Disney's Hollywood Studios

2015 SEASON:
November 6, 2015 - January 3, 2016

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is the primary Holiday Happening at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights sparkle with yuletide cheer. What began as a father's Christmas gift to his daughter has grown into a holiday tradition for many Walt Disney World guests with a dazzling display of millions of colorful lights and animated displays. Millions of brilliant bulbs blanket the backlot with dancing lights and animated displays synchronized to high-energy holiday tunes. Colorful wreaths, twirling carousels, flying angels and Santa and his reindeer bedazzle park-goers amid swirling snow flurries during The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a megawatt, multi-colored spectacle that Show Director John Phelan calls "the ultimate Americana Holiday lights display." "Imagine it," Phelan said. "One private citizen (Jennings Osborne), overwhelmed by the spirit of the season, created his own Holiday Wonderland, complete with a giant rotating globe with Peace on Earth above it and a massive canopy of red lights that people could walk under. He said he wanted the people to feel like they were inside the lights, looking out. Only in America!" In fact, originally it was only in Little Rock, at the home of Arkansas businessman Osborne. The rich tradition began some 20 years ago when he strung 1,000 lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter. After the exhibit grew larger and brighter -- into millions of lights -- it was transported to Walt Disney World Resort in 1995, where the light display now delights guests from all over the world each year.

The spectacle actually starts behind the scenes while the summer temperatures are still on the rise in Florida as dozens of Disney “elves” begin their meticulous work on more than 10 miles of rope lights, 130 angels, 44 snow machines and more.

Just what *is* the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights and how did it start?

Jennings Osborne, a Little Rock, Arkansas, businessman, began putting up lights nearly a decade ago, at the request of his young daughter. (Read our 2002 interview with the late Jennings Osborne HERE!) Each year, he added to the displays. When he ran out of room, Osborne bought the two houses on either side of his home so he could continue his creativity. Neighbors complained, however, and the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in October 1994 that Osborne's house, when adorned with the 3 million lights, was a public nuisance. Although legally barred from causing a "spectacle", Osborne still lit the display three nights. He was found in contempt of court and fined $1,500. The court suspended a 10-day jail sentence, but ordered him to pay $7,000 in attorneys' fees. In 1995, the Walt Disney Company brought the Osborne Christmas lights to Walt Disney World!

It sounds very impressive -- what exactly does the display entail?

The Spectacle of Lights includes:
-- 5 million lights
-- 32 miles of extension cables
-- 66 snow machines
-- 100 gallons of snow fluid a night
-- 43 hidden Mickeys

Osborne LightsIn 2006, the spectacle was enhanced to include choreographed "dancing" lights that swirl and soar to an exhilarating medley of holiday music every 15 minutes, thanks to electronic wizardry featuring more than 400 dimmers. Every building facade, all the trees, wreaths, bells and holiday figures dance to classic tunes among "Florida snow" flurries. Also bringing the Disney's Hollywood Studios backlot to life are three-dimensional and motion-based displays – some originally created at the Osborne home in Arkansas by businessman Jennings Osborne as a holiday display for the delight of his daughter.

(To see a variety of photos of the 2013 Osborne Lights, visit our Photo Gallery.)

How much does it cost to view the Osborne Lights?

There is no extra admission charged for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights beyond admission to the Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Osborne Lights
Where exactly are the Osborne Lights located?

The Lights used to start at the beginning of New York Street at the back of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Since 2004, they are located in the revamped "Streets of America" city backlots. Every night there is a brief lighting ceremony and guests are directed to walk down through the lights along the backlot area.

How long are the Osborne Lights on display? Are they shown every night during the holiday season?

The Osborne Lights usually have special previews just before Thanksgiving. They are officially unveiled after Thanksgiving and are displayed every night until the first week of the new year.

Are the Osborne Lights worth seeing?

Read what others have to say in our Reviews section HERE.

If you have comments or tips to share with others about touring the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios, please post them HERE.