DISNEY MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS PAST
This holiday season… we take a nostalgic look back at a beloved attraction at Hollywood Studios… The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. For many years… and for so many Disney fans… this became a treasured holiday tradition.
The magic of the season would come alive as you’d stroll down the Streets of America… surrounded by over 5 million synchronized Christmas lights “dancing” to the favorite songs of the holidays. Especially amazing was the stunning display of lights during Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells”! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoLUGAsc66Q
A sprinkling of Florida “snow” would lightly cascade down from the sky upon the mesmerized crowd. Quite a spectacle! Yet how did this awesome light display come to Hollywood Studios? A little history… and a heartwarming story…
Let’s step back in time to 1986… Little Rock, Arkansas… 6-year-old Breezy Osborne asked her dad if they could decorate their home for the holidays. What began with 1,000 lights that first year came to be the incredible display pictured here… over 3 million lights! Traffic around their home became out of control and lawsuits from neighbors ensued. Eventually the case reached the Supreme Court… which ruled that the display be shut down…
Executives from Disney MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) met with Breezy‘s dad Jennings… toured his property… and saw the vision of recreating his amazing display for the ultimate Americana Christmas attraction at their park. A deal was finalized… and all the Osborne lights, Christmas trees, carousels, nativity scene and angels were moved to Orlando and set up in time for the 1995 holiday season.
The response of Disney fans was overwhelming! Visitors were immersed in this spectacle of holiday music, displays and dancing lights… thrilled by its magical splendor. Everyone was filled with the holiday spirit.
Disney scattered over 50 Hidden Mickeys throughout the lights for savvy fans to discover…
…along with a purple cat. Why a purple cat? When Disney unpacked the Osborne lights in Orlando, the purple cat from the family’s Halloween decorations was mistakenly included! It became a favorite part of the light display… hidden in mysterious locations each year.
Disney followed Osborne‘s precedent of adding more and more lights to the display every year… eventually topping out at over 5 million. Jennings… who never wanted any money for the use of his display… would visit Disney World with his family each year to see the lights that once decorated their home.
In 2017 Streets of America at Hollywood Studios was razed to make room for the new Star Wars Land. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights… that brought “light” and joy to so many at the holidays… is now a magical Disney memory of Christmas past.