The Walt Disney Company's two most popular winter holiday events at its Disney World park in Orlando -- "Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom" and the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT -- will be canceled this year as the company continues to make decisions it believes could curb the spread of coronavirus at its theme parks.
In a blog post Tuesday, the entertainment giant wrote, "We know these experiences are a cherished part of holiday traditions that will be missed by guests and cast members alike, but we’re glad to be able to bring holiday magic in other creative ways." said.
However, the "Most Magical Place on Earth" says it will still have holiday magic out in full force at its four Flordia parks and Disney Springs from Nov. 6 to Dec. 30, including holiday-themed merchandise, seasonal food & beverage offerings and new entertainment experiences.
Magic Kingdom will offer character cavalcades with a special holiday twist, where gingerbread men and elves will join Disney characters to welcome guests. Toy Soldiers will also march down Main Street, U.S.A. with the Main Street Philharmonic to bring "musical holiday cheer for all to hear."
The Castle Dream Lights on the iconic Cinderella's Castle will also be replaced by new holiday-themed projections to offer a colorful backdrop for guests' photos.
"When night falls at Magic Kingdom Park, projection effects will transform Cinderella Castle with a kaleidoscope of designs, including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation," Disney said. "The iconic castle will provide the perfect colorful background for guests seeking a magical holiday portrait."
EPCOT's International Festival of the Holidays will kick off on Nov. 27, with holiday kitchens returning around the park's World Showcase, offering dishes such as slow-roasted turkey with stuffing at the American Holiday Table.
Guests will also be transported on a musical journey of holiday music through EPCOT's JOYFUL! at World ShowPlace, which features R&B, gospel, contemporary and traditional Christmas and holiday music, while the Voices of Liberty will use eight-part harmonies to share songs of the season at the America Gardens Theatre.
Disney's Animal Kingdom will feature "festive flotillas" while Disney's Hollywood Studios will feature "merry motorcades" featuring several favorite Disney characters. In addition, Minnie Mouse will host a yuletide dining experience at Hollywood & Vine, along with friends like Santa Goofy.
Of course, no holiday visit would be complete without Santa Claus himself, who will make pop-up appearances at all four theme parks as well as Disney Springs.
The shopping and dining center, Disney Springs, will feature elaborately decorated Christmas trees. Despite the warm Florida weather, a magical snowfall will take place in the evening within Town Center, West Side and The Landing while Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar will transform into Jock Lindsey's Holiday Bar with holiday decor and limited-time, holiday-themed menu items.
All Disney Resort hotels will also be decked out for the holidays, with their lobbies featuring iconic trees and other festive flourishes. The company noted, however, that gingerbread displays will not return this year due to physical distancing guidelines.
Disney noted that additional announcements about the 2020 holiday season will be made in the coming weeks.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the Candlelight Processional are the latest fan favorite events to be put on hiatus due to the pandemic, following the cancellation of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party earlier this year.