More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Behind the Scenes: Magic Kingdom Park Decorated For Christmas

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

It’s hard to believe but each November our Magic Kingdom Park goes from being decorated for Halloween to Christmas in just days. The transformation is fast and precise. As quickly as a jack-o-lantern is wrapped up for the year, an ornament goes up. And what may look like chaos to you and me, is actually a “choreographed dance” because planning begins in June. Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at how it happens.

Some of my fondest memories at Disney Parks have happened in the parks during the holidays. How about you? Any holiday memories to share?


  • I love Disney!!! Merry Christmas to all!
    In the spirit of the holiday season I would like to share a cute song that describes the meaning of Xmas.

    What is Christmas? Christmas is Love.
    What is Christmas? Christmas is Love.
    Angels flying up above.
    Merry Christmas, I Love You!
    Merry Christmas, I Love You!

  • Our first Disney trip was Christmas 1999…our children were 4 and 5. We loved it so much, we became DVC members the following Christmas. On that first trip 11 years ago, we were awestruck by the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. It has been a family tradition ever since. However, this year was particularly special as our daughter was part of the choir this past weekend. Christmas at Disney has been a huge part of our family since that first Processional. Now, we have come full circle to actually participating in it. Thank you Disney, for all you do to make the holidays so memorable.

  • we have been to Disneyworld 4 times do far and 3 of those visits were in Nov/Dec time so Mickey’s very Merry Christmas Party is a must for us! We love the night before Xmas and the parade of course. Hopefully when we go back in 2011 we can go again! Merry Christmas to one and all! x

  • I second the Country Bears!

  • Bring back the Country Bear Christmas Show!

  • I was there with my family the first week of November. At the beginning of our trip we celebrated at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and by the end of the week all of the Christmas decorations were up. It was amazing being able to celebrate two holidays in one trip!

  • My whole family is coming own this year in Dec. So looking forward to seeing all the Christmas decorations.No one does it better than

  • Our family has visited Disney World twice over the Christmas season. It is one of the most beautiful sights we have had the pleasure to experience as a family. So much so that we are planning to come back for Christmas in 2011!

  • We justgot back from Disney and were lucky enough to see the halloween decorations AND the Christmas decorations. We were at MK park Wednesday while it was halloween and then we came back friday and it was magically transformed into a Christmas wonderland! Disney World during the Christmas season should not be missed!!!!

  • Every year is special. One of my favorite memories was when my daughter’s family was selected to light the Christmas Tree and lights on the Disney Magic. I will not miss the Candlelight Professional. It is my favorite event every year. This year will be a little different and we are looking forward to it. Son in law is in Afghanistan and the grandsons don’t want to spend Christmas at the house without Dad, so we will all be at Ft. Wilderness for Christma. We love it there. Planning to have Christmas dinner with friends at our picnic tables and perhaps take the sleigh ride one evening.

  • I’m a NYC girl so I’m used to cold snowy Christmases, and our city definitely doesn’t go easy on the lights but when I first saw the magic kingdom all dolled up for Christmas I got misty-eyed. It just FELT like what Christmas was supposed to feel like, like the Christmas on greeting cards, and in old movies and carols. It was the Christmas I’ve always wanted.

  • I was at WDW last November with my wonderful family when all the christmas celebrations were just beginning. What a fab time to be there. Our favorite time out of our 5 visits. If you can go at this time it is the most magical thing you can imagine. The Osbourne Lights were the highlight of the holiday. A must see for all ages!!!!!!!!!!! Our next visit to Florida is May 2011 and I cannot wait. We would all love to go back in November or even December in the near future as it is definatly the best time to go!!!!!!!!

  • We’ve been going to WDW since 1975 and my one and only wish is to get there at least once to see DisneyWorld at Christmas in person. I’ve seen video after video and picture after picture but I’ve always wanted to see it in person. I know I’ll start crying as soon as I see that beautiful castle. One wish that’s all just that one.

