What’s Canceled for Christmas at Disney World in 2020?

by | Nov 2, 2020 | Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW News

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Wondering what’s been canceled at Disney World this Christmas due to COVID? A few things won’t be returning this year, but there are all sorts of new ways to celebrate holiday cheer!

The holiday parties planned at Disney Parks have already been announced and are ready to go starting in November. You will notice, however, that some of your favorite Christmas spectacles and displays will have some significant changes this year

According to the Disney Parks Blog, Disney has already adapted and/or canceled some of their traditional holiday experiences, especially ones “that draw big crowds”. I am sure there will be more updates in the coming weeks as crowds are likely to become larger.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your fill of Disney magic in the parks this holiday season!

Here is a list of Disney experiences that have been adjusted and what you can experience in their place.   

CANCELED: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Very Merry Christmas Party Christmas lights on Cinderella castleRich Ramos

While the party may be canceled, expect lots of festive decorations for the holidays! Photo by Rich Ramos

Similar to the cancellation of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this fall, this party is canceled simply because of the number of people who would be attending it. This is one of the key safety measures to protect the health and safety of Disney’s guests.

While you may miss this experience this year, you will still be able to experience Mickey’s Christmas cheer in the form of a holiday Cavalcade running through Magic Kingdom. 

Starting November 6, look out for the Christmas Character Cavalcades filled with gingerbread men, toy soldiers, elves, and reindeer. You may even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus throughout the park!

You’ll also see a slight change to Cinderella’s Castle for the holiday season. Instead of showcasing the Castle Dream Lights spectacular, Disney will deck the castle with full holiday apparel through rotating projections sure to bring merry measure to Magic Kingdom guests.

You might even see the castle don a Christmas sweater and tree decorations!

CANCELED: Candlelight Processional

Photo by Mike Billick

This holiday staple has been a resounding joy and part of many pilgrimages to EPCOT during Christmas over the past few years. 

The combination of angelic choirs singing carols and hymns accompanied by a full orchestra and lead by talented celebrity narrators telling the story of Jesus’ birth will be dearly missed this year.

If you still need your fill of Christmas carols and other holiday music this season, EPCOT is the place to be!

The Voices of Liberty, typically enjoyed inside the American Adventure Pavilion rotunda, will have a grander stage when they perform carols a cappella at the America Gardens Theatre.  

Also, Joyful! will bring their full gospel and R&B renditions of Christmas carols to various places throughout the World Showcase during the holidays.

EPCOT will also be holding its International Festival of the Holidays starting on November 27.  

Similar to the recent Taste of EPCOT offerings, guests will be able to travel the World Showcase and experience offerings and special menus from a number of holiday kitchens, including Le Marche De Noel in the France Pavilion, the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in Canada, and the L’Chaim Jewish Holiday Kitchen booth between the Morocco and France Pavilions.

ADAPTED: Christmas Tree Trail – Disney Springs

RRAMOS_Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail_14

No need for a park ticket to visit these trees. Photo by Rich Ramos

The Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs was indeed a crowd pleaser! We love admiring the handiwork in creating beautiful Disney themed decorated trees.

Disney Springs has decided to spread the joy throughout the entire complex to allow all guests to experience the decorations with proper physical distancing measures.

For a special bonus, taking a tour of these trees at night could also get you treated to a beautiful snowfall.  Don’t forget to shout out your Christmas wishes to Santa when he passes by!

CANCELED: Gingerbread Houses

Whats-Cancelled-Christmas-Disney-World-Gingerbread-Houses

Photo by Rain Blanken.

Unfortunately, the tradition of each resort having a Gingerbread House exhibit will not be happening this year.  Resorts will still be decorated for the holidays but without the large constructions of gingerbread goodness this year.

If gingerbread is a huge part of your Disney holiday experience, the World ShowPlace at EPCOT does have a gingerbread house of it’s own on display!

Check out your alternate gingerbread options.

ADDED: Holiday Experiences at Animal Kingdom

Whats-Cancelled-Christmas-Disney-World-Animal-Kingdom

Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Magic Kingdom isn’t the only park to have cavalcades.  If you are at Animal Kingdom, be on the lookout for “Festive Flotillas” throughout the park. Santa Claus will also be occasionally dropping by to wave at all of the good boys and girls at the park.

ADDED: Holiday Experiences at Hollywood Studios

Whats-Cancelled-Christmas-Disney-World-Hollywood-Studios

Photo by Laurie Sapp

Similarly, Hollywood Studios will also be receiving a special holiday motorcade this year.

Minnie Mouse will be a star attraction and host of Minnie’s Holiday Dine, a yuletide gathering at Hollywood & Vine, starting on November 6.

If you missed Santa at one of the other three parks or Disney Springs, you can find him here as well (he must love all of the Disney parks as much as we all do!).

And there you have it!  There is no shortage of holiday festivities around Walt Disney World this year.  Check back here to stay up-to-date on all of our Disney holiday updates, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter, so you never miss the latest on Christmas at Disney World!

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Written by Thomas Fusilli

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Thomas is an avid Disney enthusiast, visiting the parks 2-3 times a year and filling a lot of his free time with Disney related entertainment. In between Disney adventures, Thomas teaches high school English and coaches wrestling, and is a proud husband and dad. Follow Thomas on Instagram.
Thomas Fusilli

Written by Thomas Fusilli

Thomas is an avid Disney enthusiast, visiting the parks 2-3 times a year and filling a lot of his free time with Disney related entertainment. In between Disney adventures, Thomas teaches high school English and coaches wrestling, and is a proud husband and dad. Follow Thomas on Instagram.
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