Once upon a time it was a great story. 20 years ago the Arkansas family of Jennings Osborne were in trouble: they decorated their home with millions of Christmas lights, irritating their neighbors and creating a traffic nightmare. They went to court and lost. When it seemed like the display was on its last legs Disney stepped in and saved the day.
In the 20 years since the Osborne Family Christmas lights have been a mainstay attraction at Disney World during the holidays. The display has become a tradition for families who would visit just to see what better than 3.5 million lights altogether looks like when synchronized to popular Christmas music.
But this Christmas is the last for the Osborne lights. Disney is pulling the plug. The area where Disney has displayed the lights is slated for a major overhaul featuring new attractions centered around Star Wars. Disney claims there is no room for the lights.
Fans have expressed their displeasure all over the Internet.
“It’s a very big deal – a family tradition for many people across the country,” said Banks Lee, host of an online show affiliated with Orlando Attractions magazine.
Fans had wondered about the lights’ fate for several years as speculation grew that a Star Wars land would come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Lee said he’s disappointed that Disney couldn’t find another place for it within its property, such as at Downtown Disney, which is undergoing expansion.
So get there this year if you ever want to see this in person. After this year, it’s gone.