Walt Disney World cancels Halloween event, promises "modified" Food & Wine

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

From the blog post:

One staple of the fall season at the Walt Disney World Resort is the annual EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. Today, we’re pleased to share that not only have we cooked up a creative, modified festival experience... 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.

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. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Read the entire post from Disney Parks Blog.

Jeff's avatar

I'm not sure how they make F&W work. The whole thing is designed to put things in your mouth while standing in lines to get the next thing. And that's as cases are starting to spike in Orange County and the tourists haven't even come back yet.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

99er's avatar

Well 85% of my work just fell off my calendar. I honestly would have thought the opposite with F&W cancelled and do a modified MNSSHP.


Jeff's avatar

Now that you mention it, yeah. A limited admission MK event without the entertainment seems plausible with some imagination about what to offer. Weird.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

99er's avatar

I had ideas. It could have worked. From what I understand Halloween Horror Nights is still moving forward so they seem to think they can still offer enough attractions to make the ticket worth it.


As much as I am in favor of getting the parks opened and life back to as much of a modified normal as possible, to borrow a phrase from Jeff, I see no world where Halloween Horror Nights can happen this year. And if it does, I feel like it would be such a modified experience it wouldn't even be worth doing.

I hope they just call it, put up some of the HHN props as fun Halloween decorations for regular day guests, and then go all out for a one year delayed HHN 30th in 2021.

Jeff's avatar

Agreed. I think all of the parks need to take a realistic view of the world for at least the next 6 to 9 months, and that view is limited. This is especially true for the big Orlando parks that draw internationally. Do you really want visitors from Brazil right now, or any time soon? Heck, I'm not even sure you want them from Orange County or the rest of Florida. Infection records are being set daily, now the ICU bed count is rising, and we can assume that the wave of death is a week or two behind. I really hope this is because people got complacent, and not because the mask/distancing strategy doesn't work.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Everything I have read in the last several days seems to indicate the mask/distancing strategy works incredibly well. I think it's almost entirely a complacency/defiance thing that is causing the uptick.

Jeff's avatar

It keeps getting more weird. The mini-golf courses will not be open yet. So come to this thing where you put stuff in your mouth in a crowd, but don't do the thing that by default keeps each group about 30 feet apart from each other. 🤷‍♂️

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Jeff said:

I really hope this is because people got complacent, and not because the mask/distancing strategy doesn't work.

One of my colleagues in Public Health did a radio interview about this recently. Their opinion is that upticks have more to do with complacency/bad messaging than the strategy.


I feel like what so many businesses are doing is doing what "looks" like the safest things and gives the illusion or perception of safety rather than what actually does. Which is why you have groups of people congregating in painfully slow moving roller coaster queues only to be spread out in every other row once they're on the train, even though the rows are more than six feet apart *and* have the entire back/headrest blocking things.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

BrettV said:

I feel like what so many businesses are doing is doing what "looks" like the safest things and gives the illusion or perception of safety rather than what actually does.

So security theatre? Just as predicted.

Can we just be blunt here? Republican governors amplified Trump's BS and thus this is the natural result.

99er's avatar

BrettV said:

I hope they just call it, put up some of the HHN props as fun Halloween decorations for regular day guests, and then go all out for a one year delayed HHN 30th in 2021.

To me it's all or nothing. If the park is safe enough to be open during the day, its also fine to be open in the evening with some modifications to your main draw (houses). Social distancing in a haunted house or scare zone can be easily done with minimal impact to the overall experience. Everything else you encounter at the event isn't impacted by social distancing so long as the park continues to keep a low capacity count. The houses are already built, auditions are being done, so short of the pandemic getting out of control that the parks overall should be closed, I'd say run the event.


ApolloAndy's avatar

BrettV said:

<pretty chart>

Curious to see the context behind this. I mean, it fits my established confirmation bias, so I'm inclined to believe it, but I also know that usually when things neatly and simply fit my understanding, there's something being ignored or swept under the rug.

Like, is it possible that it's just the spread of the virus from the immigration hubs of the country and dense urban areas to the wider country at large? (I'm not discounting the fact that opening early and ignoring precautions is a factor here. I just want to make sure I'm guarding against the knee jerk "See? Trump was wrong and anyone who believed him is an idiot!" reaction.)

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Jeff's avatar

Some of it is just the natural inverse of infection relative to population density. Cities are inherently more blue than rural areas, and cities are inherently more population dense, and therefore prone to rapid spread of disease. Eventually mitigation helps in the cities, and it makes its way to the rural areas. But if you remove time from that plot, then what happens? If it spreads faster in red counties despite the lower population density, then you have a story.

But certainly, willful ignorance among Trump fans is not at all a mystery.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

sirloindude's avatar

Interesting note: while case counts in states like Texas and Florida are definitely on the rise and have surpassed many of the smaller states that once held higher counts, the number of deaths still remains below several of those states (like Michigan). It’s still a bad situation, but at least the survivability rate is higher (for now) than it is, and especially was, in some of the hotspots.

Some of it also may be due to jumps in testing. I was told yesterday that the OCCC went from getting about 300 cars per day to 1100.

Also, regarding Florida, read the following article. It paints a bit of a better picture than its headline suggests:


Essentially, there’s more to the situation than just case count.

Even so, though, I’m bothered by how many friends don’t want to wear their masks. I’ve become more supportive of the mask initiative, especially as a trade-off for having things open up.

Last edited by sirloindude,

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones


The problem with trying to draw conclusions about death counts is that dying is a lagging indicator. So, during a run-up, the deaths just haven't happened yet.

That said, there is some reason to expect that the death rate will slowly go down as we understand how to better care for ill patients. For example, there was a pre-print recently about a fairly inexpensive drug that appeared to improve fatality rates for those on a ventilator. But, death isn't the only problem. There appear to be non-trival chances of long-term effects to lung capacity, etc. in some cases.

The metric that I am stating to pay attention to is the positive test rate. If you are testing more, and catching more cases, but the overall fraction of tests that come up isn't growing or (even better) is decreasing, then increased case count is in part just because you are finding more of what was already there. But, if the number of tests is going up and the positive rate is too, that's usually a sign of trouble.

Arizona is a good example of that. Increasing daily case counts, increasing test #s, and increasing positive rate. "Not great, Bob!" https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states/arizona

Last edited by Brian Noble,

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