Celebrate the Holiday Season with the The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The theme of our recent Thanksgiving week family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort was "try new things." We dined at new-to-us restaurants, tried new drinks, rode new-to-some-of-us attractions, and enjoyed our first (and last) visit to The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

A wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season!A wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season!

This annual holiday tradition at the Walt Disney World Resort has been part of the holiday experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios since 1995. The light display started as the Osborne's family display on their home in Arkansas. In its many years at the Studios it has grown to include millions of twinkling lights displayed on the Streets of America, all set to music.

Having never seen the Osborne Lights in person I wasn't sure what to expect. We walked over to the entrance for the display after a lovely dinner at Mama Melrose's. It was about 7 p.m. and the crowd level wasn't too bad. (A tip: don't go to the lights as soon as they "open." Wait a while and the crowds will likely thin out a bit).

The angels and the Peace on Earth display was the first thing I saw ... and it reduced me to tears. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I cry at Disney World all the time, so the waterworks were no surprise.

Peace on EarthPeace on Earth

But when I turned around and saw the Streets of America lit up and heard the music I was rendered totally speechless. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. It took a few minutes to regain my composure and be able to walk, rather than standing there with my mouth open looking like a codfish. ;)

I really wasn't prepared for how amazing and beautiful and festive the lights are. And here's something else I noticed too: normally at Disney World when you're in a huge crowd of people (like at Wishes or a parade) there is a good chance you'll be shoved or bumped into or met with rudeness ... but that never happened during the Osborne Lights.

A crowd full of happy guestsA crowd full of happy guests

It was almost as though the lights and music and snowfall (yes, it does "snow" during the Lights) had lulled everyone into a calm and happy Disney place. Guests were milling around or walking slowly or just standing in one place with their smartphones out as they filmed the lights and took family photos. No one was pushing or shoving or being rude.

For a few magical moments there was total peace in the World.

The toy soldiers even had a Hidden Mickey!The toy soldiers even had a Hidden Mickey!

As gorgeous as the lights are when they're all lit, the display is even more incredible when the music plays louder and the lights start dancing. And there are so many lights you're not really sure where you should look so you end up sort of spinning around in one spot to see it all.

Santa Claus is coming to town!Santa Claus is coming to town!

After standing in the middle of the street for a while our group decided to check out some of the storefront windows and other little details. We found the anniversary window for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights which gave a brief history of the light display.

The Osborne Lights windowThe Osborne Lights window

We also found a special store sign that will have some meaning for fans of ABC's Once Upon a Time. (We had seen this sign earlier in the day too, but it looks much cooler lit up!)

A fun sign to find on the Streets of America!A fun sign to find on the Streets of America!

I have to admit that seeing The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is one of the most magical things I've experienced in all my years of visiting the Walt Disney World Resort (and I've been going since 1974 when I was a wee little one!).

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing LightsThe Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

There was such a sense of joy and happiness in the crowd and it was the perfect holiday celebration. And I'll admit that I'm rather sad about the fact that this is the last year for the display. We can only hope that Disney will try to find a home for it somewhere else on property.

Have you seen The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights? Let us know your thoughts about the display in the comments.

Lois wrote on Mon, 12/14/2015 - 17:03:

Lois's picture

cant believe that this is the last year - amazing spectacle ade me feel so Christmassy even though was only November!
hoping for reconsideration!!!

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 12/14/2015 - 21:15:

Kristen K.'s picture

You're not alone Lois, I think there's many a Disney fan who is upset this is the last year.

Lucygirls mom wrote on Tue, 12/15/2015 - 03:11:

Lucygirls mom's picture

This being the last year was the primary reason for our trip to Disney this December. And we were not disappointed. They were amazing.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.

More information about formatting options