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There’s Always Something New at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Shawn Slater

by , Senior Communications Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment

One of the holiday traditions my family most looks forward to each year is a visit to The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Since the show’s debut in 1995, it has never failed to impress me. Over the years, the display has grown to more than 5 million lights and been enhanced with everything from a complete conversion to energy-efficient LEDs to the addition of images and music from Disney’s “Prep & Landing” television specials. It’s all so tinsel!

The team behind The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights keeps looking for new ways to “plus” the show. This year, Santa Goofy joins the fun, making nightly appearances on the Streets of America. You’ll be able to meet him in Goofy’s Winter Wonderland, a special area set up right in Tri-City Square.

Santa Goofy Joins the Fun at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Also new is the addition of an eighth song for the dancing lights. Joining returning favorites like “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano and Barbra Streisand’s version of “Jingle Bells” will be a special arrangement of the classic “Winter Wonderland” by Creative Entertainment Music Director Dan Stamper.

“As we talked about adding a new piece, we wanted to add something lyric and flowing,” said Dan. “To me, the title ‘Winter Wonderland’ meant a time of transformation from hustle and bustle to an elegant beauty. In my mind were images of billowing marshmallow landscapes; where in the city, even the starkest, dark industrial buildings become a thing of beauty with snowcaps and gleaming icicles. The piece grows to a crescendo and then slowly fades as families gather together in their homes to escape the chill.”

Get ready to be dazzled by The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, November 9 through January 6.


  • Thanks Shawn, that is good to know.

  • @Cynthia, beautiful story! God Bless and Thank you for sharing! Much love to you and yours for a very Happy and Blessed Holiday season!

  • The count down is on! 78 hrs. to go! We will be on our way to the Happiest Place on Earth for Thanksgiving! “Pop” (grandpa) will be making his first trip, Im not sure who is more excited!! YAY!!!

  • My family just returned from Disney World last night. We visited the The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and were blown away. My 2yr old daughter even picked out 2 of the many angels that were her favorites! It was just an amazing experience. Is the Dan Stamper arrangement of Winter Wonderland available for download/purchase?

    • Brandt – The song is not available at this time, but if that changes, we’ll be sure to post an update here on the Disney Parks Blog.

  • Will be there in 5 days and cannot wait to see this. My husband does a fantastic light display at the holidays, but not on this scale. He is going to be AMAZED!

  • For all of you asking about the eight songs in this year’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, here’s the list from our Music Director, Dan Stamper:

    “Jingle Bells” by Barbra Streisand
    “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano
    “A Mad Russian’s Christmas” and “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops
    “Christmas Is Starting Now” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy from “Phineas and Ferb”
    “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas” by the Plain White T’s from “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice”
    “Winter Wonderland” originally by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (1934), arranged by Dan Stamper (2012)

  • Shawn,

    Were you able to confirm the 2012 playlist as well as the 2011 playlist that Sharlene said?

    •”Feliz Navidad” – Jose Feliciano
    •”Christmas is Starting Now” – Phineas and Ferb
    •”Here Comes Santa Claus” – Elvis Presley
    •”Jingle Bells” – Barbara Streisand
    •”A Mad Russian’s Christmas” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    •”Christmas Eve” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    •Winter Wonderland – Arrangement by Dan Stamper (New for 2012)

    Trans Siberian Orchestra – Mad Russian’s Christmas
    Trans Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24
    José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad
    Parade of the Wooden Soldiers – Arthur Fielder & the Boston Pops Orchestra
    Jingle Bells – Barbra Streisand
    Christmas Is Starting Now – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
    Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas – Relient K
    Here Comes Santa Claus – Elvis Presley

    • Not quite yet. Most of our production team has been working overnight in the parks all week. I hope to get an official track listing soon.

  • I’LL be seeing this for the first time next month. too! I am BEYOND excited!!!!!!

  • I am very happy to hear of the new additions to the OFSODL.
    I love to sroll down the streets while listening to the traditional Christmas music…but I’m not a fan of the loud, ear-splitting music that plays while the lights dance.
    I’m looking forward to hearing this new rendition of “Winter Wonderland.”

  • We saw it for the first time last year and were realy impressed. We will be going again next week to spend time with our Daughter and her family at Disney and will make sure we don’t miss it. We are in our 70’s and love Disney World as much as the kids do.

  • Going this Saturday with my boyfriend and his family for my first time to see the lights. I can’t wait!!

