DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Epcot Holiday Festival Opens, Train Station Coming to Disney Springs, Holiday Food Guide, New Recipes, Cruise Line News, Passholder Exclusive & More

Things are really picking up around Walt Disney World and beyond. The holiday festival at Epcot is now open and the whole resort is decked out for the season. We have coverage of the opening and offerings from Epcot International Festival of the Holidays along with a guide to all the holiday treats at Magic Kingdom and a rundown of what’s happing over at Animal Kingdom. Also, don’t miss the two holiday recipes released by Disney Parks. Very cool news about some new transportation coming to Disney World and details on the Disney Holiday Singalong special airing on ABC. We have some news on a passholder exclusive shopping opportunity and Disney Cruise Line News. All this and more in this week’s Disney news roundup.


1 – The 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Now Open

The 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays kicked off on November 27! The festival features holiday kitchens that offer tasty treats, characters dressed in their holiday best, special musical performances throughout the park, the return of the Holiday Cookie Stroll, and finally, a brand-new scavenger hunt, “Olaf’s Holiday Traditions Expeditions.” Cindy visited on Friday and will be back on Tuesday for more. Our full review and guide will be out later this week. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for live coverage of her visit on Tuesday!

Click here for our Instagram Story from Friday with lots of photos and video from the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.

Click here for the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays menu boards with pricing!

2 – Train Station Coming to Disney Springs – New Transportation Option To & From the Airport

Brightline and Walt Disney World Resort announced they have entered into an agreement to construct a train station at Disney Springs, the popular shopping, dining and entertainment complex.  The Brightline station is intended to provide a convenient travel option between Walt Disney World Resort and Brightline stations at Orlando International Airport (OIA), Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and planned stations in Aventura, Boca Raton and Port Miami. Brightline’s expansion from West Palm Beach to OIA is on track to be completed in 2022. Learn more at the link below.

Click here to learn about the Brightline Train Station Coming to Disney Springs.

3 – Firework Burts Added to Magic Kingdom Holiday Projections

This holiday season you can now catch short firework bursts while the holiday projections changeover. There are four projection designs that rotate throughout the evening. Check out our Instagram post below for photos!


4 – 2020 Holiday Foodie Guide to Magic Kingdom Park

Are you heading to Magic Kingdom this holiday season? You’ll want to try some of the delicious specialty treats now available through December 30, 2020. We’ve got all the details on what you can try and where you can find it at the link below.

Click here for the 2020 Holiday Foodie Guide to Magic Kingdom Park.


5 – 2020 Holiday Offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

During the holiday season, Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers some really unique decorations, entertainment, and specialty treats. We’ve got what you need to know about the offerings at the link below.

Click here for what you need to know about the holiday offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

6 – Two Disney Parks Holiday Recipes Shared

This past week Disney shared two Disney Parks recipes that are sure to satisfy your cravings for Thanksgiving favorites! Check them out at the links below.

Click here for the Ham Sliders with Pineapple Cherry Jam Recipe from Disney Parks.

Click here for the Leftover Stuffing Waffles Recipe from Disney Parks.

7 – ‘The Disney Holiday Singalong’ Special to Air November 30 on ABC

Disney continues to air more holiday specials and one is coming soon! Disney Cast Member Thomas Smith shares more below:

On Monday night, a star-studded lineup of performers will be bringing more #DisneyMagicMoments to everyone at home with a jolly night of musical merriment during “The Disney Holiday Singalong.”

The one-hour event, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, will air Monday, November 30, at 8 pm. ET on ABC.  And like earlier Singalongs, this cheerful celebration of the holiday season will include animated on-screen lyrics encouraging you and your family to sing along to beloved Disney melodies and classic carols.

