UPDATE: Today, January 3, 2016 was supposed to be the day that I hoped would never come. Now, Disney has extended the display until Wednesday, January 6th. Either way, the heartwarming and cherished Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will go dim at Disney’s Hollywood Studios forever.
My family is not happy. In fact, I wonder if the corporate head honchos at Disney have any idea how much this display means to families who have experienced it. Normally, I am all for expansion, changing things up, creating new lands at Disney, but I never expected that it would mean the end of something we held near and dear.
If you never had the opportunity to see the light display, you really missed out. It wasn’t even about the lights, which were amazing. It had to do with the feeling that permeated the whole area. From the moment you stepped into the first area that was lit up and the music started playing, there was something simply magical. The lights had us standing in awe, but it was more than that. There was such an overflowing feeling of happiness and joy that tends to be really rare to find these days. Although it was always insanely crowded and people would stop on a dime to look up in all directions, no one ever was rude or caused a problem.
And then, there was the snow. As if it was not magical enough, I will never forget when my children looked up and saw the “snow” for the first time, and the second, and the third. It didn’t matter how many times it happened, the joy and magic in their eyes was something I will treasure for the rest of my life.
A couple of weeks before Christmas, we traveled from our home in South Carolina, just to see the lights for the last time. We had to. We had to say goodbye. As we walked through the last part of the display, my emotions started to take over, but not as much as they did with my 9 year old son. I so wished that a Disney head honcho was there to witness this strong, little boy fall apart because the lights were THAT important to him. He didn’t want it to end. He loves Star Wars even more than I do, but it didn’t matter that the new land was coming. He only cared about the lights. Nothing else mattered. As he sat on the concrete step attached to a building that was covered in lights, he kept asking me why this was happening. I had no words. I had no good reasons. I had nothing that would help him understand why a big business does what they do, but to give him a big hug.
And then we said goodbye. Goodbye to the past experiences, and goodbye to the future moments we would have shared together.
Everyone I spoke to that was there that night, was not happy about Disney’s decision. In fact, people were really upset. People who love Disney World as much as I do, were saying it was all about money. The lights didn’t bring in what Star Wars Land or Toy Story Land (which I really do not understand) would potentially bring in. Some things just shouldn’t be about money. It’s about the experience, and I think that is what people are most upset about. I know I am.
I do not know what the future truly holds, but I know the day we show up and the lights are all gone and the area is revamped, a sadness will wash over us.
I am so thankful for what the Osborne family started all those years ago, and that we were able to share in the joy they created. We will miss every part of the display and truly wish that some pixie dust could have been sprinkled to make the end never come.
But it is. And it will. As the park goes dark.
Here are some images to remind you of how amazing the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was for so many of us.
If you happen to be blessed enough to be there for the last display and you have pictures, or memories, I would love for you to post them on my Facebook page.