Disney announces details of holiday celebrations for Walt Disney World 2020

Sep 08, 2020 in "Holidays at the Magic Kingdom"

Walt Disney World holidays 2020 preview
Posted: Tuesday September 8, 2020 1:36pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today announced details of plans for holiday celebrations at Walt Disney World amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As expected Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Castle Dream Lights, Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! and Candlelight Processional at EPCOT are now confirmed to not be taking place this year. Physical distancing requirements and limitations on mass gatherings make those events impossible to host.

Although the main holiday events will be missing in 2020, beginning November 6 through December 30 2020, guests will still be able to enjoy festive décor, themed merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings and entertainment all across Walt Disney World Resort.

The parks will continue the cavalcades that were introduced for the reopening in July, with seasonal twists celebrating the holidays. Toy Soldiers, will join the Main Street Philharmonic for one of the seasonal mini-parades at the Magic Kingdom.

When night falls, special projection effects 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 be hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting November 6. Santa Goofy will be there, along with Minnie and more in their holiday best.

From November 27, EPCOT will celebrate highlights from the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. Holiday kitchens will return 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.

Snowfall will occur each night Disney Springs within Town Center, West Side and The Landing. In addition, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar for 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.

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High Bay 4Dec 31, 2020

Social distancing was a problem in only 1 line. The family behind us at ROTR was all over us. A dad and 3 kids and dad didn’t seem to care. 🤷🏻‍♂️

TrainChasersDec 31, 2020

Good to hear. It’s weird not being there... I’m always at WDW for New Years!

High Bay 4Dec 31, 2020

Just left the Studios. Got in 7 rides in just over 7 hours with lunch and some shopping mixed in. Crowds were about what I expected for NYE. Mask compliance was exceptional! Going back after dinner.

mimitchi33Dec 31, 2020

Yup! It's likely due to the COVID restrictions that limit capacity.

High Bay 4Dec 31, 2020

Back up at 3:45 🎉

High Bay 4Dec 31, 2020

Rock ‘N Roller Coaster has been down since about 3:00 😞

TrainChasersDec 31, 2020

Probably the lowest wait times for 12/31 ever.

mimitchi33Dec 31, 2020

Current wait times: Mad Tea Party, Tomorrowland Speedway: 5 minutes Dumbo, Living with the Land, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Triceratop Spin, Journey Of The Little Mermaid, Vacation Fun, Carousel of Progress: 10 minutes Haunted Mansion, Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy, Walt Disney Presents: 15 minutes Alien Swirling Saucers, The Barnstormer, Gran Fiesta Tour, The Seas With Nemo and Friends: 20 minutes Kilimanjaro Safaris, Mickey's Philharmagic: 25 minutes Astro Orbiter, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, Winnie the Pooh, Prince Charming Carousel, Toy Story Mania!: 30 minutes Expedition Everest, Muppet*Vision 3D: 35 minutes Buzz Lightyear, It's A Small World, It's Tough To Be A Bug!, Peter Pan's Flight, Star Tours: 40 minutes Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Carribean, Spaceship Earth: 45 minutes Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway: 50 minutes Kali River Rapids, Space Mountain: 55 minute wait Dinosaur, Jungle Cruise, Mission Space: 60 minute wait Frozen Ever After, Rock 'N Roller Coaster: 65 minute wait Flight of Passage: 70 minutes Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Splash Mountain: 75 minutes Slinky Dog Dash, Soarin: 80 minutes Millenium Falcon: 85 minutes Tower of Terror: 90 minutes Test Track: 105 minutes You can tell it's crowded today, but not as crowded as usual due to the current situation...

TrainChasersDec 31, 2020

My first time not being at Disney for New Years since 2004!

ThelazerDec 31, 2020

Not happening. Just like Universal and Disney could have increased capacity just for one day (today)

jrhwdwDec 31, 2020

Yes! MOUCAT Cavalcades today! At least Santa anyway!

wdwmagicDec 31, 2020

VIDEO - IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth New Year's Eve 2014 https://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/reflections-of-earth/video/257.htm

wdwmagicDec 31, 2020

VIDEO - Holiday Wishes New Year's Celebration 2015 https://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/holiday-wishes/video/304.htm

wdwmagicDec 31, 2020

VIDEO - A look back at the last proper New Year’s Eve fireworks show at Disney’s Hollywood studios from 2015 https://www.wdwmagic.com/events/holidays-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/video/305.htm