Top Five Unexpected Must Do's in Orlando for the Holidays

Part of Visit Orlando's Holly Jolly Holidays 2013

Every holiday season in Orlando, you would expect even more magical family fun with holiday festivals, decorations, shows and parades. Our world-famous theme parks and resorts dazzle with miles of garland and twinkle lights, along with joyful celebrations full of jubilant cheer.

But what about those unexpected surprises that make Orlando extra holly jolly this time of year? From beginners to experts, here's our top five unexpected picks for your holidays in Orlando must do list.

#1 Christmas by the Candlelight

As part of Epcot's Holidays Around the World at Walt Disney World Resort, Candlelight Processional is a moving presentation of the traditional Christmas story told by celebrity narrators. The three-times-nightly event, beginning Nov. 29, includes a mass choir and a 50-piece orchestra at Epcot's America Gardens Theater. Performance is included in regular Epcot admission. 

Epcot's Candlelight Processional 

#2 Larger-than-life ICE!

Join Frosty the Snowman and his friends at this year's ICE! at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Experience this Christmas classic brought to life by more than two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures. Walk through larger-than-life scenes that put you into the story and take a trip or two down the attraction's four giant ice slides. A new live ice carving zone, called "Artisans in Action" joins this year's festivities.

Gaylord Palm's ICE! 

#3 LET IT SNOW at Nickelodeon Suites Resort

Celebrate Florida's winter at Nickelodeon Suites Resort's one-of-a-kind LET IT SNOW holiday event - a free experience for registered guests. Every weekend and on select nights between November 22 and December 30, 2013, the Oasis Pool Deck becomes a winter playground with thousands of lights, music, delicious treats and "SNOW".

LET IT SNOW at Nick Suites

As part of the celebration is a new holiday stage show, Celebrate Nickmas, starring SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer!

#4 Gingerbread Dream House

Follow the delightful scent of gingerbread to the 16-foot-high Victorian gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Using an authentic Austrian recipe, Grand Floridian pastry chefs create this jaw-dropping masterpiece using 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour, 1400 pints of egg whites, 180 pounds of apricot glaze and countless gumdrops and candy canes. 

Disney's Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 

#5 Stroll Through Christmas Past

See incredible holiday decorations at the historic Leu House Museum at beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens from Nov. 17, 2013, through Jan. 5, 2014. Each room in this 1888 built farmhouse are classically adorned with holiday trimmings that inspire and delight all ages.  Student designers from Seminole State College's Interior Design decorate each room in themes ranging from Victorian to American Colonial to Funky Retro.

Leu Gardens Holiday House 

These events are guaranteed to cast away your Bah! Humbugs! and have your family singing "fa-la-la-la" all the way home. Check out our holiday events in Orlando for even more holiday season fun.


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