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Christmas At Disney: How Disney World Decks Out For The Holidays

First Posted: 12/16/11 08:30 AM ET Updated: 12/16/11 08:30 AM ET

When Christmas comes to Walt Disney World, it does so overnight. While resort guests are tucked into their beds, Mickey's little helpers deck the halls with great speed. Though the decor changes seemingly like magic, there's a ton of labor and preparation that goes into getting parks ready for the holidays.

At Animal Kingdom, once visitors have left the park, truckloads of decor are brought in and assembled by a crew of about 75 to 80 people. The front entrance is anchored by a 55-foot tree, which is decorated with custom-made animal masks and metal animals that evoke the spirit of the park. As with all the decorations throughout the Animal Kingdom, conservation is a predominant theme.

Meanwhile, Disney's Hollywood Studios is home to the much-loved tradition of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. What started as the family's scheme to decorate their house for Christmas grew too big for their neighborhood. So, they moved the display to Disney World, where it has been since 1995. The approximately 5 million lights brighten the Streets of America set.

To see how it's all done, check out Animal Kingdom above and Hollywood Studios below.

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Filed by Rebecca Dolan  |