It is no secret that we think that Hollywood Studios provides one of the best holiday experiences out of all 4 parks.
Of course, for 2020 things are going to look a lot different.
Here’s what you need to know:
2020 holiday offerings
Understandably, the holiday offerings have been scaled way back for 2020, but from November 6 through the end of December here’s what you can expect to find:
Minnie’s Holiday Dine
Returning for 2020 as a “modified character experience”, guests can dine with Minnie Mouse and friends at Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine.
In accordance with social distancing guidelines, the characters won’t visit tables, but they will be out and about in the restaurant.
Aside from the characters not visiting tables, another big difference you’ll find from previous years is that this is not currently operating as a buffet.
Instead, this is a prix fixe menu where guests share a salad and then choose their entrée and dessert off of a menu.
We joined Minnie and Friends for the Halloween version and found the entire experience to be cute and fun (and the food wasn’t bad, either!).
All 4 parks have their own version of a cavalcade.
And just what is a cavalcade, you may ask?
Cavalcades are like mini parades, and at Hollywood Studios those take the form of “motorcades”.
Outside of the holidays, the Hollywood Studios motorcades feature some of the most beloved characters, such as Mickey and Minnie. And during the holidays, in addition to those Santa will get his own motorcade complete with a candy-apple red convertible and a crew of elves.
And don’t be surprised if you see some of your favorite characters in their holiday finest!
Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel
While the full version of Sunset Seasons Greetings (with snow and music) won’t be available, there will be a modified version for guests to see.
Guests visiting can expect to see the Hollywood Tower of Tower transformed into a Muppets’ gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, a snowy corner of Arendelle, and a Dickensian village from Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
Meeting Santa is always a fun part of the holidays at Disney World.
This year will look a bit different, though. Guests can also expect to see Santa in his motorcade, but you won’t be able to meet him.
Frozen Sing-Along with holiday finale
The Frozen Sing-Along was delayed in its reopening, however, it is back up and running now and just in time for the holiday season.
Running through the end of the year, this special finale highlights some of the exciting holidays and traditions found throughout the world.
Note: this special ending adds 5 minutes to the show time.
Update: since this article was originally written we are happy to see more and more of the regular decorations making their way into the park. It now appears that nearly all of the Hollywood Studios decorations have made a return, except for those typically seen in Toy Story Land.
And, that’s about it for 2020. If you’re curious to see what has been offered in the past, we’ve kept the previous year’s info below in hopes that we might see some of it return someday in the future.
Historical holiday information for Hollywood Studios
In the past, one of the best parts about the holiday offerings at Hollywood Studios was that nearly everything Christmas related was included with your park ticket, including 2 shows and a special ending to the popular Frozen Sing-Along:
- Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! – Typically shown nightly during the holiday season, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM mixed seasonal music, spectacular special effects (like snow!), and super bright lasers to create a fun and festive holiday spectacular on the front of the Chinese Theater and the surrounding buildings.
- Sunset Season’s Greetings – Historically shown nightly during the holidays, in this show Disney masterfully transformed the front of arguably one of the most terrifying things at Hollywood Studios into the backdrop for an assortment of magical holiday vignettes. The complete show includes projections, music, fake snow, and video vignettes shown on a large screens. The 2020 version will be modified to show only the projections.
Holiday Character Greetings – not available for 2020
Note: For the foreseeable future, Disney has discontinued character greetings. There are a few ways you can see characters in holiday attire, though. Hollywood and Vine will host Minnie’s Holiday Dine and the daily character motorcades will include characters dressed for the season. Please see above for more info.
Character meets at Disney World are always popular, and they become even more popular when the character is in cute holiday attire.
In the past there were several opportunities to meet characters dressed up for the holidays, including meets with Santa, Jessie, Buzz, Woody, Bo Peep, Chip and Dale, and Santa Goofy,
When it comes to winning the contest for the best park-wide decorating for the holidays, Hollywood Studios is usually one of the top contenders for first place.
They had more decorations than any other park, and their nostalgic feeling connected with a lot of guests.
For reference, here’s how things have looked before:
Drawing on the Old Hollywood vibe of the park, the decorations (aside from Toy Story Land) and seasonal music all have that fun 1950s feeling.
To catch all the details, you’ll want to be sure to spend some time exploring the park both during the daytime as well as at night.
The crown jewel for the park is the stunning tree at Echo Lake.
This fabulous tree has been joined in the past by Santa Gertie as the beloved resident giant dinosaur of Echo Lake got her own decorations, as well as a collection of large brightly-colored ornaments floating in the water.
Even some of the more permanent holiday touches in the park take on a extra-festive feeling during the holidays, like this area around the It’s a Wonderful Shop on Grand Avenue:
And don’t forget to say “hi” to this Santa over by the fire station:
Even Toy Story Land got in on the fun. Not only did Woody get a red and white striped scarf, the audio was updated for the holidays as well.
And in the past Rex joined in with some festive “cardboard” reindeer ears:
In previous years, Alien Swirling Saucers also received a holiday enhancement with with a fun new soundtrack for the holidays:
You could also find other seasonal decorations in Toy Story Land, like giant popcorn garland, alien ornaments, and this cute Hamm sugar cookie:
PhotoPass and Other Seasonal Photo Opportunities
In the past you’d have lots of different opportunities for fun PhotoPass shots, including holiday-themed Magic Shots.
We do expect there to be some opportunities for seasonal photo opportunities, so if you plan to use PhotoPass in 2020 make sure you ask the photographer if they have any holiday Magic Shots available.
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.