Disney World cancels Halloween party, adjusts Epcot festival date before reopening

Walt Disney World has adjusted some of its traditional party plans before reopening next month amid the coronavirus health crisis.

Modifying its annual calendar, the Orlando, Fla., theme park has canceled Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom, and bumped up the start date for A Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this year.

In years past, parkgoers have been able to celebrate the spooky spirit of the season at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, held a few nights per week from August through the beginning of November.

A general view of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom in 2018. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

A general view of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom in 2018. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

DISNEYLAND RELEASES UPDATED HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES AS IT NEARS REOPENING DATE

The popular after-hours bash features trick-or-treating, a parade, character meet-and-greets and fireworks, the Associated Press reports. To enforce new health and safety measures as operations resume, however, Disney made the “difficult decision” to call off the event.

“While assessing another fall special event, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, we determined that many of its hallmarks – stage shows, parades and fireworks – are unable to take place in this new, unprecedented environment,” the Disney Parks Blog announced on Thursday.

Mickey and Minnie pose with Halloween costumes during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom in 2018. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images) 

Mickey and Minnie pose with Halloween costumes during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom in 2018. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images) 

Visitors who have already purchased tickets will be assisted with refunds in the weeks ahead, officials said.

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A Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will begin early this year on July 15. (iStock)

A Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will begin early this year on July 15. (iStock)

On a happier note, A Taste of Epcot will return and mark the event’s “longest festival yet." The event usually begins in September and runs through November, but this year, the fun will begin on July 15, the parks blog said.

However, Epcot’s Eat to the Beat concert series will not be held in 2020, out of concern for safe social distancing.

“We know the popular musical acts during the ‘Eat to the Beat Concert Series’ often pack the house and, in an effort to accommodate proper physical distancing, we will not be able to host these concerts this year,” Disney explained.

Ahead of the holiday season, officials for Disney have not yet commented on details regarding Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom or the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, which traditionally commence when the fall festivities conclude.

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Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks are scheduled to reopen on July 11, with Epcot and Hollywood Studios set to follow on July 15.

The iconic theme park has been closed to the public since March 14 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.