When Lighting Designer Hillary Rosen was challenged to transform Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, FL, into a fantastical winter wonderland, she did what she does best. She conceived bold, inventive solutions that exceeded expectations. Then she used those solutions to create Night of A Million Lights – an immersive holiday lights spectacular. Hillary and her team installed over 3,000,000 twinkling bulbs to evoke the spirit of the holidays throughout the Village. She also used color filter and gobo projection solutions from Rosco to immerse visitors in the magic of the holidays. Her stunning holiday light display brought joy to thousands of Central-Florida residents while raising funds for this top-rated charity.
Give Kids The World Village is an 89-acre, whimsical nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida. Their mission is to provide week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families who want to visit the world-famous theme parks in Central Florida. Unfortunately, the Village has been temporarily closed to wish families since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has delayed the wishes of more than 6,000 critically ill children.
A design rendering for Night of a Million Lights
With that heartbreaking statistic always top of mind, Rosen was asked to design and orchestrate one of the region’s most elaborate holiday light displays. The display ended up encompassing more than three million lights donated by Walt Disney World Resort, 150 illuminated holiday wireframes, several state-of-the-art animated pixel trees, and 45 exquisitely-decorated wish family residential villas. All of which resulted in a dazzling event that offered the public a safe, socially-distanced holiday celebration for a wonderful cause.
The project, however, wasn’t without its challenges. “We had to figure out how to completely cover a functional resort in holiday lights without making any permanent changes or causing any lasting damage,” said Rosen. “The Village needed to be ready to welcome back families as soon as it was able, so the event had to be completely immersive, yet also completely temporary.”
“You would think that covering a building in 23,000 lights would be enough to transform it,” continued Rosen, “but we were constantly fighting the utility lighting across the property that would just blow out any progress we were making.”
Bright streetlights and white landscape lighting easily overpowered the output of Rosen’s holiday lighting design. To remedy this situation, Rosen utilized a variety of lighting solutions from Rosco to fill in areas that could not be covered in traditional light strings. Below are a few examples:
Roscolux Color Filters On Landscape Fixtures and Streetlights
Technicians and volunteers at Give Kids The World Village installed Roscolux Color Filters on almost every street and landscaping light in the park. This enabled Rosen to create color washes that matched the themes they had created with their holiday lights. A perfect example of this technique is Julie’s Safari Theater. Hillary added green Roscolux filters to the park lights so that the utility lighting matched the “vines” of holiday lights that were draped down the sides of the building.
Projecting Custom Glass Gobos
Rosen used ETC Source 4 fixtures to project several “Night of A Million Lights” Custom Glass Gobos around the park. Above you can see how she used this technique to brighten a dark wall underneath a larger-than-life UFO.
Projecting Even More Custom Gobos With Image Spot Minis
While Hillary used the Source 4 fixtures for longer throws, she also installed several of our IP65-rated Image Spot Mini LED gobo projectors to project logos into strategic areas. She appreciated the versatility and brightness of these fixtures. “The output of the Image Spot Mini is quite impressive for its size,” said Rosen. “Because they’re so small, the lights just blended into the scenery and they didn’t hinder any photos that the guests were taking of the buildings or trees. That really enabled us to keep the immersive environment intact.”
Falling Snowflakes with X-Effects LED
“There was a character wall along the pathway that didn’t make sense to cover with traditional holiday lights,” Hillary noted. “The painted characters were so amazing that we didn’t want to cover them up with twinkly bulbs. So, we used the Rosco X-Effects to create a scene of animated snowflakes in front of it instead.” Hillary used two of our outdoor-rated X-Effects LED Projectors to create her falling snowflake effect. She also shared how this area of the Village ended up becoming a popular family photo spot.
The funds raised by Hillary’s spectacular Night of A Million Lights holiday light display will make future wishes come true for critically ill children once Give Kids The World Village is able to reopen. We were thrilled to be a part of this wonderful event and thank Hillary for sharing her experience with us. If you’d like to learn how you can support Give Kids The World Village, visit their website: www.gktw.org.