Celebrity appearances include Andrea Bocelli, BTS, Michael Bublé, Ciara, Chloe x Halle, Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert, Julianne Hough, Adam Lambert, Leslie Odom Jr., Katy Perry, P!NK and Kerry Washington.   Here’s a rundown of performances:

  • Andrea Bocelli – “Silent Night”
  • BTS – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
  • Michael Bublé – “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”
  • Ciara – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
  • Chloe x Halle – “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
  • Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert – “Hey Santa” and “Jingle Bells”
  • Julianne Hough – “Whistle While You Work” and “Let It Snow”
  • Adam Lambert – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  • Leslie Odom Jr. – “What’s This?”
  • Katy Perry – “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Cozy Little Christmas”
  • P!NK – “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”
  • Kerry Washington – “Joy to the World”

And for the first time since Broadway’s shutdown, Disney Theatrical Production’s Broadway casts of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” and North American Touring companies of “Frozen” return to The New Amsterdam Theatre to sing a special emotional performance of “Let It Go.”

Disney Music Group’s acclaimed seven-member a cappella group DCappella will also join in for some seasonal sounds as carol throughout the show encouraging viewers at home to sing along.

Monday’s special raises awareness about Disney’s Feed the Love campaign, driving to Feeding America, Toys for Tots, and One Simple Wish to inspire hope when it’s needed the most in our communities. Visit Disney.com/FeedTheLove to learn how they can give back to kids and families in need this holiday season.

“The Disney Holiday Singalong” will be a special experience you’ll want to be part of!  Tune in on November, 30, at 8 pm. ET on ABC for a special dose of holiday Disney magic.

8 – Passholder-Exclusive Shopping at Magic Kingdom in December

Annual Passholders will have an exclusive shopping opportunity at Magic Kingdom this December. Here are the details from the Walt Disney World website:

Shop passholder-exclusive Magic Kingdom Holiday merchandise featuring Holiday Castle Projections starting November 30! Passholders can visit select locations* at Magic Kingdom park through December 30, 2020 (while supplies last) to shop a selection of festive MagicBands, ornaments, Raglan fleeces and more. Even more delightful—all Passholder-exclusive merchandise is eligible for the Passholder merchandise discount.

And the merriment doesn’t stop there! While visiting Magic Kingdom park, Guests will discover themed character cavalcades, the Dapper Dans, seasonal décor and holiday-inspired food and beverages including the Pistachio Chai Float and returning favorites like the Orange Bird Christmas dessert. While taking in holiday treats, Guests can also stop by one of our Quick Service locations to purchase the Sven Sipper.

*Available at four locations in Magic Kingdom park:

  • Star Traders in Tomorrowland
  • Bonjour! Village Gifts in Fantasyland
  • Frontier Trading Post in Frontierland
  • Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar in Adventureland

Important Information

Valid park admission and park reservation for the same park on the same day are required for theme park entry. Reservations are limited and subject to availability and are not guaranteed until a reservation is finalized. A valid Annual Pass card and government issued ID must be shown at time of purchase. Discount is for personal use only and may not be used to purchase merchandise with the intent to resell the merchandise. Merchandise available while supplies last. Operating hours and locations subject to change without notice. Limit of 10 units of a single item per transaction.


9 – Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of All Departures Through January 31, 2021

Here are all the details from the Disney Cruise Line website:

Our team at Disney Cruise Line remains focused on the health and well-being of our Guests and team members. We continue to carefully review the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are working toward resuming operations.

As we continue to refine our protocols for our eventual return to service, we have decided to cancel all sailings departing through January 2021. Sailings are cancelled on board the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and Disney Dream through February 1 and the Disney Fantasy through February 6.

Guests booked on affected sailings who have paid their reservation in full will be offered the choice of a cruise credit to be used for a future sailing or a full refund. Guests who have not paid their reservations in full will automatically receive a refund of what they have paid so far. Affected Guests and travel agents will receive an email from Disney Cruise Line outlining details and next steps.

Guests who booked their reservation through a travel agent should contact them directly with any questions. Those who booked directly with Disney Cruise Line and have questions after receiving their email should call (866) 325-6685 or (407) 566-7797.

