Something new to look for this year is the canopy of lights that hangs over part of the Streets of America. New RGB (red, blue, green) LEDs mean the canopy can now project millions of different color combinations.
Jennings Osborne was a big Elvis Presley fan, so in tribute, the King’s “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)” is now one of the songs that makes those five million lights dance. To see another tribute, watch this video from Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights show director John Phelan.
Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for another video about the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, including the lowdown on Hidden Mickeys in the display – and one other hidden figure who secretly moves from place to place each year.
Yesterday I photographed Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” who is now greeting guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And it never fails to amaze me how differently kids react to seeing some of their favorite Disney characters.
Four-year-old Morgan Calhoun, wearing a pink shirt that reads, “You are my Sunshine,” seems in awe of Jake as she patiently awaits his autograph. Morgan was visiting Walt Disney World Resort from Round Lake Beach, Ill.
Sophie and Peyton Jovanovic, ages 5 and 3, visiting from Winnipeg, Canada, just couldn’t stop giggling. AAARRRGGGGG…
Great news, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” fans! Jake, from the popular Disney Junior show, will begin greeting guests at Disney Parks this month.
Starting November 13, Jake will be making regular appearances at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. He will join Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso and June from “Little Einsteins” at the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Guests at the character dining experience will be able to get into the action by swabbing the deck, rowing the boat and shouting “yo ho” to songs from the show, including “Roll Up the Map,” “Hot Lava” and “Talk Like a Pirate.”
Also beginning November 13, Jake will join the Stars of Disney Junior at their meet and greet location in the Animation Courtyard. In order to make way for Jake, the Little Einsteins will no longer appear at that location.
This annual display of holiday cheer, which features millions of dazzling lights, will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios tonight.
From now until Jan. 7, 2012, the cityscape and building facades in the park’s Backlot area will be draped in multicolored lights that periodically “dance” to holiday tunes. In addition to the buildings, the area will also feature illuminated carousels, angels, Santa Claus and other figures. (The spectacle will not be operational on Dec. 8).
This offering actually began in 1986 in Arkansas, at the home of businessman Jennings Osborne, who strung one million lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter. The exhibit was transported to Disney in 1995 and is a popular holiday draw for many guests.
Today marks the anniversary of the Los Angeles/New York premiere of Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film “Aladdin,” which was released in 1992. Just a month later, in December 1992, Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) welcomed Aladdin’s Royal Caravan parade, which was inspired by the movie. To kick off this comical parade, Genie transformed himself into a 26-foot-tall giant to alert the Agrabahians (theme park guests) to make way for Prince Ali!
Fifty-six parade performers dressed as everything from serfs and rope climbers to acrobats, fire-eaters and even a snake charmer – all to recreate Prince Ali’s grand entrance into the city of Agrabah.
The first parade ever based off of a single Disney movie, Aladdin’s Royal Caravan saw Genie transform himself five times throughout the parade. The caravan concluded with the arrival of Prince Ali and Princess Jasmine riding atop Abu, whom Genie transformed into an elephant for their grand entrance.
And who’s left cleaning up after all the fun? Jafar. See, it doesn’t pay to be evil; you don’t even get your own float.
Just in case you want to try to make your own, Rumpler says it’s a chocolate cupcake, topped with vanilla buttercream tinted with a touch of yellow that’s piped from a pastry bag with a skinny tip to create the “spaghetti.” (You can make your own pastry bag with a zip-top bag with a small hole clipped in one corner.) The “spaghetti” is topped with a chocolate cake “meatball” (rolled in chocolate sprinkles), drizzled with strawberry “red sauce” and finished with a flourish of white chocolate shavings as a stand-in for the Parmesan cheese.
“We wanted something fun for the kids while mom and dad enjoy their own desserts or finish a glass of wine,” says Rumpler. (Our pick of grown-up sweets is Mama’s Panna Cotta with a tiramisu-flavored custard, ladyfingers and cappuccino cream.)
Have you found any fun desserts we should know about?
Take a look at more sweet treats that can be found around Disney Parks:
Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort contains many wonderful and dramatic shows and attractions, but the one that I especially enjoyed exploring this week is New York Street. A totally immersive experience of striding through bustling New York City, with all its diversity of architecture, then turning the corner onto San Francisco was absolutely delightful. Combine the authentic sounds of the city with the amazing attention to detail (Walt Disney Imagineering!), and one could be totally transported to another place and time.
Here’s a look at more of what Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers guests:
While on assignment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week, I came across this little girl having the time of her life while playing in a very leaky fire hydrant.
Looks like two-year-old Alexys Grace Tomlinson found a sure-fire opportunity to cool off. She and her family are vacationing from Claysburg, Pa., where I doubt there are many fire hydrants that are so entertaining.
Take a look back at more picture-perfect moments from Walt Disney World Resort:
“I know dreams really do come true at Walt Disney World Resort. So armed with only two hours, my daughter and I would march straight to the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios so that I could grab a latte and a carrot cake cookie. We then would head for Sunset Boulevard and sit on one of the benches along the avenue.
I sit back and unwind while drinking my latte as my daughter looks for her favorite Streetmosphere performer. She loves “Otto Von Bonn Bahn” the most but enjoys all of the Citizens of Hollywood as they act up a storm and ‘meet their fans.’
The Citizens of Hollywood are able entertain my family for hours. We watch their skits and are thrilled when we are chosen to participate. If my daughter can walk the red carpet with them, we act like paparazzi snapping photos of our little celebrity!”
How would spend two hours making your family feel like a movie star at Disney Parks? Let me know in my comments section below!