Your Complete Guide to 2020 Christmas at Animal Kingdom

by | Oct 29, 2020 | Animal Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW News

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2020 Christmas at Animal Kingdom will be different this year. Here’s what to expect.

Some experiences have been changed or paused, but there is still plenty of Christmas cheer to go around this holiday season at Animal Kingdom! We are gathering details on 2020 as soon as Disney releases the info! Here is your complete guide with information confirmed by Disney Parks:

Until details surface for 2020, we will be considering 2019 Animal Kingdom offerings to get an idea of what to expect this year.

2020 Christmas Decor and Photo Opps

Dinoland USA Christmas at Animal Kingdom

Donald has decked the halls in Dinoland USA. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Aside from posing in front of an elephant, Animal Kingdom has lots of cute holiday photo opportunities amid natural decor.

In 2019, we saw these PhotoPass and Magic Shot locations. We will update as soon as 2020 info comes through!

The Animal Kingdom Christmas Tree is on display outside the park.

Christmas decorations are in place at the park entrance, on Discovery Island, Pandora, Africa, Dinoland U.S.A., and just a few lanterns in front of the Up! A Great Bird Adventure Show in Asia.

PhotoPass Changes at Animal Kingdom

From Disney Parks:

To promote cleanliness, physical distancing, and reduced contact, you will notice some temporary adjustments to Disney PhotoPass Service to provide an enjoyable environment for everyone:

  • Handling Guest’s Personal Devices: Disney PhotoPass photographers will not handle Guests’ personal devices such as cellphones and cameras.
  • Photo Prop Usage: Where photo props are in use, they will be thoroughly cleaned between Guests. For select props, your photographer may request that you stand next to or behind the prop without making contact with it. In these scenarios, your photographer will aim to capture your photos with the best angles and perspective in mind.
  • Photo Linking: Before the photographer takes your photo, please have your MagicBand or Card ready for the photographer to scan so they can quickly link your photos to your account. Photographers will keep as much distance as possible during this process.

We will update on specific Animal Kingdom decor and photo opportunities as soon as the parks deck the halls!

Christmas Snacks at Animal Kingdom

While a lot of the holiday treats reside at Magic Kingdom, our wild friends at Animal Kingdom have a lot of sweet treats to share. To see what’s delicious at the other parks, check out our Complete Guide to Christmas Snacks at Disney World.

Here are just a few of the offerings we know about so far!

White–Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse Disney World

White–Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

  • White–Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse – (Available at Satu’li Canteen Dec. 20 – Jan. 2) Sati’li Canteen always has our holiday-themed mousse! This year, it’s chocolate peppermint cream cheese mousse topped with peppermint sauce and chocolate cookie crumbles.
Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich Snack Review Christmas Animal Kingdom Blanken

The Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich is Dino-sized! Photo by Rain Blanken

Managerie Cupcake Christmas at Animal Kingdom

Managerie Cupcake at Animal Kingdom. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

  • Menagerie Cupcake – (Available at Creature Comforts, Flame Tree Barbecue, and Restaurantosaurus Dec. 1–30) December brings this cute gingerbread cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting and a white chocolate bear.
Santa Mickey Mousse Christmas Snacks Disney World

Santa Mickey Mousse at Animal Kingdom. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

  • Santa Mickey Mousse – (Available at Creature Comforts Dec. 1– Jan. 2) Mickey Mouse? No, Mickey Mousse! This white chocolate peppermint mousse dome sits on a brownie and is topped with snowflake sprinkles and chocolate Mickey ears.

Check out our complete Guide to 2020 Christmas Snacks at Disney World

Christmas Flotillas

Animal-Kingdom-Festive-Flotillas-Ducks-Long

If they’re ducks, why do they need a boat? Photo by Evelyn Long

Parades will be paused at all parks. Here is our Guide to What’s Canceled for Christmas at Disney World in 2020

While the other parks have cars and parade floats coming down the street, Animal Kingdom instead has flotillas in the water!

There are will be multiple Christmas flotillas at Animal Kingdom for the holidays. 

Showtimes are not posted to prevent crowding. Keep your ears out for a swell of music to signal that a flotilla is on its way! You may not see every flotilla in one day, but those you catch are sure to be merry and bright.

We will have videos of all of the Christmas flotillas up as soon as they appear at Animal Kingdom.

Holiday Characters

2020 christmas at animal kingom daisy duck reynolds

Daisy Duck waves from her lighted area. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

The holiday characters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom typically include some of your furry and feathered favorites that are dressed in Christmas costumes.

2019 Characters:

  • Scrooge McDuck
  • Launchpad McQuack
  • Donald Duck
  • Daisy Duck
  • Chip and Dale
  • Mickey and Minnie
  • Kevin, Doug, and Russell

Those are the 2019 characters to give you an idea of who we may see in 2020.  We’ll have more details on specific character appearances, soon!

Performances

The performances around Animal Kingdom are pretty fantastic, so they always draw a crowd. In the interest of social distancing, any performances that bring a crowd will be paused.

We are currently unsure of whether or not the Merry Menagerie, Bollywood Beats, or Harambe Village Acrobats will be performing.

The following performances at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have been discontinued this season:

  • The Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • Pandora Utility Suit

See All Canceled Christmas Events at Disney World in 2020

Christmas Shopping at Animal Kingdom

christmas shopping at animal kingdom chiu

Christmas items are already at Animal Kingdom! Photo by Tina Chiu

Animal Kingdom has all those unique character-related gifts that the animal lovers want under the tree!

Items you see at Walt Disney World are sometimes not available on the shopDisney site, so be sure to get what you like while you’re at the parks.

2020 brings a special challenge (of course) to Christmas shopping this year. With store capacity limits and long lines due to social distancing, you’ll need a little help.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements

To keep everyone safe this holiday season, Disney World will continue the health and safety requirements implemented in the summer when parks reopened.

  • Guests will be required to wear a mask at the parks. Guests may remove masks only while standing stationary and eating, while socially-distanced.
    • Guests who do not have a mask will be asked to purchase one from the available vending machines at the security check.
    • Guests who refuse to wear a mask will not be permitted entry.
  • No-touch forehead temperature checks will be administered to all guests prior to park entry.
  • Social distancing markers have been placed throughout the parks. Lines may look long, but they are likey snaking into another land to allow for social distancing.
  • Hand sanitizer and handwashing stations are stationed throughout the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs.

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

Your Complete Guide to 2020 Christmas Snacks at Disney World

Written by Rain Blanken

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Rain Blanken is the frying pan-wielding editorial director for WDW Magazine. She is a published author and leader in digital media. A DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, and former Disney Vacation Planner, Rain would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night.
Rain Blanken

Written by Rain Blanken

Rain Blanken is the frying pan-wielding editorial director for WDW Magazine. She is a published author and leader in digital media. A DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, and former Disney Vacation Planner, Rain would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night.
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