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Vintage Walt Disney World: The Trees of Christmas Past

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

This past weekend after stuffing myself full of turkey, cranberry sauce and pie, I decided to put up my Christmas tree. It’s nothing spectacular, just your typical out-of-the-box pre-lit tree. But I found two trees from past holiday seasons here at the Walt Disney World Resort that truly are sights to be seen.

This photograph from 1992 shows the towering poinsettia tree from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa created out of maroon, white and pink poinsettias in the lobby. Glowing candles and cherubs adorn the poinsettias swirl pattern throughout.

Towering Poinsettia Tree at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in 1992

But if you thought that was fantastic, I hope you’re sitting down. Look just beyond Mickey and Minnie at the green “contemporary” delight rising from the ground up on the Grand Canyon Concourse at Disney’s Contemporary Resort back in 1989.

Mickey and Minnie in Front of the Christmas Tree at Disney's Contemporary Resort in 1989

It’s amazing. And while I don’t have a full-length color picture to show you of this one-of-a-kind tree, I do have this photo from 1971 which at least let’s you see the star atop.

Star Atop the Christmas Tree at Disney's Contemporary Resort in 1971

Now I’m rethinking my tree at home. I wonder if they still sell that green tinsel…


  • Wow! They must bring back the themed tree at the Contemporary! Or at least a modern aesthetic successor… That’s so nifty…

  • Love them!!! By the way, seeing the tree in contemporary resort made me think… will we ever see Christmas decor in Tomorrowland??? (in CA especially 🙂 I saw pics of Tokyo Disney Sea’s Christmas Tree in Port Discovery… it would be sooo neat!! 🙂

  • That poinsettia tree is fabulous which they would do that again.

  • I remember the poinsettia tree at the Grand Floridian. It was so beautiful.

  • Love the Contemp photos. There’s a Mark IV in the first photo! And the Shop tractor in the second! Those are awesome pics. Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re welcome, Paul. I didn’t even notice the shop tractor down there. Good eyes.

  • I remember quite a few of these trees growing up in Sanford, FL. Back then the contemporary (seen above) was the bomb! I always loved the 3′ +/- ornaments throughout the years. Disney’s trees were always inspirational, unique, and fun. But most of all… they were beautiful to see. *earned my ears in 1985

  • I love the trees that some of the Deluxe Resorts, Downtown Disney, and the four theme parks receive, but these are just so much more unique!

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