Discover 10 unforgettable ways to enjoy the holidays in Orlando, including festive holiday decorations at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando (pictured), theme park events, joyous live arts, gourmet dining, and much more.
Spending the holidays in Orlando? From our open-air theme parks to downtown and all through the area, you’re in for a wondrous time filled with incredible experiences you’ll never forget. To help you have the best holiday season possible, we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) with 10 things you’ll want to do while you’re here.
Discover: Holiday Season Events in Orlando
For even more Orlando holiday ideas, follow #VisitOrlando on social media — no matter if you’re naughty or nice.
- Holiday Events
- Deluxe Resorts
- Cool Pools
- See Santa
- Holiday Arts
- Holiday Decorations
- Holiday Dining
- Holiday Shopping
- Outdoor Adventures
- Theme Park Celebrations
- Events Map
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Discover unique holiday festivals and events throughout Orlando this season, including festive offerings at Orlando’s theme parks (more on those in a bit). From dazzling light shows to wondrous wintertime activities, here are some of the most notable holiday events beyond the theme parks.
- Nov. 11 – Jan. 1: Night of a Million Lights at Island H2O Live! at Margaritaville Resort Orlando
- Nov. 11 – Jan. 3: Christmas Nights in Lights at Dezerland Park in the International Drive Entertainment District
- Nov. 12 – 20: 36th Annual Festival of Trees: Gifts of the Season at the Orlando Museum of Art in Ivanhoe Village Main Street’s Loch Haven Cultural Park
- Nov. 18 – Jan. 1: Magic of Lights at Daytona International Speedway
- Nov. 18 – Jan. 15: Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Sanford
- Nov. 19 – Jan. 3: Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience
- Nov. 25 – Jan. 1: Creative City Project’s Dazzling Nights at Harry P. Leu Gardens near downtown Orlando
- Dec. 3: 70th Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade
- Dec. 7 – 24: 5th Annual Oh, What Fun!® Holiday Festival in Lake Nona
- Dec. 17 – 24 & Dec. 25 – Jan. 1: Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Throughout Orlando, you’ll find hotels and resorts for every budget, including pet-friendly accommodations and properties with family suites — not to mention full-service, amenity-packed choices for those seeking a well-deserved, high-end holiday staycation.
Discover: Top Orlando Hotels & Resorts
In addition to unbelievable resort pools (we’ll get to those soon), our most popular properties offer expansive outdoor areas with plenty of room to spread out, plus exceptional service and other enticing extras. Many resorts and hotels will also be decorated for the holidays, with several hosting special seasonal celebrations. Check with your preferred properties for details.
Don’t just stay at one of Orlando’s incredible resorts — dive into their amazing pools. Many of Orlando’s top-rated resorts offer mind-blowing extras such as lazy rivers, waterslides, gorgeous scenery, secluded grottos, underwater sound systems and kid-friendly fun. And yes, most have heated water in case temperatures get chilly.
Discover: Orlando’s Top Resort Pools
Want to see the man of the season while you’re celebrating the holidays in Orlando? You won’t have trouble finding him. In addition to appearing at most of our theme parks, the jolly old elf will be the guest of honor at special events throughout the destination, including the Winter Park Christmas Parade, the Santa Workshop Experience at ICON Park®, and Santa Photos at The Mall at Millenia — and Mrs. Claus will join him at times, too.
Discover: Orlando Events
Catch a dazzling holiday performance of at some of Orlando’s most beloved performing arts venues, including the new Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts. Some of this year’s most anticipated holiday productions include:
- Nov. 19 – Dec. 22: True North: A Magical New Holiday Musical at Orlando Repertory Theatre in downtown Orlando’s Loch Haven Park Cultural Park
- Nov. 26: Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Orlando’s City District
- Nov. 30: Lindsey Stirling: Snow Waltz Tour at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
- Nov. 30 – Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol at Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Loch Haven Cultural Park
- Dec. 2 – 18: Orlando Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
- Dec. 17: Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando’s Parramore District
- Dec. 20: A Voctave Christmas at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
- Dec. 23 – 24: All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Click each event’s name for complete details, including how to get tickets, and refer to our Christmas Events page for even more artistic ways to celebrate the season.
Discover: Orlando Arts & Entertainment
One of the best free holiday activities is marveling at beautiful decorations hung with care. Orlando has no shortage of exquisite neighborhoods decked out for the season, each featuring unique architectural styles that perfectly complement the holiday greenery and lights. In the downtown Orlando area, some of the best include Thornton Park, College Park and Ivanhoe Village. You’ll also find gorgeous displays in Orlando’s Lake Nona district close to Orlando International Airport.
Discover: Orlando Neighborhoods
Just north of downtown, lights-lovers won’t want to miss the city of Winter Park and its extravagant displays, while Plant Street in Winter Garden to the west of downtown always brings the holiday cheer. And minutes from Walt Disney World in Celebration, Lights on Jeater Bend is a collective of residences that create a must-see, street-wide light display. The 360-degree dose of Christmas is like nothing you’ve seen before, full of music, movie clips and falling snow flurries. Rumor has it that Santa even stops by to join in the fun!
The holidays are best spent with family, good tidings and incredible food. Treat yourself to dinner at one of Orlando’s award-winning restaurants, from MICHELIN Guide dining to restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs and local James Beard Award honorees.
