Top 12 Places to See Santa in Orlando

Photo by Mariah Wild at Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf (© Disney)

Find Santa and Mrs. Claus all over town when you visit Orlando this holiday season.

Updated November 2018

With the holiday season in full swing, it's easy to find ways to get in the Christmas spirit — but nothing beats a visit with Santa Claus himself! Fortunately for visitors and locals alike, Orlando has many places to see the jolly old elf and his wife in 2018, including these 12 magical options at our theme parks and other locations throughout the destination.

Learn more: Holiday Season in Orlando

And this just in: On Dec. 22 only, Santa will also make an appearance at Visit Orlando's Official Visitor Center on International Drive! Presented by Coca-Cola, Santa will be available for free photo sessions from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Stop by, meet St. Nick, and take advantage of everything else the Official Visitor Center has to offer while you're there.

Santa Sightings at Orlando Theme Parks

Photo by Mariah Wild/© Disney
Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf (Mariah Wild/© Disney)

No need to bring milk and cookies to lure out Santa at Orlando's world-famous theme parks: He's eager to meet you at Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando® Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.

1. Walt Disney World Resort

In 2018, Walt Disney World is offering multiple opportunities to see Father Christmas in person. First, at Disney's Magic Kingdom®, find Santa at the Candy Cane Garden next to Town Hall on Main Street through Dec. 24. Additionally, Santa flies high above the ground in his sleigh during "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade" as part of the separate-ticketed Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios®, Santa will hear your Christmas wishes at Once Upon a Time on Sunset Boulevard, and he and Mrs. Claus appear at Epcot®'s American Adventure Pavilion throughout the day. And at Disney SpringsTM, Kris Kringle and his helpers hold court at their Christmas Tree Trail cottage, across from Once Upon a Toy. All three appearances end on Dec. 24.

Finally, you can golf with Saint Nick in spirit at Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf, which is billed as Santa's off-season retreat.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Walt Disney World Resort

2. Universal Orlando Resort

As part of Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's, Santa shares the spotlight with the Minions and popular characters from Madagascar and Shrek at Universal Studios FloridaTM. And though he doesn't technically count as a Santa, the Grinch does his best to fill the big man's shoes in The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular at Universal's Islands of AdventureTM. Both events run through Jan. 6, 2019.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Universal Orlando Resort

3. SeaWorld Orlando

During SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration, which runs daily through Dec. 31 and is included with regular admission, Santa Claus is on hand for meet-and-greets at Wild Arctic. While you're there, you can also meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends at Rudolph's ChristmasTown.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to SeaWorld Orlando

4. LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Meet a life-sized LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier as part of LEGOLAND Florida's Christmas Bricktacular. The event runs on select days through Dec. 31, but these meet-and-greets are only available until Christmas Day.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Santa Sightings Throughout Orlando

Holiday on the Drive at Orlando’s College Park Neighborhood
Holiday on the Drive at Orlando's College Park Neighborhood

You don't have to visit Orlando's theme parks to find Santa in Orlando, as he has a busy schedule of events throughout the destination.

5. The Mall at Millenia: Through Dec. 24, this upscale mall's Santa Photo Experience gives you and your family the chance to meet Santa and take photos in a magical setting, with paid photo packages also available. The mall is approximately 15 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort.

6. The Florida Mall: Close to Orlando International Airport and International Drive, Central Florida's largest mall is hosting a Santa Photo Experience through Dec. 24. Plus, on Dec. 3, you can bring your pet for a photo with Saint Nick!

9. Bass Pro Shops: At this national retailer’s location on International Drive, you can get a free photo with one of the holliest, jolliest Santas in town. Once you arrive, visit the Bass Pass Ticket Depot to get a time for your photo session.

8. Wekiva Island's Winter Wonderland: Enjoy regular appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus at this event, which also boasts nightly snow flurries, a snow slide and a snow play area through Dec. 24. Part nature park and part day resort, Wekiva Island can be found in Longwood, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.

9. Light Up UCF: On select nights through Dec. 31, University of Central Florida's ticketed holiday event offers photos with Santa, among other festivities. The university is about 20 minutes east of downtown Orlando.

10. Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center: Through Dec. 24, this expansive resort near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee is offering photos with Santa. The experience pairs nicely with Gaylord Palms' "Ice! Featuring A Christmas Story" attraction, which ends on Jan. 6, 2019.

11. Now Snowing: Just minutes from Walt Disney World in Celebration, this free, nightly festival features photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus faux snowfall and other entertainment. The event, which is free to attend, runs through Dec. 31.

12. Holiday on the Drive: Held in the trendy College Park neighborhood close to downtown Orlando, this free celebration will feature a visit from Santa and faux snow. It's scheduled for 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 6.

While looking for Santa in Orlando, keep in mind that you can find him at many other locations around town. Happy Santa hunting!

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