You’ll find hundreds of these at Disney World, but don’t go looking for them in Orlando

If you’ve ever been to the Walt Disney World Resort during the Christmas holiday season, you know that Disney holds nothing back when it comes to dressing up its theme parks and Resort Hotels in their holiday best.

From dazzling lights and giant, themed ornaments, to gorgeous trees and festive costuming, the parks at Walt Disney World are ready for the season the day after saying goodnight to Halloween, and the resort skimps on nothing when it comes to celebrating the holidays. For example, Disney World trims more than 1,300 Christmas trees each year in preparation for the holiday season.

Holiday Events & Celebrations | Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

But you probably won’t find 1,300 Christmas trees in public places in all of the city of Orlando. In fact, you might not find any in public areas the City of Orlando is responsible for decorating. According to a story from FOX35 in Orlando, most, if not all, of the Christmas trees visitors usually see affixed to light poles in Orlando are being replaced during the 2021 holiday season.

Snowflake decoration in orlando

Credit: FOX 35 Orlando

Samantha Holsten with the City of Orlando says the trees will be replaced with custom-designed lighted snowflakes. Some of the tree replacements are already in place, and the snowflakes being used instead of Christmas trees this year are not entirely new. Holsten says the city added 1,600 custom snowflakes this year, and they already had 600 that have been used in the past few years.

File:Seal of Orlando, Florida.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Some are wondering why there’s been a change, especially when you consider the hefty price tag of the new snowflakes; the total cost for the new snowflakes this year is $1,680,000.

So why would the city pay more than $1.6 million to add different decorations?

“[Swapping the Christmas trees for the snowflakes] will provide a unified holiday decoration appearance throughout the city,” Holsten explained. “The [new] decorations will match the ones that have been deployed in downtown for the last several years.”

Whether she means “unified,” as in a singular decoration type throughout the city, or “unified” as in not exclusive to one holiday over another, was not clarified. But no matter the reason for Orlando’s “snowflake over tree” decision, if it’s Christmas trees you want, it’s Christmas trees you’ll get at the Walt Disney World Resort.

According to stats gathered by TripSavvy, the Walt Disney World Resort owns some Christmas decorations. Make that a lot of Christmas decorations. No, tons of Christmas decorations. Just look at these numbers:

  • Cast Members have to unload 150 semi-trailer truckloads of decorations every year.
  • If you lined up all the garland used at Disney World in its Christmas decorating, you’d have to walk 15 miles to get from one end to the other.
  • 8.5 million dazzling lights adorn trees, structures, and other items in the parks and resorts.
  • More than 1,300 wreaths have to be fluffed and hung as part of the merriment.
  • Approximately 300,000 yards of ribbon and bows also adorn the parks and Resort Hotel
Celebrate the Season in Special Ways at Resort Hotels Across Walt Disney  World | Disney Parks Blog

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa decorated for Christmas/Credit: Disney

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If you’re a fan of the parks at Disney World and you’ve never been during the Christmas holiday season, it’s something you’ve got to see to believe, and it is breathtaking! The Most Magical Place on Earth might just be the Most Festive Place on Earth during this time of year!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!