Disney’s Hollywood Studios Trip Report – December 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means it’s time for a Limitless Park Christmas Special! To celebrate the holiday season, we’ll be covering the Christmas additions to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This park was once known for the famous Osborne Family of lights which ended in 2015. For 2017, Disney has brought new holiday entertainment to the park. Let’s see how it compares…

The first thing you’ll see upon entering the park are the beautiful decorations down Hollywood Boulevard:

Decor at Daytime

The decorations were definitely impressive, with the garland over the street being a particularly stunning feature. It really makes you wish they still hung the garland over Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, but it’s better to have it here than nowhere.

Another area that has received much improvement is Echo Lake. This might be my favorite area of the park, because of the massive Christmas tree being placed on the small island in the middle of the lake. The tree is also surrounded by lit up ornaments floating in the water, which is a neat touch.

Christmas Tree and Ornaments at Night

The light poles around Echo Lake have also received artwork designed to look like classic Christmas ornaments from the 50s.

Santa Claus
Christmas Bells

These are some of my favorite decorations, as they truly fit the classic theme of Hollywood Studios. They also match perfectly with the soundtrack of this area, which is all famous Christmas hits from the 50s and 60s. Echo Lake has also received some more touches in the form of some reindeer, as well as the umbrellas being decorated to look like Christmas trees.

Several Reindeer can be spotted around Echo Lake
The umbrellas have received touches

The other main area of Hollywood Studios to receive major enhancements is Sunset Boulevard. The street has received some decorations of it’s own, such as stars on the light posts and Christmas displays in the storefront windows. You can also meet Santa Claus at the Once Upon a Time store.

Stars adorn the light posts of Sunset Boulevard

The main attraction for Sunset Boulevard is the new projection show on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Sunset Seasons Greetings. This isn’t really a true projection show like Once Upon a Time on Cinderella Castle, but four scenes are played on a continuous loop from Sunset till the end of the night when everyone leaves the park. The 4 scenes are based around Toy Story, The Muppets, Frozen, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Each scene starts out with a short video clip played on the new video billboards,

The Beginning of the Toy Story Segment

These projections are incredible, and really are a testament to how far Disney has come with projection mapping technology. They all look stunning and fit seamlessly on the Tower of Terror. Disney was even able to incorporate the iconic Hollywood Tower Hotel sign into the Toy Story segment, making it become the Hollywood Toy Hotel.

The Tower of Terror is transformed into the Hollywood Toy Hotel

Personally, I think the Mickey Mouse segment might be my favorite, becuase it projects a Christmas Village onto the Tower.

A large “hidden” Mickey is projected onto the tower

After each scene finishes, guests are treated to the fake Disney snowfall Osborne Lights style. This is a nice touch for us Floridians, as we never get actual snow here. Overall, Sunset Seasons Greetings is a very good addition to Hollywood Studios, even if it doesn’t quite match the spectacle of the deceased Osborne Lights.

In addition to Sunset Seasons Greetings, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! makes a return to the park this year, and rounds out the holiday nighttime entertainment. This is a fireworks show with projection mapping on the Chinese Theater at the end of Hollywood Boulevard. This was my first time seeing the show, and I was quite satisfied after watching it. The show displays scenes from Disney movies (some of which have nothing to do with Christmas and feel out of place), and has some epic fireworks in the background.

About half way through the show, you get an actual story based around Prep & Landing and The Nightmare Before Christmas. In said story, Santa Claus has been kidnapped and the Prep and Landing team need to find him.

Prep and Landing

The show wasn’t the best I had ever seen, but it makes me wish Disney would update the Holiday fireworks at the Magic Kingdom into something with a similar format. It’s a pretty good show, and I’ll probably go see it again.

Overall, Disney has returned some of the Christmas magic to Hollywood Studios that was lost with the Osborne Lights. I highly recommend checking out all of the Holiday offerings at the park. They will run up until New Year’s, and maybe a couple days after.

Now it’s time for some scores:

Sunset Seasons Greetings: 8.5/10

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!: 7.5/10

Overall Decorations: 9/10

There you have it. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


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