Disney World won't let Covid spoil its holiday plans

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The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will celebrate the holidays from Nov. 6 to Dec. 30.
The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will celebrate the holidays from Nov. 6 to Dec. 30.

Holiday celebrations at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will have a different look and feel this year due to Covid-19. But they will go on, from Nov. 6 to Dec. 30.

Two popular traditions, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, will not take place this year.

Seasonal food and drinks will be featured throughout the resort, and holiday-themed merchandise will be available. Santa Claus will make pop-up appearances at each theme park as well as at Disney Springs, the resort's shopping, dining and entertaining complex.

Character encounters will now include a bit of holiday joy. Since the parks reopened, traditional character meet-and-greets have been on hold, but characters have still been interacting with guests from afar.

In the Magic Kingdom, the character cavalcades featuring a number of Disney characters on floats that randomly appear will be joined by holiday characters like elves and gingerbread men. Toy soldiers will join the Main Street Philharmonic band as it performs on Main Street, U.S.A.

The Castle Dream Lights, which routinely light up Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom during the holidays, are being replaced by special projection effects to light up the castle after dark, with designs like a Christmas sweater and a red, green and gold overlay.

In Disney's Animal Kingdom, where characters have been appearing on the park's waterways in flotillas, the featured characters will be dressed in their holiday finest. Epcot's character promenades and Disney's Hollywood Studios' motorcades will also be given seasonal touches.

Minnie Mouse will host a festive dining experince at the restaurant Hollywood & Vine at Disney's Hollywood Studios. She will be joined by other characters, including Santa Goofy.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays will begin Nov. 27, with holiday kitchens placed throughout the World Showcase Promenade in the park.

Also at Epcot, the music group Voices of Liberty will perform holiday music in its signature eight-part harmonies at the America Gardens Theater. At the World ShowPlace event pavilion, music group Joyful will also share holiday music with guests.

At Disney Springs, elaborate Christmas trees will be on display throughout. "Snowfall" will occur within the Town Center, West Side and the Landing areas, and eatery Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar will become Jock Lindsey's Holiday Bar, with a limited-time menu and special decorations.

Disney's hotels will be decorated for the holidays, too.

Since reopening its parks in July, Disney has paused or canceled a number of experiences that typically draw large crowds -- like fireworks and holiday parties -- to enforce social distancing and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Disney's other domestic theme park, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., remains closed due to the virus.

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