In the words of Disney, it’s “Halfway to the Holidays,” so why not announce the 2021 holiday celebrations?
Many beloved holiday festivities are returning to both the parks and Walt Disney World Resort hotels, but one major element is missing — Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Instead, similar to Disney After Hours Boo Bash for Halloween, Disney Very Merriest After Hours will take over for the party this year at Magic Kingdom.
Below is everything you need to know about the holiday-themed After Hours event, along with other joyous fun, including Epcot International Festival of the Holiday dates.
To begin, the holidays officially return to Disney World starting Nov. 12, 2021!
Now, for all of the other goodness.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours
Not specific to the event, special holiday projections will appear most nights on Cinderella Castle alternating with the 50th anniversary’s Beacon of Magic projections.
As for Disney Very Merriest After Hours, here’s what you need to know:
- This is a special-ticketed event debuting Nov. 8 (before all of the other holiday fun) and will run on select nights through Dec. 21.
- The event will be four hours long (9 p.m. to 1 a.m.) and tickets will go on sale sometime in August. There will be an early purchase window for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
- “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks” will return, which are usually part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
- There will also be holiday-themed attraction overlays and special Disney PhotoPass photo opportunities.
- Expect to see characters, listen to holiday music, eat seasonal treats, and enjoy special decor and snow on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Those with After Hours tickets will be able to get into Magic Kingdom as early as 7 p.m. An additional day theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation are not required.
A limited number of tickets for Disney Very Merriest After Hours will be sold. After Hours events are held after regular park operating hours promising lower wait times for attractions and more, including complimentary snacks and beverages, like popcorn, ice cream at the carts, and bottled water and sodas. Pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays kicks off on Nov. 26 through Dec. 30. There will be Holiday Kitchens, performances by Voices of Liberty, and the return of the Holiday Cookie Stroll.
It’s unclear if the Candlelight Processional will return this year or remain absent similar to in 2020. It is still listed as “temporarily unavailable.”
Animal Kingdom Festivities
Animal Kingdom will once again have seasonal decorations, festive Disney character flotillas on the Discovery River, and the Tree of Life holiday awakenings in the evenings. Regarding the latter, these will alternate with the 50th Beacon of Magic projections.
The flotillas include:
- Santa Claus Festive Flotilla
- Donald’s Dino Bash Festive Flotilla
- Chip & Dale’s Festive Flotilla
- Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
Sunset Seasons Greetings at Hollywood Studios
You will get to see the stunning holiday projections on the “Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel” during Sunset Seasons Greetings at Hollywood Studios.
Tower of Terror will transform with holiday projections, including a snowy corner of Arendelle, a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” The holiday show will alternate with the nightly Beacon of Magic transformations.
Guests can also expect to see the Santa Claus cavalcade again driving down Hollywood Boulevard, along with the limited-time addition of Olaf to “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.”
And, Minnie Mouse’s holiday character dining at Hollywood & Vine is also returning. Don’t worry, Santa Goofy is joining her as well.
Finally, you’ll be happy to know that the vintage-themed holiday decorations will also be scattered across Hollywood Studios.
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll
Similar to last year, in place of Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail, guests will be able to enjoy the modified Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll, meaning trees will be scattered throughout, instead of in one area. There will also be new trees and some inspired by the 50th anniversary.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will also turn into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar again with special decorations and a limited-time holiday menu.
Trees & Gingerbread Displays at Resorts
Disney Resort hotels will be decorated for the holidays with Christmas trees and the return of select gingerbread displays.
Disney also shared a first look at Haunted Mansion Holiday’s gingerbread house display, which pays homage to previous houses for the 20th anniversary. The holiday overlay returns to Disneyland Sept. 3 and runs through Oct. 31.
If you’re interested in visiting Walt Disney World during the holidays, Small World Vacations can help when it comes to planning and booking.
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