What’s the story behind the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
The display started in Arkansas in 1986 when Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights at his home.
The display grew bigger every year, and by 1993, was lit for 35 days during the Christmas season, from sunset to about midnight every day. Six neighbors filed a lawsuit, saying traffic congestion made trips to the corner store take two hours, and they feared emergency vehicles could not get down the street. Osborne responded by adding three million more lights.
The county court ordered an injunction against the display, limiting it to 15 days and directing that it be lighted only from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Osborne appealed first to the Arkansas Supreme Court and lost, then in 1994 to the United States Supreme Court, where Justice Clarence Thomas refused to halt the order. In 1995, the state Supreme Court shut the display down altogether.
The story of the light display’s court case brought national attention, including offers from several cities to host the display. Walt Disney World project director John Phelan offered Walt Disney World as a permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer. Happily, Osborne accepted the offer. The light display now appears from mid-November until the first week of January on the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios every year.
As great as the pictures are, they really don’t do the display justice. The lights aren’t static; they’re alive with motion. The whole area has a soundtrack of festive holiday music! Scroll down through the pictures and at the end of this post you’ll find a video that will give you a better idea of how awesome these lights can be!
If you’d like to visit Walt Disney World to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights for yourself, fill out the form on the right side of the screen, or call James at 855-434-9397.