Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Blue. Enjoy the ride as we discuss our favorite Holiday pluses at the Disney Parks.
One of our favorite Holiday Pluses is The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. We love decorating our own house for the holidays. Each year, we add a little more. While our house is on a much smaller scale than the Osbornes of Arkansas, this was exactly how their display came to be… and eventually, how it ended up in Walt Disney World.
As the story goes, in 1986 6-year-old Alison “Breezy” Osborne asked her father if they could decorate their house with Christmas lights. Her father, Jennings Osborne, a wealthy philanthropist, obliged his daughter by stringing the house with one thousand lights.
|The Osborne Family’s light display in Arkansas|
Each year the display grew, until the Osborne family purchased more land and expanded beyond their home. The display became such an attraction that people came from all over and neighbors filed lawsuits over the commotion it caused.
|Ariel view of the Osborne Family light display|
As a result, limitations were put in place as to how long the display could be up to try to limit the traffic in the area. Several cities offered to be a new home for the Osborne Lights. One of the many suitors was Walt Disney World. Being a fan of Walt Disney World, Jennings Osborne jumped at the chance to have his lights put on display inside a Disney theme park.
|photo credit: ckramer via photopin cc|
Thus, in 1995, Disney’s MGM Studios (as it was then known) became the home of the “Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights.” It was originally put on “Residential Street”, which you may recall from the Backlot Tour as the street with the house facades.
The display has continued to expand. Now, it is found lighting up the Streets of America. Special faders and dimmers were installed that now give the lights the ability to “dance” along with music. We were fortunate to see the display some years ago when we visited Walt Disney World for New Year’s Eve.
Our daughter had a blast dancing along with the music and lights. We spent a good while in the back of the park just watching her have fun.
More recently, we had the unique experience of running through the lights as part of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. Despite being a cold, rainy night, it was still a thrill!