Sunday, November 19, 2017
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This is the last year to see Hollywood Studios light show before Disney pulls the plug

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This will be the last year for the 20-year-old holiday tradition known as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, opening Friday at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Disney is pulling the plug on the light show to make way for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land as part of an overhaul at the park.

If you want to glimpse the lights one more time, they flicker nightly through Jan. 3. Millions of lights line the Streets of America and flash in sync to Christmas carols, along with light-filled angels, Christmas trees, toy soldiers and a spinning earth.

Two new special events this year include the Merry & Bright Dessert Party ($69 nightly from Saturday through Dec. 30) and the Merry & Bright Dinner Reception from Jan. 1 to 3, with a menu of shrimp, beef and turkey, a reserved spot to watch the lights and a "custom shadow box keepsake." The package is $99 ($54 for ages 3 to 9), not including admission to the park.

Reservations can be made at disneyworld.com or by calling (407) 939-3463.

But this is one event that a reserved spot isn't really needed since the best way to view it is walking through the park and looking overhead at the dancing lights. The display is made up of more than 10 miles of rope lighting connected by 30 miles of extension cords. Disney has said it takes 20,000 man-hours to install the display each holiday season, starting in September.

The light show originated in Little Rock, where an Arkansas businessman created the spectacle as a gift for his 6-year-old daughter. The display grew bigger every year, and by 1993, six neighbors filed a lawsuit, saying traffic congestion made trips to the corner store take two hours.

Disney officials read the news accounts of the court case and offered to move the display to Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

It opened in 1995 as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights and became one of the most popular attractions during the park's holiday season.

The display is included with daily admission: $97, $91 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, 1515 N Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. Call (407) 939-6244 or see disneyworld.com.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] [email protected]

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