Christmas Tree Decorating Tips from Disneyland Resort

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

Christmas Tree

Last week, Valarie shared some unique holiday decorating tips from Dave Caranci, manager of Resort enhancement at the Disneyland Resort. His ideas were all easy and inexpensive things that you could make at home, including a Mickey Mouse tree topper, a window decoration with a hidden Mickey and a TRON tree topper.

Today, we have good news from procrastinators who haven’t yet purchased your tree. Dave gave us a few tips to help make decorating your tree as easy as possible.

  • Tip 1: Picking a tree. For many holiday displays, the focal point is the tree. So make sure yours fits perfectly in your space. Measure the height AND the width of the space before heading out to buy a tree. These days, you can find almost any size; so don’t settle.
  • Tip 2: The snow knows. For a great snow effect for your household Christmas tree display, add polyester quilter’s batting to the branches. For an added touch, bring your lights up through the batting (the flame-retardant kind, of course) to add a special “glow” to your snow.
  • Tip 3: Ornaments. Use fragile, expensive and sentimental ornaments sparingly. Spotlight a few special pieces in places of honor, especially out of the reach of small children and pets. Use less expensive, more durable ornaments to fill out the display. And, again don’t be afraid to go overboard. The Disneyland Resort’s main tree display features more than 2,000 ornaments. QUICK TIP: Clustering ornaments throughout the display makes a bigger impact than spreading them around.
  • Tip 4: Think outside the “ornament” box. Almost anything can become a complement to your holiday display if it fits your theme. Disney Parks decorators have used such “eccentric” ornament collections as plates, cups, silverware and cooking utensils for culinary-themed displays; sports equipment and memorabilia for an athletic holiday offering; and sailboats, yardarms and anchors for a nautical panorama. QUICK TIP for next year: Try scouring Party and “Halloween” stores, in early November for deals on themed merchandise and costume elements.
  • Tip 5: What You Can’t Buy – Make. Get the kids involved with simple projects like stringing popcorn or cranberry garlands. Have them color or paint pictures; and use inexpensive frames to spotlight their artistic masterpieces. The more personal the ornaments, the more your friends can “ooh” and “ahh” over your resourcefulness and creativity.

Which of Dave’s tips was most interesting to you? Do you have any holiday decorating tips to share?


  • Another tip: decorate a tree in Vinylmation and pins stuck in ribbons and wrapped around like garland. I think it is a cute idea for a smaller tree, leaving your big one for the traditional decoration. Tuck your favourite Vinylmation throughout the tree and secure them on branches with a bit of fishing wire, hidden behind some boughs. Punch matching pins through a pretty ribbon and wind it around, making sure each pin shows through the leaves. I think this is fun for a kids room, particularly when you use the fun unnatural coloured trees you can get at a lot of stores this time of year. I hope you eventually produce Vinylmation ornaments, it seems like a natural, but until then this is a fun decorating project for Disney Park collectors.

  • Mary from CA

    My Christmas tree has all Disney on it from ornaments, tree top and even candycanes. I cant wait to get to Disneyland on Dec 30 so I could pick up a couple of more decoration for my future Christmas. I have a Santa plate and cup with the Winnie the Pooh crew. I have a Disney throw blanket for my couch and my 10 different Disney character coffee mugs for the hot chocolate that we serve and platers, plates ect all Disney…..So thanks Disney for being so magical and for so many of us fans and former cast members who like to have the home decorated for the holidays with all the Disney Characters.

  • I have a Mickey Mouse themed tree. The only non-Mickey Mouse ornament is a bell w/the Castle from Disneyland Paris. Each year I buy a new large Mickey shaped ornament (flag, snowflakes, etc.) and display those on an ornament stand away from the tree…

  • Something that I came up with (I thought it was a family tradition….but apparently it wasn’t), put all the cards you receive from friends and family on the tree! It look great and also displays all your items for everyone to see!

  • Our tree is fair game to children and curious pets, I showcase my keepsake ornaments in a special place away from sticky little hands. I learned this lesson the hard way.

  • What a pretty picture! Back from when the tree used to be real… Always loved the smell of those big ol things.

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