Terrific Tuesdays: Holiday Attractions are Here! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

I come from a family where Christmas means 3-5 decorated trees, loads of twinkle lights, both on the inside and outside of the house, and as much holiday cheer as one can imagine.  Oh and the gifts were always awesome and neatly wrapped under the tree.  So my love of holiday decorations is pretty much embedded in my DNA.  We saw Magic Kingdom last weekend which was pretty.  The castle sparkled like I’ve never seen it before but it didn’t compare to what we saw at Hollywood Studios! 

 The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is amazing!!  The husband and I were wondering which “Osborne” family this was from so I decided to do a little research.  The Osbornes are a family from Arkansas who founded “Arkansas Research Medical Testing Center” in Little Rock.  Their daughter, Little Breezy, asked her daddy at the age of six to decorate their home at Christmas time with twinkle lights, he gladly obliged.  The display grew and grew and at one point contained so many lights the neighbors complained about the traffic it drew.  Osborne responded to their complaints by adding 3 million more lights.  In 1995 following many court battles the US Supreme Court shut it down.  After the debacle acquired national coverage Disney contacted Osborne’s attorney and requested moving the display to Orlando.  Osborne loved Walt Disney World Resort and was honored at the prospect of his display being at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

In 1995 the display was set up on Residential Street in the Backlot area of Hollywood Studio’s (then known as Disney’s MGM Studios) and became an instant success.  It was originally part of the Backlot tour that visited Residential Street by tram and then in the evening the street opened up and guests could walk through to see the lights.  I now realize that when my family visited the Walt Disney World Resort for a special Christmas trip in 1995 we were seeing the Osborne lights for the first year they were up.  I remember the Golden Girls’ house completely covered in twinkle lights, as was the entire street.  The display now contains over 5 million twinkle lights and over 40 hidden Mickeys and is located in the Streets of America area of Hollywood Studios.  It is the most beautiful twinkle light display I have ever seen.  If you aren’t sure how to wrap your mind around “5 million” lights just think of this: there are over 10 miles of rope lighting connected by another 30 miles of extension cords.  In 2011 all the lights were changed out to LED lights and the lighting control was upgraded to become a “state of the art” entertainment lighting system complete with newly enhanced “dancing” lights. 


We took the kids and they literally stood in awe, as did the husband and I.  We have been to Disney World many, many times and I love how something can still bring a tear to my eye when I watch my children in awe of such magic.  If you have not visited Disney during the magical time of the holidays you should definitely add that to your Bucket List.  It is amazingly beautiful and will fill you with holiday cheer!  One last note…if you are procrastinating putting up those holiday twinkle lights on your house because it is just a big pain and the weather might not be cooperating just think about starting in mid-September and spending 20,000 man hours hanging them up.  I think the task of hanging up a few strands around your house will suddenly not seem so bad.  

I hope ya’ll have a VERY MERRY Holiday season!!!!

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Abbie shares with us: “I am a wife and mother of 3. My parents first introduced me to the Magic of Disney World when I was 5 years old. However it wasn’t until my second trip as a teenager that the magic actually infused into me. I started eating, sleeping, and thinking Disney all the time. I even made a small Mickey head as the dot on my “i” in my first name and it then became part of my signature. I now have 3 children of my own and had the pleasure of introducing them, along with my husband, to the magical world of Disney a few years ago and they have all fallen in love with the magic that is Walt Disney World as I did. We just were transferred to Tampa, Florida with my husband’s job and my dream of living near the Mouse has come true. We will be taking our first Florida resident vacation in September and are excited to say that we are upgrading our tickets to Passholders. We are excited to see what adventures and new things we can learn about the Wonderful World of Disney!”

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