What happens at Disney World the night after Halloween

Nov 1, 2020

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How long does it take your family to pack away Halloween and decorate everything for the holidays? If you groaned and thought days, weeks or longer, you’re probably in good company. Heck, the Halloween sugar hangover itself can last at least a few days. And pumpkins totally work for all of November, yes?

While true in the real world, those sort of real-life issues don’t apply at Disney where magic — or at least the illusion of magic — prevails, even in 2020.

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When the final Disney’s Magic Kingdom closes for the night on Halloween, the real work begins.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)


Disney cast members work some serious magic under the cover of darkness on the night of Oct. 31 and probably into the wee hours of Nov. 1. Any traces of jack-o’-lanterns and all things spooky disappear and the halls are instead decked at Disney World with red and green trimmings. Typically, lots of red and green trimmings.

While the fall holiday decor was a bit subdued at Magic Kingdom this year, Christmas decor looks to be ready to celebrate the holidays based on some looks around social media.

Related: Should you visit Disney World right now?

Magic Kingdom in 2018 (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The massive Disney World resort as a whole will unleash the rest of its holiday décor over the coming weeks, but the Magic Kingdom traditionally made its big seasonal shift literally overnight before the park reopened to guests this morning.

Related: TPG’s guide to maximizing a trip to Disney World

Some years on Nov. 1, Disney park visitors note that even Christmas music is playing the day after Halloween.

Disney trees ready for assembly (Photo by Ed Pizzarello/Pizza In Motion)

To give a sense of how massive the transition is, Disney’s Magic Kingdom alone is usually home to 590 garlands (measuring a total of 5,188 feet), 40 Christmas trees and 147 wreaths. The tallest tree in all of Disney World — measuring in at 70 feet — can normally be found at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, a monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom.

Making the quick leap from Halloween to holidays is a big job that, according to Disney, requires 41 people’s full-time attention year-round and an extra 90 cast members added this time of the year to get everything up (and down) quickly.

Related: 5 changes at Disney World that I hope become permanent

Photo from 2019 by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

While Disney’s typical Christmas festivities like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party won’t take place this year, you will still be able to get a dose of 2020 holiday magic in the Disney World theme parks and resorts. There are holiday will be decorations, music, themed mini-parades, treats and more starting, well, right this very minute.

Featured photo by David Roark/Disney Parks.

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