Have you ever wanted to go behind the scenes to see how the Disney Parks decorate for Christmas? What were the very first Christmas decorations like at Disneyland? We can pretty much guarantee it is not what first comes to mind. Check out all of the great Disney decorating secrets.
The Magic of Disney at Christmas
This year so much has changed around the Disney Parks, and many festivities were cancelled such as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Candlelight Processional, and even the beautiful Gingerbread House found at the Grand Floridian.
With so many holiday favorites missing this year, we wondered if the Parks would still feel as festive this holiday season. Thanks to quite a bit of magic from the Disney Parks decorating team, Walt Disney World is even more magical this Christmas season.
From gorgeous decorations to castle projections and holiday window displays, the Christmas spirit is alive and well at Walt Disney World. But what were the first few Christmases like in Disneyland and then throughout the many Disney Parks across the globe? The answer to that may surprise you.
Disneyland’s 1st Christmas
In 1955, Disneyland celebrated their first Christmas season. With the grand opening of the Park in July of that year, they didn’t have money for elaborate decorations. Many of Walt Disney’s ideas were a bit out-of-the-box and unconventional. This paid off in great ways on many occasions, but his plan for the Disneyland’s first Christmas was not quite as successful.
Come one, come all to celebrate the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade! This was the first parade held at Disneyland which led to the decorations for the 1st Christmas season to be circus inspired. This was a very interesting mash-up of ideas, even for an unconventional Walt Disney.
Needless to say the Christmas Circus decorations gradually disappeared through the years. Though the years many decorations were added to the Parks with wreaths and floral decorations, but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that the Disney Parks saw a huge transformation.
disneyland’s first christmas had a ceremonious christmas big top circus.
Turning Point in Decorations
In the 1990’s, the Disney Parks again had to rethink their Christmas decorations. The Lion King was such a huge success that a parade was regularly enjoyed by Guests in the Parks. The floats used in this parade were taller than the ceremonious wreaths that adorned the streets of the Disney Parks.
This created an interesting problem, and Disney countered this with a very interesting solution. This ushered in a new wave of decor across the Disney Parks in particular at Disneyland.
In 1997, the front of it’s a small world was illuminated in a beautiful holiday display. You can check out these lights and even a projection show displayed on it’s a small world from last years HERE.
Other great lights and decorations were added to the Parks to create a Magical Winter Wonderland.
Behind the Scenes
Have you ever wandered down Main Street and wondered where do they store all of beautiful and huge Christmas decorations? You are in luck because we are able to gain a backstage pass to see the Production Facilities were the Christmas decorations are made and stored.
This tour will allow you to see the unique decor from Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure, the decorations from across the globe to decorate EPCOT’s World Showcase, and even the beautiful whimsy of Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland.
Check out this great video where you can even visit the Disney Resorts, see holiday treats, and view beautiful images from the Disney Parks. This is sure to put a smile on your face and add a bit of Disney magic to your holiday season.
Even More Christmas Decor
Want to see more great holiday decorations from the Disney Parks? Check out the book Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks. Over 1,900 photos are included that allows Guests to enjoy the Disney Parks from around the world.
This includes decorations, entertainment, holiday treats, and the history of how Disney has celebrated Christmas throughout the years. This book not only covers the Christmas decorations but also the festive fall decorations as well.
I have been eyeing this book, and now I definitely want to finalize my purchase and bring this book home. This would also make a great gift for Disney fans both young and the young at heart to enjoy for years to come. It is available at Disney Books and also where other books are sold.
Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks book includes over 1,900 pictures and allows you to experience the great decorations at all of the disney parks.
Which decorations do you love most in the Disney Parks? Do you think you would have liked to experience Christmas under the Big Top? Share your thoughts and your favorite Disney Christmas photos and memories with us on our Facebook Page.