The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is one of those must-dos for many families who visit Walt Disney World during the holiday season. The Osborne Spectacle is presented most nights during the season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and is included with standard admission to the park.
For those that have not seen the dancing lights (or even a video like the one shown above), the show is composed of literally thousands of holiday lights decorating the Streets of America area of the theme park. This review hopes to illustrate the truly magical experience the attraction can offer to Disney guests.
For a bit of background history, it must be told that the attraction really has its roots in a typical family holiday house display. In 1986, Jennings Osborne, an Arkansas businessman, was asked by his daughter to decorate their house with holiday lights. He complied by adding approximately 1,000 lights around the house. From that point, it continued to grow and grow.
By 1993, the display was said to have over three million lights which caused considerable concern for some of the neighbors. In fact, six of them filed a lawsuit against Jennings over the matter. Jennings was ordered to limit the number of nights of the display to only fifteen and also limit the hours each night.
Jennings appealed all the way up to the United States Supreme Court who refused to halt the previous court order. In fact, in 1995, the Supreme Court ordered the display completely shut down.
In steps Disney with an offer to host the display on Residential Street of Disney-MGM Studios. Jennings accepted and the display was moved to Florida. It continued to grow from that point despite being required to move again when Residential Street was demolished. Of course, it just moved a short distance to Streets of America where it currently is shown.
In 2006, dimmer relay circuits were added which allowed Disney to switch the lights on and off electronically. Disney utilized this technology in conjunction with a holiday musical score adding to the festivities.
The display is offered most nights at the Studios with this year’s debut occuring on November 10, 2011. It truly is a must-do for anyone at Walt Disney World Resort during the season.
Thanks to leedavidt who provided the video shown above.
For more videos and reviews of Disney attractions, see the All Things Mouse Video Tours Page.