The holiday spirit isn’t cancelled at Walt Disney World this year, however things may appear a little different than they have in the past. This year, the holiday season will take place from November 6 through December 30 and there will be festive décor, special merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings, as well as entertainment offerings all across Walt Disney World Resort. The holidays will not only be celebrated at all four Walt Disney World theme parks, but also at Disney Springs too!
Let’s talk about the giant elephant in the room though. Of course, due to the nature of things, a few staples of the holiday season will not be taking place this year. Mainly, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the Castle Dream Lights at the Magic Kingdom and Candlelight Processional at EPCOT. There will still be other great holiday offerings that will be available though. So, let’s see what this year’s merriment will entail.
First, at the Magic Kingdom, in place of the Castle Dream Lights and A Frozen Holiday Wish (which is where Elsa lights up the castle in icicles), the castle will showcase special projections that will give a colorful backdrop. The appearance of the 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. The Magic Kingdom will also include special character cavalcades with Christmas friends on festive floats in their holiday finest. Plus you might see Gingerbread Men, Elves and Reindeer, and the Toy Soldiers who will join the Main Street Philharmonic as they march through the Magic Kingdom.
Moving over to EPCOT, the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays will continue, granted, they will be scaled down a bit. This festival will start later in the holiday season, on November 27. Here, the Holiday kitchens will return around World Showcase promenade. In addition, inside World ShowPlace will be the musical 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 musical stylings to the America Gardens Theatre stage for a special holiday concert.
Moving over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Minnie’s Holiday Dine will be taking place at Hollywood & Vine starting November 6 which will include Santa Goofy, as well as characters in their holiday finest. No word on if the Sunset Seasons Greetings projections will be shown on the Tower of Terror this year.
Poor Disney’s Animal Kingdom….they park finally got a great holiday celebration last year and this year, once again, it seems that they aren’t going to have much in the way of the holidays. The one thing that has been announced is that Guests will be able to see festive flotillas with characters along the waterways. I do hope that they will at least be able to do some of the holiday decor and entertainment, in at least some way, that they introduced last year.
Moving over to Disney Springs, the festivities will definitely be merry and bright! It appears that the Christmas Tree Trail will be available for Guests, just in a different way, with the elaborately decorated trees spread throughout Disney Springs. In addition, in the evening, Guests visiting areas within Town Center, West Side and The Landing will encounter a magical snowfall. Oh and Jock Lindsey’s will once again become Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar complete with delightful holiday décor and a delicious limited-time menu filled with festive favorites.
The resorts will still be getting in on the fun too, but again, not in the same ways. The lobbies will be decorated with trees and other festive flourishes. Unfortunately though, the popular gingerbread displays will not be occurring at the resorts, including Disney’s Grand Floridian, Disney’s Beach Club, and more.
So, as you can see, this year, while the holidays at Walt Disney World will be different, they will still be just as festive as ever.