If there's one pet peeve I have about annual events at Disney World, it's when these favorite events roll out the same show year after year. As guests who look forward to these annual traditions, I like to think that Disney is always looking to "plus" the event, meaning they are looking to improve upon what they did last year. After seeing the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights debut earlier this week, I know that Disney is not resting on its laurels and has put the best rendition of the Osborne Lights yet.
While the Osborne Lights are largely the same display as previous years, there's little bits that have been changed this year that I think come together to give this beloved annual event a little different flavor this year. My absolute favorite new aspect of the Osborne Lights are the digital windows they installed on one of the buildings. Not sure if more of these digital windows are to come, but it's a really neat effect. Basically, the windows are made to look like it's snowing by having snow flakes displayed on the windows falling down. It's really interesting and was totally unexpected. I'm not engineer, but this simple addition to the event made it a highlight.
Also new this year is the addition of a new song to the dancing lights sequence. That might not sound all that intriguing until you hear it's a song from the Disney Channel show "Phineas and Ferb". At first, I was worried. I had heard a lot of complaints from the Cast Member preview of the Osborne Lights and I was expecting it to be the Osborne Lights with a Phineas and Ferb overlay. Luckily, that was not the case. It's the same Osborne Lights, but there are two dancing sequences that feature the voices of characters from Phineas and Ferb. One features Phineas and Ferb and the other features Dr. Doofenshmirtz and the segments are followed by the song that appears in the Phineas and Ferb Christmas special.
I know, often Disney can be accused of trying to force synergy between the parks and its other divisions a little too much but I really felt the additions of Phineas and Ferb did not detract from the show. It was a little hard to actually understand what Phineas and Ferb or Doofenshmirtz were saying, but it's not like you hear them all the time. I was there for over an hour and heard three or four other "regular" dance sequences in addition to Phineas and Ferb segments.
I know there are some in the Disney Internet community who aren't big fans of the addition, but I really didn't feel like it detracted terribly from the show. I felt there was a balance and maybe in a perfect world we wouldn't need to have the Phineas and Ferb addition, but this is no 25th Anniversary Castle Cake or Epcot Wand fiasco either. To me, it wasn't a big problem, although I feel bad for the Cast Members who will have to inevitably deal with the onslaught of questions asking them where they can meet Phineas and Ferb in the park (they can't, at least not now).
Speaking of new audio, there was a really good interview added with Jennings Osborne to the fictional radio station we hear between songs. In it, Jennings touches upon the beginnings of the Osborne Lights and it's something new to enjoy for this year.
Overall, I was really quite pleased with how the event went off. The Osborne Lights are still a must-see fantastic holiday event that is worth checking out. If you're going to be in Walt Disney World between now and New Years, do yourself a favor and come check out the Osborne Lights because it's still my favorite holiday event in the parks.