Check Out Some of the Amazing Ways That Disney Decorates for the Holidays
If you’ve been following along with MickeyBlog then you know that there’s no escaping the fact that the Holiday Season has arrived! Over the past few weeks, Disney’s incredible team of magical elves have been decking the theme parks, resorts and Disney Springs shopping area.
Every tree erected and garland hung is the work of the Holiday Services team lead by Lisa Borotkanics. This team is made up of 160 cast members who pull some mighty all-nighters to make sure that Walt Disney World is ready for the holidays.
Each year the transformation inspires awe and wonder so it should come as no surprise that its the subject of a new book “Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks: Celebrations Around the World from Fall to Winter.” You can currently pick up this book at Amazon for $54.00 here.
In a recent meet-up with the folks at Travel & Leisure, Borotkanics and author Graham Allan discuss the intricacies of this transformation. Borotkanics advised that her team gets to work at the theme parks the moment everything closes on Halloween night and will continue to put up the trimmings straight through until Thanksgiving. They strategically move through every theme park and resort until it’s all “bathed in holiday cheer.”
According to the Holiday Services team, some locations like EPCOT can be completely decorated over the course of an evening. However Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs take a bit longer. The theme parks are prioritized and get their decorations first and then the team tackles the resorts.
Graham Allen, author of the book mentions above told Travel + Leisure, “I’ve had the luxury of being at Magic Kingdom the first morning after the holiday decor was installed, and there was a young boy who had been there the night before when it was decorated for Halloween,” Allan recalled. “For him, it was truly magical to walk in and see Christmas had appeared overnight.”
Though DIsney may make the holiday transition look easy, Borotkanics says it’s all down to organization, Getting this all done is like a finely orchestrated ballet. We work all through the night and coordinate with groups across the property to make sure everything gets done.” She continues, “If it weren’t for our team having every detail planned out ahead of time, it wouldn’t happen.”
And let’s quickly dispel the myth that decorating for the holidays is a seasonal thing. Borotkanics and her team work year round on prepping the holiday decor. First this year’s decorations will get packed away into an over 300,000 square foot storage space and plans start being organized for the year ahead!
As Borotkanics explains, “We take everything out and inspect it to see if it needs to be painted, repaired, or retired and replaced.” She estimates that out of the 300,000 bows used it holiday season about 75,000 need to be replaced each year. Just that alone is enough to keep the most energetic of elves busy!
Once items have been inspected, it’s up to the team to prep as much as possible between January and December to minimize the amount of work that needs to be done during the late night Christmas transformations! Borotkanics told Travel + Leisure, “So much is done prior to the installation or it would never get done in one night.”
Even Disney’s countless towering trees have to be pre-decorated before being installed. Borotkanics tells us how its done saying, “We pre-stage all of our big icon trees in the middle of the night.” She adds, “The lights are put on and the ornaments are wired into each section.” At that point, low loaders are used to take the trees to their location and a crane is used to maneuver them into place.”
On top of installing all of the Christmas decor, it is also up to the Holiday Services to keep the decorations looking intact and fresh throughout the Season. “We check on the decorations every day,” Borotkanics said. “Sometimes, kids like to get close to the trees and see the ornaments, so a tree may need to be fluffed up. There is daily maintenance throughout the season.”
As we previously shared here at MickeyBlog, a few things may be missing from Disney World this holiday season due to COVID-19. For instance there won’t be gingerbread houses this year or Castle Dream lights however, if you’ve been following along with MickeyBlog then you’ll now that the parks, resorts and Disney Springs are already looking like a Winter Wonderland!
Readers are encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog where we’ll be coming to you LIVE! all holiday season with more awesome Christmas decor!
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Source: Travel + Leisure