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Experience new holiday magic with ‘Let it Glow’ at Downtown Disney

by Brittani Tuttle

The holidays usually evoke different fond memories for everyone. Perhaps it’s a special place or tradition, or maybe the aroma of a special meal. For others, it could be a seasonal décor. That’s the idea behind the “Let it Glow” holiday art installation at Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District.

let it glow
Photos by Samantha Davis-Friedman

By Victoria Lim

Guests can walk the length of the entertainment, shopping and restaurant district featuring 200 UV glow trees amid more than 10,000 individual plants, 30 topiaries and 24 hanging baskets filled with poinsettias, cyclamen, and dusty miller.

Jeff Maloney, Design Team Lead for Resort Enhancement said he hopes the experience is evocative.

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“With this design, we wanted to invite our guests to discover areas and find places that speak to them more than others. Everyone has personal color associations based on their holiday memories and nostalgia,” said Maloney. “Because of this, we wanted an array of glowing colors, but combined in unique ways as our guests travel from one end of the Downtown Disney District to the other. By combining colors in complementary or contrasting ways, our intention was for them to feel different emotions section by section. For instance, one area could resemble someone’s favorite TV show logo, while for someone else, it reminds them of the sherbet ice cream that they ate with their family as a kid.”

let it glow

These are certainly untraditional Christmas trees – you won’t find one ornament on them. Maloney’s team chose fluorescent trees in shades of blue, green, yellow, orange and pink, and experimented with material to manipulate UV light on the artificial and live plants.

“The décor overlay helps our guests to think about Disneyland Resort and the holidays in a very different way. Guests don’t necessarily think ‘neon’ when they think about the holiday season at Disneyland Resort, so we knew that we were going to be doing something totally unexpected,” said Maloney. “We wanted to create a fantastic and eclectic holiday display that cannot be seen anywhere else, which is what Disney does best. We strived to provide our guests with new and exciting environmental displays, and an entirely different take on holiday decor.”

downtown disney

More than 70 neon rings seemingly float around the ficus trees, complementing the existing neon elements in the facades on some of the stores and restaurants. The tallest tree is 15 feet, and the smallest is four feet.

The team wants the art installation to be emotional, and Maloney said he got his wish shortly after the new decorations made their debut.

“In the morning, as we were finishing the installation of some of the ‘Let it Glow’ trees, a young child walked up to a section of green and pink trees, pointed at them, and said, ‘Mom, these are so cool!’ Having a guest fall in love with something that I worked tirelessly on is incredibly rewarding.”

let it glow

You can see the “Let it Glow” installation for yourself now through Jan. 5, 2020 at Downtown Disney. To learn more about other holiday offerings at the Disneyland Resort, visit Disneyland.com.

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