It is hard to accept the cancellation of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (or The Osborne Lights) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Millions of people from all over the world have been awash in their glow since the display debuted in 1995. After living on Residential Street for ten years, they moved to their current location, the Streets Of America. Now, a decade later, in 2015, they are being lit for the last time. It’s sad to see the end of a much beloved holiday tradition for so many families. However, I feel truly blessed to have experienced them myself, and to share their beauty with you, my readers.
Just after sundown, we headed over to the SoA section of the park where people were starting already gathering. I wouldn’t say there was a line exactly, it’s more like a crush of people and enormous strollers. Once you get close enough to hear the music, you start to think to yourself, “Okay, any minute now!”, but that’s not the case. As usual, Disney artfully wields the weapon on anticipation like no one else in the game can! Every cut-through to the lights was blocked by cast members waving marshaling wands, funneling you into the MuppetVision 3D courtyard. Of course, that didn’t stop every third guest from trying to sneak in with some excuse or another.
Being my first and only time seeing The Osborne Lights, I didn’t know what to expect. Many people were milling around as clueless as I was. Disney bloggers on Instagram were acting like this was a separately ticketed event, but I couldn’t find where to purchase passes. As per a CM, the lights were included in park admission, there was no additional cost. Now that we were good-to-go, we stayed in line and continued with the crowd to the end of the alley. At the corner, we turned right and began walking toward the “town square” in front of Lights, Motors, Action! At this point, I was finally able to see some of the display between the buildings.
We were tired of being crammed together like sardines, so when the majority of people turned right, we turned left. I needed to catch my breath and clear my head for a moment. We sat toward the rear of the cul-de-sac to catch our breath and, in my opinion, found the best vantage point to take in “dancing” effect of The Osborne Lights. From here we were able to see all of the different sections of lights coordinating with the music! Once you have made it to the lit area, the performance takes between 40-60 minutes to completely cycle through the set list. The songs are lively and upbeat holiday favorites, but not necessarily Disney titles.
I loved this oversized animated “fireplace” located about halfway down the street of lights. All of the individual arrangements are creative and brilliantly assembled, but the fire was completely unique from anything I had ever seen before!
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) by Trans-Siberian Orchestra was truly my favorite song of the night! Everyone loved the lights set to this beautiful mash-up of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Carol of the Bells. I find it so deeply touching that they included it in The Osborne Lights, especially since I know the history behind it. I am old enough to remember watching the city of Sarajevo turn to ruins on CNN and I have seen footage of “The Cellist” playing amongst them in the documentary Reporters At War (pt1). Every time I hear Christmas Eve, I think of him.
On the theme of Peace on Earth, this shot above is probably the most well-planned view in the entire display. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, please take the closing of another year, to perpetuate peace and harmony around you. Spread love and light to everyone you meet. How anyone could feel anything other than blessed when standing in the center of all of this is beyond me! I couldn’t help but feel complete joy! I had no troubles that night. As one final touch of holiday magic, it started snowing! Man-made snow of course, but snow all the same.
With so many upgrades and renovations going on in the park, it was inevitable that we were going to lose something. The expanded Star Wars land will be taking over part of this area in the future, but I can’t help but think that they could have found another home for the lights. Sunset Blvd on the other side of Hollywood Studios would be a good place because the decorations over there are looking tired. Disney Springs would be another great option for a new home. I am hoping that something is already in the works to replace the lights, at least. I am thankful for all of the cast members who have worked tirelessly to make The Osborne Lights happen every year. No one does the holidays better than Disney, but they couldn’t make any of it happen without the people behind the scenes.
Watch The Osborne Lights
I am reediting all of my videos and will replace this one soon.