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The World’s Most Famous Holiday Displays

By Divine Caroline.
December 8, 2012; 3:48 PM ET

While the Internet is rife with photos and videos of over-the-top neighborhood Christmas decorations, nothing beats the grandeur and sheer brilliance of the following legendary displays.

Rockefeller Center

Arguably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, the Rockefeller tree is typically a Norway spruce scouted somewhere in New England and brought to 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The tradition of putting a tree in Midtown Manhattan officially began in 1933 (the same year the plaza opened), when workers decorated a 20-foot balsam fir with paper, cranberries and "even a few tin cans." Today's tree, which reaches anywhere between 70 and 100 feet, is decorated with 30,000 LED lights and topped with a dazzling 9.5-foot Swarovski star.

Photo source: hardwareaisle.thisoldhouse.com

Singapore's Shopping District

Thirty years ago, in an effort to entice shoppers during the holiday season, Singapore began placing light displays all along-and above-its main shopping district. Now, more than a mile of spectacular stringed-light decorations arch over Orchard Road, near the heart of the commerce and entertainment centers. To get the best view of these aerial arrangements, it's recommend that you take a nighttime ride in an open-top bus.

Photo source: Dennis Detering

Disneyland's Christmas Spectacular

From mid-November through the beginning of January, the magical kingdom is transformed into a winter wonderland, including a completely crystalized Sleeping Beauty's castle, The Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Haunted House, and the Main Street U.S.A. Christmas tree, which is decked out in more than 2,000 ornaments and 70,000 lights. But it's the Christmas Fantasy Parade, featuring trumpeting toy soldiers and all the Disney characters in their holiday finest, along with the "Believe...in Holiday Magic" fireworks show and its snow-fall finale that really makes Disneyland a must-visit destination during the holidays.

Photo source: Harshlight

Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens

Disneyland is not the only amusement park that transforms into a magical holiday menagerie. Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe, metamorphoses into a 20-acre holiday village, complete with Christmas concert, decked-out rides and mugs of glogg (or hot mulled wine) for sale. What truly makes this a standout seasonal spot is its artistic light display, which was created by Tiffany & Co. design director John Loring.

Photo source: johnmariani.com

See the rest of the displays from around the world!

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