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Christmas Mickey, Walt Disney World

We all know that this Christmas this year is going to be quite different to what we have been used to. With the cancelling or slimming down of many Halloween events including Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort and Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween at Walt Disney World, it was only going to be a matter of time until announcements regarding changes to Christmas offerings would be made.

Disney confirmed last week that major adjustments would be made to their Christmas holiday offerings in 2020. In summary, we already knew there wouldn't be Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and now we know that the Cinderella Castle DreamLights will not be displayed this year at Disney's Magic Kingdom. 

Epcot will also be slimming down the International Festival of the Holidays which begins on November 27. The Candlelight Processional will not be taking place and instead of the performances usually seen in each country they will have food offerings around World Showcase promenade and entertainment from JOYFUL!

In our latest Big Debate we asked you the question, Did Disney Make the Right Call With Christmas Cancellations?

The Results

Christmas Mickey, Magic Kingdom
Image: Disney

It won't be all doom at Walt Disney World over the Christmas period, guests choosing to visit will be able to see Cinderella's castle with a series of rotating designs including a regal red, green and gold overlay and seasonal character cavalcades will be appearing at all four Walt Disney World parks.

So here are the results:

  • Yes - 37%
  • No - 63%

I guess it isn't surprising that the majority of voters have said no, especially those that were particularly looking forward to seeing the DreamLights and the Candlelight Processional.

Your comments and thoughts

Image: Disney

As usual in our Results articles we choose a selection of your comments to sum up the two sides of the debate. We always aim to be unbias, if you have any other comments to add regarding the findings of this debate, just leave us your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

"I think it’s nice. I buy one ticket instead of two. And I get to see all the decor and magic, eat all the party treats, buy the merch, see some floats, and enjoy the holidays. Yeah I’ll miss fireworks and dream lights but if those things define your happiness at the holidays and are so important I just think maybe it’s time to re-evaluate priorities."

"If they're letting people in the park, they should go ahead and have their regular celebrations. Obviously, the "risk" isn't high enough to keep the park closed. Why would the celebration be any different?"

"I think its good they are planning anything and if you are lucky enough to go then just enjoy it. With the spikes in the UK and new rules come Mon and possible local lockdown i think Christmas here we will be lucky if we get Christmas dinner with the family. Not a chance of going to Disney. So those who go enjoy, it will be more limited and different but we are in different times at the moment. Cases are rising again everywhere so we do need to sensible and try and keep safe."

"They are in a no-win situation. Whatever decisions get made will be wrong for somebody. My issue is that they are reducing the experience out of an "abundance of caution" but the prices aren't being reduced in any way. Places local to me that have had to adapt to reduced experiences (museums, wineries, etc) are also adjusting their pricing accordingly and their staff accordingly."

"They can do whatever they want. It won’t stop people who really like them from coming. It won’t make people who don’t feel it is safe to travel want to come."

"I feel I’m going to miss them. I think it’s the right thing to do this year."

"They are doing their best with impossible circumstances and impossible choices. I always tell my kids “safety first” and I appreciate anyone who is taking their best shot at that these days."

"We never went to holiday events. We usually go the week before or after. A more low key holiday this year might be good. Not so crowded and hectic. At my age, low key is good, just enjoy my surroundings."

"I feel Disney will make it as magical as can be. Can’t wait to go back!! Keep up the good work disney. Fan for life!!"

"I suspect this has as much or more to do with economics than as a measure to reduce risk for spreading covid. I think that many of the things they are not doing, pose little to no additional risk. With lower attendance, by cutting all of these things out they are saving a lot of money."

"I’m just happy to be able to go out after dark even if it’s just a projection on the castle."

"I LOVE it! I don't have to spend another $100 per ticket for a party, and still get to see all the holiday decor, the castle projections, holiday merchandise, holiday treats, and the character cavalcades. Can't wait! See ya there!!"

"As in Orlando resident. I welcome anyone who is willing to travel to try to pump some money into this struggling economy. Disney was in a tough spot because no matter what they do many criticize. So I think they had to go with what was the safest option."

Summary

Walt Disney World castle
Image: Disney

With any poll you are going to have views from both side and we have summarised below your thoughts:

  • It's great to see a number of comments where people are looking at this postively and are going to embrace the changes and enjoy them as much as they can for this holiday season.
  • The issue of price inevitably returns, if the whole experience isn't being delivered then the price should be adjusted accordingly.
  • Some guests are accepting of the fact that under the current circumstances and due to safety it is probably the right move for 2020.
  • A number of people don't enjoy the crowds of the holiday season and the festivities and see slimming down of events as a positive, in that it will attract fewer visitors meaning a calmer experience and lower wait times in the parks.
  • Questions from guests asking whether this is to do with Disney trying to save money. A counter argument from others is that Disney would love to open at full capacity and try to start recouping its losses but due to health and safety it just isn't possible right now.

Thanks to all our readers who took part in our latest poll, look out for our next Big Debate which will be coming soon to Theme Park Tourist.

For all the latest news from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and more theme parks from around the world, visit our News and Facebook pages.

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