When the very last guests depart the Magic Kingdom from the Halloween-themed party late on Oct. 31, an orchestrated symphony of trucks, trailers and teams of Disney cast members will not only strip the park of any and all remnants of Halloween but also transform the park into a winter wonderland.
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Apparently the same group goes to Port Canaveral for each of the ships to do this as well, at least the Dream and Fantasy (not sure which ports Magic and Wonder are at these times).
As well as any decorations at Castaway Cay. I get to work alongside this team each holiday season and it's really awesome to see what they can do in such a short amount of time. I love going over to their warehouse and looking around. So. Much. Stuff.
Here is a video of this seasons strike of Halloween and install of Christmas.
Is it always a single night project? I swear when I was a Cast Member at Epcot and DAK, the holiday decorations would show up in stages over the course of a few days in early November.
The large stuff at MK is done overnight. They do start staging things backstage a few days ahead, and then smaller touches are completed over the next few days. But the things that are most noticeable in the guest view are pretty much handled in one night.
Now that's also just MK, Resorts and other parks do a more slow roll out (still quick but not in a single night) When I was at Epcot you would start to see smaller décor show up inside buildings and around the park before November, but would ramp up November 1st.
That makes sense. MK was the only park I never worked at, so I never got to appreciate or see how cool the overnight switchover is.
Magic Kingdom has gone through different versions over the years of how long the install would take. In the past the Christmas tree typically wasn't set up until after the holiday filming for ABC was done. For some years the tree was installed in the rose garden on the east side of the HUB first and then relocated to Town Square after the filming in December. A few years ago there would be a good week between Halloween and Christmas install and they would slow roll into the park with each land taking a night for install. Recently they have moved to doing it all in one night, I assume, to save on labor and time. For me I much prefer them do it in one night because that is less time they are in my way...lol.
The rest is pretty much handled how Matt outlined above.
I’d think at the very least the main idea is to rid the midways of anything that’s Halloween or Autumnal and worry less about how much Christmas goes up overnight. And the transition is clearly noticeable but if it’s not entirely done and if late comers arrive then who would be the wiser?
I worked at a large department store and we’d work all of Thanksgiving Day and the two surrounding nights to install Christmas so everything was in place by Black Friday- but was it? Of course, that was back when stores were actually closed during those hours and we’d do what we could, but during the season we’d add things and make changes to improve the look.
And the transition is clearly noticeable but if it’s not entirely done and if late comers arrive then who would be the wiser?
Most everyone would not notice but that is not how Disney works when it comes to "show". It's an all or nothing deal most of the time when it comes to stuff like this. But seeing over the years how much they have improved on efficiency with these installs, the temp labor they get has been cut down so they are definitely saving in that area.
Back in 2019 we stayed over Halloween, and went to Boo Bash on Halloween night until 1am. We weren't aware that they decorated the park overnight, and were surprised to walk in the next day to the Christmas transformation. It was nice getting both Halloween and Christmas pictures on the same vacation.
We're used to Hersheypark that closes for a week or two to transform the park for the holidays. Disney has it down.
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