This year, expect 50 days of festivities to mark the holidays in Orlando. Orlando, always a destination with too much to see and do, is unwrapping a full lineup of holiday celebrations. Fun and wonder await visitors, both in and beyond the city’s major theme parks.
Disney Theme Parks Mark the Holidays In Orlando
At Walt Disney World, enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party select nights through Dec. 22. Magic Kingdom Park features “Minnie’s Wonder Christmastime Fireworks,” “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” complimentary cookies, hot cocoa and more.
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays in Orlando features a global holiday celebration with a candlelight processional, costumed performances, along with sights, sounds and flavors of the season celebrated by cultures near and far through Dec. 30.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios dine with Minnie and friends at Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Discover the holiday finale featuring Olaf during the “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.”
Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings a holiday twist to nature’s magic. Follow along as festive flotillas featuring holiday percussionists and Santa sail down the Discovery River. Then, enjoy a holiday edition of the Tree of Life Awakening with a heartwarming musical score as night falls.
Holiday Theming at Universal and SeaWorld
Explore holiday festivities at Universal Orlando Resort. Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure brings back The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a live retelling of the classic tale, at Seuss Landing. The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast will return this year, on select dates through Dec. 29.
Muggles and Wizards can delight in Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Once night falls in Hogsmeade, spend the holidays in Orlando reveling in a spectacular holiday projection during “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.”
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s features “Despicable Me,” “Shrek” and “Madagascar” characters – along with larger-than-life floats, performers and Santa – and iconic seasonal sounds from Mannheim Steamroller on select dates Dec. 3-11.
Watch SeaWorld Orlando transform into a winter wonderland during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, select dates through Jan. 3. Festivities marking the holidays in Orlando include live performances, seasonal food, Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast and Dinner with Santa.
Go Festive Beyond Orlando’s Great Theme Parks
Beyond the theme parks, enjoy an immersive drive-thru light show experience synchronized to holiday classics. Head to Dezerland Park for Christmas Nights in Lights, through Jan. 1.
Harry P. Leu Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland featuring a million lights, shining forests, magical displays and more during “Dazzling Nights” though Jan. 1.
Of course, Orlando has many unique natural attractions all year round. Alternate theme parks days with local attractions and days of hiking and exploring. You’ll stay fit and save money as well.
Popular Local Attractions Celebrate The Holidays in Orlando
Meet Gator Claus, Merry Elves and more new friends at Gatorland’s Holiday Ho Ho-Down. This family friendly event boasts live music, festive food, holiday displays with even more interactive characters from Dec. 3-18.
Island H20 Water Park hosts Night of a Million Lights. Bring your cameras to capture luminous light displays reflected by the water. Enjoy family entertainment and the fully immersive experience through Jan. 1. Proceeds benefit Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort providing critically ill children and their families a magical week-long vacation.
Crayola Experience’s Colorful Christmas includes a life-sized snow globe, complete with falling snow, a musical light show and more colorful fun through Jan. 3.
Free Trip Planning and Information on Holidays in Orlando
Information on happenings Orlando’s holiday happenings can be found on VisitOrlando.com, the destination’s official visitor information source. Visitors can also make appointments for complimentary Vacation Planning Services to build a personalized Orlando itinerary.
Author Dipika Hernandez contributed information about the holidays in Orlando for sponsor VisitOrlando.com
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