Disney unwraps early details for the 2021 Holiday season at Walt Disney World

21 days ago in "Holidays at Disney's Hollywood Studios"

Posted: Monday July 12, 2021 8:21am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today unveiled some early details for this year's Christmas holiday season beginning November 12 2021 at Walt Disney World.


Details announced so far suggest we will see another year of limited holiday offerings at Walt Disney World, similar to what we saw during the pandemic-hit 2020 season. Notable there is no mention of the Candlelight Processional, fireworks at the Studios, a full holiday parade or the Castle Dreamlights at the Magic Kingdom. The main change from last year is the introduction of an After Hours ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom.

At the Magic Kingdom, 'Disney Very Merriest After Hours' will take the place of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party beginning November 8, offering four hours of after hours access to attractions, and a performance of 'Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.' The event also includes Disney characters throughout the park, holiday music and décor, treats included and more. Tickets go on sale in August, with pricing to be announced.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios, Sunset Seasons Greetings returns with projection effects on the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel alternating with the 50th anniversary 'Beacons of Magic' scenes. Santa Claus will appear in a motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard. You will also be able to experience “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” with its festive finale. No word yet on a return of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks.

Disney's Animal Kingdom will offer Disney character flotillas on Discovery River, and the Tree of Life will show holiday season projections in addition to the 50th anniversary Beacons of Magic projections.

The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays begins November 26 and takes place daily through to December 30 with Holiday Kitchens and performances by the Voices of Liberty.

At Disney Springs, the Christmas Tree Stroll is back, along with Jock Lindsey's Holiday Bar.


Finally, Gingerbread displays will return this year at Disney Resort hotels, after being missing for last year.

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MorphinePrince16 days ago

Typically Magic Kingdom transforms from Halloween to Christmas overnight after the last party. I see no reason why this wouldn't be the case this year. Your family should be there in time to see some holiday decor begin to pop up across other parts of the resort leading up to the 12th.

Clamman7316 days ago

It seems like the 12th is when things will all be in place at the resorts and Springs vs the 8th is specifically for Xmas party.

FromMaldonia16 days ago

Maybe a naïve question: Why does Disney state the "holiday season" or "holiday activities" return November 12th, but the first After Hours party is November 8th? Do all of the holiday events/decorations/food start on the 12th for the non-MK parks? Or is there something specific that won't be available or on display at MK from the 8th through the 11th? We will be there the 6th - 9th and wondering what we might see without attending the party.

AL2000HS18 days ago

Who knows. I know that DL cast that has been part of candlelight in the past have recently been notified that it will be returning this year at DL. DL has one narrator vs how many for WDW and days it performs. Could be a challenge on that end as well.

Dan Deesnee20 days ago

That's exactly what I was saying. You can't have a Christmas party start at 9:00 but you can have an after-hours event start at that time.

SoFloMagic20 days ago

Also they're still distancing performers on stage. Massive choir doesn't appear to match their current protocols. They may wait to see what the fall holds before making a decision.

TheGuyThatMakesSwords20 days ago

I am constantly disappointed that the "WDW 50th" is sub-par vs the "WDW 48th" :(. Perhaps the "WDW 51st" will at least return to some sort of normal :(.

mightynine20 days ago

The tradition in recent years has been to go the week after Thanksgiving - crowds were pretty light early in the week and you got the holiday decorations and the like. At least the after hours event won't deny you the chance to see MK fireworks as a Christmas party would. For this year, we had booked Coronado as it was the cheapest option, but moved to All-Star Music when reservations opened up. I fully expected those to go quickly but everything that opened up resort-wise last week still is showing availability for that week. I'm wondering if projections are showing a slow down after 10/1 - after all, this might be the year people decide to spend the holidays with family after possibly not seeing relatives over Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2020 - or if everyone who wanted that time frame had booked already.

dnice7720 days ago

Family was going to go for Christmas season for the first time. We are scheduled for 11/28-12/5. Do you think with all the changes it will still be worth it? I was thinking about the party, but from people’s comments seems way over priced. Or would it be better to plan for another year and rose advantage of low crowds In January?

castlecake2.020 days ago

Um there has been a paid Christmas event for years which resulted in no fireworks at all for day guests. This is actually an improvement, giving everyone fireworks everyday plus a second firework show for a separate ticket. Plus this leaves the park open till 9 for everyone where as previously on party nights the park closed at 7 for day guests.

TYOTimer20 days ago

It isn’t like AH is an add on like a desert party, it’s just a replacement. The main issue right now with a lot of it is cash flow issues, and staffing.

yensid6720 days ago

QUOTE: "Notable there is no mention of the Candlelight Processional, fireworks at the Studios, a full holiday parade or the Castle Dreamlights at the Magic Kingdom. The main change from last year is the introduction of an After Hours ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom." YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF TAKING THINGS AWAY FOR GUESTS ENJOYMENT, AND ADDING ANOTHE PAID EVENT! GREEDY LITTLE B******S! I LOVE GOING TO DISNEY BUT THIS GREED IS BULLS**T!

drizgirl20 days ago

Somehow Disneyland managed it just fine with Halloween parties during their 60th anniversary.

cslafferty20 days ago

Right - the point being if they would have MVMCP the way it was, that wouldn’t be happening because those parties started earlier. There were no fireworks for day guests on party days.