Remembering the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

in Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Entertainment, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Join us as we look back at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a sparkling and brilliant display that once lit up the nights of the holiday season at the Streets of America in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. What was once a bright spectacle of Christmas lights and decorations is now a warm memory of the happiness and joy guests of Walt Disney World were gifted when experiencing the dazzling show for themselves.

History

First premiering in 1995, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was one of the most popular attractions during the park’s holiday season. What came about as a gift from an Arkansas businessman to his six-year-old daughter grew into a massive exhibit, which eventually featured over five million lights and a lifetime of 20 years in the Disney park.

Originally placed on Residential Street, the attraction was moved in 2004 to the Streets of America when construction of Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show began.

The lights in the display had begun as the original bulbs from the Osborne family, but in 2011 the display had a major overhaul, which swapped out all the original bulbs for LED lights. This update also included an entertainment lighting system using light control boards.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

 

On September 11, 2015, Disney announced that the 2015 holiday season would be the final season for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, as the company had already announced plans for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land, which would both partially take the place of the Streets of America.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

 

 

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The final performance was scheduled for January 3, 2016. On this day, it was announced the final season would be extended by 3 more nights, with the final performance rescheduled for January 6, 2016. The final songs the lights danced to were “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater”.

Hidden Mickeys

The display’s Disney caretakers added a vast amount of hidden Mickeys into the lights. Our last unofficial count in 2015 had them at over 80. They could be found as tiny clusters of lights in the corner of windows, to large classic Mickeys in the middle of the display’s big Christmas tree.

 

Disney Details

In addition to hidden Mickeys, the display also featured other decorations themed after everyone’s favorite Disney films and characters. Some of these decorations included a “Star Wars” display of lightsabers, Santa and Mickey Mouse delivering presents, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The Purple Cat/Hidden Objects

There were several objects that were hidden in different spots each year the attraction was displayed. What was probably the most famous of them all had to be the purple cat. As the story goes, this Halloween decoration was accidentally included in the shipment of Christmas lights from the Osborne family. However, Disney thought it would be fun to include it in the display, and guests enjoyed discovering its location. The last year the attraction ran, it was placed in a large window at the New York City skyline end of the street.

Two other objects found in the display included a miniature version of the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story” and Baby Sinclair from the ABC TV show “Dinosaurs.” They could both could be found at the far end of the San Francisco street during the spectacle’s last display in the park, in a window on the left side.

What are your favorite memories of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights? Let us know in the comments below! 

3 Comments

  1. John

    In terms of access, I can say that as of 2013, Buzzy was still sitting in the Cranium Command theatre, it’s possible he’s been moved since then, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he hadn’t been. Accessing him, particularly as a CM, but really for anyone would be, frankly extremely easy if you knew where the theatre was (don’t ask me how I know, lol) there isn’t much security, and the backstage area behind the building is in pretty much complete disuse, and largely hidden from the remainder of the future world backstage area. Now, actually removing him from the property successfully? That would be tricky

  2. I liked getting there each year I went before dusk, and staking out a spot. Things would get dark and dreary, then all of the sudden, millions of colorful lights went on, and the crowd collectively gasped. I myself usually had to choke back tears. it was pure magic, that moment.

  3. Stan Prus

    Along with the giant santa cap on top of the water tower, the Osborne light were the intro to the holiday season my family looked forward to every year. And every year we introduced more family and friends to the spectacle that blew away every other Disney holiday display in any other park. Considering that Disney has only used 1/3 of the land they habe, it was a real kick in the pants to Disney fans to not move the whole thing intact to another area.

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