With the holidays quickly approaching, guests planning to visit Disney World in the coming months have some burning questions…and we’re here to help!
Things are definitely going to look a bit different in Disney World during this holiday season than in years past. But even though guests won’t be able to experience some traditional favorites like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or the Candlelight Processional in EPCOT, there’s still plenty of seasonal fun to go around.
With all of the changes happening around Disney World, you may have some questions about your upcoming trip this holiday season. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s dive into the answers to some essential questions about the 2020 holidays!
Will Disney World Restaurants Serve Thanksgiving Dinner?
In years past, there have been a pretty wide variety of options for Thanksgiving dinner in Disney World. But even though dining options are more limited this year, don’t fret — there are still several places you can snag some turkey! In fact, a number of Disney Springs restaurants have announced special Thanksgiving menus.
Disney Springs options include Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante and Enzo’s Hideaway where you can experience an “authentic rustic Italian twist on Thanksgiving,” Morimoto Asia which is serving up a pan-Asian feast, and more!
Are you planning to chow down at one of these spots this year?
Plus, Disney has also announced that a Thanksgiving meal will be returning to Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!
So, while you might not have quite as many options as in previous years, there are still several places around Disney World to snag a Thanksgiving dinner this holiday season!
Will We Get a Holiday Christmas Special This Year?
Many Disney fans look forward to catching the ABC Disney Parks Holiday Special on television every year.
If you fall into that category, don’t worry — the Disney Parks Holiday Special WILL return to ABC this year with the Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Celebration on December 25th. The show will be “reimagined” with a mix of highlights from previous years along with some new elements.
Another installment of The Disney Family Singalong will also return on ABC with The Disney Holiday Singalong on November 30th. So, get ready to enjoy some holiday festivities from the comfort of your own home!
Can We Meet Santa in Disney World?
In previous years, guests were able to meet Santa at several places around Disney World. He was known to make appearances at the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs, the Town Square of Magic Kingdom, and the American Adventure Pavilion at EPCOT, among other places.
But this year, guests will not be able to personally meet-and-greet Santa Claus in Disney World. Similar to the temporary suspension of character meet-and-greets and the adjustments to character dining experiences, this change was made in the interest of health and safety.
BUT, that doesn’t mean Santa is avoiding Disney World altogether. In fact, Santa Claus WILL be making pop-up, distanced appearances in all four parks AND in Disney Springs! So, Santa Claus IS still coming to town — he’ll just be greeting guests from a distance this year! In Disney Springs, you’ll even be able to see Santa on a boat!
Can We Resort Hop to See Holiday Decorations This Year?
Resort hopping is a bit of a tricky subject at the moment. The official terminology on Disney World’s website states, to get into a Disney World hotel right now, guests will need a confirmed room reservation, or a confirmed dining reservation if you’re a day guest not staying overnight.
While this is the official policy listed on the Disney World website, we’ve also found that the Cast Members we’ve encountered will also typically allow guests to access the Resort if they’ve placed Mobile Order at a quick-service restaurant, or a Table Service To Go Mobile Order.
So, if there are any Resort hotels on your must-see list this holiday season, plan on adding a stop at one of the Resort’s dining locations into your itinerary to make sure you can access the hotel!
Will There Be Gingerbread Displays in Disney World This Year?
While we’re on the subject of Resort decorations, let’s talk gingerbread displays. Several Disney World Resort hotels are known for their elaborate gingerbread displays that pop up during the holiday season. But unfortunately, Disney has announced that their beloved gingerbread displays at various hotels around Disney World will NOT be on display this year.
This means guests won’t find the MASSIVE gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or the gorgeous carousel in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort this year.
But before you count gingerbread out completely this holiday season, there is ONE display that Disney has announced will be returning this year. Over in EPCOT, the Capitol City Gingerbread Display which has been housed in The American Adventure Pavilion in previous years will be returning to the park in a new location! This year, guests will find the display in the World Showplace.
We’re definitely not getting as much gorgeous gingerbread art as we’re used to, but we’re still excited to know that there will be at least one display we can check out this year!
Are the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights Going Up This Year?
Another Disney World holiday staple we’ve come to expect is the gorgeous spectacle of the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights. But this is another tradition that will look a bit different this year, as the Castle Dream Lights will NOT be on display this year.
But Cinderella Castle WILL still get a festive makeover. Disney announced that special projection effects will deliver a festive look to the Castle while providing a colorful backdrop for guests in their yuletide photos!
These projections are set to take place from November 6th through December 30th. So again, it might be a different take on a longstanding tradition…but that’s the name of the game in 2020!
So, now that it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Disney World, the countdown to the holidays has officially started! We hope having the answers to some of the big questions about the upcoming festivities helps make your holiday season merry and bright. Stay tuned to DFB for more coverage about the holidays at Disney World!
What questions do you have about Disney World this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!