by Beth Keating
November 6, 2020
You may still have a bowl of Kit Kats on your kitchen table from last week’s trick-or-treaters, but at Disney World, “Christmas is starting now.”
The holiday season at Walt Disney started today - November 6 - and Disney has shared a plethora of news about all the celebrations at the parks. (Yesterday, they also dropped the new menus for the Holiday Kitchens at the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, which begins November 27. See the DisneyBizJournal story here.)
Magic Kingdom Park
Over at the Magic Kingdom, where Christmas trees and wooden soldiers made their appearance earlier in the week, Mickey, Minnie and their friends have slipped into their best holiday outfits in the Christmas version of the character cavalcades that pop up throughout the day. Goofy even parades down the street in his own bake shop cavalcade, followed by dancing gingerbread men. The most exciting addition for the season? Santa will be heading down Main Street in his sleigh. The Dapper Dans will serenade park guests as the Holiday Trolley chugs its way down the street, and Toy Soldiers will accompany the Main Street Philharmonic. So, while there may not be a “Christmas Parade,” per se, you’ll still be able to see some of your favorite elements from the parade during the cavalcades.
There may not be fireworks over the Magic Kingdom right now, but Disney is bringing holiday enchantment to the park with a slightly different version of castle decoration this year. As we previously reported at DisneyBizJournal, instead of the “Castle Dream Lights” with their Frozen-inspired look, Cinderella Castle will light up with special projection effects this year, with such whimsical designs as a Christmas sweater look, a jeweled winter castle, and an overlay of bright and colorful patterns.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
At Animal Kingdom, the character flotillas will continue, but now they’ll have special holiday tunes and yule time outfits. Santa Claus will also make appearances. Holiday décor began appearing at the park earlier in the week as well.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Hollywood Studios, Santa will appear in a motorcade to greet guests along Hollywood Boulevard. Santa’s got a hot rod? Along with an entourage of elves, Santa will be visiting the Studios in his shiny red convertible. Olaf will bring a holiday twist to “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” with a special festive finale and seasonal songs.
One of the most anticipated features of the season at Hollywood Studios will also be back, much to guests’ joy. After dark, the Hollywood Tower Hotel will become the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel, and Sunset Boulevard will brighten with thousands of seasonal lights as the tower becomes a giant screen of projection effects. Expect to see “a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, a snowy corner of Arendelle and a Dickensian village inspired by Mickey’s Christmas Carol” this year.
Disney Springs’ festivities kick off tomorrow, November 7, with Florida’s version of a winter wonderland. Shop till you drop, or enjoy themed holiday snacks and treats, amidst sparkling lights and the Disney-themed trees on the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll. DJs will pump holiday tunes during the day, and at night, “stilt-walking toy soldiers, skating snowflakes and a magical snowfall will add a touch of wonder for holiday shoppers at surprise locations.” Spoiler alert: Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Disney Springs later in the month – this time cruising the Springs in a pontoon boat.
The parks at Disneyland in California may not be open yet, but if you are on the west coast and want to indulge in holiday treats and some Disney-themed shopping, head to the Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street at Disneyland in California. Buena Vista Street officially opens November 19. (See the DisneyBizJournal story about the shopping expansion here.)
The Disney Parks Blog has also launched a special “Everything Holidays” section, where readers can check in on live events, get some DIY activities for the holidays, and find news on festivities taking place at the parks. The section will update with new stories and events throughout the season.
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.
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