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Disney Holidays: 2020 Edition

Well, the holiday decisions have been made here at Walt Disney World…and here’s what we have to look forward to – and what we don’t.

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Cheat Sheet:

What’s still on:

  • Holiday themed decor, merch, and food and beverage offerings
  • Character cavalcades, motorcades, and flotillas with holiday characters like the Toy Soldiers
  • Castle Projections
  • Socially distanced Santa pop ups
  • Character yuletide gathering at Hollywood & Vine
  • Trees throughout Disney Springs
  • Jock Lindsay’s Holiday Bar
  • Resort Christmas Trees

What’s not:

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
  • Candlelight Processional
  • The Christmas Parade
  • The Castle’s Dream Lights
  • Disney Springs’ Trail of Trees
  • Resort gingerbread displays

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The bad news is that the party is off. The good news is that the celebration is still on.

The holidays will look a little different this year, but they’re still coming to Disney and god knows that’s all we could hope for in 2020.

We’ll see the transformation from November 6-December 30 when festive décor, themed merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings and entertainment descend on Walt Disney World. Everything from pop ups from Santa (we’ll have to yell what we want from a distance!!), festive flotillas at DAK, holiday promenades at Epcot, merry motorcades at DHS, and character cavalcades at MK. And I *love* the Christmas parade, so I’ll be fighting tears when the gingerbread men, elves and reindeer, and toy soldiers join the Main Street Philharmonic as they march through Magic Kingdom Park.  

And at night, apparently the Castle will get some special projections…which is what we’ve all be longing for. Sadly, this will be in place of the Castle Dream Lights. It’s hard to imagine a season without them…but it is what it is this year.

And that’s not all that will be missing. Holiday experiences that draw big crowds like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Candlelight Processional are on hold. It’s no surprise though…and I know we’re all grateful that Disney is finding inventive ways to bring the magic despite this year’s challenges.

We’ll also see Minnie Mouse hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting Nov. 6. So that’s one more character meal that we’ll have to look forward to!! (Currently you’ll only see them when dining at Garden Grill or during breakfast at Topolino’s.)

And perhaps most exciting – starting a bit later in the season, on November 27, we’ll have “highlights” from the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. This wording makes me think we’ll be getting a bit of a sampler…much like we have Taste of Epcot instead of a full Food and Wine Festival this year. Holiday kitchens will definitely return…but I’m guessing we won’t have the usual seasonal performers from each country.

That said, Epcot won’t be wholly without holiday performances. Guests will be invited to step inside World ShowPlace to enjoy the returning group, JOYFUL!, and (EEK!!) the Voices of Liberty will be caroling on the America Gardens Theatre stage.

Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar

At Disney Springs, it sounds like we’ll have trees spread across the area instead of just in the Christmas Tree Trail, which again makes sense from a crowd perspective. There will also be a bit of magic in the air in the form of snow…and 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. We checked that out last year and it kind of blew us away.

Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Iconic Christmas Tree

As for the resorts? We’ll still get those iconic trees…but not the gingerbread displays. Disney made the call for safety and felt that physical distancing guidelines wouldn’t allow for them.

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What are you most excited to see this season? What will you miss the most? For me, I think I’m most thrilled that Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays will be back in some form. And surprisingly, I think I’m saddest that we won’t see the Dream Lights this year. Perhaps because that struck me as the biggest surprise.

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If you’re planning a trip to Disney and want a fun way to rock a mask, check out my designs at TeePublic right HERE!! (Allow time for shipping as I know they are processing tons of orders as fast as they can right now.) If you cannot or choose not to visit now and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.



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