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November 25, 2013

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


In 1986, something very magical happened in Arkansas - a little girl made a Christmas wish. She wished that her entire house were covered in festive lights for the holiday season. Her father, Jennings Osborne, set out on a mission to make her dream come true. Beginning that very year, the Osborne family worked toward an elaborate display, and each year thereafter their finished product grew. Eventually, the Osborne family light display expanded to include millions of lights, custom statues and enormous Christmas trees. In essence, they grew to be too big for their britches and the annual tradition faced extinction. Queue Disney to the rescue!



Seeing the popularity of the Osborne display, Disney offered the family a new forum to demonstrate their prized tradition without the limitations of a residential setting. In 1995, the family accepted Disney's offer to provide a new home to their annual light display at Hollywood Studios in Orlando. After spending some time on Residential Street at Studios, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights were relocated to the Streets of America portion of the park, where it has remained a holiday staple since 2004. 

Even before nightfall, the area is fun to explore. Among the millions of lights strung above and around, you'll also find numerous hidden "Easter eggs" (so to speak). Look for hidden Mickeys, as well as various pop culture reference icons, including the "A Christmas Story" leg lamp and the baby from the former ABC hit TV show "Dinosaurs". Once the sun goes down however, this area becomes an entirely different amusement source!







Roughly every ten minutes, the story of the Osborne family is told as the Streets of America come brilliantly to life. Snow falls in Florida, and the lights "dance" in time to favorite holiday music in this epic, unique holiday performance. Conveniently located in the middle of the display area, don't miss the street vendor serving churros, pretzels, cinnamon-sugar almonds/pecans, and (my favorite) hot chocolate in a souvenir mug! Though the Florida weather doesn't really call for this, it's a nice touch to add to the mood.
To complete your Disney Christmas, make sure to visit Santa Goofy! He makes nightly appearances for photos and autographs at the head of the Streets of America area. This line can get rather long, so please remember to be ready, be swift and be courteous to those who are still waiting for their turn.


By the way... much like the rest of the entire Walt Disney World Resort, Studios is covered in beautiful holiday decor! Though the Osborne Lights are the focal point, don't overlook the notable touches located throughout the rest of the park as well! They even decorate the garbage cans... so very Disney of them!



The Osborne Lights in action... two different perspectives of the show. Which end of the Streets of America do you think gives the best view?


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