First of Its Kind Holiday Lights

This has the potential to be the hottest thing in the Bay Area this season.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Nov 24, 2011  |  Updated 7:15 PM PDT
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Neiman Marcus 2011 Fantasy Gifts

Global Winter Wonderland

This is one of the things you can see in Santa Clara this year.

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Tired of doing the same thing year after year when it comes to Bay Area holiday activities?

We found something brand new to do in the South Bay.

The overflow parking lot at Great America in Santa Clara will be turned into a lighted extravaganza featuring some of the world's greatest architectural wonders. It's taken four dozen engineers from China working for the past month to create the display.

Unlike other holiday light displays in the Bay Area, this one is not a drive through. It is instead, a walk-on-your-own two feet type event. 

Global Winter Wonderland choose the Bay Area for its U.S. debut. It describes the nightly event as a family-friendly festival of lights that lets you travel the world in one evening.

It opens on Black Friday and runs through the first of the year. For $12 you can see gigantic illuminated displays of things like the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, Chichen Itza, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Some of the structures are more than 50-feet tall.

Global Winter Wonderland calls the structures lighted lanterns. The lanterns are made out of soda cans, bottle caps, CDs, porcelain dishes and metal flatware. They were designed by the same engineers who built lanterns for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

Bring your walking shoes because the thing covers five acres. The designers are selling it as an educational display as well because visitors can learn about holiday traditions from cultures around the world.

There is also lots of food available in a "taste of the world" eatery.   

Organizers expect more than 300,000 people will walk through the display by the end of the end year. Similar displays in Canada, Australia and Malaysia have seen double that crowd, according to GWW. 

 

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