Once in a while you come across an article or post on the internet and you think, “Wow, how did I make it through life thus far without this?” I’m not conceited enough to think Wandering in Disney has any such post… Until today. How did any of you make it through life without learning about my favorite lights and lamps in Disney Parks? I don’t want to overhype this but I think I’ve figured out how to turn 2020 around and it is this blog post.
Okay, not really. Disney Parks fandom, like most fandoms, is slightly rooted in absurdity. We care deeply about random things because passion for teams, theme parks or whatever hobby you have beats a life without that passion. That’s especially important to remember in a year like this one so indulge me in a weird post here.
I’ve always had a strange affinity for Disney Parks lamps and lights. No, I can’t really explain it. Particularly ever since I began photography as a hobby, I’ve enjoyed taking photos of the lights in different areas in a theme park. They are an extension of the theme in different lands and reflect the architecture or feeling. Also, they just look good. I was tempted to go with a top-10 list here but settled on just a doing a favorites list because I didn’t have all of the photos I wanted. Guess what that means? A sequel post to this soon-to-be Pulitzer Award winner! Alright, in no particular order, these are my favorite lights and lamps in Disney Parks.
Starting in Tom Sawyer Island seems fitting as all of the lighting there feels fitting and seemingly never used. You’ll find out that I’m a sucker for hanging lanterns and these are rugged and dirty enough to make them feel perfect to this island. I could wax poetic (in my dreams) about Tom Sawyer Island for a while longer but already did that in a recent trip report.
We’ll stick with a castle park for the next one. I know it’s not easy to keep your eyes off that beautiful Christmas-lit castle but I love the lamps with the pops of the primary colors in them. It’s all very regal, which is exactly how Magic Kingdom’s hub is supposed to feel.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an excellent addition to both coasts. Perhaps the most unheralded triumph of this land is the lighting package. The above photo is the marketplace in Galaxy’s Edge with a variety of lamps hanging down. Batuu is supposed to be a melting pot of travelers and the variety of lamps and architecture reflect that.
Far from the most exciting on the list but this Adventureland lamp has just enough character to make the post. The handles make it look as if it’s ready to be picked up on a journey through the jungle for those seeking adventure.
Maybe the most outside-the-box lighting on my list are these whimsical flower lights in Tokyo Disneyland’s Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. High above guests, the purple flowers are transporting and light up one of TDL’s most picturesque settings. Shout out to all of the other flower lights in here too, you guys look great!
These Frontierland lights outside of Disneyland’s Rancho del Zocalo are weathered and reflective of the American southwest architecture you can see throughout Frontierland. I love the circle shapes in the lamp and the pattern at the bottom of the bulb.
We’ll jump over to California Adventure where Grizzly Peak is one of the prettier lighting areas in any park. I like the above lamp mimicking the shape of the tower above. It also fits in well with the National Park feel of the land, as it seems that a log cabin should be a short path away.
Another out-of-the-box pick comes via DisneySea in this planeterium exhibit. All of the lights in here are incredible but the sun is obviously the standout. The hanging light at the far left of the photo is also beautiful. This is in Fortress Explorations, one of the resort’s many standout areas.
Hollywood Studios is home to some of the Disney World’s best Christmas decor and these little lights are no exception. Toeing the line between cute and kitschy, these light the way down the park’s main drag. The wreaths around them are a nice touch and the yellows add a nice warmth to the park.
It’s a miracle that more popcorn lights didn’t end up on my list but I showed some restraint. The lighting throughout Animal Kingdom’s Asia is magnificent and these hanging lanterns and popcorn lights are the peak. These feel organic to the land, like the rest of Animal Kingdom, making this a bustling marketplace outside of a menacing mountain.
For as hard as all of the previous choices might try, it’s hard to beat a classic. The paper lanterns hanging above Mad Tea Party are iconic and simple. Their juxtaposition against European architecture and the Matterhorn make you feel as if you’re in some sort of… Wonderland.
The hanging lanterns in DisneySea’s Mediterranean Harbor make the list because of how warm the glow is around the loop. They certainly fit the theme and look beautiful no matter which part of the park you face.
I’ve left quite a few favorites off the list but that will come in the next installment of this world famous series!
What are your favorite lamps and lights in Disney Parks? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!