Walt Disney World has canceled Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and has reduced its fall hours as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on Central Florida's theme park industry, Disney Food Blog reported.
For those not familiar, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is what the industry calls a "hard-ticket event," which is to say, a special, after-hours event for which guests pay a special fee in order to enjoy the Magic Kingdom for a few hours after the park closes. Visitors are treated to holiday-themed parades, shows, and treats, while characters are bedecked in their Christmas outfits.
Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging and the Florida mega-resort already operating at a limited capacity because of it, a special-ticket event is not in the cards.
In a statement, the company noted that events that draw big crowds are off the table until further notice.
"Holiday experiences that draw big crowds will be on hiatus this year … such as Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party," the statement reads.
Also canceled is another popular holiday event at a different Disney Florida theme park. Epcot's candlelight processional, in which a choir sings Christmas songs while a celebrity reads the biblical narrative of Jesus' birth, is off for 2020.
Meanwhile, with fall just around the corner, the resort has announced reduced hours for the coming weeks and months, according to The Orlando Sentinel. Specifically, beginning September 8, Epcot will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; the Magic Kingdom will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Disney's Hollywood studios from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Animal Kingdom from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After being closed for several weeks during the coronavirus crisis, Walt Disney World reopened earlier this year with multiple safety systems put into place in order to slow the spread of the virus. Specifically, guests are asked to keep a distance of six feet between themselves and handwashing stations have been added to the parks. Additionally, visitors and employees are expected to wear masks at all times except when eating.
However, the biggest changes are the parks' reduced hours and the limited number of people allowed in each day, forcing visitors to make a reservation. Further, events that would ordinarily bring people close together, such as parades and fireworks, are all canceled, as are character meet-and-greets.
The Christmas party is not the only special-ticket event not happening at Walt Disney World due to the pandemic. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, similar in scope to the Christmas event only with a Halloween theme, has also been nixed this year.