Deck the halls: Walt Disney World reimagines 2020 holiday celebration

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and EPCOT Candlelight Processional canceled this year

Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., will reimagine its holiday celebration this year. From Nov. 6 to Dec. 30, the resort’s four theme parks and Disney Springs will be decked with festive décor and offer special merchandise, enchanting new experiences and seasonal food and drinks. (Matt Stroshane, Walt Disney World)

ORLANDO, Fla – Walt Disney World released new details Tuesday about its upcoming holiday celebrations.

Beginning today guests will be able to enjoy festive decor, themed merchandise and seasonal food and beverage offerings with family and friends.

This year, popular events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Candlelight Processional at EPCOT will not take place.

Just like some of its popular fall events, leaders at Walt Disney World have had to adjust and change plans due to ever-changing coronavirus pandemic.

“We know these experiences are a cherished part of holiday traditions that will be missed by guests and cast members alike, but we’re glad to be able to bring holiday magic in other creative ways” Disney leaders said on its blog.

Despite the cancellation a number of other holiday offerings will be available.

At Magic Kingdom guests will get the chance to see character cavalcades with a holiday twist. Disney characters, including Santa’s reindeer and tin soldiers, will march down Main Street U.S.A. next to some festive floats.

When the sun sets at the park Cinderella Castle will light up in a whole new way.

Officials said the castle will be transformed into a series of designs including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation.

Leaders said the new designs will be the perfect colorful background for guests seeking a magical holiday portrait.

From Nov. 6 to Dec. 30, when night falls at Magic Kingdom Park, projection effects will transform Cinderella Castle with a kaleidoscope of holiday-themed designs. (Walt Disney World)

Over the past few years the castle has been lit in thousands of twinkling castle dream lights, but that will not happen this year.

The International Festival of the Holidays will begin at EPCOT on Nov. 27.

Guests will get the opportunity to try holiday favorites from kitchens around the world.

Dishes include the American holiday table featuring slow-roasted turkey with stuffing and the Bavaria holiday kitchen with cheese fondue in a bread bowl.

Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays begins Nov. 27 (Walt Disney World)

The R&B and gospel group, JOYFUL!, will return along with the Voices of Liberty at the America Gardens Theatre stage.

More details on the festival will be announced in the future.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios merry motorcades featuring Mickey and his friends will roll down Hollywood Boulevard.

Minnie Mouse will be hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting Nov. 6. (Walt Disney World)

Minnie Mouse will put on a yuletide gathering for families at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant.

The character dining experience will feature all the iconic characters, including Santa Goofy, and reservations are required beginning on Nov. 6.

Another popular holiday tradition for so many families is checking out Disney’s resorts.

Lobbies will feature the majestic holiday trees, but gingerbread displays will not return due to physical distancing guidelines.

At Disney Springs, Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar will be decorated and Christmas trees will be spread throughout the retail, dining and entertainment destination.

Walt Disney World’s holiday offerings will be available till Dec. 30.

Wilderness Lodge, Disney Resort hotels will also be decked out for the holidays, with their lobbies featuring iconic trees and other festive flourishes. (Walt Disney World)

About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.