The holidays are a magical time to spend your vacation in Orlando. There are a variety of special events that your whole family can enjoy. And the cooler weather makes it especially nice to spend time outdoors. Here are ten ways to celebrate the season during your holiday stay.
Light Up UCF – The University of Central Florida hosts this annual holiday event outside the CFE Arena. Light Up UCF features an 8,000 square foot outdoor ice skating rink, rides, including a Ferris wheel and train, and special holiday attractions – such as the Arctic Glide Ice Slide, Santa’s Workshop, and holiday films shown on a giant two-story screen. Capping it all off is a holiday light show that features thousands of lights choreographed to seasonal musical sections and falling snow!
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration – SeaWorld transforms into a wintery, watery wonderland during the holiday season, with a sparkling sea of trees that lights up the water and a show-stopping, ice skating extravaganza. Other special events include a holiday puppet show that features plenty of singing, special effects and incredible lighting, as well as The Polar Express Experience, which brings the holiday classic tale to life. All events are included with regular park admission.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Now in its 20th year, this extraordinary light festival is ending its run at the theme park. If you haven’t seen it before, this is your final chance to witness a breathtaking seasonal display featuring millions of glittering lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms – This resort has something for everyone to enjoy during the holidays, including lavish displays that include more than 2 million twinkling lights and acres of larger-than-life decorations. Other events include the dazzling Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Stage Show, featuring holiday music and inventive theatrics; ICE! which features nearly 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures set to the theme of everyone’s favorite poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” four slippery ice slides and Alpine Rush Snow Tubing; Breakfast with Mrs. Claus; Gingerbread Decorating Corner and The Elf on the Shelf® Scavenger Hunt.
Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens – This National Historic Landmark is a beautiful place to celebrate the holidays. Enjoy seasonal carillon concerts with live choir, garden tours, poinsettia display, decorating workshops, dining and holiday shopping. You can also take part in the 21st annual Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate, a 20-room, Mediterranean-style mansion that is decorated in the theme of “To Grandfather’s House We Go!”
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at Universal Studios – No need to brave the cold and snow that frequently accompany the Macy’s parade in New York City. You can witness many of the breathtaking balloons and floats right here in Orlando at Universal Studios Florida. This holiday spectacular features marching bands, clowns and an appearance by Santa himself! The event also features a spectacular tree lighting ceremony with music and dazzling lights.
Grinchmas™ at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure – Your family is sure to enjoy this live retelling of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™ and featuring music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller.
Holidays Around the World at Epcot – The holiday season is an extra-special time to visit Disney World’s Epcot theme park. Watch and listen to costumed performers present their holiday heritage throughout the World Showcase, listen to seasonal Gospel music , and taste seasonal food favorites. The highlight of each evening is the Candlelight Processional, in which a celebrity narrator tells the stirring story of Christmas, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom – This festive winter celebration features plenty of live entertainment, such as an enchanting performance by Anna and Elsa from Frozen, spectacular fireworks, a jolly holiday parade featuring your favorite Disney characters, complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and a nightly snow fall on Main Street, USA.
Christmas Bricktacular Event – LEGOLand Florida celebrates the season with a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 LEGO bricks, a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh, festive decorations, LEGO Santa Scavenger Hunt and holiday entertainment.
It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to do all of these holiday events during one vacation. If you were to own a vacation home in Orlando, you could come back year after year and try something new!
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