We have an update on some of the festive experiences coming to Walt Disney World Resort. Building off of their recent experiences of operating in a new environment, Disney has reimagined the holidays which will, of course, apply current their current health and safety measures while still keeping the joy and magic of the season. And while things are looking a bit different at Walt Disney World and beyond, they can’t wait to celebrate with you.
Disney knows how much their Guests love the holidays, so from Nov. 6-Dec. 30, you will be able to enjoy festive décor, themed merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings and entertainment all across Walt Disney World Resort. Holiday magic will be in full force at the four theme parks and Disney Springs, and Santa Claus will make time for special pop-up appearances at each location, waving and exclaiming holiday wishes to all.
Guests will be delighted by the sight of festive flotillas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, holiday promenades at EPCOT and merry motorcades at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Character cavalcades at Magic Kingdom Park will take on a special holiday twist, with Christmas friends on festive floats in their holiday finest. Gingerbread Men? Check! Elves and Reindeer? Check, check! And the Toy Soldiers will join the Main Street Philharmonic as they march through Magic Kingdom Park, bringing musical holiday cheer for all to hear.
When night falls, special projection effects will give a festive look to Cinderella Castle this year, providing a colorful backdrop for Guests’ photos. The appearance of the iconic castle will be transformed with a rotating series of designs including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation.
This will be in place of the Castle Dream Lights. Other holiday experiences that draw big crowds will be on hiatus this year as well, such as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Candlelight Processional at EPCOT. We know these experiences are a cherished part of holiday traditions that will be missed by Guests and Cast Members alike, but Disney is glad to be able to bring holiday magic in other creative ways.
Of course, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a meal among friends and family. Minnie Mouse will be hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting Nov. 6. Santa Goofy will be there, along with Minnie and more in their holiday best.
Shifting gears to Disney Springs, Guests will discover Christmas around every corner as they come across a collection of elaborately-decorated Disney Christmas trees spread throughout this retail, dining and entertainment destination. In the evening, Guests visiting areas within Town Center, West Side and The Landing will encounter a magical snowfall, adding an extra touch of wonder to their holiday shopping.
And to top it off, Jock Lindsey will once again be turning his hangar bar into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar complete with delightful holiday décor and a delicious limited-time menu filled with festive favorites.
Disney Resort hotels will also be decked out for the holidays, with their lobbies featuring iconic trees and other festive flourishes. One thing to keep in mind is that their gingerbread displays will not return to the Resort hotels this year. While we know they are a favorite of people taking in the holiday décor, we’re not able to include those displays due to physical distancing guidelines.
Starting a bit later in the season, on Nov. 27, Disney will celebrate highlights from the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. Holiday kitchens will return around World Showcase promenade with favorites like American Holiday Table featuring Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing and Bavaria Holiday Kitchen with dishes like Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl.
Guests will be invited to step inside World ShowPlace to enjoy the returning group, JOYFUL!, who present a journey through R&B, Gospel, contemporary and traditional Christmas and holiday music. Also, the Voices of Liberty will bring their incredible 8-part harmonies to the America Gardens Theatre stage for a special concert of favorite carols and songs of the season. There are plenty more details about this festival to come, so stay tuned.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.