The transformation from Halloween to Christmas at Walt Disney World occurs literally overnight. When the Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom — close on October 31, Disney Parks Cast Members go to work to transform the parks with holiday magic!
Even though this year’s Christmas celebration at Disney World will look a little bit different due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s still lots of fun in-store for Guests who visit the Florida property this holiday season. To celebrate the arrival of November — and the official beginning of holiday decor at Disney World — here’s a look at exactly how Cast Members take the park from spooky to festive, in just about seven hours!
In a Disney Parks Blog post from 2018, Disney shared these details (and a video, which you can view below!) of the Halloween to Christmas transformation at Magic Kingdom theme park:
Six trailers of decorations. One 65-foot-tall iconic Christmas tree. And less than seven hours to unpack and install it all.
This is a task that Holiday Services department prepares for – and looks forward to – all year long, when the team magically transforms Magic Kingdom Park from “Halloween” to “holidays” in just one night.
In the video, Manager, Holiday Services Lisa Borotkanics says, “We have a goal every night [the team has just a few nights of seven-hour time slots to decorate the entire park]. We have schedules by the hour. Everyone knows what they need to do.”
Disney World, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary next year in 2021, has been decorating for the holiday season for a long time. The Cast Members who participate in this project operate like a well-oiled machine! From installing Magic Kingdom’s 65-foot tall “icon Christmas tree” to hanging garlands and wreaths up and down Main Street, U.S.A., no detail is left unattended.
Lisa shared additional details about the holiday transformation at Walt Disney World with Delish in an interview last year:
“The truth is, yes! All Halloween goes away right after park close [on November 1] and some Christmas goes up,” a “tired and excited” Lisa tells me on the phone just a few days after managing the holiday overhaul. By “some Christmas,” she means about 50 percent of what ultimately will comprise the holiday display, though it’s the 50 percent that is visible to guests.
More continues to go on behind the scenes from November 2 through Thanksgiving, but you’d never know it: “We want guests to feel that it is all done in one night! The reality is, what they see that morning is done in less than seven hours. And it’s a very large decor package”: 40 trees, 147 wreaths and 590 garlands adorn the train station, cornerstone buildings, streets, and lamp posts of Magic Kingdom by the time people walk in the gates the next morning. At that point, each of Disney World’s three other parks, Disney Springs, and all of the Lake Buena Vista resorts will have erected tens of thousands of lights and ornaments and other miscellaneous decorations by the morning of November 2.
Remember, things might not look exactly the same this year — Cinderella Castle is having a light show instead of its standard Dream Lights, for example, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is canceled — but it’s still Christmastime at Magic Kingdom and that is certainly something to be excited about.
Will you be visiting Disney World this holiday season? Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your trip at no extra cost!