As we know, the Disney Imagineers are masters when it comes to detailing their parks and hotels. And the holiday decorations they display at this time of year are no exception. Each November, Holiday Services decorates 24 resorts including Disney's Vero Beach and Disney's Hilton Head Island, 4 theme parks, 2 cruise ships, the Disney Cruise Line terminal and Castaway Cay, the Disney Reservation Centers, Downtown Disney Marketplace, and more than 400 merchandise shops.
I couldn't possibly cover all of this so I won't even try. And instead of focusing my attention on some of the more obvious decorations, I'm going to discuss an often overlooked, yet important part of the Christmas adornments, garland. Specifically, the garlands of Epcot's World Showcase.
Let's start in Canada. If you take a closer look at this yuletide tradition you'll find snow shoes, antlers, trout, and geese mingled into the evergreen.
In the United Kingdom, traditional ornaments are mixed in among plaid ribbons, mistletoe, and holly.
Eifel Tower ornaments can be found in the France Pavilion garland along with wine bottle ribbons and bows.
Since Morocco is essentially a Muslim nation, it does not receive any Christmas decorations.
Japan too is not a Christian country, but limited decorations can be found here -- for instance this garland in the Yakitori House. Here we find Japanese lanterns and fans mixed in with evergreens and pinecones.
In the American Adventure we find garland laden with a plentiful bounty. Patriotic ribbons and stars also complement the strands.
Elaborate masks adorn the garland in Italy as well as ornaments and ribbons displaying wine grapes.
In Germany, cuckoo clocks and teddy bears add a playful touch to the greenery.
Like Morocco and Japan, China is not a Christian nation so the decorations here are sparse. But in the Nine Dragons Restaurant you can find garland featuring flower blossoms, ornaments with Chinese lettering, and ribbon with an Asian design.
In Norway you'll find cold-weather favorites like ice skates and snowflakes. Also keep an eye out for Santa and Christmas stockings.
Since it's perpetually nighttime in the Mexico Pavilion, the garland here is festively lit with multi-colored lights. In addition, Mexican handicrafts can be found nestled among the greens.
Here are a few interesting facts about what goes into decorating Walt Disney World and a description of some of the Christmas trees found around property.
The Holiday Services warehouse, which houses the decorations when not in use, covers approximately 50,000 square feet of space.
Decorating takes place on the graveyard shift. Most guests are asleep at this time and the resorts and parks are magically transformed overnight.
Holiday Services transports nearly 150 semi-trailers of decorations each November to various points around Walt Disney World and beyond.
Almost 8.5 million lights are used.
15 miles of garland are hung -- a lot of it in World Showcase.
1,314 wreaths are hung ranging in size from 12-inches to 84-inches (and 25-feet).
300,000 yards of ribbon are made into bows each year.
98% of the lighting used for the holiday décor is LED (Light Emitting Diode). LED's use 1/10 of the power of a traditional incandescent bulb and has a lifespan of 100,000 hours versus 1,000 hours.
2% of the lights used are compact fluorescents which are 21% more efficient in power conversion than incandescent bulbs. These also have a lifespan of 15,000 hours versus 1,000 hours.
Icon trees (large centerpiece trees) used in the parks and resorts range in height from 45 to 70-feet. These trees weigh from 28,000 to 32,000 pounds.
More than 5,500 lights twinkle from the branches of some of these trees.
Each of the trees at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Disney's Hollywood Studios are 65 feet tall. The tree at Disney's Animal Kingdom is 55-feet tall.
The tree in front of the Contemporary Resort is 70-feet tall and is decorated with about 35,800 white LED lights and the ornaments are illuminated with compact florescent bulbs.
The newest decoration at Walt Disney World is a 25-foot wide Mickey icon with 18 foot elliptical ears. It is mounted on the north side of the Contemporary Resort and is decorated in boxwood foliage and lit with 11,400 white LEDs.
The largest base section of an icon tree weighs 18,000 pounds and is 26-feet wide. It can be found in Town Square at the Magic Kingdom.
Icon trees are transported to their locations on flatbed trucks and are lifted into place with a 70-ton crane.
Downtown Disney Marketplace has a playful 45-foot exterior tree located near the Once Upon a Toy store decorated with oversized toys such as Mr. Potato Head, Barrel of Monkeys, and Scrabble pieces to name a few.
In the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort is a special attraction, a 40-foot tree glowing with 45,000 LED lights, elegant ornamentation and Victorian bouquets.
The tree in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge reaches 45-feet high and is adorned in a rustic motif of canoes, moccasins, sleds, teepees that are aglow with flicker flame bulbs.
In the lobby of the Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge you'll find a 45-foot tree adorned with authentic African décor of handmade baskets and reproductions of traditional African masks cascading down to the floor.
Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is decorated with handmade ornaments from villages throughout Africa.
The tree at the Beach Club Villas is trimmed with beach cottage flair, beach balls, sand toys and shells.
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort uses a color pallet of sky blue, coppers, and browns, and adorned with smoke glass and crystal. Its tree topper is a one of a kind hand crafted crystal star.
The previous post in this blog was My Disney Story.
The next post in this blog is Blizzard Beach.