Dec. 2, 2007 -- "GMA Lights up the Holidays" headed to Disneyland Resort this morning to flip the switch. The theme park is a popular summer-time destination, but Mickey and friends transform the area into a winter wonderland during the cooler months.
Here's why Disneyland Resort in California made our list:
It takes a small army to decorate the theme park for the holidays.
The park uses 500 wreaths and 20,000 feet of garland.
Ten thousand ornaments are added to its 60-foot tall Christmas tree located on Main Street.
"GMA Lights up the Holidays" headed to Branson, Mo., this morning to discover how the city celebrates the holiday with a country-western twist. Branson draws millions of visitors annually for its country music acts and old West theme park.
Here's why Branson, Mo., made our list:
The Silver Dollar City begins its Christmas preparations in August and puts up four million lights and 550 wreaths.
Nearly 600 blue spruces deck out the town during the holidays.
The town's crowing achievement is a five-story, $1 million Christmas tree, which is complete with a musical light show.
Here's why the Mission Inn Resort in Riverside, CA made our list:
16 foot toy soldiers greet you the Inn's main entrance.
2 million lights illuminate the buildings and landscape of this 320,000 sq ft resort.
250 automated Santa's Helpers sprinkled around the Inn help stir up holiday cheer.
The Inn's original owner, Frank Miller, collected over 800 bells, including one dating from the year 1274 and described as the "oldest bell in Christendom."
Miller also helped fill the resort with $7 million of antiques and artifacts, including an 18th century altar screen covered in gold leaf and a chapel with elaborate Tiffany stained glass windows.
The Inn's current owner, Duane Roberts, is the man who actually invented the frozen burrito.
This morning "GMA Lights up the Holidays" made its second stop in the ultimate Christmas village in Leavenworth, Wash.
Every year this tiny Bavarian-themed village of just 2,200 residents plays host to thousands of visitors who come to see their spectacular Christmas Lighting Festival.
From now until Christmas, Sam Champion is traveling all over the country, flipping the switch on the season and showing viewers the most extraordinary holiday displays you've ever seen. But we're keeping the locations secret until we get there. Who knows, maybe your town could be next …
Here's why Leavenworth made our list:
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, this tiny town looks just like a snowy Bavarian village, complete with alp horns, traditional dancing and yodeling.
The town is decorated with 250,000 lights. With a population of 2,200 people, that's about 114 lights per resident.
More than 21 miles of lights trim the 100-foot birch trees in Front Street Park alone.
There are 90 shops and restaurants in the downtown area, and each building has more than 1,000 lights on it.
Leavenworth is the "Ultimate Holiday Town USA," according to A&E.
"GMA Lights up the Holidays" kicked off the holiday season in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From now until Christmas, Sam Champion is traveling all over the country, flipping the switch on the season and showing viewers the most extraordinary holiday displays you've ever seen.
The only thing is, we're keeping the locations secret until we get there. Who knows, maybe your town could be next…
Coeur D'Alene Highlights
Home to the world's largest holiday tree at 161 feet, which is more than twice the size of the tree in New York City's Rockefeller Center
Over 30,000 lights trim the tree
1.5 million lights transformed the tiny town into a winter wonderland tour
A special North Pole village has been set up by the resort that can only be reached by crossing the lake
Families who cannot afford the tour get to go for free