Jingle Bell, Jingle “Meh”

Bryan RipperBlog

The other day I was telling my wife about the new holiday night time show at Hollywood Studios, “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam”. This show is brand new and showcases some of the impressive projection technology that has been amazing audiences at Magic Kingdom, but this time, it’s on the Chinese Theater. Set to holiday music, it utilizes special effects, fireworks, and even snow to create a spectacular festive show that’s projected onto the centerpiece of Hollywood Blvd.

My wife’s reaction surprised me, though. She basically was unimpressed, because, as she saw it, they were replacing the absolutely, positively, extremely, amazing Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights with something, that appears to be, not even in the same league. Now, it should be noted that I don’t necessarily see this as an attraction that is replacing the Osborne Lights. That attraction was going to go away whether “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam” was created or not. In fact, if you want to be technical, you could argue that the upcoming Star Wars Land is really what is replacing the Osborne Lights. But, regardless of my thoughts on “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam”, it got me thinking that there are probably a lot of people out there who will look at this show as being Disney’s answer to guests in the first year in 20 years without the Osborne Lights in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

This is intriguing to me, because I can’t say that I agree or disagree with the sentiment. I’ve long been a fan of the projection technology that they use at Magic Kingdom in the “Celebrate the Magic” castle show, and I’m really excited to see more shows like that coming to other parks. Earlier this year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom unveiled the Tree of Life Awakening shows that use the same type of technology with their park icon. I’d love to see this being used in all four Walt Disney World theme parks on a regular basis. I do have a slight issue with the music being used. I like to see more original Disney music being used in their shows. I think the classic holiday favorites worked well in the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, because it was more of an attraction than it was a show, but for a show, I’d like to see more original Disney music. But, overall, I’m happy to see this come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I’m really hoping another projection show replaces “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam” once the holidays are over with.

On the other hand, removing the Osborne Lights with the Streets of America has left a massive void in this park this holiday season. The Osborne Lights was an extremely popular attraction that often saw packed crowds nightly. The removal may have been necessary for the Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land expansion they are currently working on, but I do wonder if they have enough useable land to where they could have done it without removing the Streets of America. I know that area of the park may not have been that big of a draw throughout the rest of the year, and perhaps that was the thought process, but could they have just moved the Osborne Lights to another area of the park or another park altogether? My wife made the comment that they should have moved it to Disney Springs. It certainly would go well with “Star Bright Holidays”, the holiday night time drone show that debuted this month. It would also bring more traffic into Disney Springs. However, they probably wouldn’t be able to charge admission, which might have been a concern.

I think this was really a no-win situation for Disney. Star Wars Land is expected to be a major addition to the park. Anticipation is already at a fever pitch, and we’re still a couple of years away from it being open. So, there are definitely great things happening at Hollywood Studios. Disney could have considered waiting and debuting a different projection show after the holidays, so as to avoid the perception of it being used as a replacement for the extremely popular Osborne Lights. However, doing that would have left them with no real draw to a theme park during the holidays, that already has so much empty space and down attractions due to the massive expansion. So, on one hand, I can see this as them doing whatever they can to give people a reason to visit Hollywood Studios during the holidays, and on the other hand, I can see how this show might pale in comparison to The Osborne Lights. What do you think? Let us know either by commenting below or on our group Facebook page.