Friday, November 25, 2011

Walt Disney World

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.

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