  • I am SOOOOOOO excited to come back and see this again!! Me and my parents were there last year for our first ever DISNEY CHRISTMAS and it was the most magical experience of my life! We love it so much that we are coming back again and I am bringing my friend along! She has never been to Disney World and I just know the Osborne Lights will blow her away!! See you very very soon!!!

  • To those who have not seen the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights in person…be prepared to be amazed! Photos cannot do it justice. My husband is not easily impressed and he was totally blown away. When we experienced it for the first time in December 2010 it was during record-breaking cold weather, so the “snow” flurries were even more believable and magical. We had been to WDW several times, but never during the Christmas season. Now we are hooked. This will be our 3rd consecutive December and I can hardly wait to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights again!

    • Audrey – I heartily agree. It’s got to be seen to be believed!

  • The Osborne lights last year gave me and my dear husband of 25 years a special unforgettable moment last tear at one of the worst times of our life. I can’t wait to come back this year to celebrate at the exact same place. You see my husband last year was battling stage 4 cancer and was in chemotherapy and radiation and was getting weaker and weaker as he wasted away. We have passes so during his treatment to help us all cheer up we would come to Disney and my oldest son would push my husband in a wheelchair when he no longer could walk much. My husband just liked to see our young son smile and we were all feeling ( except my young son who could not comprehend the severity) like my husband may not make it; he was very sick. We had never been to Disney during the Christmas season or seen the lights. We were dazzled and amazed, truly happy, as we made our way through the walking tour when we rounded the corner where there’s a big square or open area… at the moment the decorations and music swept us away. We all just stood there and held each other hand when my husband asked my oldest ( who is a big guy) to help him up out if his chair…..I was nervous because he was quite weak and that day had made it apparent that he wouldn’t be able to cone back any time soon…..but he took my hand and held me as he just wanted one more dance with me in such a magical place…one more memory of showing me how much he loves me….so that song under the lights we danced…..the most romantic thing my husband has ever done and a memory neither of us will forget. This year will go back to celebrate our love and the two PET scans that show he is clear of cancer as Jesus healed him.)

    • Cynthia – I’m completely choked up reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing it with everyone. I love hearing about the ways in which our Guests are touched by the experience in the parks, and I’m so happy to know your husband is doing well! I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas!

  • We’ve seen this a few times, but its always as we’re running past it for the marathon. I’m SOO excited to be going to WDW for the Christmas season for the first time. I cannot wait. My 7 foot Disney Christmas tree is already up and lit. (Full disclosure, we traveled so much this year I left the tree up all year :D) I just received 20 new ornaments from Disney Days of Christmas and Disney Store in the mail. Squeal! To favorite things…Disney and Christmas!

  • counting down till ourThanksgiving family vacation at Disney World! All 10 of us!!

  • I’m going to see this for the first time this year!!!! I’m so excited. I’ve been to WDW around Christmas once before, when I was much younger, but the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights was closed that year. I can’t wait to finally see it!

  • Sorry submitted by mistake. Do I have to purchase another ticket for this??? After all the money I spend in the park, the gas to get there, the $14 dollars to park because my annual pass doesn’t cover that either!!!!! I just don’t understand!! :(

    • Cheryl – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included with regular daily admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

  • I have lived here for 28 years! This will be my first time visiting during christmas. I’m so exited!!!! I’m not sure I understand if I go on Dec. 14 (I have an annual pass) will I have to leave the park at 7:00 pm because I don’t have the ticket to see the parade or anything else. I paid quite the “pretty penny” just for the pass!!!! I won’t be able to see the castle or the snow on main street??????

  • What time do the lights typically get turned on?

    • Nick – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights typically begins at “dusk” (this time of year, that’s roughly 6 p.m.). The show continues each night until shortly after park closing, giving you plenty of time to catch it!

  • Tim the 2011 Playlist was:
    Trans Siberian Orchestra – Mad Russian’s Christmas
    Trans Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24
    José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad
    Parade of the Wooden Soldiers – Arthur Fielder & the Boston Pops Orchestra
    Jingle Bells – Barbra Streisand
    Christmas Is Starting Now – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
    Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas – Relient K
    Here Comes Santa Claus – Elvis Presley

  • We will be there in 7 days and can’t wait to see the lights and Santa Goofy! Osborne lights is a must see for our November trips.

  • We can not wait to see the lights and hear the new music. Will be there for my 50th birthday on Thanksgiving. So excited!

