Ring in the holidays with this video of the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle lighting ceremony. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)
Walt Disney World‘s holiday season celebrations are in full swing, and the final season of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is drawing huge crowds each night to the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Recently, I brought you video of the Spectacle, featuring three full performances from the Dancing Lights. After that posting, some readers wondered whether the small ceremony that kicks off each evening’s illumination is still occurring. Well, wonder no more, because I’ve brought you this complete video of the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle lighting ceremony:
New Force Awakens footage is featured in Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Star Wars Episode VII doesn’t open until next month, but the Force is already awake inside the Star Tours ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Unlike Disneyland, Walt Disney World won’t debut the Seasons of the Force special event (which replaces the long-running Star Wars Weekends) until January 5 (Launch Bay with displays and character greetings opens December 1), but one element of the event is already having its “soft opening” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As of November 16, new Force Awakens footage has been added to DHS’s Star Tours attraction, and we were there on the first day to experience the changes.
In the spring of 1989, Disney’s MGM-Studios opened at Walt Disney World. It was to be Disney’s answer to the Universal Studios parks, one of which was — not so coincidentally — opening a year later in Disney’s Orlando backyard. Universal Studios in Hollywood was renowned for being a part of Universal’s actual working studio lot, able to give visitors a glimpse at films and television shows in production.
At the same time, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was declining in popularity as it shifted from being a regional southern professional wrestling promotion to a worldwide company with big name stars in an attempt to compete with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF.) A marriage of the two was the brainchild of Eric Bischoff, a brash Turner executive with bright ideas about how to give the company’s wrestling shows a modern and more mainstream image. One way of doing this was to ditch the often dilapidated and half-filled arenas they usually filmed in for a controlled studio audience who, unlike typical wrestling arena crowds, would cheer and boo whomever and whenever WCW producers wanted them to, not unlike a taping of the Price is Right.
Bid a final farewell to Mulch, Sweat, and Shears with videos of their last shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (photos/video by Seth Kubersky & Len Testa)
It was the mulchiest of times, it was the sweatiest of times. But now the time has come to shed a tear and bid farewell to Mulch, Sweat, and Shears. After just over 11 years of rocking guests faces off as Walt Disney World’s best (and only) landscaping-themed cover band, the popular group played their last shows ever at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Friday, October 10th. The band may have been given a “big record deal” (read: pink slip) but the Mulch memories can live on forever, thanks to our videos from their final day of performances.
First up, here is a recording of Mulch, Sweat, & Shears’ last 1:30 p.m. set on the Streets of America, as captured by Len Testa:
Chill out with Olaf and friends during the 2015 Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (photos and video by Seth Kubersky)
Frozen first hit movie theaters in the fall of 2013, but legions of fans (and Disney’s entertainment department) don’t seem ready to “Let It Go” anytime soon, as we enter a second annual season of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were on hand for the the first day of festivities, which will celebrate the CGI snow princess and pals every day through September 7.
Frozen Royal Welcome Parade
The first Frozen Summer Fun attraction I attended was the new Frozen Royal Welcome, which runs twice a day (currently 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.). It isn’t quite a full fledged parade on the scale of Paint the Night, but boasts far better production values than the typical Hollywood Studios motorcade we’re used to seeing at special events.
Take a Best Week Ever tour of Orlando’s two Studios theme parks. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)
Back to life, back to humidity…
Barely a week ago I was basking in the temperate glow of the Happiest Place on Earth, and now I’m once again enveloped in Orlando’s hot, moist embrace. What better way to celebrate my homecoming than with a visit to two of Orlando’s favorite theme parks with “Studios” in the name? (Okay, they’re also the only two.)
I missed Universal Studios Florida’s actual 25th anniversary on June 7th because I was busy visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, but I still picked up a couple of these commemorative 2-Park Guide Maps for my collection. You can snag one for yourself at either Universal Orlando park through June 20th.
Here’s a look at the ride’s Chinese Theater exterior, which has received subtle new signage and a much-needed cleaning.
The attraction had a 25 minute standby wait in the late afternoon when I visited, but earlier in the day it went up to nearly an hour. Is the refreshed ride really popular, or is there just not much else to ride at DHS?…
Here’s a construction wall-free look at the Great Movie Ride to make you smile, before I share my woeful tale of testing the new DHS food ordering mobile app (photos by Seth Kubersky)
On May 1, 2015, Disney’s Hollywood Studios marked its 26th birthday with…not much at all, aside from the removal of construction walls around the giant hat’s former home. But while there was no big celebration like there was for last year’s silver anniversary, DHS did gain one unpublicized addition last week. As Rikki Niblet reported, a new food ordering mobile app is currently testing at two locations in the park, and I stopped by on the (not so) big day to give the new system a whirl. To save some typing, suffice to say that things did not quite go according to plan. Keeping in mind that this new service is still in the testing phase, you may decide to stick with buying your Studios snacks the old-fashioned way by the time you finish reading about my experience.
This week’s Toy Story Midway Mania FastPass+ Only testing means you may sees this sign at DHS.
If you want to toss some virtual rings this week at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’d better head to My Disney Experience right now, because for the first time Walt Disney World is experimenting with eliminating all standby options at this headlining attraction. As Rickki Nibblet reported, a Toy Story Midway Mania FastPass+ Only test means that from October 6-9, 2014, you must have a FastPass+ reservation — booked in advance online or day-of at an in-park kiosk — in order to ride the popular Pixar-themed shooting gallery. The standard standby line will not be available at all during the testing period, and once all FastPass+ reservations are claimed for the day, you will not have the option of waiting in line the old-fashioned way.