10 – Imagineer Joe Rohde Retiring

Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde announced his retirement from the Walt Disney Imagineering department this week. We are huge fans of Rohde’s work, and his mark can be found at Walt Disney World, especially Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Check out his announcement below from his Instagram page.


11 – First Chance to Get Your Very Own Spider-Bot from Avengers Campus at Disneyland Resort

Calling all Spiderman fans! Disneyland Resort is releasing an amazing item that you’ll want to scoop up. Disney Cast Member Michael Ramirez has all the details below:

While Avengers Campus at the Disneyland Resort will open to aspiring Super Heroes at a future top-secret date, Peter Parker has already begun testing his latest prototype: Spider-Bots!

As revealed at the D23 Expo last year, The Worldwide Engineering Brigade or as the kids call it, WEB, is devoted to empowering the next generation of heroes with cutting edge technologies – like Spider-Bots. While we look forward to inviting you to our WEB open house in the future, for now, you can get your hands on your very own Spider-Bot!

Spider-Bots and the latest WEB apparel from Avengers Campus will be available in the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, at both World of Disney and Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Shop beginning Dec. 4.

Every Super Hero needs a friendly sidekick to help protect their neighborhood. These Spider-Bots put you in control of the action to battle opponents with programmed combat and defensive abilities. They can crawl backward and forward, crouch, spin 360°, stare down with their laser eyes, attack opponent Spider-Bots and even blast off their shields. Check out the video below to learn how you can swing into action with your very own Spider-Bot.


So, while we anxiously await the opening of Avengers Campus, you now have the opportunity to own a piece of Super Hero invention – a must-have for the holidays if you ask me!

If you’re an Annual Passholder, you’ll have an opportunity to make a reservation for a special upcoming, limited-quantity pre-sale event in the Downtown Disney District from Nov. 30 through Dec. 3. During this special pre-sale event, you may also find special Avengers Campus merchandise available to you before the land opens. So, head on over to the Annual Passholder Facebook page beginning Nov. 25 for more information.


12 – Bring Holiday Cheer with Disney Gift Card!

Looking for the perfect gift? Holiday Disney Gift Cards are a great option! Disney Cast Member Allison Friedlander shares more below:

We could always use a little more Disney magic this holiday season, yes?

This year, Disney Gift Card has plenty of options to help with your holiday shopping list! From 60+ designs available on shopDisney.com to our latest Holiday Pin Series, there’s plenty of options to choose from that allow you to gift the gift of Disney.

In September, we launched over 60 Disney Gift Card designs on shopDisney.com featuring some of your favorite characters from Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars. Now, just in time for the holidays, we have introduced two new designs available to order. The first features Mickey Mouse adorned is his festive holiday wear, ready to help Santa by placing presents under the Christmas Tree. The second card design showcases Mickey and Minnie enjoying a winter day ice skating. No matter which card you choose, your Disney Gift Card comes in a matching carrier with a space for your own personalized message.

Credit: Disney

You can also find this holiday Mickey Mouse design at select merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort and at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort. Your local Disney store offers this design with a coordinating envelope (subject to availability.)

Lastly, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series. This year, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy celebrate the holidays in their own style on four all-new trading pins. Each coordinating Disney Gift Card displays a winter scene: Mickey packing his bag of presents, Minnie playing with Figaro in a snowy forest, Donald and Pluto tugging a Santa hat between them, and Goofy oblivious to Chip and Dale playing in the background.

Credit: Disney

The Disney Gift Card Holiday Pin Series is available at select merchandise locations throughout Walt Disney World® Resort and at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort starting on November 17th. Available in limited quantities, each card is sold separately, for a minimum activation of $100, and includes a complimentary Disney Trading Pin.

As always, a Disney Gift Card is redeemable for practically all things Disney and never expires. It’s a gift that’s simple for you and perfect for spreading holiday cheer. For more information on the Disney Gift Card, please visit DisneyGiftCard.com. To shop our designs online, visit shopDisney.com/buy-a-disney-gift-card/.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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