If you’ve ever been to a Disney Park over the holidays, you know the parks’ signature magic gets kicked up a notch. Christmas lights twinkle on Main Street, the Haunted Mansion gets decked in boughs of evergreen, and the cafes proffer gingerbread men and yule logs. How exactly does the happiest place on earth become the merriest? A full breakdown:
There are 1,300 decorated trees throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Trees vary to match their respective locations — at Wilderness Lodge, for example, trees are covered in antlers, plaid ribbon and pine cones.
These trees are decorated with some 300,000 yards of bows and ribbon.
Each of the four parks have their own specialized tree, but the one at Magic Kingdom is 26 feet wide and 65 feet tall, making it approximately nine times larger than the average home tree.
The Magic Kingdom tree is covered in 6,000 decorative lights.
There are 8.5 million lights strung throughout Walt Disney World.
Over 1300 wreaths are hung at hotels, parks and outdoor spaces, along with 15 miles of garland. (That’s longer than a runDisney half-marathon!)
Cast members and staff have only one night to decorate the entirety of Magic Kingdom.
When it’s all packed up in January, the holiday decorations across the parks and properties will fill 150 semi-trailer truckloads.
Over at Disneyland, the holiday theming extends to the rides themselves. The Jungle Cruise becomes the Jingle Cruise, a holiday spectacular that takes at least 12 staffers two full weeks— 14 days! — to decorate.
The highlight, though, is It’s A Small World Holiday. An estimated 200,000 mini lights and 50,000 C7 Christmas bulbs illuminate its show-stopping, multicolor façade, with 300,000 miniature LED lights hung on the greenery outside alone. The transformation occurs inside the ride, too, which is fully rethemed to celebrate holidays around the world.This massive project takes staffers an astonishing 35 days of decorating to make sure every glimmering detail is just right.
And then there are the treats…
Christmastime at Disney hotels is often defined by an astonishing display of delectable structures. Bakers at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa erect a massive 16-foot tall gingerbread house that takes over 160 hours to decorate. The candy-coated cottage is comprised of 600 pounds of chocolate, 800 pounds of flour and over 1,050 pounds of honey!
Disney’s Beach Club Resort features a life-size gingerbread carousel with chocolate-and-fondant ponies that uses 150 pounds of icing and 100 pints of eggs. And, at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, bakers spend 10 months planning and over 6 months preparing gingerbread that will cover Ginger’s Bread and Cookie Shoppe in the hotel lobby.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa at Disneyland hosts a massive gingerbread house as well. This delicious structure stands 12 feet wide and over 7 and a half feet tall. A team of 25 workers put together the terrific display, which took over 1,400 hours — and 600 pounds of gingerbread — to create!