Disney World recently dropped some MAJOR updates for the upcoming holiday season. Some of these announcements included the cancelation of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as well as the Candlelight Processional in EPCOT.
As unfortunate as these announcements were, they were in-step with other decisions Disney World has made when it comes to large crowd events, like the cancelation of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
While there were some stories that fell in line with our expectations for how the holiday season would shake out, there were also a few shocking bombshells that quite frankly we did NOT see coming! Here are the top three surprises from Disney World’s holiday news drop this week.
Cinderella Castle Is Getting a New Look This Holiday Season!
You know when the holiday season has officially arrived at Disney World when Cinderella Castle lights up with its signature Castle Dream Lights. They’re known to elicit many “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” from guests, and it makes for one beautiful family photo op!
We were stunned to learn that the Castle Dream Lights will NOT be returning in 2020! Instead, the castle will “transformed with a rotating series of designs” via projections and video mapping technology.
Why the change? It’s possible Disney World is looking for ways to prevent crowds from forming in a particular area if they know that it’s historically a popular photo spot. While we will surely miss the Castle Dream Lights, we are very much looking forward to getting a first look at these new projection designs (especially the ugly…ahem, whimsical Christmas sweater).
We Still Get to See the Toy Soldiers!
Since Disney World announced its phased reopening plans, we have waited with bated breath countless times to learn what the fate is for some of our favorite rides, attractions, shows, and more. While these changes are temporary, it’s quite nerve-wracking to wonder exactly what’s going to be different in the coming months!
So, you can only imagine our RELIEF when we learned that the Toy Soldiers are in fact RETURNING to Magic Kingdom this holiday season! While they won’t be in a full-fledged parade as they have in years past, they will still march up Main Street, U.S.A.!
The Toy Soldiers will join the Main Street Philharmonic for a special cavalcade that will bring them throughout Magic Kingdom.
The Toy Soldiers aren’t the only holiday friends returning this year! Disney also announced the return of gingerbread men, elves, and more in special holiday cavalcades that will take place throughout the day, much like the cavalcades we’ve seen since the parks reopened!
There are lots of fun entertainment offerings coming to Disney World this holiday season at each of the four parks, including the Voices of Liberty at EPCOT and Santa Claus himself making appearances at each park as well as Disney Springs.
Resorts Aren’t Expected to Have Their Massive Gingerbread Displays!
While Disney World will have plenty of holiday happenings in 2020, there will be a few noticeable things missing. Disney announced that the massive gingerbread displays will not return to the hotels this year.
This includes the gingerbread house in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, the gingerbread castle display in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the gingerbread carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
Much like Cinderella Castle, the gingerbread displays typically draw bigger crowds to those resort hotels for photo ops, so part of this decision may have been to promote physical distancing. It also takes a LONG time for Disney to design, bake, and construct each of these gingerbread displays, so it’s possible the closures had an impact on the timeline to where Disney couldn’t complete them in time. We hope we will still get some special gingerbread magic somewhere!
With Disney World’s new health and safety guidelines in place, there still seems to be a LOT in the works for the holiday season this year! While we will certainly miss some of our favorites like the Candlelight Processional and the gingerbread displays, there are many other things to look forward to, like the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays and Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine!
The holiday season kicks off in Disney World on November 6th this year and runs through December 30th, so keep an eye on DFB for all the festive news, photos, and of course, holiday snack reviews!
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Are you planning on visiting Disney World this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!