of Animal Kingdom and all it has to offer!

EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

In late March, the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival begins. Although the 2023 dates have not yet been announced, this festival usually runs from early March through early July. This is definitely one of the prettiest festivals and happens during one of the very best times of the year to visit Walt Disney World! It’s also the longest running festival at the park. It began in 1993!

During this festival, the crowds are a little bit lighter than you generally find during the Fall Food & Wine festival and you can’t beat the beautiful weather (mid-70s to mid-80s and lower humidity (typically)), topiaries, flowers, butterflies, food and the all important Garden Rocks Concert Series. 

Spring is in the air as the bright colors of the flowers and plants adorn the World Showcase for all to enjoy. Grab a drink and a snack and walk the promenade taking in all the beauty. This is definitely one of the much more relaxed festivals. Although it’s busy, it’s still quieter compared to its sister festival, The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, which kicks off just weeks after this one! 

After Hours Events

Disney After Hours is a special ticketed event held on select nights at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (sometimes they are also offered at Animal Kingdom, too!).  Anyone can purchase tickets for an After Hours event, it is not restricted to only Walt Disney World Resort (on-property) Guests.

For those unfamiliar with Disney After Hours events, they debuted in 2016 as a very limited capacity, separate ticketed event taking place three hours after park closing, with access to select attractions — which automatically meant much shorter wait times (if any at all!) to all of your favorite rides! The event debuted in Magic Kingdom and was eventually offered in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

The events often sell out, but with limited tickets sold, you essentially feel like you have the entire park to yourself. Disney After Hours events often also include complimentary popcorn, ice cream treats and beverages.

The events will run on select dates in January, February and March!

Disney's Animal Kingdom

 

May

Traveling in May

  • PERFECT weather! The weather in May is absolute perfection! The skies are deep blue, the sun is shining, the temps hover in the mid 80s, the humidity is often lower. It’s hot, but usually not stifling. 
  • Crowds are average. Crowd levels tend to be lower at the beginning of May and increase slowly by Memorial Day Weekend. This is probably the last time you will have lower crowds before the Summer rush comes in and hangs around until September.
  • Costs are average. Costs around this time are pretty average also. You will see various promotions from Disney on hotel room discounts to encourage families to visit before the Summer rush.

Best Day Ever Overview of Events

  • January 4 – June 28 2023: Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios Select Nights
  • March 1- July 5, 2023: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
  • May 4, 2023: Star Wars Day. May the Fourth Be with You!
  • May 20 – September 2, 2023:  Disney H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon Select Nights

EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

In late March, the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival begins. Although the 2023 dates have not yet been announced, this festival usually runs from early March through early July. This is definitely one of the prettiest festivals and happens during one of the very best times of the year to visit Walt Disney World! It’s also the longest running festival at the park. It began in 1993!

During this festival, the crowds are a little bit lighter than you generally find during the Fall Food & Wine festival and you can’t beat the beautiful weather (mid-70s to mid-80s and lower humidity (typically)), topiaries, flowers, butterflies, food and the all important Garden Rocks Concert Series. 

Spring is in the air as the bright colors of the flowers and plants adorn the World Showcase for all to enjoy. Grab a drink and a snack and walk the promenade taking in all the beauty. This is definitely one of the much more relaxed festivals. Although it’s busy, it’s still quieter compared to its sister festival, The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, which kicks off just weeks after this one! 

After Hours Events

Disney After Hours is a special ticketed event held on select nights at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (sometimes they are also offered at Animal Kingdom, too!).  Anyone can purchase tickets for an After Hours event, it is not restricted to only Walt Disney World Resort (on-property) Guests.

For those unfamiliar with Disney After Hours events, they debuted in 2016 as a very limited capacity, separate ticketed event taking place three hours after park closing, with access to select attractions — which automatically meant much shorter wait times (if any at all!) to all of your favorite rides! The event debuted in Magic Kingdom and was eventually offered in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

The events often sell out, but with limited tickets sold, you essentially feel like you have the entire park to yourself. Disney After Hours events often also include complimentary popcorn, ice cream treats and beverages.

