There’s nothing quite like visiting Walt Disney World for the holidays. From the twinkling lights to the array of Christmas trees on property, a holiday vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth is one item that should be on everyone’s bucket list! Creating this one-of-a-kind winter wonderland is no easy task, so here are seven ways Disney prepares for the holiday season.

Year Round Planning
While most of us start thinking about decorating for Christmas around Thanksgiving, by that time Walt Disney World is already completely transformed for the season. A special team of around 25 Disney Cast Members work all year long to plan for the most magical time of year. Once it’s time to decorate, this team nearly quadruples to bring this Christmas magic to life on property!

Festive Florals
No matter the weather, when you see a bright red poinsettia, it starts to feel like Christmas! At Walt Disney World, over 100,000 poinsettias are planted across property for the holiday season each year. In addition to all of these poinsettias, Disney also displays 200 holiday topiaries across property. These festive plants help to create a winter feel in the sunny Orlando parks.

Warehouses of Winter Wonderland
Think you’re storing lots of Christmas decor in your attic? Walt Disney World has got you beat! With three different warehouses containing over 300,000 square feet of Christmas decorations, they’ve got a lot of decorating to do this time of year. These warehouses are home to the many Christmas trees of Walt Disney World, along with tons of custom ornaments and more Christmas lights than you can imagine.

Tons of Trees
Walt Disney World features over 1,500 Christmas trees across property each holiday.  Decorating all of these trees takes over 10,000 custom ornaments and over 250,000 lights. The Most Magical Place on Earth features nine iconic Christmas trees that reach heights of 70 feet. Each of these massive trees are said to weigh between 35,000 and 40,000 pounds, and must be transported in several parts before finally being assembled.

An Overnight Transformation
Once guests leave for the night on October 31, it’s time to transform the resort into holiday mode! Over 150 trailers haul decor into the Most Magical Place on Earth as a talented team of Cast Members work overnight to bring us the Christmas magic that only Disney could achieve. By park opening, the various pumpkins and fall decor are long gone and it’s officially Christmas time!

Life-Size Gingerbread Displays
Walt Disney World is known for its life-size edible gingerbread displays that can be found at various resorts on property. In fact, this year is the 20th anniversary of the Grand Floridian’s 16-ft. gingerbread, which is assembled in the resort’s lobby each Christmas season. Other resorts around Disney also feature life-size displays of their own like the one-of-a-kind carousel found at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Be sure to resort hop around to view them all.

Twinkling Lights
Ever wonder how Queen Elsa is able to light up Cinderella’s Castle for the Holiday Wishes fireworks show? During the holiday season Cinderella Castle is illuminated nightly with over 200,000 LED lights! Installing all of these lights is no quick task. Starting as early as October, Cast Members are quietly stringing lights all in preparation for the holiday season! Even with Halloween festivities still taking place, Disney is able to strategically plan ahead with subtle details like this.

Walt Disney World is truly even more magical during this time of year! Thanks to amazing holiday details, talented teams of Cast Members and a little pixie dust, the Most Magical Place on Earth becomes the ultimate Christmas vacation destination. Next time you head to the parks, be sure to keep an eye out for all the festive decorations that can be found on every corner!