We have assembled some great pictures of our Burbank Christmas Display taken over the past years. There are even a few from when we put up our holiday display many, many years ago. There are some animations on this page as well. Simply click on them to see the action!
The Original North Pole Express
This is a view of the steam engine - a real favorite of the kids and adults. It has smoke coming out of the smokestack and the cylinders. It has its separate sound system that plays a real steam engine sound and whistle! The wheels spin and the connecting arms function like a real locomotive. The circus car has several monkeys, one of whom is spinning around in his basket. An elf stands on the caboose porch with his lantern. The engine and coal car were one of the first animated attractions in our Christmas display.
You can see and hear the train "live" by downloading this MPEG movie.
This is one of several operating train signals. The crossing gate raises and drops and the lights flash - just like a real one! This signal is wired to another signal elsewhere on the track so that when the crossing gate is down, the other signal switches from green to red.
Merry Go Round
Can you see the merry-go-round in the background of these three pictures? Yes - it actually rotates and the center horses move up and down (just like a real carousel). It was a tough project - particularly figuring out how to make the lights work on the top of the spinning structure. I know - you are saying to yourself, "Silly - why not just run an extension cord up the middle to power the lights?" My wife had that idea, too. It would work, except that you would have to stop the merry-go-round every so many revolutions to unwind the cord! Back to the drawing board.
We have uploaded an MPEG movie of the Merry Go Round. Listen to the music and watch the horses in the center go up and down!
The young man in the last picture is Keith - a great friend of the family. For many years, he has put together a great Burbank Christmas display as well (http://www.wintersnowland.com). He has been a big help to our family over the past decades worked hard with us in both putting up the Christmas display and taking it down.
This is the original animated Ferris wheel we built. It has a number of seats that are reserved for some cute stuffed animals. It revolves, and with the spinning lights, it really attracts your attention to the display. The Ferris wheel joined our Christmas display in the late 1980's. We have uploaded an MPEG Movie that enables you to watch it in motion!
Snoopy and the Red Baron
This is Snoopy coming in for a landing in his Red Baron airplane. The plane, designed and built by our son, David, rocks from side to side. The propeller spins to give it animation. .
Santa's Toy Shop
This is Santa's Toy Shop. His elves are busy making toys for Christmas.
This was new for Christmas display in 2003. Dick designed and built the double hammer with its opposing arms with ride baskets that rotate and meet at the bottom and top of the ride (just like the real double hammer at the amusement parks!). Each arm has independent lighting to add to the excitement. Cute Disney characters enjoy riding in the baskets each evening.
Nemo's Fish Tank
This was one of our new additions for 2003 Display created by David Norton, and the artistry work done by his wife, Lisa. The fish are animated and are illuminated by black light. Click here to see them move! This fish tank is no longer part of our display.
The Flying Christmas Bears
These bears are having the time of their life spinning around and around in their swings. This attraction was added to the Christmas display back in the mid 1980s.
The train station, built by David, features an animated Mickey Mouse waving at the children (and adults!) as they view the Christmas display. There is also a cute tiger climbing up a ladder trying to get a better view of the folks on the sidewalk. On the top of the station is a scrolling message board that provides the viewers with information about the display and its hours of operation. In front of the train station is Santa's sleigh and some of his reindeer. On most nights, a hidden bubble machine sends bubbles high in the air that float over the visitors on the sidewalk. It was a real favorite with the kids! We did not have time to build a new train station for 2009, but plan on adding it back for our 2010 display!
Our current Nativity was a major addition to our Christmas display in 2001. We expanded the Nativity scene with additional characters and lighting. Our neighbor, Keith LaPrath worked with us in the evenings building the stand that supports all of the characters. This was a tough project to build - and even tougher to get onto the roof!
This is the animated teeter-totter (picture taken in 2009). The children's legs move as they reach the ground to push off. It has been part of the Christmas display since the late 1970s, and remains one of the most popular attractions for the kids!
This is the animated Santa-in-the-box - another favorite for the young and old! Santa is seen here as he is popping out of the box. Along with the train engine and coal car, the Santa-in-a-box is one of the oldest animated attractions of our Christmas display, dating back into the early 1970s. It is still operating (albeit with a new motor) after all of these years!
Buzz Light Year is one of the favorites of the kids! He is mounted high up on one of the two tall tent poles.
"There's Woody!" We often hear that expression from the kids as they look throughout the yard for their favorite movie and storybook characters!
This is one of two angels on the roof that has animated wings.
The Noel sign on the roof was animated for our 2003 Christmas display. Dick built a control box that sequences the letters N - O - E - L, then all letters go off, then the full word NOEL appears for a couple of seconds, then they all go off, and then the entire sequences recycles.
The NOEL was updated with rope lights in 2006, and its animation is now more elaborate and controlled by a computer.
Keith (neighbor) on ladder with Dick
Here is a picture of Keith LaPrath (who had a large Christmas display in Burbank just up our street) standing high on the ladder helping Dick with mounting the large globe lights at the top of the tent poles.
High up on one of the tent poles is the ornament with the name of the display- Winter Wonderland.
2001 Panorama Image
This is a thumbnail panorama image of our 2001 display taken from the center of the sidewalk. Click on the above thumbnail for a larger image.
1997's Winning Display
This was our Christmas holiday display for1997. During that year's annual decorating contest for our city, we were very pleased to have received the Mayor's Award for Outstanding Decorations. Our home was the featured display on the city's home page, as well as in the newspapers in Southern California and on our local network television channels. While it was great to get the recognition, the real benefit to us was that more people learned about the holiday display and came by our home in Burbank to share it with us.
The residents of Burbank are proud of their city. Every year, they show it by their extensive decorations displayed throughout the community. There are many beautifully decorated homes that are truly worthy of you and your families spending an evening out and about in our city. We hope you will find the time during the busy holiday season to tour the many decorated homes. Watch NBC news during the holidays as Fritz Coleman and other TV news personalities usually feature many of the beautiful homes in Burbank during their weather slot.
In 2003, we were featured on channels 2 and 9. Lisa Sigel broadcast live from our home in Burbank on Christmas Eve for both channels. Here are a few pictures of Lisa in front of our display with Keith and Dick, and with some lucky visitors, on that cool, rainy evening. Links to the actual broadcast are on the main page.
We hope that you enjoyed the pictures of our Burbank Christmas display.