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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.

Mickey and Jennings Osborne


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 Osborne lights will run nightly from November 8, 2013 through January 5, 2014. Admission is included in your Hollywood Studios park admission.       . 



Osborne Lights 2013 Song List

  • Jingle Bells by Barbra Streisand
  • Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano
  • A Mad Russian’s Christmas by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Parade of the Wooden Soldiers by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops
  • Christmas Is Starting Now by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas by the Plain White T’s
  • Winter Wonderland arranged by Dan Stamper



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