Disney World needs to do a lot more for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day may be a great event across the U.S. but for some reason, it's just another day at Disney World. Why stepping it up can be a big help for the parks.
Kathy Ireland Visits Disney World
Kathy Ireland Visits Disney World / Handout/GettyImages

Everyone knows that Walt Disney World loves to celebrate holidays. They go whole-hog for Christmas, Halloween, and other events. Easter can be a big deal, and the 4th of July as well. Yet when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, Disney World can be lacking, and that’s a real shame given how much potential there is. 

Granted, St. Patrick’s Day can be a bit of a tricky holiday. Irish Americans obviously love it, although, to others, it can feel like a silly excuse to dress in green and spout out Irish cliches. Still, it’s a fun holiday, and some cities across the U.S. enjoy celebrating it (see Chicago dying its river green every year). 

Yet in Disney World, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are surprisingly lacking. The big stuff is centered around the Raglan Road Irish pub at Disney Springs. It is a good mix of Irish music from traditional songs and dancers to modern Irish rock alongside a bevy of good treats.

The problem is that it’s not that much different than what you’d get from the local Irish pub in your neighborhood. Sure, the various resorts have some fun treats of green-colored cupcakes, ice cream, and more, but likewise not stand out too much. And the St. Patrick’s Day merchandise can be lower than expected too. 

Maybe it’s because St. Patrick’s Day falls in Easter season and WDW already does stuff for that. Still, there seems to be so much more that could be done with the season as the sight of Mickey, Minnie and the rest decked out in leprechaun garb would spark up the meet and greets. 

There could be more of a presence in Epcot alone. Of course, having stuff in the United Kingdom can be tricky given the (to say the least) contentious relationship between the U.K. and Ireland. Yet the stages by the American Adventure could host some St. Patrick’s Day shows of music and such.

Disneyland does have a bit more in treats and Downtown Disney’s spots offering some fun St. Patrick’s Day menus and entertainment. But the biggest event happening on March 17th last year was the reopening of the refurbished Indiana Jones ride rather than a special parade or show. 

A possible reason could be that while St. Patrick’s Day is a fun event, it’s also linked to a lot of drinking, something Disney hasn’t exactly loved to push. However, the leprechauns, gold and other touches are perfect for the fantasy worlds Disney utilizes. A full overlay of a ride may be a bit much, but surely more in decorations or even cast members adding green to their uniforms would be an extra touch. 

It just seems like another missed opportunity for Disney World to be taking advantage of a fun holiday for more special events rather than just some green-colored treats. Guests will often look for special days/events to plan a Disney visit around, but March 17 looks like just another day on the calendar. St. Patrick’s Day can be fun in WDW, but it’s not the magical experience it should be to make even the non-Irish love a visit at this time more.