Light Up UCF Returns For 2016 Holiday Season Nov 18 – Jan 7

Light Up UCF, one of Orlando’s best annual holiday traditions, takes place at the CFE Arena at UCF

Light Up UCF, one of Orlando’s best annual holiday traditions, starts up this Friday, November 18, 2016, and runs through January 7, 2017.

During the event, the area in and around the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida is transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, holiday music and rides.

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Watch Videos of the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This is the last year of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I recorded some video clips of the lights during my visits to the park in the last month.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

This first one is shot at the backside of the canopy of lights, one of my favorite parts of the light display:

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Light Up UCF Returns For 2015 Holiday Season Starting November 13

Light Up UCF, one of Orlando’s annual holiday traditions, starts up this Friday, November 13, 2015, and runs through January 3, 2016.

Light Up UCF 2015

During the event, the area in and around the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida is transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, holiday music and rides.

Read more

Light Up UCF Returns For 2014 Holiday Season Starting November 14

Light Up UCF 2014Light Up UCF, one of Orlando’s annual holiday traditions, starts up this Friday, November 14, 2014, and runs through January 4, 2015.

During the event, the area in and around the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida is transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, holiday music and rides.

In addition to the fan favorite Ice Rink Pavilion, the CFE Federal Credit Union Ferris Wheel, Blizzard ride, the Arctic Glide Ice Slide presented by Race Trac and Santa’s Workshop presented by Coca-Cola, there are several free opportunities for all to enjoy, including the Holiday Light Show presented by Orlando Sanford International Airport with thousands of lights choreographed to seasonal musical selections and snow, spun by a live DJ.

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Out and About: Osborne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

We’ve just passed Halloween, so it’s time for Walt Disney World to start bringing out their Christmas-themed events. One of my favorites is The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I got a sneak peek at this year’s version on Wednesday night.

For those not familiar with the history of the event, it all started in 1986 when Jennings Osborne decorated his Arkansas home to make his daughter happy. It started with 1000 lights, and grew to the point that he had to buy two neighboring homes to hold the light displays. By 1993, there were over 3 million lights, and neighbors filed a lawsuit claiming the traffic driving by to see the lights was too much. Disney caught wind of this and offered to move the display to Walt Disney World.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

In 1995, the first Osborne Lights were put up on what was then “Residential Street” on the backlot of the park (which no longer exists). It now occupies the Streets of America area, all the way down to the entrance of Lights! Motors! Action! (which is located where the old Residential Street used to be).

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Retro Photo: Epcot Lights of Winter Holiday Arch at Walt Disney World

One of my favorite holiday displays at Walt Disney World was always the Lights of Winter arch that straddled the walkway that connected the two sections of Epcot.

It was programmed so the lights changed colors and danced to the holiday music being played. It was so pretty and always got me into the spirit. Sometimes I would just perch myself under it on one of the planter ledges and watch for 20 or 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, 2008 was the last year that WDW decided to install the display. Disney officials stated in 2009 the park was retiring the Lights of Winter because the technology to operate the attraction was obsolete.

So in memory of a truly magical holiday display, here’s a photo of the Epcot holiday arch. I took it during the last year that Walt Disney World had the Lights of Winter up.

I was in Future World, looking towards the World Showcase. At the very end, you can see the bottom of the Christmas tree at the entrance to the World Showcase.

Hopefully we’ll get to see this beautiful display again during a future holiday season. After all, Disney Imagineers should be capable of creating a comparable display that is more up-to-date technology-wise.

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