Millions of lights will come on starting November 6, 2015 and run through January 2, 2016. This display is a spectacle in every sense of the word. As you walk through the street, you are immersed in a surreal experience in which millions of lights blanket every square inch of wall, door, and window. And they are synchronized to a variety of well known holiday music by Imagineers.
Just before dark, Cast Members start blocking off the Streets of America for the nightly event. Lights come on at dark (usually around 6 pm) and keep going until Hollywood Studios closes. You are free to meander around and enjoy the lights. On nights when it’s not so busy, my family will just sit on a curb and watch them for nearly an hour. It gets pretty busy right after Fantasmic, because everyone runs in that direction.
DIStracted Tip: Viewing the lights either during Fantasmic or right before closing are the least busiest times.
You just can’t have dancing lights without the Trans-Siberian Orchestra! In the past few years “A Mad Russian’s Christmas” and “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12-24)” have been featured. If they are not your flavor, don’t worry – there is always something for everyone as other songs like Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, Feliz Navidad, Winter Wonderland, Blue Christmas, Jingle Bells, Here Comes Santa Claus have been featured, performed by artists like The Plain White T’s, Elvis, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Arthur Fiedler. I can not wait to hear what songs will be played this year!
When the dancing lights “show” begins, everyone stops in their tracks. Recording devices go into the air, and smiles are everywhere. It is very rare at Walt Disney World to hear absolute silence, but last year – during one of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s songs, the music and lights slowed down and got really, really quiet and it was DEAD SILENT. Hundreds of people and it was dead silent. No one moved. No one breathed. The song geared back up, ended and everyone erupted in applause. Our little family was on the curb just taking it all in. It is breathtaking and a do-not-miss experience.
How did this display get started? According to Disney, “This stunning spectacle started modestly in Arkansas as a single home’s annual display. Every year, Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights. Over time, the collection of lights grew and grew … and grew! In 1995, the Osborne family decided to share their magic with the world. Walt Disney World Resort happily offered to become the new permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer.” Let me just say I’m VERY glad they did.
A few things to note about The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights:
- To make it happen, a full-time crew of Imagineers start putting up the lights around Labor Day.
- Admission is included with your regular park tickets, no passes are required.
- In 2014, there was a Frozen themed dessert party offered with preferred seating available. There has not been an announcement from Disney if it will be offered again this year.
- Make sure you grab your Glow with the Show ears and wands, as they synchronize with the music.
- There are Photo Pass photographers available in spots that make for great Christmas card photos!
If you will be at Walt Disney World this winter, make sure to carve out some time to spend in this wonderful experience. It will ruin you for every other Christmas light display you will ever see.