Last night, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights finally faded away after an incredible 67-night-long final season. The lights were originally supposed to end on Sunday, January 3rd, but were extended 3 more nights to accommodate the thousands of guests and off-duty cast members who wanted to say goodbye.
The lights turned on around 5:50PM, this was the scene just ten minutes before that. All of the Streets of America were packed with guests who wanted to see the lights turn on one last time. Around this time, the Hollywood Studios parking lot was forced to close and the area surrounding the lights was pretty much gridlocked and stayed this way for quite some time.
The actual end time for the lights was unclear based on the previous two nights, but the lights ran until 10PM. By 8:45PM, the crowd began to calm down and what was left was a sizable crowd of die-hard fans who would remain until the lights were turned off. To close out the Walt Disney World holiday tradition, the new dancing light song for this season performed last, followed by a few heartfelt words from Donnie and Annie on WJBO Radio, the fictional radio station that provided some commentary between music over the last 10 years of the event. When they were done, the lights danced to the Mickey Mouse Club sign-off, and slowly, section by section, the Spectacle of Dancing Lights faded away forever:
A darkened New York Street signified the end of a defining piece of the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not only are we saying goodbye to the Spectacle of Dancing Lights, but also the Hollywood Studios we have known for almost 27 years. The Backlot Tour, the Magic of Disney Animation, the Streets of America, the Premier Theater, and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights are all gone. It seemed as if we had talked about a makeover of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for well over a decade and now we are at the start of what may be the largest undertaking in over three decades for Walt Disney World.
A 14-acre land filled with Star Wars, new shopping, dining, and attractions from the world of Toy Story, and much more await, but first we had say goodbye to so many attractions that we have enjoyed for over 20 years. While Star Wars land and all of the other great projects for the park will surely amaze, it is sad to see so much that we love vanish, but probably no lost Studios offering hurts as much as the lights. The good news is it seems this will be our last loss before construction begins on those new additions, however, the holidays at Walt Disney World may never be quite the same again. Maybe we will see the Spectacle of Lights once more someday, but for now, and possibly forever, we say goodbye to one of the most awe-inspiring and memorable offerings in the history of the Disney theme parks: the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights.