• Kaity R.

Holiday Transformation at Walt Disney World

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s on to Christmas we go! While we’ve been busy with pumpkin spice everything and sweater weather, Walt Disney World has already begun the seamless transformation of becoming a Winter Wonderful. On November 1st, Magic Kingdom will be the first park to get the official overhaul with the remaining parks and resorts to be in full Christmas force by mid-November.

How does this happen so quickly? For those of us who frequent the parks weekly, it almost seems like the decorations happen overnight and for the most part, they do. At the close of the final Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Cast members work tirelessly overnight removing any trace of fall from the Magic Kingdom and replacing it with tinsel and garland. Disney has spent the last few months gearing up for the most wonderful time of the year. While you were trick-or-treating with the Sanderson Sisters, you may not have noticed Cinderella’s Castle beginning the transformation into the icy centerpiece of the Christmas season. Disney has actually been working on this since August! The lights' cords and netting are camouflaged to blend in with the castle to make it less noticeable during the daytime. The total process takes about 6-8 weeks and the final product truly takes your breath away.

Where do they store the décor?

Disney has a dedicated area to store these ornate decorations when not in use. Holiday Services, a warehouse behind the Magic Kingdom, is where you’ll find the wreaths, nutcrackers, oversized ornaments, and other Christmas pieces. This storage area not only contains the décor for Christmas, but also Halloween, Food and Wine Festival, and Flower and Garden - just to name a few. This is where a lot of the preparation leading up to the November 1st occurs. Disney Event Group is also involved in the planning process. Have you ever wondered where those beautiful flower arrangements and gift baskets you see around the parks came from? Disney Event Group has a talented group of staff who are completing these items just backstage.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

With the start of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party kicking off on November 8th this year, it’s important that all goes off without a hitch and on schedule. Magic Kingdom is home to this special ticketed party, which offers guests a special fireworks show, Holiday Parade, complimentary milk and cookies, and a chance to meet Old Saint Nick, Mickey, and the gang. Mickey hosts the parties on select nights in November-December 21 and ticket prices start at $105 plus tax for adults.

Holiday Tour Offerings

If you’d like to know more about the planning process, Disney offers a special behind the scenes tour: Yuletide Fantasy. On select days throughout November and December, this 3.5-hour tour will take you backstage and around the parks with a sneak peak at how the magic comes together. The price is $139 per adults, and children must be 12 years or older to enjoy. If you’re looking for even more Christmas magic, take advantage of the Holiday D-Lights Tour. For $279 per adult, you’ll enjoy a 6-hour tour with a family style meal at Whispering Canyon, meet and greet with the Event and Decorating Support team, backstage visit at the parks, and end your night at Epcot with a viewing of the Candlelight Processional and Illuminations.

With all that’s planned to take place over the next few days, it’s hard not to fall into that Christmas spirit. While you enjoy all the Poinsettias and Christmas carols, just think: They have already begun to plan next year’s festivities!

For a more behind the scenes look, be sure to check out "Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic" on Disney+.