The events will run on select dates in January, February and March!

June

Traveling in June

  • It’s getting hot! I won’t lie. June is a challenging month weather-wise. It’s hot and it’s VERY humid. It also rains a lot. Often the rain storms last 5 minutes, but it’s enough to make everything wet, even more humid, and you want to be prepared or you will be soaked.
  • Crowds are building. Schools across the country are ending for the year, so families are vacationing. You will see the crowds increasing throughout the month.

Best Day Ever Overview of Events

  • January 4 – June 28 2023: Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios Select Nights
  • March 1- July 5, 2023: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
  • June 1- August 24, 2023: EPCOT After Hours Select Nights

EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

In late March, the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival begins. Although the 2023 dates have not yet been announced, this festival usually runs from early March through early July. This is definitely one of the prettiest festivals and happens during one of the very best times of the year to visit Walt Disney World! It’s also the longest running festival at the park. It began in 1993!

During this festival, the crowds are a little bit lighter than you generally find during the Fall Food & Wine festival and you can’t beat the beautiful weather (mid-70s to mid-80s and lower humidity (typically)), topiaries, flowers, butterflies, food and the all important Garden Rocks Concert Series. 

Spring is in the air as the bright colors of the flowers and plants adorn the World Showcase for all to enjoy. Grab a drink and a snack and walk the promenade taking in all the beauty. This is definitely one of the much more relaxed festivals. Although it’s busy, it’s still quieter compared to its sister festival, The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, which kicks off just weeks after this one! 

After Hours Events

Disney After Hours is a special ticketed event held on select nights at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (sometimes they are also offered at Animal Kingdom, too!).  Anyone can purchase tickets for an After Hours event, it is not restricted to only Walt Disney World Resort (on-property) Guests.

For those unfamiliar with Disney After Hours events, they debuted in 2016 as a very limited capacity, separate ticketed event taking place three hours after park closing, with access to select attractions — which automatically meant much shorter wait times (if any at all!) to all of your favorite rides! The event debuted in Magic Kingdom and was eventually offered in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

The events often sell out, but with limited tickets sold, you essentially feel like you have the entire park to yourself. Disney After Hours events often also include complimentary popcorn, ice cream treats and beverages.

The events will run on select dates in January, February and March!

Best Day Ever at Disneyland

If you are planning a trip to Disneyland in April, May or June 2023, be sure to include one or more of the following activities on your “must do” list and create your BEST DAY EVER. 

April

Traveling in April

  • Crowds are BUSY in April. Schools in So Cal are on Spring Break in the month of April, so the parks are very, very busy. Expect bigger crowds and long lines.
  • Weather is PERFECTION! The weather is near-perfect this time of year. During the day you’ll find temps in the mid-70s and a bit cooler at night as it drops down into the 50s. You may need a sweatshirt once the sun goes down. You won’t need to worry too much about rain this time of year either.

Best Day Ever Overview of Events

  • March 3- April 25, 2023: California Adventure Food and Wine Festival 
  • April 16, 2023: Dapper Day at Disneyland Resort
  • April 18-20, 2023: Disneyland After Dark Throwback Nite (April 18, 20, 2023)

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

It may not be as grand or as long as Walt Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival, but California Adventure’s version packs a serious punch. This super popular event takes place from March 3 through April 25, 2023. 

Enjoy foodie and wine offerings, tastings and seminars, along with special entertainment, festive merchandise and tons of fun decor. This is a special event that is not to be missed.

Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt 

Similar to the adorable scavenger hunts that take place around the World Showcase in EPCOT, the Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt is looked forward to every single year, taking place in March and April. Fun for the whole family, this cute game takes place in Downtown Disney, California Adventure and Disneyland Park. It costs $9.99 to play and there is a small reward to finding all of the eggs scattered around the various locations.

