The party starts March 8, so there’s plenty of time to celebrate the wearin’ of the green for St. Patrick’s Day – officially March 17, but at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island, you’ve got two weekends: March 8-10 and March 14-17.
This is the real deal – a true Irish pub with Dublin roots, 10 top Irish bands, Irish dancers on multiple stages and a satisfying selection of Irish and craft beers, Irish whiskey, cocktails and inventive food. Be authentic and order classics such as Shepherd’s Pie (with Chef Kevin Dundon’s twist), Irish Mist-glazed loin of bacon or Guinness and onion bangers on mash. And we’re happy with the fish and chips from Cooke’s of Dublin counter-service.
Be forewarned, the biggest celebration is March 16-17, when seating is first-come, first-served. (But you can book Walt Disney World reservations for March 14 and 15 at 407-938-0300.)
Renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast, leading Irish Dance Workshops Friday through Sunday. The fun starts from 6-11 p.m. March 8-10 with performances at Raglan Road by The Willis Clan, a family of artists and musicians who merge their Irish roots with other music genres.
Nova Celtic, with its own twist on popular Irish music, will appear on a nearby outdoor stage. Beginning March 14 and 15 from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m., and continuing March 16 and 17 from noon until 1 a.m., highlights of the celebration across Pleasure Island include:
- The Raglan Road Dancers, seven full-time champion dancers, performing daily
- Distinguished Dublin-born multi-instrumentalist Declan Masterson, recent touring musical director of Riverdance, leading Irish Music Workshops
- Ceili (kay-lee) traditional music and structured set-dancing event on Saturday, inviting guest participation
- “The Electric Ceili,” Sunday evening, bringing together a host of Irish musicians and dancers
- Performances by The Willis Clan, Nova Celtic, Girsa, Celtic Wave, Wyndbreakers, Three Dollar Band, Raglan Road house band Creel, Johnny & Justin, and Albannach, with a new approach to percussion and Celtic music
- World-famous U2 tribute band Elevation, playing Saturday and Sunday
- More than 50 musicians and dancers performing, plus face painting, stilt walkers and giveaways
Access to select entertainment on March 16 will include a $5 cover charge; on March 17, the cover is $10.