Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Celebrations - Osborne Family Lights

Well this year, like all others, we made it down to the parks for some holiday cheer. Normally we try and get away during the holidays to sample some of the Disney Christmas magic. This year we decided that we were going to skip Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and go simply tour the parks. As discussed in previous posts, we have found the special parties to be somewhat lacking in recent years and the cost of attending has gone up tremendously as the benefits have gone down.

Our first tour was of the Osborne Family Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios. After touring the park, my first observation is that the Studios has the least amount of holiday decorating of the four parks. Part of this is due to the nature of the themes presented in the park. Its difficult to Christmas up Indiana Jones or Star Wars. Hollywood and Vine are well themed and decorated as is the park opening, but I always felt they could have dressed up more of the park. I also feel that the hat could be decorated for the holiday as well.

But as always, once the sun goes down and the lights go up, I can forget all of these complaints and just bask in the glow of millions of tiny little lights. The dancing lights on the Streets of America is not to be missed. Nothing gets me in the mood faster than the music, displays and all of the little touches of the Osborne Family Lights. The crowds get heavy at times, but since most of the spectacle is above your heads its easy to forget how crowded the area has become. Its when you have decided you've had enough that the crowds can be challenging. But if you aren't in a hurry and if the cast members are trying to hurry you through, there are tons of little hidden things to find. Make sure you look in the windows if they are lit and check out the balconies, as these are great places for little hidden gems.

As a side note, a couple of years ago they added "snow" to this attraction which used to be featured on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom only. The snow is actually soap bubbles, so don't try to catch them on your tongue! The biggest problem with the snow is how it can destroy perfectly good pictures of your family. The reflection of your flash off of the snow, can distort most cameras autofocusing systems and worse can give all of your pictures a grainy look from all of the brightly colored reflections. So if you are trying to get that perfect picture, you may wish to wait until the snow has stopped. The snow machines do not run all the time and are only turned on between dances.

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