Disneyland After Dark Throwback Nite

How fun!! Step back in time to the 50s and 60s to get a taste of Disneyland Park’s classic past when Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite returns! Dress in your dapperest attire and commemorate the evening with live music and entertainment, specialty photo ops and visits with some classic Disney Characters from the era.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Early admission to the park beginning at 6:00pm
  • Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks
  • Vintage Music and Dancing
  • Character Experience
  • Special PhotoPass Opportunities
  • After Hours Attractions Experiences
  • And more!

Reminder: Disney 100 Years of Wonder

Beginning January 27, 2023, the Walt Disney Company will kick off its Platinum Celebration in Disneyland. Experience decked out decor, dazzling merchandise and a feast of tasty treats in Disneyland Park and California Adventure.

There are so many new and fun surprises coming to the parks this year. As Disney announces more and more details throughout the year, we’ll be sharing them with you! 

May

Traveling in May

  • Crowds and costs are a bit lower. Early May tends to be a good time to visit. The Spring Break crowds have dissipated and the parks are less hectic. The crowds will increase later in the month as we get closer to Memorial Day Weekend and Grad Nites kick in.
  • Weather is PERFECTION! Once again, the weather is near-perfect this time of year. During the day you’ll find temps in the upper-70s and a bit cooler at night as it drops down into the 50s. You may need a sweatshirt once the sun goes down. You won’t need to worry too much about rain this time of year either as it’s pretty much non-existent in May.

Best Day Ever Overview of Events

  • May 2 -May 11, 2023: Disneyland After Dark Star Wars Nite ( May 2, 4, 8 & 11, 2023 )
  • May 4, 2023: Star Wars Day. May the Fourth Be with You!
  • May 12- June 16, 2023: Disneyland Grad Nites

Disneyland After Dark Star Wars Nite

This May, Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite will grant Guests of all ages special after-hours access to Disneyland Park with the purchase of a separate event admission ticket. Enjoy Star Wars Character sightings, event-themed menu selections and exciting entertainment—including March of the First Order featuring Captain Phasma. Plus, discover special Star Wars-themed photo opportunities, merchandise and more!

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Early admission to the park at 6:00pm
  • Celebrate the Nite Fireworks Show
  • Character Experiences
  • Galactic Dance Party
  • Themed Treats
  • And more!

Disneyland Grad Nites

Since the 1960’s, Disneyland has been honoring and recognizing graduates on their big achievement by inviting them to Disneyland to celebrate. Dates are using spread out through May and June. Tickets are typically sold at the grad’s school, not through Disneyland specifically. If you do a search online, you won’t find much information on the Disneyland website. However, our friend Casey at Disneyland Daily, has a wealth of information on her site. Please check that out here if you are interested in attending or learning more about these fun and amazing nights.

June

Traveling in June

  • Crowds levels are GOOD. After the heavy crowds in April and slight tapering in May leads to low crowds in June! This is a great month to visit. 
  • Weather is AWESOME! Reaching close to 80 during the day, humidity is low and the sun shines bright! The weather is near-perfect. It will drop into the 60s typically at night, you may want a sweatshirt on hand once the sun goes down. You won’t need to worry too much about rain this time of year either.

Best Day Ever Overview of Events

  • May 12- June 16, 2023: Disneyland Grad Nites

Disneyland Grad Nites

Since the 1960’s, Disneyland has been honoring and recognizing graduates on their big achievement by inviting them to Disneyland to celebrate. Dates are using spread out through May and June. Tickets are typically sold at the grad’s school, not through Disneyland specifically. If you do a search online, you won’t find much information on the Disneyland website. However, our friend Casey at Disneyland Daily, has a wealth of information on her site. Please check that out here if you are interested in attending or learning more about these fun and amazing nights.

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Marnie Raimondo
Marnie Raimondo
Hi there! I'm Marnie, Disney blogger and writer. My passion is helping people plan magical Walt Disney World vacations. I love sharing Disney tips and advice based on my personal experiences from many, many magical trips over the years. I hope through my writing I can help you navigate your way through Disney news, the parks, dining, resorts and so much more! Happy planning!
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