Walt Disney World has announced their holiday festivities for the 2021 season. They revealed that an After Hours event is replacing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom and that holiday fun will return to all theme parks, Disney Springs and even Disney resorts.
However, there’s some key items missing from Disney’s announcement. Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary appears to have bumped some of the holiday fun while cost-cutting may have factored into the rest.
We hope Disney is holding back some of their announcements for the 2021 holiday season. As it stands, things feel a bit light with the following missing.
Cinderella Castle Dreamlights
Will the magical Dreamlights ever return to Cinderella Castle? The lights were absent in 2020 and weren’t mentioned in Disney’s plans for 2021. It’s possible the special decorations for the 50th anniversary are preventing them from returning, which means 2022 may be questionable too.
There’s no question the Dreamlights required a lot of labor and it’s much easier to replace them with projections. But, seeing Cinderella Castle light up with shimmering lights is something truly special that projections can’t replace.
The star of Epcot’s holiday celebration, the Candlelight Processional, was completely omitted from Disney’s announcement. The Candlelight Processional has a lot of moving parts and it’s possible Disney hasn’t made a decision on the event at this time.
We’re optimistic the Candlelight Processional will eventually return due to the popularity of the dining packages that guarantee guests with a seat for the show. That’s a big revenue generator Disney probably won’t want to eliminate moving forward.
Is it really the holiday season at Epcot without the Candlelight Processional? We don’t think so.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Disney did reveal that holiday projections will return to Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, illuminating the Tower of Terror. But, there wasn’t any mention of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! or any kind of nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Entertainment as a whole is severely lacking at Walt Disney World at this time. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is particularly bad as stage shows, nighttime spectaculars and Fantasmic! haven’t returned at this time. Hopefully Disney will bring back the entertainment soon.
Merry Menagerie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Previously, the bulk of holiday fun at Disney’s Animal Kingdom could be experienced during the day. The Merry Menagerie was one of those offerings that saw cast members operating animal puppets much to the delight of guests.
This was probably an easy item for Disney to cut in 2021 due to its labor costs. Unfortunately, it was these smaller offerings that made the holiday season feel more complete at Walt Disney World.