If you’re still in shock over how quickly this year is flying by, brace for impact: over the weekend, Magic Kingdom debuted its annual holiday decor in full force. With its usual timing that immediately follows the close of the Halloween season, the park quickly transformed from orange, autumn hues to a warm, winter wonderland. Main Street, U.S.A. is loaded with wreaths, ribbon, and garland from Main Street Station all the way to Cinderella Castle. And you can’t forget that gorgeous tree that so many of us look forward to every year…
The holly-jolly holiday decor starts before you even step foot into the park. Even though the Walt Disney World Railroad isn’t currently in operation due to construction on Tomorrowland’s upcoming TRON attraction, Main Street Station’s exterior – which welcomes park guests – has been neatly trimmed with garland. And it’s only just a taste of the tinsel you’ll find inside!
Leaving just as quickly as it arrived – or, at least, so it seems in the fast-paced year that is 2020 – Magic Kingdom’s fall decor was a bit lighter than its usual array. Most notably, the traditional fall-themed scarecrows were nowhere to be found in their Town Square position. So, we were delighted to find that the iconic nutcrackers (accompanied by candy cane-striped surroundings) had made their return for Christmas. It wouldn’t have been the same without them – although we will miss their marching counterparts in the Once upon a Christmastime Parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which was cancelled for this year.
Magic Kingdom is typically the first of Walt Disney World Resort’s four parks to receive decorations, and if its festivity level is any indication, we look forward to seeing what’s in store for the others! We expect EPCOT to be decked out with its own seasonal swag soon for Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. (And I’d be remiss not to mention my personal favorite: the vintage holiday decor around Echo Lake in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.)
As beautiful as Magic Kingdom’s decor is, one key feature is notably lacking: the Dream Lights that crystallize Cinderella Castle with an awe-inspiring overlay of twinkling lights. It was announced in September that the castle will instead be adorned by a rotating series of holiday projection effects that begin this Friday, November 6.
Despite the disappointment that comes with the lack of Dream Lights, it’s safe to say I’m impressed by the quick (and fairly complete) rollout of holiday decorations at Magic Kingdom so far – and I look forward to seeing how they continue expanding to other areas of the park. (Spoiler alert: Jingle Cruise has returned!) Given all of the curveballs 2020 has thrown in the theme parks’ direction, it’s nice to see familiar traditions come to life in the timing we’ve come to expect as Disney fans.
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