Going to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights this year is an annual tradition for many who come down to Walt Disney World for the holidays. It’s a fantastic event and certainly not to be missed. While many go and enjoy seeing the lights year after year, there are a number of things you definitely want to keep an eye out for to really enhance your experience. Like many attractions at Walt Disney World, there’s more than one dimension to an attraction and with the Osborne Lights, there’s some hidden gems to look for and enjoy.
Some guests may notice them inadvertently, but Disney has placed a number of Hidden Mickeys in the lights to give guests something to look for. For those who don’t know, Hidden Mickeys are subtly placed tri-circle silhouettes of Mickey Mouse in attractions that you may have to look specially to notice them. Last year there were over 40 Hidden Mickeys throughout the lights and each year they change things up a little bit to keep guests on their toes. Some are better hidden than others so you’ll have to keep track and see if you can find around 40 of them.
It can get very crowded trying to see the Osborne Lights, especially in the first couple of hours that the lights are on but you definitely should take time before you leave to really appreciate and enjoy the dancing lights. Every 20 minutes a song plays and the lights “dance” to the beat of the song. It’s a truly awe inspiring sight to behold but to really enjoy it, you should try watching it from an end of a street, so you can get the full sense of the spectacle. Ideally, try to stand either near the New York City backdrop that’s close to Star Tours or on the other side of the street, where the Power Rangers do their meet-n-greet during the day. John Phelan, a Show Director for the Osborne Lights, mentioned when I spoke with him earlier this month that they are working on incorporating a new song to this year’s repertoire so there will be something new to hear and see this year.
If there’s an unheralded treasure of the Osborne Lights, I think it’s the different themes some apartments have to them. If you gaze into the windows of these faux façade apartments, you will see different personalities in the lights displays. For example, there’s a sailor that has a very nautical motif to his place along with the family that is watching ABC Family on their television. These add a real sense of humanity to the lights because it’s not just a bunch of lights that are on, but it actually feels like people have come together to put up lights jointly.
I mentioned earlier that the lights can definitely be crowded and while I encourage anyone to go see the lights whenever you can, ideally it’s wonderful to see the lights with not many people around. When the lights first turn on, there is a sea of humanity that are trying to see the lights too and I think the huge mass of people causes people to try to see the lights faster than they normally may want to since it’s very difficult to stay in one spot for long. If you’d like to see the lights without much of a crowd, try to see it during Fantasmic! or in the last hour the park is open. You will find the crowd conditions much more favorable to taking your time.
These are just a few tips for things to look for and strategies to employ. It’s hard to not enjoy the Osborne Lights but definitely be sure to go out of your way to see them because they truly are a marvel to behold and it’s not “just another lights display”.