Christmas at Disney World: Disney-MGM Studios

Recently, I’ve been covering the Holiday happenings at the Walt Disney World Resort. Last time, I discussed the Christmas celebrations at Epcot Center. However, personally, one of my favorite sights at Walt Disney World during the Christmas season is at the Disney-MGM Studios.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights

This amazing spectacle that occurs on the Streets of America at Disney-MGM Studios is quite unlike any Christmas display you’ll ever see. Originally crafted in Little Rock, Arkansas by Jennings Osborne, an Arkansas businessman, Disney obtained the display for their own MGM theme park and the rest is history.

Featuring over five million Christmas lights, nearly every inch of the Streets of America, a three dimensional façade of various streets in New York and San Francisco, is covered in lights. At 6 p.m. nightly, during the month of December, the lights of the Osborne Spectacle come alive along with music and snow to the chorus of “oohs” and “aahs” of the crowd below. The streets swarm with onlookers as the lights and sounds of the display fill your senses.

As the lights and music fill the air with Christmas spirit, various Disney characters appear for photographs and autographs dressed in their seasonal attire. There are also, at least, 42 Hidden Mickeys within the scene for those of you who enjoy finding the HM within the parks.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the spectacle, however, isn’t the number of lights or the animated portions of the display. It’s the look on the faces of both children and adults alike as they stand in the midst of the spectacle. I attended the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights on two different nights during the 2005 Christmas Season. Each night, as the guests walked amidst the millions of lights, people who were just seconds ago strangers stopped to talk to each other about the amazing display around them. Giddy as children, I even witnessed a few couples break into an impromptu dance along with the music playing overhead.

The snow that tops the scene really puts the perfect touch on the spectacle. If you can, try to make it to the scene fifteen minutes before the lights are turned on because seeing the lights come on is really a sight itself.

For those that are planning on taking photos of the display, capturing the amount of light that the spectacle gives off in a steady fashion is extremely difficult. I’ve included a photo of mine as an example. Different settings with my Kodak Easyshare 5 Megapixel Camera proved to be an impossible task at any setting. The best photos came from using the camera in action setting without a flash. However, this setting also didn’t really capture the color and brightness of the spectacle, so the turn out of these photos turned out to be a bit disappointing. It’s my recommendation to become as familiar with your camera as possible under extreme artificial light conditions as possible.

This display is really a must-see. With your family, this experience will be a memorable moment in time that you will, no doubt, never forget.