2020 Christmas at Disney World – Your Complete Guide to Holiday Fun

Rain BlankenAnimal Kingdom, Blog, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, News

Christmas at Disney World 2020 Mickey Minnie Reynolds

Your ad-free main hub to see all the 2020 Christmas at Disney World changes.

It’s different this year, but it’s still Christmas at Walt Disney World! Disney has announced just a few holiday offerings, so our reporters visited the parks and got all the info first-hand on 2020 Christmas at Disney World.

Here are all the changes and extra pixie dust you can expect during the holiday season at the parks, resorts, and beyond.

Christmas at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Christmas Decorations 2020 de la Fe

We need a little Christmas in 2020! Photo by Julie de la Fe

There’s no Very Merry Christmas Party this year, but that kind of actually means more holiday cheer for every guest that enters Magic Kingdom in 2020!

Our Complete Guide to Christmas at Magic Kingdom, includes:


Christmas at EPCOT

2020 Christmas at EPCOT Snowman topiary blanken

Spaceship Earth overlooks a snowman topiary at EPCOT. Photo by Rain Blanken

EPCOT not only has the Festival of the Holidays; there are a lot of Christmas details at EPCOT throughout the season.

Our 2020 Complete Guide to Christmas at EPCOT includes:


Festival of the Holidays 2020

festival favorites menu epcot festival of the holidays 2020

Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

From festival food to all the available entertainment this year, here is your guide to Festival of the Holidays, starting November 27th.


Christmas at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood-Studios-Christmas-Decorations-Dinosaur-Gertie-Chiu

Photo by Tina Chiu

Gertie with her Santa hat on, vintage decor, and Frozen on stage. There’s so much here to get you in the holiday spirit!

Our 2020 Complete Guide to Christmas at Hollywood Studios includes:


Christmas at Animal Kingdom

Animal-Kingdom-Christmas-Decorations-Bottlecap-Wreath-Long

Photo by Evelyn Long

The subdued holiday decor and celebrations at Animal Kingdom are a merry sight that helps tell the story of conservation each year.

Our Complete Guide to Christmas at Animal Kingdom includes:


Christmas at Disney Springs

Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs 2020 Christmas at Disney World

Each Christmas tree has a different theme! Photo by Rain Blanken.

If you’re looking for the ultimate Christmas shopping and dining experience, Disney Springs is the place to be this holiday season.

Restaurants

Many of your favorite restaurants at Disney Springs have already opened up with new safe dining procedures in place. There are a lot of outdoor seating options, but space is still limited. If you are planning a big night out, consider making a reservation.

Quick-Service dining locations do not accept reservations. At these locations, you may see a long line, but be advised that social distancing makes these lines look a lot longer than they appear!

Christmas Tree Stroll

2020 Christmas Tree Stroll Stickers Disney Springs WDW Blanken

Christmas Tree Stroll Stickers. Photo by Rain Blanken

In 2020, the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail will not happen as it has in the past. Crowds and lines could cause a lot of congestion in the past, so in the interest of social distancing, they are doing things a bit differently.

Instead, the trees will be distributed throughout Disney Springs to view and enjoy via the new Christmas Tree Stroll.

Here’s a full list of the trees you can see, Disney Springs discounts that come with it, and info on how to play the Christmas Tree Stroll scavenger hunt for a free prize:


Christmas Shopping

Christmas-at Disney World Merchandise-Animal-Kingdom De la Fe

Candy Christmas bags and Mickey Ears at Disney World. Photo by Julie de la Fe

Much of the Christmas merchandise at Disney World is available at locations in each park and at the World of Disney store at Disney Springs.

Lines for the Wonderful World of Disney store at Disney Springs often wrap around the building, but rest assured that the line moves fast and it is very long due to social distancing requirements.

The same is true for the Emporium and Mouse Gear at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT respectively.

To avoid long lines, hit up the shops at the parks in the middle of the day. If you try to go in the morning, you’ll be lugging your souvenirs all day, and if you try to shop at the end of the day, you’ll be standing in line with everyone else who had that idea!


Christmas at Disney World Resorts

Christmas at Disney World 2020

Christmas tree at Disney Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Photo by Rain Blanken.

During these days of social distancing, we all need some cozy, and safe, Christmas experiences at the Disney World Resorts.

Holiday Snacks

Most Quick-Service locations at resorts will offer a cute holiday-themed cupcake or other treat, and most serve hot chocolate this time of year.

Christmas Decorations at Fort Wilderness

The elaborate displays at Fort Wilderness will still be on display this year. But like the Halloween decorations in 2020, access to the campground is limited to resort guests.

No Gingerbread Displays

We feel ya. We love touring the resorts to see all of the beautiful gingerbread houses and displays.

There is still one display available. See which park you can see this gingerbread display at and get some ideas for alternate gingerbread snacks and activities.


2020 Christmas at Disney World Changes

Social Distancing Disney Springs

Some signs on the ground tell guests where NOT to stand. Photo by Sara Bryce. Photo by Sara Bryce

We will see health and safety protocols impacting changes in every park this year. This includes changes to character greetings, parades, fireworks, and even how we eat our snacks.

Cavalcades Will Replace Parades

In each park, a series of just a few floats, cars, or even boats will carry characters throughout the park to blaring celebratory music. These cavalcades have no specific times attached to them, but we do have tips on how to make sure you see them at every park.

Socially-Distanced Characters

Character greetings will be impacted this year, as they have been since the parks reopening in July. Children will not be permitted to sit on Santa’s lap, but he will be on-hand to say hello!

  • Magic Kingdom Character Greetings
    • Characters will likely be waving only from the train station and fenced-off areas of the parks. We will likely see rare characters in costume for Christmas!
  • EPCOT Character Greetings
    • In the fall, we saw Winnie the Pooh catching butterflies beyond the reach of guests. Character experiences such as this one will continue.
  • Hollywood Studios Character Greetings
    • We will update as soon as we get 2020 information.
  • Animal Kingdom Character Greetings
    • We will update as soon as we get 2020 information.

We will update with full character greeting lists as 2020 information becomes available!

MVMCP Exclusives Now for All Guests

We’re all looking for silver linings this holiday season, and Disney World has one for us.

When Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was canceled, everyday guests were granted access to select snacks, experiences, and merchandise that were formerly exclusive to party guests who paid extra for a hard ticket.

We’ll have a complete guide soon on how to experience every single MVMCP exclusive that is available to all guests this year!

Paused Stage and Fireworks experiences

All stage, parade, and fireworks shows were paused throughout the summer and fall of 2020 to encourage social distancing. This will also be the case with Christmas at Walt Disney World.

There will not be nightly holiday fireworks shows at Magic Kingdom, nor crowd-gathering stage celebrations at EPCOT. We will have a complete guide up soon on everything to NOT expect at Disney World for Christmas this year.

Health and Safety Reminders

  • Guests will be required to wear a mask at the parks. Guests can 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.
About the Author

Rain Blanken

Rain Blanken is the frying pan-wielding managing editor for WDW Magazine. She is a published author who has been working in digital media for 15 years. She is a DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, former Disney Vacation Planner, and would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night. Chat with Rain on Instagram