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Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: Celebrate a De’light’ful Holiday Tradition One More Time

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

The holidays are fast approaching and we know that many of you are starting to make your plans. Two more options for holiday fun at Walt Disney World Resort will soon be available to book: the Merry & Bright Dessert Party (Nov. 6-Dec. 30) and the Merry & Bright Dinner Reception (Jan. 1- 3), both overlooking The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

With the dessert party, guests will enjoy holiday-themed desserts while surrounded by the amazing light display. New for 2015 is a dinner reception Jan. 1 – 3, featuring a selection of small bites including beef, shrimp and turkey, plus wine, beer and specialty beverages. You’ll be able to book these experiences beginning Sept. 16, so check back at around that time for full details and to reserve your spot.


As you plan ahead, we also wanted you to know that this holiday season will mark the finale for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The display of lights has enjoyed a successful run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, going all the way back to when it first appeared on Residential Street.

In order to prepare for some incredible experiences coming to the park, including the recently announced Toy Story Land and a Star Wars-themed land, we will not be able to present The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in the future. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the family of Jennings Osborne for letting us share their family tradition year after year. And thank you to all of you for being part of the spectacle with us. Here’s to making more memories in this, the 20th and final year.


  • I am very sad that Disney will be taking away the Festival of the Lights. I have gone every year to see them along with my family. I am planing on taking my grand-daughter for her first experience to bad it will be her only one. I hope that Disney reconsiders and brings them back. I always went after Thanksgiving to get me into the holiday spirit. Now I do not know what I will do. 🙁

  • VERY DISAPPOINTED about the lights leaving!! That’s one of my favorite things about WDW, is the main reason I go over during the holidays each year. It’s very magical with the lights, won’t be the same without them. Can’t they be moved somewhere else?

  • This is incredibly disappointing as everyone else is saying. I know that the past few years, the lights over the archway in Epcot went away which was a total bummer for our family bc after going around the world, my family and I would get a hot cocoa and sit under the lights before we left the park for the evening. Now to know that there will be no more Osbourne Lights, I don’t seriously know if we will continue our family tradition visiting Disney at xmas time as our 2 favorite things will no longer be a part of our favorite family event of the year. Each year, even though we are Fl Residents, and former cast members, we would take a 4-5 day vacation rather than a summer vacation, and even take our children out of school to spend the time at Disney. We felt that not only was a great learning experience regarding the holiday traditions of each country, plus the enjoyment and peacefulness of the Candlelight, but it also brought the magical wonders of Christmas to life. The feeling that would overcome us just by sitting there, listening to music, watching the lights and drinking cocoa as a family was more overwhelming than words can describe. We will certainly enjoy this last year as a family and will find another tradition that our family can enjoy. Thank you Osbourne Family for sharing YOUR magic with us and helping us to create the most amazing family memories.

  • This news is extremely sad for my family. Bringing our children to this event has been something so special, and here in Florida there are very few opportunities to feel “Christmasy”. It was such a magical feeling to stand there with the music and lights and snow, surrounded by other people just enjoying the moment. Like sharing New Year’s eve in Times Square, it will be impossible to replace, but at least give your long time visitors a new venue to enjoy this experience in. Please listen to your diehard Osborne fans and let the magic live on.
    By the way, we are huge Star Wars fans and often participate in Star Wars weekends, so we are thrilled about the new addition, but one cannot take the place of the other.

  • I believe that is a huge mistake. Many people visit Disney World during that time just for the the Osborne lights. For many Floridians not dealing with the winter cold it is the one experience that makes us truly feel that Christmas spirit. Why deal with the huge crowds at that time of the year unless your experiencing something unique. Bad call.

  • Isn’t Disney all about magical and unforgettable experiences? The Osborne lights are all that, so why are they being cancelled? I don’t think Star Wars and Avatar can even compare. I’m beyond sad.

  • We go to the parks almost every month. Retirement is grand. Very disapointing, however, that the new changes could not include this iconic event that was totally endearing to every man, woman and child who experinced it every Christmas…..I read all of these posts…..not one has said “yea! the Christmas lights are going away!” What were you thinking?

