Christmas Parade at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando celebrates the holiday season like nowhere else. From spectacular fireworks displays to festive live entertainment, Orlando’s theme parks offer something for every member of the family. Orlando is offering visitors the gift that keeps on giving with 59 days of unique winter holiday celebrations throughout the entire destination. From Nov. 8 to Jan. 5, tourists can experience all the joy of the season while basking in Orlando’s year-round sunshine.
Holidays at the Theme Parks
Walt Disney World Resort offers some of the most elaborate of seasonal festivities, with more than 1,300 decorated trees and 8.5 million lights strung throughout the property. For several weeks around the holidays, guests celebrate the season with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, Holidays Around the World at Epcot, and the dazzling Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can also ring in the New Year with a variety of entertainment, including the Electrical Parade and special dining events across Disney.
Family enjoying a Roller Coaster at Orlando
Universal Orlando Resort celebrates the classic tale of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” with Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure, featuring live musical shows, meet and greets with the Whos of Who-ville and appearances by The Grinch himself. Guests can also visit Universal Studios to experience Macy’s Holiday Parade, presenting floats and balloons direct from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. On New Year’s Eve, CityWalk comes alive with performances by national acts, a gourmet buffet and nightclub entertainment.
SeaWorld Orlando’s annual Christmas Celebration runs for six weeks, beginning Nov. 23. SeaWorld offers special shows and attractions, including Shamu Christmas Miracles, Winter Wonderland on Ice and The Polar Express Experience. Guests can count down to New Year’s Day and enjoy live music and spectacular fireworks display.
LEGOLAND Florida will feature Christmas Bricktacular, a celebration with daily appearances by Santa Claus, a 270,000-LEGO-brick Christmas tree and other seasonal creations. Kids can also participate in their very own countdown to 2014 during a giant, LEGO brick drop at “Kids Standard Time,” otherwise known as 7 p.m.
Celebrations Outside the Theme Parks
Couple enjoying a Balloon ride in Orlando. Photo: VisitOrlando
From giant gingerbread creations to two million pounds of ice, Orlando’s seasonal celebrations extend beyond the theme parks. Visitors looking for unique ways to celebrate are sure to find new favorites in local traditions.
Leu’s Holiday House, part of Orlando’s downtown botanical garden Leu Gardens, gives visitors a unique look at the historic estate and gardens trimmed and decorated for the holidays.
The Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art showcases “All That Glitters,” featuring dozens of adorned trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses on display, as well as for purchase.
ICE! At Gaylord Palms, an award-winning attraction carved by a team of 40 skilled artisans, features more than two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, including Frosty the Snowman, four ice slides and a live ice-carving station.
The 15th Anniversary Gingerbread House, located in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is a life-sized, 16-foot-high Victorian creation crafted by Disney pastry chefs.