It came as no great surprise that Walt Disney World announced yesterday that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Castle Dream Lights, Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! and Candlelight Processional at EPCOT will not be taking place this year. As expected, physical distancing requirements and limitations on mass gatherings make those events impossible to host.
Although the main holiday events will be missing in 2020, Disney did announce that beginning November 6th and running through December 30th this year, guests will still be able to enjoy festive décor, themed merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings and entertainment all across Walt Disney World Resort.
In the announcement Walt Disney World stated that the parks will continue the cavalcades that were introduced when the parks re-opened in July, this time with seasonal twists celebrating the holidays. The very popular Toy Soldiers will join the Main Street Philharmonic for one of the seasonal mini-parades at the Magic Kingdom.
When night falls,Disney plans of presenting special projection effects that will give a festive look to Cinderella Castle this year. 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.
Minnie Mouse will also be hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning November 6th. Santa Goofy will also be there..
Beginning November 27th, EPCOT will be celebrating highlights from the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. Holiday kitchens will be returning 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.
Inside the World Showplace, JOYFUL!, will present a journey through R&B, Gospel, contemporary and traditional Christmas and holiday music. Also, the Voices of Liberty will perform at the America Gardens Theatre stage for a special concert of favorite carols and songs of the season.
At the resorts, decor will be on full display, but gingerbread displays will not be present this year.
At Disney Spring snowfall will occur each night within Town Center, West Side and The Landing. In addition, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar with a limited-time menu of festive favorites. The Tree Trail will not be returning, but the trees will be spread throughout the property.
Finally, Santa Claus will wave to guests as he makes pop-up appearances at each park, as well as Disney Springs, but will not be available for meet and greets. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, for example, he will sail down Discovery River on a special flotilla.