  • So sad about lights! Please please find somewhere to put them! Best part of Christmas at Disney!!

  • I fear hearts are breaking all over the world. The Osborne Christmas lights are such a beloved tradition for so many. I’m even sad for future first time Christmas visitors that will not be experiencing the awe and the wonder of seeing the lights in the magical Disney snow. Wow, my family loves the Osborne lights. I don’t even have the heart to tell my children this will be the last year. See you in December Hollywood Studios.

  • What a shame that this is going away. How about a minor extension for another week so that those of us coming down in January for Marathon weekend will have one last chance to see it ?

  • I am sooo glad I will be able to go see it this year, but PLEASE relocate it!! It is such a magical experience that I hate for future visitors to miss it!

  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights is the ultimate magical Disney experience for me. In 2007 we took our immediate family to Disney and I was able to get a couple of hours of “me” time so I went to check out the Spectacle of Lights. It was the ultimate light experience! Where I live we have a festival of Christmas lights but it doesn’t even compete! I vividly remember walking through the streets with my mouth hanging open in awe of what I was seeing. I am very sad this wonderful tradition will be going away. Disney, please reconsider and find another location for this event!!! Epcot maybe?

  • So very sad to see this go. This was the reason I urged people to go at Christmas. It was so hard to capture on video, you really have to be there to experience it. Relocate, please!

  • I will not be having “A Magical Day” anymore when my family visits Hollywood Studios during the Holidays. The only reason for visiting Hollywood Studios at Christmas is disappearing. It truly made everyone feel like a kid looking up at the Christmas lights on their tree at home. I think the Grinch has come to town:(

  • While my family is excited about the new changes we are very sad to hear about the Osborne Lights. Three generations of our family have enjoyed this holiday tradition and timed many of our travel plans to coincide with the Lights. We are now starting with the 4th generation. It’s too bad that only the 3 year old saw them. Please try to find a new location. You’re DISNEY … you can do it!

  • @ Amanda (#228): While it’s probably not spelled out officially anywhere yet, it seems a very safe assumption.

    With the obvious popularity based on all the comments, I can’t imagine WDW would discontinue it “just because”. I have to believe it’s because the area will no longer exist.

  • I’ve never had the priveledge of seeing this amazing show of lights, and I really hate to see it go!!! Please, Disney!!! Save this beautiful Christmas tradition!

  • I saw this when it posted, but after over 200 comments, I figured I should join the chorus …

    I love Star Wars (and Toy Story, for that matter, but that just shows you what I believe will stand in this spot), but this announcement is the one I’ve dreadfully been waiting for. So many excited posts came after the D23 announcement, wondering when the lands would actually open, without asking the more appropriate question … what else is going to close at this park, my personal favorite, in the meantime?

    But more to the point, I love these lights. As a child, I hated going to neighborhoods specifically to look at Christmas lights … until I saw this display. Nobody does Christmas like Walt Disney World, but it just won’t be the same. This will be my family’s ninth and final holiday season seeing this spectacular offering. I’m incredibly sad to see it go, but can’t wait to experience it one last time.

  • So bummed about this! This is our annual tradition of these special lights. I like the Toy Story additions coming but not Star Wars at all. Please relocate this somewhere. It’s a special tradition for so many. Maybe another park will pick it up? So, so, so sad about this.

  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and the Candlelight Processional have become a holiday tradition for our family. So disappointed to see the lights discontinued. We will not be renewing our WDW passes next year as token protest.

  • Have costs for the Merry & Bright events been determined yet? Thanks!

  • Our family absolutely loves disney at christmas time. Of all the things we do during our christmas visit, see the lights at the Studios is number 1, by far. We can stand there for hours just watching the lights and taking in the wonderful atmosphere. You need to find another place to to put the lights in the future.

  • The Streets of America won’t be torn down to make way for the new additions to the park, will they?

  • Very disappointed to hear that this wonderful light display will leave after this Christmas season. My family has been to it several times and we will truly miss it!!

