Traditionally every month, we bring you the latest news and rumors from Walt Disney World. Things have been a little quiet during the reopening months of Walt Disney World, but as we approach 2021, the “rumor-factory” is in full flow. To keep you up to date with the latest information, we will start producing our monthly updates again. Our Walt Disney World News and Rumors October 2020 will bring you up to date with all the latest information. This month’s update includes Christmas 2020, Galactic Starcruiser, Epcot Festivals, and a general resort update.
The state of play at Walt Disney World
A lot of things are starting to return to normal at Walt Disney World, but the following restrictions remain:
- All parks are subject to limited capacity. Although this has been steadily increasing.
- Water-parks remain shut. It expected one will reopen in March.
- You need a Disney Park Pass Reservation to gain admission.
- FastPass+ is suspended.
- Extra Magic Hours is suspended.
- Temperature screening, face masks, and social distancing remain in place.
- The majority of experiences and tours are canceled.
- Fireworks and parades are canceled.
- Park hours remain restricted
- Park hopping isn’t allowed. Park-hopping tickets currently are on sale for January.
- Disney Dining Plan is suspended.
We will keep this list updated each month with the latest information.
Christmas 2020 at Walt Disney World
No matter where you are celebrating, the 2020 Holiday Season will likely be a little different from normal. Walt Disney World isn’t going to let the celebrations pass without some special events. Due to Social Distancing, this year, the celebrations will be “reimagined.” However, all resorts, parks, and Disney Springs will have special decorations. Unfortunately, there will be no Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2020. Celebrations will run between November 6th – December 30th.
While the celebrations might be lower key than usual, there is still plenty to do, but there will be no parades or fireworks. Highlights announced for the 2020 Holiday Season are:-
When night falls at Magic Kingdom Park, projection effects will transform Cinderella Castle with a kaleidoscope of designs, including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation. The iconic castle will provide the perfect colorful background for guests seeking a magical holiday portrait.
Highlights from the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will begin Nov. 27. Holiday kitchens will return around the World Showcase promenade, offering favorite dishes such as Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing at the American Holiday Table.
Other highlights for the upcoming holiday season at Walt Disney World include:
At Magic Kingdom, characters synonymous with the season – including gingerbread men and elves – will join Disney characters in cavalcades through the park. On Main Street, U.S.A., toy soldiers will march with the Main Street Philharmonic as they bring musical cheer for all to hear.
Favorite Disney characters dressed in their holiday finest will appear in festive flotillas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, holiday promenades at EPCOT and merry motorcades at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Minnie Mouse will host a yuletide dining experience at Hollywood & Vine, inviting some of her best pals – including Santa Goofy – to join the fun.
Inside World ShowPlace at EPCOT, JOYFUL! will take guests on a musical journey of holiday music, while Voices of Liberty will use their eight-part harmonies to share songs of the season at the America Gardens Theatre.
Elaborately decorated Christmas trees will spring up throughout Disney Springs, and a magical snowfall will occur within Town Center, West Side and The Landing. In addition, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar with delightful décor and a limited-time menu of festive favorites.
Disney resort hotels will deck their halls for the holidays, including iconic Christmas trees in lobbies and other festive flourishes.
Santa Claus will wave to guests as he makes pop-up appearances at each park, as well as Disney Springs. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, for example, he will sail down Discovery River on a special flotilla.Walt Disney World News
Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
Epcot will be continuing its slimmed-down 2020 Festivals with a new Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. The event will occur between November 27 to December 30, 2020, but this year there will be no Candlelight Processional. However, there will be food stalls and special entertainment.
Highlights of the festival include:
- Holiday kitchens serving seasonal recipes from around the globe.
- Holiday Cookie Stroll
- Disney characters traveling around World Showcase
- Santa Claus Promenade
- Voices of Liberty and the Mariachi Cobre at the Americas Garden Theater
- JAMMitors rock the Mill Stage
- JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season at the World Showplace stage
- Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition. A traditionally impossible Epcot Scavenger Hunt.
The events do sound great fun, even if they are slimmer than normal.
Christmas Week Hours extended at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World park hours have been regularly changing since reopening. Unfortunately, they remain shortened, but they have been extended for Christmas Week.
However, January hours appear to be still significantly shorter than normal, but this is usually the quietest period of the year at Walt Disney World.
All-Star Movies Resort to Reopen
A small step closer to normal! All-Star Movies Resort is to reopen on February 9, 2021. This will be the third value to resort to reopen in Walt Disney World following Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which is due to reopen on November 1st.
Friendship Boats at Epcot
Yet another small step to normal! The Friendship Boats transporting guests from Epcot Resorts to Epcot and Hollywood Studios restart November 1st.
Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
Another abbreviated festival will be getting held in Epcot between January 8 and February 22, 2021. The new festival will be called Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. The biggest omission from the regular festival will be the popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series.
Disney Park Pass Extended
Not Returning to Walt Disney World
Perhaps one of the best things about Walt Disney World is the entertainment you can find unexpectedly throughout the resort. However, parades, fireworks, and various stage shows remain closed. It is uncertain when these will return, but we know some legendary entertainment will not be returning.
Bob Jackson, who has played at the River Roost Lounge in Port Orleans Riverside for 23 years, has been let go. After 30 years, the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra will also not be returning. Hopefully, other suitable entertainment will take their place.
What new attractions can we expect at Walt Disney World in 2021?
Usually, it is easy to predict what new attractions will be opening in Walt Disney World during the next 12 months. Disney advertises new attractions in advance to encourage vacation bookings. However, due to resort closure, there have been several delays to attractions previously scheduled to open in 2020 and rumors of cancelation of previously announced projects.
We have been considering which attractions might open in Walt Disney World in 2021.
Off to Neverland?
Have you ever visited the Beastly Kingdom at Animal Kingdom? Unfortunately, nobody ever did, and instead, it is now located in Neverland. The Beastly Kingdom was planned to be an expansion in Phase 2 of the Animal Kingdom. Due to budget pressures, the land was never created. Pandora: The World of Avatar now stands on the land intended for the Beastly Kingdom. Unfortunately, the pandemic will mean there will be new entrants to Neverland. Learn more about the canceled Walt Disney World projects.
Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Construction Update
Not all construction at Walt Disney World is paused!
Here are some updated images from Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser. However, we expect the resort will not open until 2022.
Could It’s a Small World move to Epcot?
A little bit of nonsense to finish this month’s Walt Disney World News & Rumours. Could It’s a Small World move to Epcot? Perhaps the idea isn’t as stupid as it sounds?
We will be back in November with the latest Walt Disney World News & Rumors. If you have missed any of our previous updates, you can find them all here.