It's only September, but it's safe to say the current pandemic will probably make this year's holiday season look a little (or a lot) different. Already, Walt Disney World canceled Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party — an annual holiday event — because of COVID-19. But don't worry, the holiday season will still be celebrated at the Orlando, Florida theme park.
Disney announced earlier this week on the Disney Parks Blog that Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the annual Candlelight Processional held at EPCOT will be on hiatus during the 2020 holiday season because they are "experiences that draw big crowds."
"We know these experiences are a cherished part of holiday traditions that will be missed by guest members and cast members alike, but we're glad to be able to bring the holiday magic in other creative ways," Laurel Slater, Manger of Communications for Walt Disney World Public Affairs, wrote on the blog.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is an annual celebration held at Walt Disney World featuring delicious treats, festive decorations, and up-close interactions with your favorite Disney characters. Unfortunately, while Mickey's annual party is off, the holidays will still be celebrated at Walt Disney World this year, from Nov. 6 through Dec. 30. So you can still see lots of seasonal sights and eat fun food items, and maybe even catch an occasional appearance from Santa Claus himself.
Plus, guests will still get to see their favorite Disney characters dressed up in festive clothing... from a distance, riding on their own personal floats. Cinderella's Castle Dream Lights will also be absent this year, but colorful, holiday-themed designs will be projected on the castle at night in its place. And you can still watch the Castle Dream Lights on YouTube and relive the magic from the comfort of your own home.
These are just some of the many changes that Walt Disney World is making to ensure the safety of its guests during the pandemic. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party has already been canceled, but the theme park is now allowing adult guests to wear costumes in the park. This is on top of the procedures that Disney already has in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the theme parks. All guests are required to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing, and undergo temperature screenings when they enter the parks. In addition, the parks have increased cleaning procedures and have made temporary adjustments to ensure safe social distancing.
These changes will still bring plenty of holiday cheer, but also give guests the opportunity to create new traditions with their families in a way that is safe for everyone involved.