  • I am so glad we were able to catch them on the last night of the season in January 2012. We were there when they flipped the light switch off for the last time that holiday season. Even got to line dance with the CM’s to the very last Christmas song/dancing lights of the season. Such a special memory! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights display is one of the most spectacular light displays I have ever seen. It is so much fun to walk through the lights and discover all the little secrets. My family and I are sad to learn we won’t be able to experience them any longer. Please find a way to continue this light display in some way or another.

  • I have been saving and planning on taking my five grandchildren to Disney World for Christmas next year. The main reason for our trip is to see the Osborne Lights. I am very disappointed this will be the last year and I will not be able to experience this with my grandchildren. I am also disappointed that this was not shared until this weekend. Possibly if I knew sooner I would have been able to arrange a visit this year. Hopefully the Disney Corporation will see how important this Christmas experience is to families. Would they ever consider discontinuing Space Mountain or Dumbo? Please, please consider relocating the Osborne Lights to another location in Disney World. Thank you.

  • I am disheartened by this news. My mother called me in tears for our cherished holiday tradition is coming to a sudden close. The lights are my favorite holiday activity. In fact I purchase my Seasonal Pass every year specifically for this event. As a stockholder and avid Disney fan, I understand the desire to bring new attractions to the park, however; to dismantle a family holiday tradition such as the Osborne Lights concerns me that Disney has lost sight of what should be protected and held dear. Walt Disney wanted to create a place where families could spend time together and build fond memories for years to come. The Osborne Lights did just that. I am saddened that I will never be able to experience the Osborne Lights with my children, a tradition I so badly wanted to preserve. I hope Disney works their magic and finds another place to put the lights. Please keep this awe-inspiring tradition alive!

  • I agree this is an experience the whole family can enjoy together. It was what made Walt Disney World such a magical Christmas experience. Having it in one of the Parks and having all the different streets to go down and all the windows and buildings to decorate is what made it so special. We would spend the night finding all the hidden Mickey’s and standing in different spots to see all the lights. It never got old. Christmas at Disney World just won’t be the same without it.

  • Very BIG mistake. Huge! Find a way to keep the lights: move them if necessary, but please don’t cancel them altogether. Our family has vacationed at WDW more than 50 times. We love WDW. We love the Osborne lights. And that’s all I have to say.

  • I first saw the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in 1999 with my brothers and parents. Since moving to Florida 10 years ago I have seen the lights with my wife (Whom I met at MGM Studios) almost every year since. We have taken our two daughters (1 and 4) to see the lights, and have planned on taking them each year as they grow. The lights are our favorite holiday tradition, and the thought of losing all of those future beautiful memories, and the possibility of my daughters not remembering the lights at all, is truly heartbreaking.

    Beyond my personal memories of this attraction, the story behind the display is just as impactful. When his young daughter requested Christmas lights, Jennings Osbourne ended up with an extraordinary display of, not just lights, but Christmas spirit. When he was legally forced to shut down his display, Disney stepped in and was not only able to keep this man’s gift to his daughter alive, but present it to countless others who would not have been able to experience it otherwise. The fact that one man’s gift to his daughter, could bring so much joy, happiness, wonder, excitement, nostalgia, and love to so many is truly extraordinary. It is not so different from another man’s vision to create a place for parents and children to enjoy and experience together, that has ended up touching so many countless families.

    Disney’s parks have embraced the past and the future. To get to Tomorrow Land, you must first walk through Main Street USA. Without the past, there is no future, were it not for Main Street, no one would care for Tomorrow Land. It is this appreciation for the past and what those before us have done that makes the idea of building upon that into the future so special. The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights brings back that nostalgia of yesteryear, not just for the light display, but because of its heartfelt beginnings and the joy and wonder it has provided to so many throughout the years. Walt’s own Carousel of Progress is a great example of the past and future coming together to create something magical.

    I understand the need to create something new. Hollywood Studios is in need of new attractions. But to sacrifice these lights and all that they encompass is devastating. My family would gladly trade Avatar Land, Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land just to keep the Lights. I implore you to please do whatever is necessary to keep the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights alive at Disney World.

    Thank you.

  • Will the desert party be able to accommodate food allergies such as gluten allergies?

