VIDEO - Disney's Hollywood Studios says goodbye to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Jan 07, 2016 in "Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights"

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights 2015
Posted: Thursday January 7, 2016 7:52am EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

A packed Streets of America said goodbye for one final time to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights last night at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

After 20 years of delighting guests and with Disney moving ahead with a redevelopment of the park, the lights were forever switched off at the end of park hours January 6 2016.

We've put together a video tribute, featuring a 10 angle view of the Osborne Lights performing to Trans Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," and the very final moments of the lights on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Keep checking back for multi-angle videos of all the dancing sequences from the 2015 display.

Also be sure to check out our Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights photo gallery for this year's display, with up-close photos of all the details that made the lights so special. And for lots more photos of the display, including daytime pictures and the display from past years, see the main gallery.

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BroganMcJan 16, 2016

I haven't read all the posts in this thread so may have missed the subtlety of WDWMagic's argument. The post I replied to said it was impossible to put 5 million lights up in EPCOT. That supposition is just plain wrong. It is both very feasible and needed. Thanks. Maybe the WDW monitors will pay attention and be inspired. Exactly what am I supposed to "let go"? I'm not understanding your chastisement. I argued for a light display in another venue to fill the hole Osborne Lights leaves behind. I gave examples of what could be done. Should I just "let go" the desire for WDW to be an interesting place to visit over the holidays? In case you missed my earlier post, I have let that go. That's why I won't be returning next NYE. Fortunately I have a holiday destination nearby to entertain me. 2017 I may return but it will probably be with my van so I can visit other non-WDW destinations.

ToTBellHopJan 15, 2016

Some of us need to take Indy's advice (which is even more amusing post-Frozen):

dgp602Jan 15, 2016

WOW! Excellent post with facts and photos to support your position. I love the passion. Bravo!!!

Sped2424Jan 15, 2016


Jon81ukJan 15, 2016

@BroganMc what you describe for Epcot is feasible, but it would NOT be the Osborne lights returning, it would be an entirely new installation created from scratch which is what WDWMagic was saying. As Steve said, hopefully Disney will install another light show at another park, but it will not be Osborne Lights v4.

BroganMcJan 15, 2016

This is how Busch Gardens decorates their steam train for Christmas. The lights are powered by a generator in the caboose. And they play Christmas carols over the train's PA. Riding it makes you weep for what Disney could do if they just tried. For the record, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is laid out in "countries of the world" style. It's like a mixture of EPCOT, Magic Kingdom and Osborne. Each country is transformed into it's own unique style for the holidays. England has the typical Dickensonian style. Light garland and wreaths. Lots of boughs of holly about. Ireland is transformed into a uniquely Irish Christmas with lots of shamrocks, green and orange decorations. San Marco becomes Holiday Hills with it's 1940's style lights. Very kitchy. That red & white lit up ride is their spinning tea cups. It's renamed "Peppermint Twist". The water ride (Escape from Pompei) is drained of water and transformed into a polar bear's icey playland with blue and white LEDs standing in for water and trees decorated with green and purple. Even the walkway from the Polar Playland is decorated with tiny trees and bushes all wrapped tight with orange and white flickering lights. The huge maple tree that marks the meeting place between San Marco and Italy is wrapped with so many lights on the trunk and each individual barren branch it is visible throughout the park. Italy is where all the kiddie rides are. That's decorated with more classical white and yellow LEDs. There's that gorgeous Nativity scene brightly lit in golden white with a blue flood lights casting a gentle background behind. Germany gets that tall Christmas tree and a dancing spectacle of lights (O Tannebaum) every 5-10 minutes. That segues into France and Canada where we find Santa's North Pole and an ice skating show. There are holiday musical productions in each land. Actual stage shows with live performers who bring as much energy to the experience as the Lion King performers. And the train circles all of it. My favorite part is the bridge from Italy to Germany. That's deemed the "Peace Bridge" because they play the song "Let there be Peace on Earth" on a loop and you get to overlook the water that runs through the park with it's many lit trees. I zoomed in on that Peace on Earth sign. That's attached to the train trestle across the river. (The park train.) All those little trees reflect in the water and seem to quadruple. No, you don't get to go on all the rides. They only open one rollercoaster. They don't stay open past midnight (it closes at 9, 10 or 11pm). They don't do fireworks. (Too many trees.) And the weather can be biting cold. (Park doesn't close even if there's up to 4 inches of snow on the ground.) But admission is extremely reasonable ($30 for the season last year) and it feels very like being inside a Christmas train garden. They do not have any buildings over 2 stories tall (most are just 1). What they do have is land and lots of creativity. And an executive staff willing to support their ideas. Just imagine what Disney could do. No sorry, I cannot agree with the sentiment Disney's hands are tied. That's pure lazy thinking. But they can go ahead and rest on their laurels. When attendance plummets next holiday then they can blame construction or the economy or some other reason other than they were too uninspired and lazy to produce quality holiday entertainment. I'll rejoice in their competitors eating their lunch.

