Lights out for the Osborne Family Spectacle Dancing Lights

Today, September 11th, Disney Parks officially announced that this year is the final year of the Osborne Family Spectacle Dancing Lights to make way for Toy Story Land and Star Wars-Themed Land the lights have to go out.

Via Disney Parks Blog by Thomas Smith

What exactly is the story being the Osborne Family Spectacle Dancing Lights?

Christmas lights and decorations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World was created by Jennings Osborne along with his wife Mitzi in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1968 for their daughter, Allison Brianne Osborne.

Jennings decorated their home with 1,000 lights and each year it grew, it grew so much that Jennings had to purchase two properties next to his own to display them. 6 neighbors filed a lawsuit because of traffic in their neighborhood, and the Osborne family responded to the lawsuit by adding 3 million more lights. Something I can only guess Walt Disney might’ve done too!

The county court ordered for a limited amount of days and hours that the Osborne can show their lights and the Jennings appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court but lost. Then in 1994 to the U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Clarence Thomas refused to halt the order, and in 1995, the state Supreme Court shut the display down altogether.

The family continued to have a light display but smaller afterwards. It wasn’t till after that Walt Disney World project director, John Phelan, after several other offers to host the display, that the Osborne family agreed to have the display on “Residential Street,” a back-lot section at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Jennings Osborne was a fan of the resort and accepted Disney’s offer and it was in 1995 that the display was set up as “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights,” becoming an immediate success.

Did you know after the 9/11 attack in 2001, the Osborne family displayed a lighted up American flag with the words “God Bless America and God Bless George W. Bush” across the top and bottom of the flag.

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Rock Your Disney Side for 24 Hours at Disneyland or WDW!

Mark you calendars because on Friday, May 23rd at 6am to Saturday, May 24th at 6am, Disney is hosting the “Rock Your Disney Side Party” a 24 hour day for both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

The ’round the clock event invites guests to dress up to celebrate the occasion!

General Event Details:
• Hours of operation for the event will take place from 6:00 AM, May 23, 2014 to 6:00 AM, May 24, 2014.
• Only select attractions, entertainment and services will be available.
• Valid theme park admission is required.
• Event is subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Costume Details:
• Costumes should be child-friendly and adhere to any guidelines determined by Disney.
• Costumes should not be obstructive, offensive or violent; drag on the ground; contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest; contain any weapons or objects which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
• Masks may be worn, but they must not obstruct vision, and eyes must be visible at all times.
• Guests who dress like Disney characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs.
• Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused admission.

General event details and costume details from the official Disney website at disneyparks.disney.go.com/24-hour-event/

Disney World’s New Fantasyland

This Thursday, a new Fantasyland addition will open, where Belle’s Beast and Ariel’s Eric will get their own place to call home. The new Fantasyland is considered the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history and will include the Dumbo attraction (super-sized), a Little Mermaid ride, the “Beauty and the Beast Restaurant” and a Snow White adventure.

Phil Holmes, vice president of the Magic Kingdom Park says

“We’re blessed in Florida, that Walt’s original vision was to have all the land these dreams can hold.”

Thank you Disney and their engineers who have created a way to make Cinderella’s castle to look like another home in Fantasyland. Guests will be able to experience the life within the films of Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast with the ability to walk on the short of Prince Erik’s world and enter Beast’s castle.

New Fantasyland already had a soft opening and the employees and special guests were stunned at the attention to detail each location held.

At Gaston’s tavern from Beauty and the Beast guests were able to take in the antler chandelier and taste LeFou’s Brew, an apple-based drink that boasts a light coconut foam head, in a stein cup (non-alcoholic). Inside Beast’s castle, guests could dine where Belle and Beast danced.

The soft opening for guests were charted, so they can share their experience to the Disney employees, Holmes explains the reason,

“We invited our cast to experience it, they’re our best advocates and best critics”

To Holmes, surprise, it was amazing— the cast and guests were very pleased at the extravagant similarities that Disney has created from the animated world to the physical world.

Disney addressed the long wait lines by creating interactive areas to give guests something to do while waiting. In the Dumbo’s ride, Disney created a Storybook Circus where kids are welcomed to play while their parents wait with a beeper to alert them when it’s time to go on the ride.

There’s also the Fast Pass that guests are most familiar with, where they have certain times to come back to the ride and decreases the wait time.

On the outskirts of the “Be Our Guest Restaurant,” Maurice’s cottage and “Enchanted Tales with Belle,” a storytelling experience where guests go to the Beast’s library and help with some great tales.

In Fantasyland there is also the “Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid,” guests ride in shells and experience Ariel’s adventures, much like the attraction that opened earlier at California Adventure in Anaheim. What are the differences between the two? Well adjustments that were made in the Disney California Adventure (DCA) park’s “Under the Sea– Journey of the Little Mermaid” ride, Disney World was able to built those adjustments in and also incorporate the characters’ seaside home whereas DCA is inside a building.

It won’t be too soon as the vice president says that the new Fantasyland will include a Princess Fairytale Hall where fans can meet all of the princesses and will also have the long awaited “The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” where guests will be on a roller coaster ride through Snow White’s friends mining train.

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho it’s off to Disney World we go!