LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The holiday season at Walt Disney World Resort is a magical time where all four theme parks, Disney Springs and resort hotels come to life with festive decor, entertainment and other fun for the entire family.
With so much that goes into making the resort sparkle for the season, here are some fun facts about holidays at Walt Disney World Resort:
- The Walt Disney World Holiday Services team provides 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.
- 41 cast members work year-round to make the holiday transformation a reality, with an additional 90 cast members added during the installation period.
- Decor installation begins Halloween night and is finished by Thanksgiving.
The Iconic 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 will come to 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 will occur 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Other Holiday Celebrations
- A storyteller on a stage between the France and Morocco pavilions at Epcot will tell the Hanukkah story during Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
- Kwanzaa will be incorporated into performances of JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season through Dec. 25. Beginning Dec. 26, the group will perform a full Kwanzaa show. The JOYFUL! vocal ensemble performs uplifting gospel, R&B and holiday songs daily at the Future World Fountain stage in Epcot.
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays celebrates holiday traditions from around the world through storytelling and music presented throughout World Showcase.