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Holiday options at Hollywood Studios

With the holiday season in full swing now, many people flock to Walt Disney World to not only spend some time at the best vacation destination, but to also get some holiday cheer with their trip.  Walt Disney World has is a veteran at celebrating the holiday season and Disney's Hollywood Studios is no exception.  While you may have an opinion of what your favorite park is at Walt Disney World, I think you'll find Disney's Hollywood Studios to have one of the richest offerings of things to see for the holidays.

It all started with...a tree?

Even before you enter Disney's Hollywood Studios, you'll run into the first holiday option and that's the Christmas tree in the front of the park.  Each year the tree changes slightly and it's immense size and great decorations make it a great photo opportunity as well as a source of great detail.  For 2009, you will find at the base of the tree film reels, which obviously play into the overall theme of Hollywood Studios and movies, but also if you take a closer look, you'll notice the film reels are labeled with some classic Disney Christmas films.  In addition, you could spend some time admiring the various decorations found all over the tree.  The tree is a fitting introduction for what is yet to come inside the park.

The Lights

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the pinnacle of the holiday decorations at Hollywood Studios and a staple of Christmas time at Walt Disney World is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  This magnificent display of Christmas lights is impressive in itself, but when you add the fact that the lights now "dance" to music that is being played, it creates a truly awe-inspiring view.  The Osborne Lights are stunning and I'd recommend allocating plenty of time to appreciate every aspect of the display.  The lights aren't just something you glance at as you walk by. Rather, hidden within the lights is a great deal of detail and story that will require you to spend a considerable amount of time to see everything that is here.  After all, this is Disney World and Disney Imagineers love to tell a story in everything they do and the Osborne Lights are no exception.

Let's start with the obvious and look at the balconies, store fronts and peer into the apartments for clues to the story of each person who lives or works there.  You will find interesting details such as the Funeral Home Director who placed a Jack Skellington in his front yard to the sail boat captain that adds a nautical theme to his Christmas decorations.  Beyond what is in plain sight, you should also look for what's hidden in the lights, Hidden Mickeys!  This year there are at least 36 Hidden Mickeys in the lights and some are easier to find than others.  Looking for these hidden decorations makes enjoying the lights a little bit more proactive and adds a different dimension to them.

'Tis the season to shop

It just wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't mention shopping and certainly there's plenty of good holiday shopping options at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  If you're looking for unique holiday decorations or somewhere to get Disney themed gifts for the holidays, Hollywood Studios is the place to go.  The center of holiday shopping is in the It's a Wonderful Shop, located near Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano and Muppetvision 3D.   This store gets into the full swing of the holidays and offers lots of ornaments, home decorations and Disneyfied gifts.  In addition, there is a Cast Member on location to personalize ornaments from now through Christmas.  Certainly this is the place to go if you're looking to get some holiday shopping done.

In addition, there's more holiday shopping to be found at Hollywood Studios.  Mickey's of Hollywood offers a number of holiday merchandise and over on Sunset Boulevard, you will find other holiday home decor and clothing in the shops near the Carthay Circle Theater.  If perhaps you're looking for some holiday cheer in the form of food, then stop by Beverly Sunset for lots of holiday cookies, fudge and anything else sweet that features some red and green.  Over near Studio Catering Company, you can pick up some holiday inspired drinks such as traditional eggnog or a "merry margarita".

How about some glee?

We've listed a lot of fun things to see and do for the holidays already but there's even more holiday fun.  The Citizens of Hollywood (or Streetmosphere) are known for their fun antics but during the holidays they like to get into the holiday spirit as well.  Be sure to check out the "holiday glee club", where various Citizens of Hollywood will get together to sing some songs....or try to at least.  It's really quite funny and worth your time to say the least.

So there you have it, lots to do this holiday season at Hollywood Studios.  Certainly if you are looking for a rich offering of the holidays while you're at Disney World, it's hard to do much better than Disney's Hollywood Studios.

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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 by