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Walt Disney World Resort - Disney's Hollywood Studios, Part 8 of 8


What he said...

Christmas in Hollywood Studios

Christmas in Hollywood Studios is a fun time. But not during the day. Like Magic Kingdom and Epcot, Christmas in Disney's Hollywood Studios comes alive after dusk, when the Osborne Lights start to dance on Streets of America.

DHS's Christmas Tree is outside the park, just like at Animal Kingdom.

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Hollywood Holly-day Parade 2002

The Hollywood Holly-Day Parade no longer exists, (nor does the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade for that matter,) having been replaced with the Block Party Bash, a Pixar Parade, straight from California Adventure...

The Holly-Day Parade was the Christmas version of the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, where the Fab Four get tossed out of the Rolls at the end of the parade, in favor of some fat guy in red...

Hollywood Holly-day Parade 2002
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Osborne Lights
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a Christmas mainstay in Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The Osborne Family Spectacle Of Dancing Lights was finally moved to the Streets of America, after Residential Street in Studio Backlot Tours was demolished to make way for Light, Motors, Action! It really made DHS a Christmas Park, where there was a seasonal reason to visit the park at night.

Today, there are over five million LED's. In 2006, when I first saw the display, Disney had added over 1500 dimmer relays, making the lights "dance" to musical scores. They added more color in 2008, but I thought it was inferior to the 2006 display. 2010 brought the change from analog lights to LED's.

However, they made another quantum leap from 2010 to 2011, with more fluid dimming and color changes, as well as the introduction of some new technology. Too bad some of the controllers were toast.

I have video from 2006, 2008 and 2011.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Daytime
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I first saw the Lights in 2006, the first year they "Danced". They had limited colors, but they used what they had to great effect. I was impressed.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, 2006
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2008 brought more colors, but more colors does not mean more better... They also introduced music with lyrics, which I don't this is as effective as the instrumentals. There's an interesting 2006/2008 comparison on my video page...

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, 2008
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2010 brought the use of LED's as the lighting source. They started to do some experimentation with the new lights, but it still wasn't a lot better than 2008.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, 2010
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2011 impressed me as much as 2006 did. Instead of blocks of single colored light, they layered a couple of different colors next to each other, and could vary the intensity of each, creating different shades and effects. They also started taking advantage of the instantaneous on/off nature of LED's, and the "dancing" was sped up. They had finer control over dimming and timing. They just had a bunch of dead controllers when I was there...

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, 2011
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Final Thoughts on Disney's Hollywood Studios

First, let me say that the decision to rename the park was inevitable, but "Disney's Hollywood Studios" was a really...questionable...choice. But hey, what do I know? :-) I suppose it makes sense if you consider Michael Eisner's opening remarks:
The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood. Not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was, and always will be.
    --Michael Eisner, May 1, 1989
So from that perspective, "Hollywood", being a state of mind and not a location, makes perfect sense. But it's an obscure reference most won't get.

With the updates to several attractions here, (Star Tours, Pixar Place, American Idol and Lights, Motors, Action! for the most part), the park seems to be in good shape. It's beginning to get difficult deciding which park is your favorite based on attractions.

I'm not sure of the fate of an attractions such as Little Mermaid. Fantasyland 2 in Magic Kingdom will have a Little Mermaid attraction, and Disney doesn't seem to like keeping more than one attraction per movie around. (Exceptions seems to be Toy Story, though arguably there are three Toy Story movies; and Finding Nemo.)

There are certain attractions that could use an update (Indiana Jones, Fantasmic!, Great Movie Ride) but they still do attract patrons. That doesn't mean it couldn't be updated, though. Some need to be reconsidered completely, either reimagined or plain replaced. Studio Backlot Tours, Sounds Dangerous and Magic of Disney Animation, comes to mind...

The biggest problem with the park, is its size. It's the smallest of the four parks (even smaller than Magic Kingdom), and they've sorta boxed themselves in by placing the park so close to World Drive. The park can be expanded to the South, but they will have to reroute and rebuild the road to the Parking Lot...

Consequently, Disney's Hollywood Studios is the least visited park of the four. That said, it did draw 9.7 million guests in 2011, and was the fifth most visited park in North America. Disneyland is number two. Well, you can do the math...
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End Disney's Hollywood Studios - Part 8 of 8.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

  • 05/15/2010 - Page rewritten, images added and upgraded
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