Christmas time at Walt Disney World is one of our most favorite times of year. All the parks and resorts look their very best with holiday decorations adorning almost every building and filling nearly ever rafter inside. One of our favorite activities this time of year is just to grab a drink of something we like and stroll around the resorts to look at all the fantastic decorations.
It takes a big team working year round to pull this magical transformation off. Over the course of a few days they provide decor for 780 locations within 41 different properties including Disney theme parks, resorts, recreation and shopping areas. The team also decorates Disney Cruise Line ships and Disney Vacation Club resorts in Florida and North Carolina.
So many trees
There are 29 custom-created iconic trees, ranging from 15 to 70 feet tall. Trees find their homes at all four theme parks, select resort hotels and Disney Springs.
The tallest tree – at 70 feet tall – is located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The tree is adorned with 16,000 lights and more than 200 custom ornaments.
Stars and toppers for the trees are up to 7 feet tall and can weigh more than 200 pounds each.
596 smaller trees – ranging from 2 to 14 feet – decorate other areas across Walt Disney World.
In the Parks
New this year, holiday fun arrived at Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Décor includes a 10-foot-tall Hamm sugar cookie at Woody’s Lunch Box, green alien ornaments near the entrance to Alien Swirling Saucers and much more.
Magic Kingdom Park is decorated with 590 garlands (measuring a total of 5,188 feet), 40 trees and 147 wreaths.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays includes 12 holiday kitchens serving more than 50 bites from around the world and 60-plus specialty
The Candlelight Processional will be performed 117 times at Epcot this holiday season. It’s also the first year performances occurred on Thanksgiving!
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Dinosaur Gertie is dressed in her finest holiday attire. Her hat is so big, four people could stand inside it!
Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios includes 12 high-definition projectors used to visually transform the façade of the Hollywood Tower Hotel with scenes of the season. 21 palm trees along Sunset Boulevard illuminate with programmable, color-changing LED fixtures.
In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, nearly all lighting decor is LED. The park uses 25,000 C-7 shape LEDs and 40,000 mini-LEDs. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also home to 331 garlands and 40 wreaths.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the classic gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The life-size house is made from more than 10,000 pieces of gingerbread and requires 560 hours to construct (400 hours to bake and 160 hours to decorate). Located inside is The Bake Shop – the perfect place to pick up some sweet holiday treats.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to a 45-foot-tall iconic tree featuring authentic African decor and reproductions of traditional African masks.
Disney Springs is the epicenter of holiday shopping at Walt Disney World. It’s also the largest of all of the decorated Disney locations, with more than 2,000 pieces of individual decor, including a 45-foot-tall tree.
Each piece of decor was custom designed to fit the classic Florida town theme that carries throughout the entirety of Disney Springs.
Disney Springs is also home to the Christmas Tree Trail, a walkthrough wonderland featuring 27 unique Disney trees that include new themes this year such as Toy Story and The Haunted Mansion.
Is the holiday season your favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?
Previously: Take these yuletide backstage tours to get a look at how the magic is made