Nothing says Christmas more than over-the-top light displays. Unfortunately, there is a downside to creating an elaborate, twinkling light display that is so grand that everyone needs to see it = Traffic. Unbearable street congestion for an entire month is enough to make Grinches out of the nicest neighbors. The Osbourne family of Arkansas learned the hard way, when faced with lawsuits over their enormous Christmas light display. In stepped Disney, who bought the rights to The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in 1995, giving it a new home at Disney's Hollywood Studio. No more neighbor problems and now, many more visitors can enjoy the Osbourne's display. Plus, no offense Arkansas, but I'm guessing most people would rather go to Walt Disney World.
I learned that due to the construction for the new Star Wars land, The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights would have its final run during our visit. I knew that we had to see it, but I also knew that Dan would not be happy with the crowds. The lights draw large crowds on a normal year, but being the last year, I knew it would be extra crazy.
Luckily, the perfect solution presented itself. We were able to snag the last pair of tickets for a special event called the Merry and Bright Dinner Reception. The Merry and Bright Dinner Reception took place in a roped off area in a central courtyard, with great views of the light display. It included a buffet dinner, alcoholic beverages, and a special souvenir framed light-bulb from the Osbourne Lights. The event was worth every penny.
Here are a few pictures of The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights area that I took prior to the event starting. I'm glad that I took these shots, as the entire evening flew by, and we hardly took any pictures.
We were given a table assignment and a pair of 3-D glasses. I guess the glasses sort of made everything look more vivid, but the 3-D aspect was lost on me.
We were seated at a round table for eight, a mix of families with kids and couples. We met a nice retired couple who had recently moved to Orlando. They were probably bigger Disney fans than me, and that's saying a lot. I enjoyed talking to them, but we were so busy chatting that we didn't get enough time to explore the lights.
The food was amazing: prime rib, pasta, pizza, apple pie, lots of things chocolate, et...but most memorable was an alcoholic drink with pineapple and marshmallows. Oh my goodness. Heaven. I definitely feel that the Merry and Bright Dinner Reception was a great value for money, and it made our evening stress-free. No lines and we didn't have to deal with crowds until the very end, when we walked out of the roped off area.
As I said, we had a mad scramble to enjoy the lights after the reception. We should have left the reception about thirty minutes before we did, as it was, we had about fifteen minutes to explore the lights close-up and take pictures.
It's not the same without music or seeing those lights "dance", so here's a video.
Much like a spectacular fireworks display, The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is completely overwhelming. I was hyper like a four year old who just ate a mountain of sugar. It's a sensory overload, and then, it's over. When it ends, there is no gentle conclusion, all of the magnificent lights that were on a minute ago, are turned off.
Encore! Encore! Encore!
Alas, there is no encore. I'm truly sad to see The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights leave the park. It was beautiful while it lasted, and I'm happy to have experienced it one final time.