Downtown Disney in Orlando is awash in festive green as it gears up for the Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival (March 7-17), a family-friendly celebration of music, food, drink and fun. As Disney regulars may have guessed, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant will be ground zero for the festivities. But its tendrils will extend throughout the complex with themed food-and-beverage offerings, entertainment and other exciting plans culminating in a huge St. Patrick’s Day fete come March 17.
Multiple stages in and around Raglan Road Irish Pub will showcase Irish music and dancing — Photo courtesy of Gene Duncan / Walt Disney World News
The road will rise up to meet Disney guests via music and dance on stages indoors and out; performances run nightly from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. March 7-14 and daily from noon to 1 a.m. March 15-17. From U2 cover band Elevation to Raglan Road house bands Creel and the West Coast Trio to the award-winning We Banjo 3, gigs will be a lively homage to Celtic culture.
There’ll be jigs aplenty, too. Choreographer Ronan McCormack, a vet of the original "Riverdance? cast, will lead Irish dance workshops and the exemplary Raglan Road Dancers will be stomping up their usual storm of festive Irish rhythms.
Nashville natives The Willis Clan return to rock the stage with their brand of Irish folk and dance — Photo courtesy of Gene Duncan / Walt Disney World News
Over on the west side, wee festival-goers can partake of the Mighty Family Zone and enjoy photo-ops with Kermit the Frog among other fun activities. Along the way, you might encounter face painters and stilt walkers, or choose to hit up Disney’s food trucks for a sampling of St. Paddy’s-themed offerings including Fisherman’s Pie, a returning favorite from the Ireland kiosk at EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival.
Downtown Disney will be awash in green from March 7 -17 as the Might St. Patrick's Day Festival takes center stage. — Photo courtesy of Gene Duncan / Walt Disney World News
Visitors to Planet Hollywood can partake of an Irish eggroll appetizer and drinks such as the Crazy Leprechaun or Planet Shamrock Jell-O Shots. Over at Portobello, they’re infusing a little Irish with their Italian via the Fiddler’s Dream, a libation that combines Jameson honey simple syrup with ginger beer and a splash of lemonade.
Even the Wolfgang Puck Café is getting in on the act with Shamrock martinis: a rich amalgam of Midori, green crème de mint, ice cream and a chocolate swirl!
Bring your clan to Raglan Road, an authentic slice of the 'Emerald Isle' in Orlando — Photo courtesy of Disney
This year, celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the PBS/Create TV cooking show “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Cooking” puts a unique spin on a classic with a loin of bacon and cabbage special, but all the menu faves will be available, as well.
Raglan Road will be taking reservations throughout the festival save St. Paddy’s Day itself, when tables will be first-come, first-served (with a $10 cover for guests 18 and older). Look for the entertainment schedule at the Raglan Road website.