If you’ve visited Animal Kingdom over the holidays in the past you may have been a little disappointed in their decorations.
Aside from some garland and the giant tree, there really wasn’t much else.
Then in 2019, that all changed. The park was decked out with beautiful decorations and some great entertainment offerings.
Sadly, not all of what was available in 2019 will be seen in the parks for 2020.
Here’s what you can expect to see, though…
Animal Kingdom holiday offerings for 2020
If you’ve had a chance to visit the parks since they reopened in July 2020, you may have seen some of your favorite characters floating down the waterways in Animal Kingdom.
These are one of our favorite new things about the parks. And we are excited to share that during the holidays these character floats are getting a special seasonal makeover!
Guests visiting from November 6 through and December 30 will be able to see some of their favorite characters decked out for the holidays:
- Donald’s Dino Bash Festive Flotilla
- Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Festive Flotilla
- Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
- Mickey and Friends Festive Flotilla
- Santa Claus Festive Flotilla
Keeping with the holiday flotillas, Santa has ditched his sleigh for a decked out boat at Animal Kingdom.
Like the rest of the flotillas, Santa can also be seen floating down Discovery River intermittently throughout the day. Make sure you wave “hello!’ when he passes by.
Last year, Animal Kingdom got an extra-special dash of holiday cheer with new decorations all over the park. And while we were originally worried that we wouldn’t see the gorgeous holiday-themed additions returning, it does appear that at least most things will be headed back – including the decorations inside of Pandora.
Once again, this heart of Animal Kingdom will become the centerpiece for the celebration of winter.
Here, guests will find the buildings transformed into a holiday village filled with sparkling white decorations.
At night, “rooftop luminaries and bird lanterns all around Discovery Island bring a warm and festive glow to the entire village.”
In previous years, Dinoland was one of the few spots in the park with decorations, and the fun theming, bright lights, and festive atmosphere here lend themselves to the party-like atmosphere you’ll see over the holidays.
In Anandapur, you’ll find the theatre district decorated for Diwali (which is the festival of lights in India).
Here, guests will be greeted with glowing flowers and lanterns that will illuminate the square between Anandapur Theater and the waterfront stage.
Guests visiting Africa will find a “unique holiday presentation” with a blend of western traditions and the colors and textures of African celebrations.
Pandora – The World Of Avatar
Even Pandora gets in on the holiday action!
And in true Disney fashion, we can expect the decorations here to reflect the theming of the land:
“Ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora bring a little Christmastime fun to their alien home, with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, combining vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.”
Tree of Life Holiday Awakenings
After the sun goes down, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, guests will be entertained by gorgeous projections as the Tree of Life awakens for the holidays.
What is on hiatus in 2020?
When it comes to holiday décor, Animal Kingdom definitely embraces its “wild side”.
Although not officially confirmed by Disney that they aren’t returning, there are a few of the new additions that we saw in 2019 that we don’t anticipate seeing this year.
This includes the giant, life-sized puppets of winter animals. These artisan-sculpted puppets (accompanied by musicians) interacted with guests and created a festive atmosphere as visitors were drawn further into the park.
Holiday Character Dining
Last year, Tusker House got in on the action and you were able to find Mickey and his friends (complete with holiday-themed accessories) spreading holiday cheer to all who dined. Tusker House is currently closed though and not expected to open anytime soon.
Holidays at Disney World
Want to see what the other parks are up to during the holiday season?
Read up on what you can expect in out Guide to the Holidays at Disney World.