Christmas Arrives at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Posted in Disney's Hollywood Studios on Thursday, November 16, 2017
Author: Ryan L. Terry

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The Holiday season is in full swing at Disney's Hollywood Studios! Sunset Seasons Greetings debuted last week along with the return of Jingle Bell Jingle BAM. Accompanied by snow flurries surrounding you on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, you will be energized by the joy and cheer of crowds of guests singing some of your favorite Christmas songs--you'll definitely want to join in. Although the park still feels empty at Christmastime without the late Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, the seasonal offerings at the park do help to fill the void. The present shows still fall short of the immersive experience of the incredible brilliance and beauty of the famous dancing light show. But I digress. My friend Dani and I had a fun time watching the two nighttime Christmas spectaculars. If you're worried about getting to all the nighttime spectaculars in one evening, no need to fret. With Sunset Seasons Greetings beginning at nightfall (presently just after 6:00pm), Disney Movie Magic at 7:40pm, and Jingle Bell Jingle BAM at 8:00pm, and Fantasmic at 8:30, you should be able to make it to all the shows. That being said, if you head to Fantasmic following Jingle Bell Jingle BAM, you'll most likely find yourself in the standing room section (if you can get in at all). So, on a busy night, you may need to choose between Jingle Bell Jingle BAM and Fantasmic

Sunset Seasons Greetings is Hollywood Studios' newest seasonal offering for Christmastime that takes place on the Hollywood Tower Hotel (a-k-a The Tower of Terror). Initial impressions of the show leave me with the evaluation that it's a cute show. Like so many other Disney nighttime shows these days, it relies upon mapped projection technology instead of precisely choreographed dancing Christmas lights. There are four different animation sequences and they repeat until 8pm. Between each roughly minute-long map projection animation transforming the Tower of Terror into a colorful array of images and shapes, there is a transitional animation on the Fantasmic billboard (note: Fantasmic is now sponsored by Pop Secret--not sure that's the brand you want associated with your show) that highlights a different aspect to the Holiday season. My favorite sequence on the billboard was the one featuring clips from Mickey's Christmas Carol. Each mapped projection show on the Tower features different music and imagery--each unique. To watch the show from start to finish takes 10-12mins. Since this is a show throughout the evening that rotates, it definitely alleviates any concerns of overcrowding on along Sunset Blvd.

Returning for its second year is Jingle Bell Jingle BAM. For a full review of the show, please see my article from last year. After experiencing the changes that Disney World made to the show, I must say that it feels a lot more Christmassy than it did last year. Last year, I was left wondering where all the Holiday spirit was. Perhaps others felt as strongly as I did that this "Christmas" show lacked Christmas, and Hollywood Studios decided to integrate more of a holiday feel to make it feel like a special seasonal offering. I especially appreciated the singalong of It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year as well as other Christmas standards. There truly is a little something for everyone at this new iteration of the infant show. After the show, my friend Dani and I still remarked that everything we experienced throughout the evening still does not feel as magical as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, but we still had a great time! 

If you are planning to visit Disney World this holiday season, don't miss these seasonal nighttime spectacular offerings at Hollywood Studios. 

Reference Link(s): Flurry of Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Ryan L. Terry

Ryan L. Terry

Ryan is a theme park enthusiast living in Central Florida, and loves going to the parks as often as possible! Passholder to Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens, and SeaWorld. In the Fall of 2017, his Thrillz article on Turn it Up: the Hottest Show on Ice at Busch Gardens was cited in a massive ad campaign. He also loves horror films and just movies in general! If you see him out and about in the Florida parks, stop him to say hi! 

Ryan holds a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies (with a concentration in cinema and themed entertainment) from the University of South Florida. His research area is on the convergence of cinema and theme parks. He explores ideas such as narrative, spectacle, setting, and setting in terms of movies and themed entertainment. Learning how to successfully translate an idea of intellectual property from one medium into another is the primary goal of his predictable model for creative design that affects both theme parks and the cinema.

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