The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: Disney Parks History

Disney Parks History

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Title Lights Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was a fantastical part of the holidays at Walt Disney World for twenty years, but the display has a much longer history than its time at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The Osborne Family Lights began their life as a typical family home light display in 1986, before growing to such a massive size that they were confronted by their neighbors over the display, eventually leading to court cases that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, as well as the Arkansas Supreme Court, where it was eventually shut down.

Disney MGM Studios Earful Tower Walt Disney World

The display gained national attention as a result of these court cases, with many plans being made simultaneously to potentially move the display, but the one that won out was a plan to move the Osborne Family Lights to Disney's MGM Studios.

The display was set up at the park every year starting in 1995 along Residential Street of the Studio Backlot Tour.

Every night this area was opened to guests to explore the lights on foot. Over the years the display would be expanded to include Disney characters in addition to the original lights.

Streets of America Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Disney's Hollywood Studios

But in 2004, the display would move yet again, to the Streets of America, as Residential Streets had been torn down to make way for Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show.

This allowed for some additions to the show, notably fake snow similar to that found on Main Street USA during the holiday season.

On Switch Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Disney's Hollywood Studios

The lights during all this time had been an impressive, yet stagnant display, until 2006 when the lights of the show would begin to "dance" and the show was renamed accordingly to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Each night a special ceremony was held to turn on the lights, often with guest participation.

This display would seem to become more elaborate with each passing year, becoming one of the most popular parts of the holiday season at Walt Disney World, being upgraded once again in 2011 with new technology for the dancing lights.

Christmas Tree Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Disney's Hollywood Studios

In 2014, the show would be used to sell Frozen-themed dessert party packages with exclusive access to the lights, allowing you to avoid the constantly present crowds that surrounded the event every night.

Santa Mickey and Santa Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Disney's Hollywood Studios

The song list would change over the years, but it would always include a selection of Christmas and holiday-themed music, often also including songs from Disney holiday movies or television specials.

It would be announced that the show would have its final showing during the 2015 season. The Streets of America were set to be demolished in order to make way for Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, and Disney made the decision to not relocate the show once again. It would close forever on January 3rd, 2016.

Cinderella Castle Dream Lights Icicles Christmas Magic Kingdom Disney World

Today nothing of its kind has replaced this display throughout Walt Disney World. In fact, we have seen Disney begin to phase out many of their practical Christmas displays with projection mapping shows, with even the iconic Cinderella Castle Dream Lights falling victim to the trend this year.

Peach On Earth Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Disney's Hollywood Studios

This show was really an attraction of its own. It made Disney's Hollywood Studios a must-visit park during the holidays and its a shame nothing like it has ever taken its place. Today only a small section of the former Streets of America where the show once ran remains, leaving little to remember this show by in the park. It is remembered by those that wandered its dazzling spectacle over the years, and lives on in the countless minds of those who visited Disney's Hollywood Studios during the holidays from 1995 to 2015.