Dec 03

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights



 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

 Every evening during the Holiday season over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find an amazing display of Christmas lights. What began as a father’s Christmas present to his daughter has become one of the largest displays of lights in the world.  Millions and millions of dancing lights cover the buildings and sky’s of the backlot known as the Streets of America. Along with large Christmas trees, colorful wreaths, twirling carousels, flying angel’s and Santa and his reindeer this has become a favorite attraction among  Disney guests.

The history began back in 1986 when Jennings Osborne from Arkansas asked his youngest daughter what she wanted for Christmas. Her reply was to have her whole house covered in lights. That year Jennings was determined to make her dream come true and covered the house with 1000 red lights. Each year the family added more and more until the display grew into a millions of lights. They even bought the two properties adjacent to theirs so they could expand more and more. There were flashing lights, multi-colored lights, custom-made light sculptures and a 75 foot Christmas tree covered by lights.

By 1993 the display was being lit for 35 days during the holiday season, from dusk till midnight and had grown to so large and was causing such a traffic congestion that six neighbors filed a lawsuit against the Osborne family.  They stated that it took two hours to get to the corner store and that they feared emergency vehicles could not get down the street in case of an emergency. Osborne responded by adding three million more lights. The county court ordered an injunction against the display, limiting it to 15 days and directing that it be lighted only from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Osborne appealed first to the Arkansas Supreme Court and lost, then in 1994 to the United States Supreme Court. In 1995, the state Supreme Court shut the display down altogether.

The news of the court case brought national attention to the Osborne family and the light display. Disney approached the family about moving the display to the Disney Studios and being a huge fan of the Walt Disney World resort accepted the offer. In 1995, the display was set up on Residential Street as “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights,” becoming an immediate success.

In 2003 Residential Street began undergoing a major renovation in preparation of the new stunt show and the lights were not able to be displayed that year. They were then moved to the Streets of America (formerly New York Street) where they are still displayed today.


For the 2006 edition, the park added over 1500 dimmer relay circuits and control switches to the display to enable the lights to switch on and off electronically. The switches were choreographed to a musical score, and the display was given its current name. In this variation, a musical selection is played, during which the lights “dance” to the music. After each performance, the lights remain steady for about ten minutes before “dancing” again to another selection; other holiday selections play during the intermissions. The dancing segments cycle roughly every 30-40 minutes.

Today the Osborne display features over five million lights that turn the entire studio backlot into a holiday spectacular. The show is now lit by 100% LED lighting giving it a crisper and more colorful look. Also for the first time every light in the show is now synced to the music.  Disney Hollywood Studio guest may stroll through the streets at their own leisure and enjoy the amazing display of lights, music and snow falling from the sky from over 44 snow machines on the roof tops.

,The 2011 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights are to be presented nightly this year from November 10 2011 to January 7 2012.  There will be no show on December 8. 2011 due to an early park closing. The show runs from dusk until an hour past park closing.  The price is included in your park admission to the Disney Hollywood Studios as one of the many family fun holiday activities planned for the Walt Disney World Resort in 2011.

Check out this new video from wdwmagic.com: http://diswhiz.com/ol


Dancing Lights Audio Tracks:

Trans Siberian Orchestra – Mad Russian’s Christmas
Trans Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24
José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad
Parade of the Wooden Soldiers – Arthur Fielder & the Boston Pops Orchestra
Jingle Bells – Barbra Streisand
Christmas Is Starting Now – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas – Relient K
Here Comes Santa Claus – Elvis Presley


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