In 1995, Walt Disney World debuted one of the most popular attractions during the holiday season — The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. In case you didn’t know, this attraction began as a gift from an Arkansas businessman to his 6-year-old daughter. It then grew into what was a massive hit and walk-through attraction, which then eventually featured over 5 million lights and was showcased to several Guests for 20 years at Walt Disney World.
Originally, the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was placed on Residential Street in what was then known as Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios). However, the attraction was moved in 2004 to the Streets of America once construction began on the Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show.
In 2016, the final performance of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights left Guests with tears in their eyes, as they knew this incredible attraction had to come to an end. The lights were donated to Give Kids the World Village and are currently on display this year in Kissimmee, FL. (If you want to learn more information about this, visit here.)
In case you never had the chance to see the famous spectacle, you can check it out here.
Personally, I would love to see Disney bring back The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (or something similar with a bit of reimagining), and here’s why.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights had a reliable fanbase of Guests visiting each and every year as they wanted to witness the incredible attraction in person. I mean, who wouldn’t want to experience 5 million lights surrounding them, all synced up to holiday music, while with their family and friends at the Most Magical Place on Earth — need I say more?
Once The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights came to an end, Disney’s Hollywood Studios decided to bring a new type of spectacle to the theme park — This time, projecting animations and clips onto the iconic Chinese Theater at the front of the park, called Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!. In case you’ve never seen them, this is similar to the projections that take place on Cinderella Castle inside Magic Kingdom.
Though these projections are magical, in my opinion, the show just doesn’t measure up to what The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights brought to Guests.
Instead of being fully immersed in holiday lights and decor surrounding you, you stand in front of the Chinese Theatre and watch projections in front of you. (Though this year due to the pandemic, this is not happening but Tower of Terror is still hosting their nighttime projections, which you can read more about here). Again, I am not trying to bash the projections because they are magical, they just aren’t the same as The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. It’s like comparing apples to oranges — you just can’t do it.
So, this is where I think Disney should come up with a new take on The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The theme park can keep the nighttime projections on the Chinese Theatre and Tower of Terror, but they should also implement a walkthrough of lights, maybe not as big as The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, but it can be very similar. They can do this over in the Muppets section, where the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and Mama Melrose’s are located. By doing so, it will be away from the other projection locations and toward the back of the park, not causing traffic in already busy areas of the park (including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land).
I would love to see Disney bring back some sort of walkthrough light show. I used to visit The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights nearly every year and created so many memories here. It actually felt as though you were transported into a magical holiday land with Christmas cheer surround you. Watching the lights match up to holiday tunes and seeing all of the little details included in the attraction — there’s just nothing else like it.
I was devastated when Disney announced The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was coming to an end and I would love to see them reimagine it and bring back something somewhat similar to the theme park.
What do you think? Do you miss The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights? Should Disney bring them back? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: The opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect Inside the Magic’s views overall.