Ok so the name is awful. We can all agree on that. But, if you are a fan of the Disney animated shorts centered around Prep and Landing, then perhaps you get it. Last night Disney’s Hollywood Studios rang in the holiday season without the beloved Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and instead ushered in Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM. Is it a worthy replacement? Read on…
Ok so I am not one for teasers. No, it is not a worthy replacement of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. But, there is no way that spectacle is coming back. The land in which it formerly resided is barren and blank. It is Tatooine and all us Star Wars nerds await its harvest.
Anyway, the new nighttime spectacular, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM is an energetic night time show incorporating the new trifecta du jour: fireworks, amazing lasers, and precise projections. This combination was made into a fan favorite with a recent Star Wars themed night spectacular and it got my hopes up for a groundbreaking holiday night time show. Sadly, as much as I am obsessed with Christmas and as much as I love Prep and Landing, I am left wanting something just a little more.
Perhaps I should be on Santa’s naughty list, especially considering the perspective that Prep and Landing provides with regard to Santa and his incredible operation. However, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM doesn’t quite deliver the Christmas miracle I was hoping for.
There are a few moments that really draw in the crowd. This is especially true when the multicolored lasers bathe the crowd in rich festive colors. And the LED lights that line the trunks of the oaks trees that flank Hollywood Blvd are a brilliant touch that was debuted during the Star Wars spectacular and make even more sense during this holiday hoopla.
For longtime Disney fans like me that pride themselves on owning somewhat obscure animated Disney movies, there are a few moments that can be appreciated. I especially enjoyed when I exclaimed in delight at seeing a snippet of “Winter Wonderland” short from the movie “Melody Time” that very few people recognized. These little moments make this show worthwhile.
If you are not familiar with Prep and Landing I am not certain you will be able to appreciate this show. It’s not that any sort of plot line has to be followed, however, there are a few projections and effects, that must fall flat on anyone who hasn’t seen the original short or any of the follow up features.
There is some great music and a handful of cool effects that make the show worth it. I do not see how the upcharge dessert party ($69 plus tax per adult) would be worth it in this case. Besides, I feel this show is much better when viewed from about 1/3 of the way back. My favorite spot for this new set up is right at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. This vantage point gives you a chance to appreciate the full scale of the projections as well as the lasers. The downside though is the large fireworks are launched a little to the right of the Chinese Theater, so perhaps you should stand to the left of the aforementioned intersection.
Overall, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM is a fun and festive show. There are just a tiny handful of tributes to the Osborne Lights, but they do not fill the hole completely. I suggest you enjoy the show independent of any notions that it is somehow a replacement of the legendary Osborne Lights. Instead, step back and enjoy all the effects for what they are and let the spirit of the season wash over you. And if nothing else, just recite the name of the show, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM over and over again to the annoyance of your friends and family.