Arkansas resident Jennings Osborne and his family were very big on the Holidays. In 1986, Jennings asked his youngest daughter Breezy what her Christmas wish was. She replied that she would like to see their whole house covered in lights. They had quite a large house but Jennings was determined to make his daughter's Christmas dream come true. That first year the Osborne family covered their home with a modest 1000 red lights. With each passing year, the family wanted to do more. The Osbornes eventually purchased property adjacent to their own in order to expand on their newfound hobby.
The display grew to millions of lights. There were flashing lights, multi-colored lights, custom-made light sculptures and a 75 foot Christmas tree adorned by lights. This drew onlookers from all over Arkansas. Displeased by the resulting traffic jams, the local residents asked that the Osborne family stop the annual display. Legal intervention was sought, and it appeared that the Osborne's beloved tradition was about to come to an end. At that time, Walt Disney World executives were looking for a new and different holiday experience for, at that time, Disney-MGM Studios.
In 1995, Residential Street at the Disney-MGM Studios became the home of this dazzling light show. Approximately 80% of the lights that are on display come from the original Osborne collection. And they instantly became a hit, among guests, Cast Members, and the Osborne family.
However in 2003, the lights were not displayed as Residential Street and the area surrounding it were in a renovation for the new Lights, Motor, Action Stunt Show, which opened in 2005. Fortunately, a new home was found for this magical attraction. The Streets of America (formerly New York Street) began hosting the lights in 2004, still being just called The Osborn Family Spectacle of Lights, just on large “city buildings” instead of quaint suburban houses.
In 2006, Walt Disney World executives wanted to find a new and fun way to spruce up his now holiday classic and fan favorite, they thought and saw the video sensation on the internet of the houses with music and “dancing” lights. They tried it out and it became a hit as well.Disney Everyday Blog and @amandatinney on Twitter)