11/20/2014 02:32 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2015

How To Do Disney At Christmas Time

At Florida's Walt Disney World, the holidays aren't just a celebration. They're an epic production that calls for some 8.5 million lights and 15 miles of garlands.

Record crowds show up to rock around Disney World's 1,300 individually decorated Christmas trees. After all, it's the holiday season, when kids are out of school and millions of families take vacation. On at least one or two days between Christmas and New Year's, the Magic Kingdom theme park routinely gets so overstuffed with tourists that by lunchtime, guests are turned away at the gates.

How bad does it have to get for Mickey Mouse to tell you there's no room at the inn? The company won't reveal the capacity of each park, but the Magic Kingdom is widely reported to hold as many as 100,000, equivalent to the population of a small city.

Numbers this big require some special navigation strategies. To make sure you don't miss anything worthwhile in Walt Disney World during your end-of-the-year visit, we're sharing some essential Christmas travel tips.

By mid-November, when this dedicated staff is through garnishing the theme park, nothing is left unadorned--not even a Mouse. In 2014, Queen Elsa from Frozen will take the stage each evening at nightfall, wielding her wintery powers to illuminate Cinderella Castle with 200,000 icelike LED lights.

The prices are embellished too, since rack rates for Disney's hotels can be nearly twice what they cost at other times of year. Generally, the more a resort costs, the better its decorations are.

But if you stick to our tips, you'll find that despite the crush and the higher prices, there's still quite a lot of joy to the World.

--By Jason Cochran

See All of T+L's Disney Christmas Travel Tips

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Disney Christmas Travel Tips