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The Ultimate Guide to Everything DIFFERENT in Disney World This Christmas!

The temperature has started to drop, the fuzzy sweaters are out, and Christmas has started to sweep its way across Disney World!

Christmas Decorations

While the parks will be in a full holiday swing from November 6th through December 30th, entertainment and experiences in the parks and resorts are seeing some MAJOR differences this Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

As you start planning your upcoming Disney World vacation, we’re making sure you have all the details about how the holidays will be new and unlike years past!

Cinderella Castle

In previous years, we’ve seen Cinderella Castle all lit up in the Castle Dream Lights to create a Winter Wonderland in Disney World. However, now that nighttime spectaculars have been suspended during this time, regular holiday shows and fireworks will not be occurring in the Magic Kingdom.

Cinderella Castle Dream Lights

Instead, the Castle will have festive projections to add some flair to guests’ Christmas card photos as it is transformed into a series of designs like an ugly Christmas sweater or red, green, and gold ornaments.


While some fans of the Dream Lights (and Elsa lighting magically lighting them up each night!) might be sad to see them gone this year, the projections look like a fun way to still enjoy the season in front of Cinderella Castle each night. We think that just gives us an excuse to buy multiple holiday spirit jerseys to pose in front of the castle this year! 😉

Take a look at the recent test of holiday projections on Cinderella Castle!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Parties are a no-go in the parks right now with distancing measures and capacity limits in place (currently capped at 25%). Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was canceled this past spooky season and the holidays are going to look a bit different as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has been canceled this year as well.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019

However, elements from the event will be making their way into the parks as Character Cavalcades, specials treats, and falling snow (AKA snoap, the real heart of the Disney Christmas season obviously!) are incorporated in Disney World as everyday features!

Snoap at Sunset Seasons Greetings

Not gonna lie, we’re pretty pumped for more excuses to check out snoap in Disney World!

Check out all the treats coming to Disney World this holiday season!

Character Cavalcades

There’s just something extra magical about Christmas in Disney World where you can watch characters put on their holiday best and wish everyone a “Merry Christmas” in the parks! The Once Upon a Christmastime Parade featured during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (and typically during the day the week of Christmas) will not be taking place this year. But themed Character Cavalcades will transform the atmosphere of Disney World all season long instead.

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Each of the four theme parks will host various experiences with holiday promenades in EPCOT, merry motorcades in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, festive flotillas in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Christmas cavalcades in the Magic Kingdom. Along with the gingerbread men, elves, reindeer, and the famous toy soldiers marching along with the Main Street Philharmonic, the Fab Five and other classic friends will be jamming out to Christmas music as they greet guests during the modified entertainment too!

Toy Soldiers During the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Even though the Christmas Parties aren’t happening this year, at least all guests in Magic Kingdom can have a chance to check out those awesome Toy Soldiers marching down the street!

Want to see what Characters you’ll be able to spot in EPCOT this season? Click here!

Santa Claus Meet-and-Greets

Santa will even be making an appearance during the Christmas Cavalcades, along with pop-ups, distanced appearance in each of the parks, and Disney Springs — by BOAT! Keep in mind that meet-and-greets have been halted since Disney World opened, so your kiddos won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap this year.


BUT, he’ll still be bringing holiday cheer during Christmastime (and hopefully lots of presents too). Recently, we’ve seen characters like Anna and Elsa separated from guests as they are stationed behind gates and other barriers during their interactions.

Santa and Mrs. Claus in Epcot’s American Adventure Pavilion

Santa Claus could potentially have a similar area set up in the parks, as photo opportunities and booths have been built in past years. Disney hasn’t revealed too much just yet concerning how guests can interact with Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more!

Here’s all the holiday entertainment coming to the parks this year!

Gingerbread Houses

While we could sip and snack on Gingerbread Lattes and cookies all day, every day during Christmastime, Disney has announced that the Gingerbread Houses won’t be returning at the resorts this year. (We’ll miss that sweet smell when we enter Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Disney’s Beach Club Resort! 😭)

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House.

There’s still good news, though, because EPCOT’s patriotic Capitol City Gingerbread Display will be featured in the park this year! Even though the decoration has taken over the American Adventure Pavilion in previous years, it will be moved over to the World Showplace for more guests to visit in a distanced manner.

American Adventure Gingerbread Display

Disney is shaking things up a little more though with the changes in the display that are going to feature the United States Capitol Building, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and a giant Washington Monument throughout this upcoming holiday season!

Festival of the Holidays

Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition

EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays are coming back to Disney World with “highlights” from previous festivals and new entertainment in the parks! Along with the food booths that will be available starting November 27th, events like the new Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition will bring family and friends together for a festive scavenger hunt!

Olaf and Sven

The Frozen version of the World Showplace scavenger hunt game is replacing Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt as guests search for Olaf in each pavilion and match the location sticker on the scavenger hunt map to the traditions you can find in the countries.

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Disney has detailed that “Olaf can be spotted sledding all around World Showcase, collecting new and interesting holiday traditions to share with Anna and Elsa. Unfortunately, he’s had a bit of a bumpy ride…and has misplaced some traditions during his journey.” Once you’ve found all the missing traditions, you can pick up a prize at Disney TradersMouse Gear, or World Traveler.


Guests can purchase the Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition map and stickers from places like Mouse GearWorld TravelerPort of EntryStroller Rental locationsInternational Gateway, and the merchandise cart in Canada for $7.99.

Read MORE about the Olaf-themed Scavenger Hunt here! 

Live Performances

And, while you’re hopping around the park, you can chill out at the World ShowPlace to listen to JOYFUL! perform R&B, Gospel, contemporary, and traditional Christmas hits.

Voices of Liberty

This year, the Voices of Liberty will be moving from the American Adventure Pavilion to the big stage at the America Gardens Theatre to perform a Capella carols and holiday songs for guests.

Read more about 2020 holiday entertainment in Disney World here! 

Candlelight Processional

Although other entertainment will be returning back to Disney World for Christmas this year, the beautiful Candlelight Processional that brings a celebrity-narrated performance, 50-piece orchestra, and choir with Cast Members and special guests has been canceled. The event would take three times throughout the evening during the holiday season, but health and safety regulations have caused the Candlelight Processional to be halted this year.

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional

This event was a big fan-favorite so we know many were disappointed to hear it wouldn’t be taking place this year. You can still snack around EPCOT at the Holiday Kitchen booths though, so at least you can drown your sorrows in delicious cookies and more!

Click here to see what goodies are coming to EPCOT this holiday season!

Although there are some major differences in how the parks and resorts will look in Disney World, we can’t wait to experience the changes that will still make the holiday season just as magical as ever! As we explore the parks throughout Christmastime this year, we’ll give you a look at everything you can expect before your upcoming vacation!

Read about the biggest bombshells we encountered from this year’s holiday news!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney World Fun This Holiday Season!

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What are you looking forward to seeing in Disney World the most this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!

The post The Ultimate Guide to Everything DIFFERENT in Disney World This Christmas! first appeared on the disney food blog.

The post The Ultimate Guide to Everything DIFFERENT in Disney World This Christmas! appeared first on Modern Excellence.

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