It’s the happiest place on earth, and come Christmastime, it might just be the brightest place on earth, to boot! The Orlando area’s Walt Disney World Resort makes a business of holiday lights magic, with its coup de grâce event, “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights,” unfolding at Hollywood Studios. The theme park is blanketed by a staggering 5 million bulbs that sync up with animated displays for choreographed interpretations of holiday tunes – not to mention the artificial snow flurries, 3-D effects, and colorful decorations that crop up around every bend.
The exhibit – which began as an Arkansas family’s home Christmas light display that had spiraled into a statewide attraction – was transported to the park in 1995 and Disneyfied to an almost unfathomable scale (now–January 7, closed December 8; standard park admission applies, $85 ages 10 and up, $79 ages 3 to 9, taxes additional). Tack on a visit to the Magic Kingdom, as well, where “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” delights with live entertainment, a jolly holiday parade anchored by Santa himself, snowfall on Main Street, a holiday-themed light show on the Cinderella Castle (which is already draped with some 100,000 snow-white lights), and a fireworks finale (select nights from now–December 18; day-of event admission ticket is $62.95 ages 10 and up, $57.95 ages 3 to 9, taxes additional).
One thing’s for certain: The old "'twas the night before Christmas" poem certainly doesn't apply here, because with all of these lights, it'd be impossible for a mouse (in this case, Mickey and Minnie both!) – or anybody else, for that matter – not to stir.