  • This is such heartbreaking news. We love love love love the Osborne lights. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas if we can’t see them. We travel to Disney every year at Christmas time as a holiday tradition. I love all the new changes coming, but can’t we have progress without destroying an icon. Move them to a different area of Disney. There is plenty of property to go around. And I know the majority of WDW addicts like myself will appreciate them.

    This show brings people together… Fitting the massive crowds in those tiny streets to watch with our mouths open at the awe inspiring lights. There is no pushing, no shoving… Just wonderment…

  • While I’m very excited for Star Wars & Toy Story Lands, it will be sad to see the Osborne Lights go. I think it’s impossible for anyone who has seen them over these past 20 years to walk away from them not feeling the spirit of Christmas in them. If they can’t be displayed as is anywhere else on Disney World property, perhaps they can be used on a smaller scale like Disney Springs or the resorts. Or maybe some of them can be used as the basis for an updated version of Lights of Winter at Epcot or something like that at one of the parks.

  • This is very upsetting to read. No other bit of news has been this upsetting. Aside from the Candlelight Processional, this is the best thing WDW has to offer the entire year. There is no other light display in the country that comes anywhere as good as this one. It is so immersive, and the dancing part is better choreographed than any other dancing lights. There is no reason that this can’t be moved elsewhere. Yes, it will take planning and infrastructure changes, but the Imagineers are certainly capable of planning a new home after everything else they have designed.

  • So sad to hear this. We have made a vacation every December to bring the holiday spirit closer. This will stop our holiday visits but hope they could move it somewhere else . Certain traditions need to stay. With all the land Disney owns can’t they expand instead of replace

  • This would be the biggest loss ! We have enjoyed the Osborne Family lights many times and want to continue to do that ! PLEASE find a way to keep the lights and have the beautiful display. We love the idea of the new additions and do not want to lose a true treasure. Please read the comments here and listen. We love the dancing lights ! Save the lights ! Please Please…….. Thanks

  • Please don’t take the lights away! They are such a huge part of Christmas to me. It’s always so much fun to experience the beauty and the Christmas spirit of the Osborne lights. My husband and I really love and enjoy them and thought it was extra fun to try and find where the purple Halloween cat was hidden each year. The new lands sound like fun, but please not at the expense of the lights! It seems like Disney has lots of land to work with. Please reconsider this decision. I hope sanity prevails and the lights can be saved for future generations to enjoy. Many thanks to the Osborne Family and Disney for sharing this amazing experience with us!

  • I am so disappointed that you are not going to have the Osbourne Christmas Lights,
    after this year, my husband and I enjoyed them so much, and enjoy coming to Disney in November, so we can see the dancing lights. I think Disney is making a mistake, I have seen so many happy faces and happy family times with these lights.

    Thanks for the memories,

  • Have been seeing these lights with my daughter for so many years. I remember when you had them mainly on the 1-2 block long street of homes before you took that part of the park down. If there is any way your great Disney imagineers could come up with a new way to display them–that would be fantastic. I am sure their set-up is mammoth task–could we leave some of them up but hidden all year long? Or, could we just preserve some of them and limit the total display but not loss it all together.
    PLEASE consider saving this fantastic well loved Disney World experience. Thank you

  • This news is very disappointing. People understand the need to move the display for the changes that are coming, but why is it being done away with completely? It is not just the loss of a favourite ride or attraction. The Lights have become such a big part of so many familys’ holiday memories and traditions. Wasn’t Disney built on the idea of magic and nostalgia and family? The Osborne Family Lights are one of the few things left in the parks that epitomize this ideal.

  • Is there anyway to acquire (purchase) any of the Osborne Christmas Lights/display, i.e. an angel, a Christmas tree, the “Peace on Earth” sign, the “Merry Christmas” sign, the bicycle, a nutcracker soldier, the Mickey/Minnie lighted outline display, Santa with the reindeer? (Would love to display the bicycle here) Any part of it at all? Thank you.

  • We have been coming to Disney World since the opening.For many years Walt’s’ dreams were brought to life by his original imagineers .Christmas was always highlighted as the most special time of year thru decorations and shows.Ah the shows,that is where Disney shined bright like no other place .Dreams and Magic of the season realized thru unforgettable live stage shows both small and large.Merry ChrisTmoose ,in front of ITS A SMALLWORLD.At Tomorrowland by Space Mountain was a outdoor theater,silver metal chairback bench style seating with a large stage and at Christmas a live production of ‘T’Was The Night Before Christmas,singing and dancing.Then in Frontier land at the Country Bear Jamboree, a Christmas show featuring Elvis bear,”thank u ,thank very much”. Now move over to the convention center at the Contemporary Resort for the largest Christmas show at Disney ,featuring All the characters on a huge ‘L’shaped stage ,while sitting at 12 seat tables being served ‘family’ style.Then at Downtown Disney at the stage on the edge of the lake by the Empress Lily paddlewheel boat ,was the best little production of The Birth Of Christ “The Nativity “,(local actors from Orlando),3 shows a day. One of the best scenes,when an Angel appears floating above the stable ,not being able to see how the live Angel was really floating in air brought ‘wows’and sighs from the audience.after the show grab a ice cream an go over to the ice skating rink by the Christmas Tree at the main entrance.Epcot had the Lights Of Winter all over with each country’s version of Santa Claus emanating the holiday spirit worldwide.But sadly as time went an newer people took over after the original imagineers retired the course of magical tradition started to change evidenced by the slowly disappearing Christmas shows only leaving a few sprinkled thru the parks.when Osborne lights appeared ,adding snow an more animation the holiday feeling was coming back to Disney.for years,mention Christmas at Disney and the first comment is,’OH THOSE OSBORNE LIGHTS AN SNOW AN MUSIC ,WHAT A FEELING ,WHAT AN EXPERIENCE,CHRISTMAS HAPPINESS PERMEATING ALL THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE THIS,GOOSEBUMPS ABOUND ! SO P L E A S E to those who imagine,KEEP THIS STEADFAST TRADITION SOMEWHERE,THERE’S PLENTY OF ROOM FOR THIS CHRISTMAS MAGIC ,WE ALL NEED TO KEEP THE FEELING,the most favorite time of year. Thanks for listening,Bob

  • Please please please don’t take this away.

  • I’m so excited to see the upcoming changes at Hollywood Studios, but am absolutely heartbroken about this being the last year for the Osbourne lights. I think this is actually the change that has impacted me the most of any made over the years. Thanks for announcing the end so far ahead though since that may allow others the opportunity to bid them farewell ☺

  • There has to be a way to still have this light display somewhere at WDW. It’s an important part of the holiday celebration at WDW…..My family has been going to Disney every year since 1984. Lately we’ve been making the trip 3 times a year. And at Christmas we come specifically to see the osborne light display. Disney needs to seriously reconsider this decision. While the new plans for the studios sound great they shouldn’t be done at the expense of such a.wonderful holiday tradition!

  • We are among the thousands who are terribly sad to see the Osborne lights go. Walking among those lights and the music puts the widest grin on so many people’s faces, and brings everyone together – just as Christmas and Disney are meant to do. It was a perfect fit.
    We plan our visits to Disney at Christmas because it is so magical at this time, and the lights were a very big part of it. I am very thankful to the Osborne family for providing the means to such wonderful memories!

  • so disappointed, this is one of our favorite things to experience with the holiday season at Walt Disney World.

  • Such a shame that something so special and so magical to so many is coming to an end. Countless holiday memories and family traditions have been made during the OFSDL, and it is truly sad to see something thousands of fans look forward to every year coming to a close. It would be a wonderful thing to see some DISNEY MAGIC happen, and maybe relocate this treasured event to another location in the future. I will be WISHING ON A STAR…

  • I am very sad to hear about this being the final year for the Osborne Lights and one of the reasons my husband and I chose December for our Disney wedding. We had planned to return there for our 10th anniversary next year, but unfortunately, that wont be. I know things must change, but Disney has been able to move other long-standing attractions, and I hope in some capacity, there will be something just as spectacular as this display to re-create the nostalgia of the Osborne lights. I can remember how it started so small to become what it is today. Memories….

  • This is a must see for those of you who have never experienced it!
    I can’t imagine Hollywood Studios for Christmas without it. I hope Disney reconsiders eliminating it or placing this spectacular festival of lights at another park. Thank you Osbornes!

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