The holidays return to the Walt Disney World Resort on November 12 this fall, Disney announced today. Celebrations will span all four theme parks and include the return of an after-hours, hard-ticket Christmas party to the Magic Kingdom.
Once again though, Disney is staging a themed limited-admission "After Hours" event rather than reviving its pre-pandemic holiday party. "Disney Very Merriest After Hours" takes the place of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, much like "Disney After Hours BOO BASH" is replacing the old Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party starting next month.
Tickets will go on sale next month for the holiday After Hours event, which will include performances of the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks that debuted at the 2019 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Since it's an After Hours event, free popcorn, ice cream and bottled beverages join the holiday treats previously offered during the old party, and "more than 20 select attractions" will be open. Disney's Christmas parade is not listed on the event schedule, however.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours is actually jumping the gun on Disney World's holiday season by a few days, as the event kicks off November 8 and runs select nights through December 21. The event runs from 9pm to 1am, with admission to the Magic Kingdom available as early as 7pm for event ticket holders. Tickets will be available via Disney's website.
Elsewhere around the Walt Disney World Resort, the Sunset Seasons Greetings projection show returns to the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney's Hollywood Studios, where Santa Claus will appear in a Hollywood Boulevard motorcade, Minnie Mouse will host a holiday-themed character meal at Hollywood & Vine (including appearances by Santa), and the Frozen sing-along show gets a special holiday finale starring Olaf.
At Disney's Animal Kingdom, the holiday edition of the Tree of Life Awakenings projection show will run most evenings, and Disney characters will sail on Discovery River, accompanied by holiday songs.
Finally, Epcot brings back its Epcot International Festival of the Holidays on November 26 through December 30. The Holiday Kitchens will return, as will the Cookie Stroll and caroling by the Voices of Liberty. Menus and more entertainment details will be released later. No mention of Candlelight, however.
All the holiday celebrations will run in conjunction with Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary "The World’s Most Magical Celebration," which starts October 1.
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Sad to see no mention of Candlelight Processional at Epcot.