Spending Christmas at Disney World is an amazing and memorable time. It’s no secret that Christmas is the most magical time to visit Walt Disney World. On top of the many year-round wonders, there is an added layer of fun and excitement that only the Christmas season can bring out.
If there is one thing that we have learned this year, it’s to roll with the changes. A few Holiday favorites will NOT make an appearance this season at Disney World. So let’s get the bad news out of the way first. If you are visiting Disney for the holiday season you won’t be able to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Epcot’s Candlelight Processional.
Another favorite holiday tradition you won’t see this year are the Gingerbread House displays in the resort lobbies. While we are all certainly sad not to see these events happening, I am certain they will make a return next season.
In grand Disney fashion, instead of canceling all of the Holiday fun, they have pivoted and come up with new ways to entertain guests this year. So let’s see what is available during Disney World Holidays, beginning November 6 through December 30, 2020.
Disney Theme Parks at Christmas
The pandemic has forced Disney World to pivot the entertainment offered inside their four parks. Currently, character meet-and-greets, parades, and fireworks are all on hold, however, many of these experiences are being repurposed in fun and new ways for the holiday season.
It feels like there are lights and garland for miles as you walk around the parks (and honestly, there just might be!). While visiting Disney World at any time of the year is amazing, there’s just something special about the atmosphere and ambiance that you have to experience for yourself at Christmas.
Santa Claus will even be making special pop up appearances in the parks!
Magic Kingdom at Christmas
Character Cavalcades at Magic Kingdom Park will take on a special holiday twist, with familiar friends on festive floats in their holiday finest. Gingerbread Men? Check! Elves and Reindeer? Check, check!
The famous Toy Soldiers will join the Main Street Philharmonic as they march through Magic Kingdom Park, bringing musical holiday cheer for all to hear. Normally you would only see these special guests during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so this is a treat for everyone in the park!
When night falls, special projection effects will give a festive look to Cinderella Castle this year, providing a colorful backdrop for your holiday moments. 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.
Epcot at Christmas
Beginning Nov. 27, guests will be able to experience highlights from the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. This festive season features international holiday celebrations and decor as well as different cultural representations of Father Christmas. It’s actually really cool to see how different countries around the World Showcase celebrate Christmas
Just like the global marketplaces of the Food and Wine Festival, Holiday Kitchens will be dispersed around Epcot with small plates and drink pairings for purchase as you make your way around the park.
Arrive hungry because there is so much holiday goodness to taste! This is probably one of the easiest ways to treat your taste buds to all the variety of flavors that Disney World has to offer. Favorites like American Holiday Table featuring Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing and Bavaria Holiday Kitchen with dishes like Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl will return in 2020.
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.
Hollywood Studios at Christmas
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. Be sure to make a reservation in advance, as capacity is limited.
Your favorite characters will also be spinning around the streets of Hollywood in a Merry Motorcade multiple times a day in their finest holiday attire.
Don’t forget that you need not only valid theme park admission, but a park reservation as well to visit any of the four parks this holiday season.
Disney Resorts at Christmas
Disney Resorts really do deck the halls and lobbies with festive garland, ribbon, lights, and Christmas Trees. This year will be no exception, and with shorter park hours you can explore more resorts!
Disney Springs at Christmas
At Disney Springs you will discover Christmas around every corner as you come across a collection of elaborately-decorated Disney Christmas trees spread throughout the retail, dining and entertainment areas.
In the evenings, you will encounter a magical snowfall within the Town Center, West Side and The Landing, adding an extra touch of wonder to your night.
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.
Did you really go to Disney World if you didn’t have snacks? No, I didn’t think so. The Holiday season brings out the big hitters in the parks, resorts and at Disney Springs. From sweet cake pops to savory sandwiches and more, eating your way around Disney is certainly a task. We are still waiting to see what Disney World will be serving up this year, so stay tuned for more information!