Two years ago I married a wonderful man with some darling small children. I have enjoyed Disney with my own children for more than 20 years (my oldest son is married), but this will be the first trip for my new little ones ages 4, 7, & 9. We will be in Magic Kingdom on Saint Patrick's day and I am wondering if they usually do anything special for it.
Thanks for reading my blog and for your question and congratulations at being a mom again. I have three children and I know they keep you busy!
St. Patrick's day celebrations at Disney World are pretty low-key, particularly since Pleasure Island closed. You may find a few activities in the World Showcase; in past years, Disney has had Irish dancers and green beer in the United Kingdom pavilion, as well as some activities for the kids. I haven't been able to find anything scheduled for this year however, but definintely check at guest services when you get to the parks. There is a small amount of St. Patrick's day themed merchandise available. If you or your family collects pins, theresere a number Irish-themed Disney pins available this month, including this Stitch pin which you can purchase in the parks.
These cute Mickey ears are available at World of Disney and at the Mad Hatter in both Fantasyland and on Main Street.
You'll likely find the biggest celebration on Disney property at Downtown Disney at the Ragland Road restaurant. Fittingly, it's a Irish pub with music and dancing beautifully recreated in Florida. Don't let the fact that it's a pub deter you from taking the kids. Everything is kid-friendly, particularly early in the evening; expect a slightly rowdier crowd as the evening wears on. The food at Ragland Road is a couple of steps above traditional pub food, so bring a good appetite and save room for dessert: The bread pudding with caramel sauce and creme anglaise will haunt your dreams.
I know that you said you were looking for something in the parks on St. Patrick's day, but if you find you'd like to try an entirely different experience, check out Bok Tower Gardens, less than an hour from Disney property. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, Bok Tower Gardens features beautiful gardens, special children's programs, and a 205 foot neo-Gothic and art deco Singing Tower carillon featuring 60 bells. For a small fee you can also tour the historic home, Pinewood Estate, that is located on the grounds. The real draw for St. Patrick's day is the two hour carillon concert with Irish tunes in the early afternoon. It's great for kids because they can run around and explore while still appreciating the music playing in the background. If you're looking for a break from the parks, it's a wonderful opportunity to let the kids get outside and stretch their legs. Bok Tower is really a hidden gem in Central Florida.
Finally, if you decide to get a sitter for the kids and go off property for a more boisterous celebration, Universal CityWalk's branch of the New Orleans' institution, Pat O'Brien's, has a huge party that starts at 4:00 on St. Patricks' day. Admission is free until 7:00, when a $12 fee is required to hear the Irish bands play.
Have a wonderful vacation. If you find any St. Paddy's day activities that your family enjoyed, please send me an email and tell me about it!