I guess we’ve been good this year, because Christmas came early at the Most Magical Place on Earth! Somehow, 2021 is already halfway over, and as we see the end of the summer, attention and focus has rounded onto the holiday season. Walt Disney World Resort has released new information on what’s going to happen at the House of Mouse this winter, and the additions go beyond the beloved and expected seasonal merchandise and foods. Of course, this holiday season is extra special since it goes along with the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. Starting November 12, you can expect to see these changes at the parks:
Magic Kingdom Park
We’ll start with the biggest news first. Disney announced an all-new, after-hours event for guests to get into the holiday spirit with Minnie and Mickey. Called “Disney Very Merriest After Hours,” this separately ticketed event will kick off on November 8 (yes, four days ahead of the official holiday season, for those of you paying close attention). This event will be available on select nights through December 21 and features a number of perks. You can see your favorite Disney characters throughout the park, watch the snow fall on Main Street, U.S.A., and grab your free ice cream and popcorn before watching fireworks. The event itself goes from 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM, but entry is allowed as early as 7:00 PM. Tickets go on sale next month. Noticeably absent from the list of holiday splendor at Magic Kingdom? Cinderella Castle Dream Lights. There hasn’t been any mention of whether or not this beloved nighttime spectacle will return after the 50th anniversary celebrations, but our fingers are crossed!
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will return this year, going from November 26 through December 30. Here, guests can experience the holiday traditions in the 11 nations featured in the World Showcase. The guest-favorite Holiday Cookie Stroll is also returning, allowing guests to hunt down the 5 official Holiday Cookie Stroll locations along the World Showcase, and get their dessert and earn a stamp for the Festival Passport. There will also be singing and crafts available for younger international travelers.
The holidays will be in full swing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This holiday season, the park will be transformed with warm holiday décor, seasonal sips and treats, and Disney character flotillas cascading down Discovery River, playing songs everyone knows and loves. It’s also a cool time of year to experience Expedition Everest, where it snows every day of the year. At the end of the day, guests can experience a special rendition of Tree of Life Awakenings to keep the spirit of the season strong.
In rad, retro Christmas décor, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be rockin’. Santa (and Santa Goofy!) will be there to greet you, and Minnie Mouse will be in her Christmas best to host her meal at Hollywood & Vine. As in previous years, the Sunset Seasons Greetings nighttime projection show will once again give Hollywood Tower of Terror a festive face lift, transforming it into the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel before turning it into Arendelle, a Toy Story hotel, a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, or a scene inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”
Disney Springs and Disney Resort Hotels
Don’t think the Christmas spirit is just for the parks! Disney Springs is getting in on the action too, with a litany of beautiful Christmas trees for guests to admire as they do their holiday shopping. The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll will feature a number of ornately decorated, Disney-themed trees for visitors to appreciate and take in the details. Like last year, snow is also promised to fall in Town Center for guests to enjoy.
Last but certainly not least, the resort hotels boast some of the most beautiful and iconic Disney decorations during the holiday season. And guess what’s back? Gingerbread displays! So mark your calendars, and get ready to enjoy the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort.
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