Updated for July 2019
If you’ll be visiting Disney World during July 4th holiday then there are a few extra events you’ll want to know about to make your plans. This isn’t a holiday that has special events in every park. They’re mostly to be found at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Here are the details:
The main thing here is the special fireworks show called “Celebrate America” and it’s a pretty incredible show. They use the perimeter fireworks which gives you that 360-degree fireworks view all around you. It’s pretty spectacular and worth seeing.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that they actually do this show twice, on July 3rd and 4th. The 3rd is my pick if you want to see it since it’ll be less crowded than the 4th. It also means you can go to MK on the 3rd and then Epcot on the 4th and see both big shows without having to choose. Celebrate America shows (3rd and 4th) at 9:15.
You’ll also find dance parties at Magic Kingdom in both Frontierland and Tomorrowland in the evening as well as special themed treats at the confectionary and the bakery.
And one other thing to mention is the special lighting and projections they do on the castle as part of the decor on these few days. The picture above was taken on July 3rd, and the lighting and stars are especially beautiful at sunset. They also do patriotic style decor all down Main Street.
And because of higher crowds, Festival of Fantasy parade will be shown twice on both July 3 and 4 – once at 12:00 p.m. and once at 3:30 p.m.
The fireworks show here is the normal Illuminations show but they add a special ending or “tag” to it called Heartbeat of Freedom. The 4th and New Years Eve are the two biggest displays of pyro you’ll see at Disney World. So if you love a big boom then this is the show for you. The finale will blow your mind. Catch it on July 4th at 9 pm.
Voices of Liberty are a highlight on the 4th. The acapella singing group that normally performs in the America pavilion moves their show to the big American Gardens outdoor theater for special concerts of patriotic songs. See them in the big theater at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 PM. And at 2:00 and 3:00 PM, Voices of Liberty will perform in the rotunda inside The American Adventure pavilion.
Characters in costume: These can be found also in the America pavilion during the day on the 4th. No specific times or details have been given yet for this year.
Contemporary Resort has a brand new event for this year called Woody’s Roundup BBQ Buffet. Only offered three nights, July 4-6 this will be a BBq style buffet with characters, dance party and a special viewing area for the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. Details here.
Fort Wilderness Campgrounds have some special events for the 4th including a Golf Cart parade on the afternoon of the 4th. Disney hasn’t published times and details for this year yet.
And finally, most holidays you’ll find characters at your Disney resorts, usually dressed in special holiday outfits. These tend to be non-published so as to be something mainly for the guests staying there to happen upon but be sure to ask at your resort that week or day and they may have times and details for you.
Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom don’t really do much for the holiday aside from maybe a special cupcake or treat so if you will be here but want to avoid crowds, those parks will be less busy on the 3rd and 4th.
Look for Disney to publish the list of special treats and entertainment when it gets closer, so all of this is based on what they’ve done in years past but they rarely change so I wanted to get these to you guys now so you can make your plans. I’ll let you know when we hear more concrete details for this year.
The parks will be quite crowded these days, especially the Magic Kingdom on the 4th which can occasionally reach capacity during the day. So be aware of extra planning, try to have Fastpasses, watch the afternoon heat, and plan to get a fireworks spot at least 90 minutes early if not more.