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Mickey and Minnie

Walt Disney World is open to the public, but it's still a very different world, and the "new normal" doesn't look to be returning to the "old normal" anytime soon. The resort has recently cut back hours as a result of the park not being quite as popular as it had hoped, and those reduced hours have now been listed for November, making the winter holidays, one of the most popular times of the year for Walt Disney World, looking less likely to actually happen as they have in years past.

Last year, Walt Disney World started its 2019 holiday celebration on November 8, which was a Friday. Walt Disney World has now posted its theme park hours through Saturday, November 7, and the reduced hours, which include the parks closing no later than 7 PM and as early as 5 PM, are continuing through at least that date. This means that the worst-case scenario is that any sort of Disney World holiday celebration will be much shorter, but that's only if it happens at all.

Walt Disney World hadn't even begun to reopen when the decision was made for the park to cancel it's annual Halloween festivities, including Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, a hard ticket event after hours at Magic Kingdom. At the time we were told that a decision on a similar Christmas season event, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, had not yet been made. Thus far no official announcement has been made about the event, but things are not looking good now.

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While I'm sure decorations will go up to celebrate the season, it seems unlikely at this point that any of the usual additional festivities will be part of November and December at Walt Disney World. There's no indication that fireworks or parades will be back and certainly, if Walt Disney World is already scheduling early November with limited hours then the resort is not expecting a larger influx of guests. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has been open that the majority of the visitors that Disney World is currently seeing are from the local area, not the traveling vacationers that make up the resort's primary financial base. The resort hotels are seeing trends of cancellations as COVID cases in Florida remain unstable at best.

It's almost impossible to believe there was a point when we were hoping things might have been better this summer, and now it looks like we'll hit the end of the year with theme parks still either closed or seeing greatly reduced capacity. If 2020 is going to be a write-off, then one has to wonder what 2021 is going to look like. The year will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World, and was expected to be a major event, now, we just don't know.

An official word regarding Christmas at Walt Disney World will likely be forthcoming soon. Perhaps the park will try to do something as a way to draw guests in. The holidays at the Disney Parks are always a special time and I'm sure a lot of people would love to visit and celebrate the season. Though how many would truly be willing to do so we just don't know.

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