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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, not exactly. But, the 2020 Walt Disney World holiday offerings were finally released giving us something to look forward to.
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, Disney announced that the official holiday season begins Nov. 6 through Dec. 30 at all four parks, resorts, and Disney Springs.
First things first — the following will NOT return this year:
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Magic Kingdom’s Castle Dream Lights
- Gingerbread House displays at resorts
- Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail
- Epcot’s Candlelight Processional
Yes, this is a bummer, yet also understandable. During an ongoing pandemic, Disney has to think of the health and safety of others. As disappointing as it might be to not see the Dream Lights [insert tears], there’s still a long list of ways to celebrate the holidays this year at WDW.
First, and most importantly, all of the parks, resorts, and Disney Spring will be decorated for the holidays. Yes, this includes Christmas trees. I can’t wait to inhale all of the amazing holiday smells.
Here’s what else you can expect:
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays — Begins Nov. 27
Like the modified Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (with a little Flower and Garden thrown in there as well), a modified Festival of the Holidays returns on Nov. 27.
Holiday kitchens will, of course, be back too. Right now, we know the American Holiday Table featuring Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing and the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen with dishes like Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl will be available.
Plus, there will be holiday entertainment! You find JOYFUL! performing R&B, Gospel, contemporary, and traditional Christmas and holiday music in the World ShowPlace (between Canada and the U.K. pavilions). AND! Voices of Liberty will also sing carols and other holiday songs at the America Gardens Theatre.
Holiday Projections on Cinderella Castle
In place of the Dream Lights (I know, I know), Cinderella Castle will have rotating holiday nighttime projections. This isn’t a nighttime spectacular like Happily Ever After, but rather a chance for you to take pictures of and in front of a holiday castle backdrop.
Holiday Cavalcades at All Four Theme Parks
You bet there will be festive cavalcades at each park, or as Disney puts it: “festive flotillas” at Animal Kingdom, “merry motorcades” at Hollywood Studios, “holiday promenades” at Epcot, and even more special character cavalcades at Magic Kingdom.
Speaking of Magic Kingdom, you will get to see holiday characters that only typically show up during MVMCP! Gingerbread men, elves, and reindeer will appear on the floats. Better yet, the Toy Soldiers will march with the Main Street Philharmonic along the parade route.
Modified Character Dining at Hollywood Studios
Minnie’s Holiday Dine will return to Hollywood & Vine starting on Nov. 6. You can meet Minnie, Santa Goofy (he’s the best!), and others.
An Appearance By Santa Claus — At All Four Parks & Disney Springs
That’s right, Santa Claus will show up at each park and Disney Springs to say hi! Now, you can’t meet him like normal, but to be able to see the big man himself definitely adds more joy to the holiday offerings.
Disney Springs Holiday Takeover
Even though the Christmas Tree Trail isn’t continuing this year, there will still be Christmas trees scattered around Disney Springs. And, yes, snow (aka “snoap”) will fall in Town Center, the West Side, and The Landing.
Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar will also once again transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar. You can expect holiday decorations and a limited-time menu with special holiday offerings.
Of course, there will also be festive treats, merchandise, and much more for you to enjoy (if you feel comfortable and safe enough to do so).
The holidays, obviously, won’t be the same this year at WDW. But, Disney has gone above and beyond (just like they have for Halloween) to ensure the most magical place on earth feels joyous and festive as possible when we all certainly need it the most.
And, remember, when visiting the parks for the holiday season, you will still need valid theme park admission and to also make a park pass reservation for entry. I’ll be sure to update this post with new information if or when it’s revealed.