Discover: Eat & Drink in Orlando
Orlando’s tourism districts have amazing eats for every foodie, including restaurants at Disney Springs®, Universal CityWalk, Restaurant Row and International Drive. The delectable dining in downtown Orlando, Winter Park and surrounding areas isn’t to be missed, either. Plus, many of our hotels and resorts are hosting bountiful holiday buffets with traditional dishes and imaginative surprises. Make your reservations early to ensure a never-ending feast filled with delicious holiday meals while you’re here.
Discover: Christmas Dining in Orlando
Did you make your list and check it twice? No worries if you forget anything, because Orlando has plenty of great options for holiday shopping, and all within 15 miles of our theme parks. If you’re seeking luxury brands, The Mall at Millenia is the place to go. Nearby, The Florida Mall® features more than 250 retailers that can cater to everyone on your “nice” list.
Discover: Orlando Holiday Shopping Tips
Shopping on a budget? You’re in luck. Orlando has three world-class outlet centers, including Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Orlando International Premium Outlets® and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®. We also have no shortage of eclectic boutiques and other small neighborhood businesses, particularly in the downtown Orlando area and the neighboring city of Winter Park. Don’t skip the shopping at Disney Springs®, Universal CityWalk, Pointe Orlando and ICON Park®, either.
Although you won’t find Santa or holiday decorations in Orlando’s great outdoors, ecotourism is perfect for spreading out and getting away from it all — and the holiday season’s cooler temperatures provide one of the best times of year to enjoy it. Options include kayaking, natural springs, nature trails and parks, wildlife and birding encounters, outdoor thrills, and other ways to play while you’re celebrating the holidays in Orlando. Speaking of outdoor experiences, nature-lovers won’t want to miss the North Shore Birding Festival (Dec. 1 – 5, 2022). It’s held at beautiful Lake Apopka, about 30 minutes north of our tourism districts.
Discover: Orlando Ecotourism
The holiday season is also a great time to catch high-profile NCAA football games, including some key bowl competitions, at Camping World Stadium and Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando’s Parramore District. For 2022, they include the Florida Blue Florida Classic (Nov. 19, 2022), the Cure Bowl (Dec. 16, 2022, at Exploria), the Cheez-It Bowl (Dec. 29, 2022), and the 2023 Cheez-It® Citrus Bowl (Jan. 2, 2023).
Anyone spending the holiday season in Orlando will definitely want to see how Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort are decking the halls. Needless to say, you’re invited to all of these parties.
Save on discount tickets: Orlando Theme Parks & Attractions
Holidays at Walt Disney World® Resort
Holiday magic awaits at all four Walt Disney World® Resort theme parks — as does The World’s Most Magical Celebration, the gala 50th anniversary at Walt Disney World. Don’t miss your chance to be immersed in shimmering EARidescence and experience special touches during this incredible celebration, from embellishments on Cinderella Castle to decor throughout the theme parks and beyond.
Save on discount tickets: WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom® Park (Select Nights Through Dec. 22, 2022)
Get ready for a magical holiday gathering during the specially ticketed Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. When Mickey celebrates the season, Magic Kingdom® Park lights up with excitement for guests of all ages. Joyful music fills the air. Disney Characters don their most festive attire, and enchanting entertainment lies around almost every turn. Delight in the amazingly festive Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show, then gather to watch Disney Characters give a yuletide nod to the season during Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Plus, discover holiday overlays for iconic attractions such as Space Mountain® and Jungle Cruise®, explore Magic Kingdom® Park searching for cookies and cocoa, and so much more.
Save on discount tickets: MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY
EPCOT® International Festival of the Holidays (Daily, Nov. 25 – Dec. 30, 2022)
Surround yourself with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors during the EPCOT® International Festival of the Holidays, a beloved extravaganza boasting themed Holiday Kitchens and a scrumptious Holiday Cookie Stroll. Then, behold heartwarming performances around World Showcase, including Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre, the Chinese Lion Dance, and holiday storytellers. You can also hear the stirring story of Christmas presented by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by an orchestra and massed choir, as part of the famous Candlelight Processional. This joyous celebration is included with admission to EPCOT®, with food and beverages available for purchase.
Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® (Currently Available)
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, experience the magic of nature with a holiday twist. Delight in winter wonders as Discovery Island® springs to life with artisan-sculpted puppets of arctic animals — like penguins, reindeer, foxes and polar bears. See Santa Claus as he sails down the Discovery River to a jolly, world-beat holiday soundtrack, and wave hello to some of your favorite Disney Characters aboard decked-out flotillas. Plus, be sure to check out holiday-themed decor and Tree of Life® Awakenings — Holiday Edition, where the beloved tree shimmers and sparkles each evening, accompanied by a heartwarming musical score.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, embark on yuletide adventures and create memories you’ll cherish all season long. Discover seasonal style at every turn, and catch the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade, where old St. Nick will travel up Hollywood Blvd. in his candy-apple red convertible. Gaze in wonder as the Hollywood Tower Hotel is transformed nightly by holiday projections, alternating with the Beacon of Magic, and don’t miss Minnie’s merry mealtime at Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine.
Holidays at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park (Through Dec. 31, 2022)
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will also have an enhanced holiday atmosphere. