2011 marked my first visit to Walt Disney World during the Christmas holiday season. I had read all about the decorations, the Christmas party, the snow, and expected to fall in love with the Magic Kingdom all over again in all its holiday splendor. While all the decorations were wonderful, I was truly surprised at how the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights captured my heart! Now I go back as often as I can!
In 1986, the Osborne family started their light tradition with just 1,000 bulbs. Each year, the display grew until the neighborhood complained. By 1993, the display had 3 million lights and several rotating pieces. Disney made an offer to display the lights in 1995. They used the lights in the Residential Street of Hollywood Studios which is part of the Backlot Tour. Soon, the display grew to 5 million lights with over 40 hidden Mickey’s.
My family and I expected to stop by the park, take a quick look at the lights and run back to Main Street USA for the better of the holiday decorations. What could possibly compare to the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights? We arrived at Hollywood Studios only thirty minutes before the park closed. We walked quickly to view the lights, catching a small glimpse as we rushed by. The Cast Members were directing traffic so we had no choice but to go in the last entrance area. Once around the corner, we came to a screeching halt. The lights were breathtaking! Five million twinkling Christmas lights covering just about every inch of the place. Christmas music playing loudly as everyone stared up in awe. My family & I love to drive around and look at the holiday lights but I have never seen such a beautiful sight! Sadly, we only had about 20 minutes to enjoy. We were lucky enough to see the lights dance twice while we were there. It was pretty cool to see the lights synchronized to music.
After having a short time in the park we knew we would have to schedule another visit. We met up with friends and, after a yummy Thanksgiving meal at the Cape May Café, we went back to Hollywood Studios. This time, we had a couple hours. With more time to spend, we could really take a good look at the displays. We made an effort to search for all the hidden Mickey’s. They were so fun to find! There were loads of extra decorations along the side streets, including Santa driving a police car and bikes completely outlined in lights. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, it began to snow! I think we stood there for an hour. It really kicked off the holidays for all of us.
I used to think that nothing could live up to Halloween at Disney. We go every year for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Now, we are already planning another Thanksgiving trip to the World. I would highly recommend visiting during the Christmas holiday time if at all possible. It is truly magical!
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is presented every year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and run every year form early November to early January. Don’t miss it!