  • We’re going to the Boma all-you-can-eat buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge for Thanksgiving. Some of the resorts serve turkey and the trimmings all year round. We just had that yesterday at the Riverside food court (which is stunning, by the way) in Port Orleans Resort. It’s roasted fresh daily and carved right in front of you. Delicious!

  • Someday…
    It may take me a few years, but someday I will visit each of the holiday events at WDW. So far I have Halloween covered. Christmas will be a challenge, but well worth it i’m sure. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. Do any of the WDW restaurants do a Thanksgiving feast?

  • I’ve seen way too many Disneyland commercials for holidays at the park. We weren’t planning on going at the holidays since we already have a mid January DL and Disney Cruise trip planned, but after watching this and getting teased by the commercials we decided to go. We are going after Xmas but it will still be decorated with all that magic that only Disney can do!

  • On our most recent trip to WDW I got pictures of the scarecrows in Town Square, and we attended the opening night of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It was amazing to be in the park one day and see all of the fall decor, and to come back just 2 days later and it was the Christmas season, complete with holiday music, and snow on Main Street. There is real magic everyday at a Disney park.

  • The first time I saw the castle lit up for Christmas is one memory I will never forget. It is just stunning. for those of you coming for the first time, be sure to see the lighting show. I think it starts around 6, check the park guide to be sure. It just makes it so magical.

    The only thing I wish they would do is bring back the snow. It now only snows at the Magic Kingdom during the Very Merry Christmas parties. Oh well, I’ll just go on over to studios, they have snow every night. That is another place that I HIGHLY recommend if you are coming for the first time at Christmas. You don’t want to miss the dancing lights.

    In answer to Bev’s question, no they do not close the parks during the redecorating. It all happens after closing.

  • We’ll be visiting in 3 weeks — it will be the first time my husband and I have seen the parks in full Christmas decor. We were there several years ago for Halloween, but left before the transition was complete. My husband in particular is looking forward to seeing Cinderella’s castle all lit up. We cannot wait. (we don’t have kids: we declare ourselves to be ‘big kids’ for a few days at WDW every year)

  • Do the parks close during the redecoating or does this go on only during the night when there isn’t any visitors around

  • In 2007, my friends and I took a trip that started at the end of October and ended a few days into November. The transformation between Halloween and Christmas seemed to us to happen instantaneously. It was incredible, and formed a memory I will never let go of.

  • Now that is seeing magic in the making.

  • I’m dreaming of walking down Main Street with the fake snow falling at Christmas-time. There is nothing better than Disney World at Christmas!

  • My daughter and i was there last year i loved the lighting of the castle and the the fireworks at the mickeys very merry Christmas we went to the first mickeys very merry christmas last year and it rained so we had to wait for the second parade we also did the vip sitting of the fireworks and the snack bar was awsome i had a great time now im planing a trip to euro disney

  • We will be there in 13 days and can’t wait. Just seeing the pictures puts you in the Christmas spirit, I can’t imagine how much better it is live and in person. So excited!

  • The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year to visit. There is nothing like standing on New York Street at the Studios when they turn on all the Christmas lights & music. Cinderella’s Castle blanketed in lights is breathtaking. But hands down, the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is something everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. We can watch over & over & over.

  • Oh I so want to be there. My dream is to be there for Christmas one of these years. It would be so much fun

  • Just got back, and the lights on the castle are stunning!

  • We were at Disney during Christmas 2008. It was beautiful and even though we have never experienced Christmas Day at 70 degrees, it still felt like Christmas and we LOVED it. Everyone does a very awesome job making sure to make it beautiful.

  • My husband and I were there at the beginning of November when the transition was happening from Halloween to Christmas. On our last day we went to the Magic Kingdom at night and the second I stepped in the gate and saw all the lights and decorations I started crying like a baby it was so beautiful! Not to mention, all the other women I heard come through behind me did the same thing, gasped and got all teary. Good job, Disney! I will def bring our future children someday for the most magical Christmas ever, at Disney! <3

  • Watching the Lights of Winter at EPCOT is my favorite memory.

Comments are closed.