by Disney Magic Diva
One of my very favorite moments at Walt Disney World Resorts was the year we stumbled upon the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. We knew there was some type of light display at Hollywood Studios, but weren’t aware of much more than that. As we made our way to the Streets of America, we were not at all prepared for the wonder which we were soon to behold. It was one of those “jaw-dropping, take-your-breath-away, never-imagined-it-would-be-this-amazing” moments. Literally every inch of the buildings, block after block, was covered in lights. And it didn’t end there. Light displays filled the skies as well. They all twinkled and twirled and blinked and, well, danced, in perfect time to the music. We stood there speechless, not knowing where to look first, and not wanting to leave. (You can read more about it in Jersey Diva’s article, here.)
Since that visit many years ago, we’ve done our best to make it back each holiday season to take in all the splendor of Disney World, but specifically to see the Osborne Lights. Last year, knowing it would be the last time, was especially meaningful. We were so thrilled to bring our granddaughter back, and particularly happy our grandson could see the lights before they were gone forever. It was a memorable family evening.
And now that the Osborne Family lights are gone, I must admit I’m having a little withdrawal. Holidays at Disney World just aren’t going to be the same without seeing them. (Although, the new Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks show should help relieve some of the depression!)
But life goes on, right? Walt said Disneyland would never be complete – there would always be new things. And anyway, there were plenty of years we couldn’t make it to Disney World to see the lights. So what can we do to keep the memory of the Osborne Lights alive? My family has brainstormed some ways we plan to get that “Osborne Lights magic” at home.
Make your own light display Walt started with a mouse; the Osbornes started small too. (Jersey Diva explains more about the history of the Osborne Lights in her article.) While you probably don’t want to undertake amassing millions of lights for your home, you can start somewhere. You can even show your Disney Side! Amazon offers Disney themed fireworks projectors, complete with sound, to add that Disney touch to your display. (Although they may be less expensive at Lowe’s.) There are also strings of lights shaped like Mickey heads, Disney character neon lights, countdown to Christmas projectors, character inflatables, even pre-lit trees and lampposts with a Mickey head light on top! The options seem only limited by your imagination (and maybe your bank account!)
Go on a holiday lights tour If your hometown is like most, there’s that one house or neighborhood that goes all out for the holidays. It’s usually publicized by local media, or at least part of the local folklore. So do a little research, load the kids up in the car (preferably in their pajamas!) and set out to “oooh” and “aaahh” over the dancing lights spectacle of your hometown.
Watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Sure, it’s not a Disney movie, but the Griswold’s light display rivals the Osborne Family’s! And the laughs and love they share certainly evoke all the same feelings we get when vacationing at a Disney Park.
Enjoy some holiday treats Each time we visited the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, it was our tradition to enjoy a delectable gingerbread cupcake and some hot cocoa. (Well, okay…maybe we only had cocoa on those occasions when it was a little cool.) Now, whenever I have the chance to enjoy some gingerbread, I think about the Osborne Lights. Something to do with the hippocampus and it’s link to our digestive system, I think. But it’s a sure-fire way to help me recall all the wondrous times we reveled in the Osborne Lights, so you can bet we’ll be munching on some warm gingerbread this holiday season.
Nothing will replace the Osborne Lights. It was truly a spectacle – a holiday tradition for thousands of Disney guests. Even though we will miss seeing it this year, we’ll do our best to create new traditions while fondly remembering those magical Disney moments we spent at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
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