  • Tim and Lisa – I’ve forwarded your questions to my friends in the Music Department and Merchandise Development. I’ll post their replies here when I get them.

  • Can’t wait to be there in 50 days to celebrate Mom & Dad’s 40 wedding anniversary and the holidays. 10 years ago we were celebrating seeing the lights with light rain. Gave it another special effect!

  • Can’t wait to see the lights. Will be there in 44 days.

  • Hi, Over the years, I’ve collected Spectacle merchandise to commemorate visits. Can you confirm if there will be event specific merchandise this year? It has seemed like there is less and less available the past couple of years. I particularly like the long sleeved tees that have the lights on them. I think the last one had Donald having issues with the lights. Also, really like the lights necklaces! Looking forward to December to see it again.

    • Hi, Lisa – I heard back from my friend Steven Miller with the Merchandise team. Unfortunately, there are no event tee-shirts for this year, but he did share with me several pin designs that are new for 2012, so you’ll still be able to find something to commemorate your visit. Another fun idea is to have your picture taken by one of the Disney’s PhotoPass photographers on the street, and then add a special dated (and complimentary!) border or other design to your image!

  • What are the 8 songs? The 7 I know of are:
    •”Feliz Navidad” – Jose Feliciano
    •”Christmas is Starting Now” – Phineas and Ferb
    •”Here Comes Santa Claus” – Elvis Presley
    •”Jingle Bells” – Barbara Streisand
    •”A Mad Russian’s Christmas” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    •”Christmas Eve” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    •Winter Wonderland – Arrangement by Dan Stamper (New for 2012)

  • We’ll be there in 47 days! -Have my Disney Parks Countdown app on my phone! -This is one of my favorite things about Christmas in Disney World. This year, we get to see them with the whole family & our new grandson, Matthew, on his first Christmas!

  • We will be there in 30 days for our 15th Anniversary (and finally our Honeymoon)! I can’t wait!!!!!

    • Happy Anniversary, Melissa!

  • We are Disney fanatics and are looking forward to seeing anything and everything new at Disney, ESPECIALLY Christmas related.

  • 8 more days!! can’t wait

  • Gonna be there in 27 days! It’s the only thing keeping me sane!! As a passholder this year we get to visit over and over and the holidays are what we are most looking forward to! wooooooohoooooo!!

  • We arrive on Dec 8th – can’t wait!!!

  • We’ll be arriving in 12 days! We are so excited and can’t wait to see the Osborne lights again! A great way to start off the holiday season!

  • I’ll be arriving in 6 weeks for Christmas and New Year,can’t wait to see the lights again.Feliz Navidad gives me goosebumps!

  • So incredibly excited to go! 11/27 to 12/3! Haven’t been to Disney is over 15 years and have never been to the Disney Hollywood Studios! I feel like a five year old!

  • Saw this for the first time last year and had to bring my Mom to see it this year! Can’t wait!

  • Soo excited!! 8 days until I am there! Glad to see Santa Goofy back!!

  • Looks great! Really looking forward to seeing the lights again this year.

    Quick question, it looks like based on the concept art that Goofy’s Winter Wonderland is set up in the area that the Nativity has been in the past. Will that still be part of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights?

    • Matthew – You’re right, but no worries. The Nativity, which has been part of the display since Jennings Osborne presented it at his home in Arkansas, will have a new home this year, closer to the Premiere Theater.

  • Goofy needs to have his Elf, Max, with him for meets!

  • 25 more days! Can’t wait to see Santa Goofy and the lights! :)

  • Santa Goofy used to do meet and greets when the Osbourne lights first started. He was at the unload area for the tram tour which was the end of the path when the lights were on residential street.

  • Going crazy with excitement to when I get to go 42 days 😀

  • Will be there in 22 days for our second visit during the holidays. Can’t wait to see Osborne Lights again!

    • Cindy – Sounds like a Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

  • This is such an awesome sight to see in person! i was able to enjoy this last Dec and was in such awe of the beautiful displays and sooooo many lights. we walked around and stood there for almost an hour just watching everything and everyone. definintely a MUST do when there for the holidays!

  • This will be my first time to be at Disney World during the holiday season and seeing this kind of “stuff” gets me even more excited than I already am. Can’t wait to experience this.

  • Seeing this for the first time in just 44 days! I am SO excited!!

    • Michelle – Have fun. You’re going to love it!

  • I can’t wait to run through this for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon next Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I break my leg I hope it’s here :)

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