Disney World has announced plans to hold its first stage show and parade since its reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney recently revealed that it plans to have both a stage show and a parade at the Magic Kingdom's Very Merriest After Hours event later this year. The Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will be the first official parade to make its way down Main Street USA since Disney World re-opened last summer. The stage show is also a first, although Disney World did not specify whether this was a new stage show or an existing stage show from past holiday celebrations.
Like many other parts of the Disney World experience, stage shows and parades were cancelled when the park re-opened in summer 2020 in order to encourage social distancing. These events were replaced with pop-up cavalcades and other pop-up experiences designed to bring the magic to guests without putting either cast members or visitors at risk. As vaccination rates increase throughout the country, Disney World has slowly re-opened some of its closed attractions and experiences. A number of performers recently returned to Disney World, and there are plans to bring back some shows such as the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Currently, there is no word whether parades or non-holiday stage shows are set to return to Disney World.
The Very Merriest After Hours event gives park-goers extra access to many Magic Kingdom park rides, as well as special experiences not available to daytime park guests. The festivities include several holiday overlays of attractions, including the "Jingle Cruise," as well as shorter wait times for popular attractions like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and more. Disney characters will be dressed in their holiday best, and Disney has even teased the appearance of "magical snowfall" on Main Street USA...which is impressive given the Florida climate. Additionally, special holiday treats will be available as both complimentary snacks and as additional purchases. The event also comes with its own separate firework show, Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Those who arrive at the park early will actually get to watch two separate fireworks show on the same night.