BroganMcJan 15, 2016

I'm not understanding that. Have you seen Innoventions and the pavilions surrounding FutureWorld? As soon as you walk away from the fountain, especially on the Land and Imagination pavilion side, there is nothing but empty walls and no decorations. No, you don't have the city building facades with their little doorways, but you've got lots of reflective glass, tons of trees and bushes, even a little walkthru garden that could be covered in a canopy of lights. Think of those two huge reflection ponds and what they could do with floating light structures (floating angels or Christmas trees). Then you have that entire walkway from Future World to World Showcase. Where Lights of Wonder used to be. Those trees have a power supply available by each of them but not even a twinkling firefly light between them. Just a very dim white flood light. I do more with a $10 green spotlight and some icicle lights in my front yard... and I need to run a series of extension cords and timers. If Imagineers were given the ok by execs, they could put together a very nice holiday light show in that venue. One that could be even bigger and more unique than what Osborne provided. There's far more space available in FutureWorld than SoA. Traffic flow can easily be diverted through and around both sides and into/out of World Showcase. (There are three pathways to World Showcase.) Just look what they have done in years past for the Flower & Garden festival. And it would balance the flow of traffic after dark. Right now FutureWorld practically empties as soon as dinnertime hits. You have the crowd that just wants to do rides mobbing the pavilions (Land, Test Track, Mission Space), and the rest mobbing the countries. The gospel choir shuts down at night leaving that entire stage area empty. You do have the fountain to become your dancing spectacle showcase. No it wouldn't be Osborne Lights. It wouldn't be Christmas in the city. It would be more like those light displays you see spring up in municipal parks around the country in December. The themes could center on Christmas gardens and Christmas future. And it would be far bigger. Have any of you even seen what Busch Gardens Williamsburg does to transform their crowded, wooded, summer seasonal park into a winter wonderland? These are shots of ChristmasTown (my new favorite holiday destination) [URL=''][IMG][/IMG] [URL=''][IMG][/IMG] [URL=''][IMG][/IMG] For the record, Busch Gardens puts up 10,000 lit Christmas trees (all viewable from the train that goes around the park and is itself decorated and themed for it) and over 10 million Christmas lights. Granted they have a heckuva a lot more space than dinky ol' SoA. Just think what Imagineers could do if WDW execs would devote some of their precious park income to it. But no, instead they greedily trim budgets to maximize profits and hope to look good to the accountants who think they are pleasing stockholders. (As a stockholder, I can say I am most definitely NOT pleased. My Disney stock is far more affected by ESPN and entertainment losses than mediocre park profits.)

Tigger1988Jan 14, 2016

Don't remind me! Ugh Artpop...

FigmentForver96Jan 14, 2016

People still will not believe it.

wdwmagicJan 14, 2016

There is no way you could install 5 million string lights at Epcot. There just isn't a suitable location. Hopefully Disney will create a new show for Christmas at one of the parks, but it won't be another incarnation of the Osborne Lights. The Studios backlot was a unique location to do it, and can't be replaced.

ford91exploderJan 14, 2016

Dumpster more likely

ford91exploderJan 14, 2016

The problem does not exist with the Imagineers, It's focused on the executive suite, I think Disney is going to be shocked come christmas season 2016 at the drop in visitors because of the loss of the lights. I know LOTS of people who visited simply to see the lights and I was one of them. The loss of the lights was cost cutting pure and simple, With SOA going away the show would never be the SAME, Remember this started out on 'Residential Street'. The lights could have been transferred to EPCOT and used to create a NEW show. but no that would 'cost too much'/

ToTBellHopJan 14, 2016

They will handle having half the park closed better than they handled having half a theme park for the last ten years. At least now we have some new entertainment and a shining light at the end of a four-year tunnel.

BroganMcJan 14, 2016

Um not denial, thank you very much. I know darn well Christmas ended 3 weeks ago. I'm still celebrating winter with my lights. What else am I going to do? Embrace the dark barrenness of the landscape with its dormant trees, dead plants, brown grass and bitterly cold nights without any snow to speak of? ;) Seriously though we keep our house lights on timer until the end of January (one more week for us). Then we shut them off their timers. Gradually we take all the decorations down. Stockings first, then tree. Last to come down is the train garden. January and February would be incredibly depressing otherwise. Of course our lights are a mixture of purple, blue and green. If I swap out the red for some gold I can easily transform our house into the Mardi Gras house. I've known for many years that Disney's lighting crew started stringing those lights in August and cut them off the buildings in January. Most of them ended up in the trash. Not necessarily because they didn't work but it was just too complicated to gently pry them off the buildings and keep them in one piece. But the big figures (Mickey's train, Mickey/Santa shaking hands, Mickey snowman, reindeer & sleigh, flying angels, angel carousel, toy soldiers, horse-drawn sleigh and peace on earth globe, purple cat, red armadillo), those were kept and reused year to year. Imagineers converted them to LEDs several years ago making the colors pop. I was told the figures that Jennings Osborne made were given back to his wife and daughter. So I don't expect to see the peace on earth globe, angel carousel, purple cat, or armadillo again in Disney. The Mickey train and other Mickey figures may come back somewhere. I believe I was told some of the angels Disney made and some Jennings made. I will very much miss seeing them all in a holiday display next Christmas. I'm so pleased the show at least ended with class. Having the lights go out with the sound effect of a whoosh and the last to fade to black being the red Peace on Earth was simply poetic. You can tell the Imagineers who created that goodbye did so with great love. My displeasure going forward is more a general dismay. The construction period will be painful for DHS. I don't see how they will handle having half the park shut down. We decided not to return for the holidays next year because of that. It's just not going to be fun celebrating NYE in half a park with no Christmas light show. Heck the DJ this year was awful compared to the live band we used to have with Mulch, Sweat and Shears. But I'll still be keeping my eyes posted to see what Disney comes up with. I know we guests weren't the only fans of Osborne Lights. And the Imagineers can be very very clever with their shows. They just need execs to approve a venue for them.