During the Holiday Season at Walt Disney World, the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios is transformed into the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Most people know the story of the Osborne Lights, but if you don’t stay tuned! If you do know the story skip on down to the next paragraph! The Osborne Family Lights began in Arkansas when Jennings Osborne put up a lot of lights one year for his daughter. Every year after that he would add more and more lights to his display. In the mid 1990’s, Jennings was sued but his neighbors for the traffic problems that his display was causing. A settlement was reached and ended the situation with the traffic, but Jennings violated the terms and was sued again. He was then ordered to take down his display. Then Osborne decided to share his lights and offered the display to the Walt Disney World Resort and has been on display ever since. A few things have been added by Disney Imagineers, but all of his original pieces are still a part of the display on the Streets of America.
The Osborne Lights draw heavy crowds, so be prepared to stand among a crowd while you watch the show. The lights go on at dusk which is normally around 6:00 pm during that time of the year. There is a short “turning on the light switch” ceremony with characters as well. After the light switch is turned on a the “snow” falls and over five million synchronized lights “dance” to some of your favorite Christmas songs.
While viewing the lights here is a fun game, try and find these ten items!
#1: Hidden Mickeys! There are a few Hidden Mickeys that are made from the light strands throughout the light display and more and more are added throughout the season! Make sure to look closely though! Some are very easy to spot while others are a little bit more tricky to find!
#2: The Halloween Cat: A Halloween decoration in a Christmas display? Yup, that’s right! Somewhere in the display you will find a purple cat figure that was mistakenly taken from the Osborne’s Halloween collection!
#3: The Light Canopy: This canopy is set up in the New York section of the Streets of America. This is no ordinary Christmas light strand display. This canopy is actually a large video screen made from individual RGB Video nodes. Each node has a single red, green, and blue LED that can be customized to create over a trillion different color effects. One of the color effects to look for is Jack Skellington, he can be seen during the song “What’s This”.
#4: Mickey & Santa Figures: Osborne created a figure of Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus shaking hands.
#5: Lone White Angel: A solid white angel was added to the collection in 2011 in memory of Osborne’s life and legacy. The Lone White Angel is featured in the display of suspended angels near the globe.
#6: The Flying Kite: Across from the Premiere Theater is a large snowman flying a kite. This seen was created by Osborne to represent his first date with his wife.
#7: Arkansas Razorback: The Osborne’s are from Little Rock, Arkansas and were huge fans of the football team. Disney Imagineers incorporated a razorback, a pig, into the light display at the end of the Streets of America.
#8: Osborne Family Stockings: Don’t forget to try and find the Osborne family stockings! Each family member has a personalized stocking that hangs above a giant fireplace.
#9: Nativity Scene: Osborne bought the nativity scene that was located in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot and added it to his display at Hollywood Studios. The nativity scene is located at the end of The Streets of America.
#10: Original Displays: All of the original displays that were in Osborne’s yard in Arkansas are still a part of the display today: the giant globe, the 100 flying angels, the twirling carousels, the 70 foot tree and all of the other figurines of elves, snowmen and carolers.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa and a sweet treat and your family of course and enjoy all of this Christmas Joy!
Don’t just watch the show, be a part of it! Click on the video below to see how you can become a part of the Osborne Family Christmas Lights!