A key sign of fall is HBCU homecoming season, and Walt Disney World Resort understands this, too. Each year, alumni and students from across the country gear up to celebrate their respective colleges and universities, and from October 7-9, Disney will pay homage as well.

For the first time ever, the family-friendly Orlando resort has partnered with HBCU Week, Inc. to host more than 5,000 high school students from across the Southeastern United States for the annual event — the largest HBCU week event in history. Founded by double HBCU grad Attorney Ashley Williams in 2017, the week was created to expose high school students to the value and legacy of historically Black institutions through college fairs and entertainment. 

During the three-day event at Disney World, students and their families will get a glimpse into HBCU life— with a Disney twist— through the event’s signature college fair, along with nearly 50 recruiters who will be on-site handing out college acceptance letters and more than $10 million in scholarships to HBCUs, including full four-year rides. 

In true HBCU fashion, some of the nation’s most well-known high-step bands will be in attendance, too. Bands from Bethune Cookman College, North Carolina A&T State University, Delaware State University, Winston-Salem State University and Alcorn State University will be at the event to give spectators the HBCU homecoming treat they didn’t know they needed. After all, the bands are an essential part of HBCU culture. 

On October 8, the five bands will take over the Magic Kingdom Park for several Calvacades (grandiose Disney parades with characters and cast members) before heading over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex the following day for the HBCU Week Battle of the Bands from 2pm- 6pm. There will also be a live broadcast of ESPN’s First Take with Stephan A. Smith (an HBCU Week ambassador) and Molly Qerim on opening day.

Students wishing to attend the college fair are encouraged to register in advance. Tickets for the Battle of the Bands are $25 and are required for entry. You can find additional details as well as the full event schedule here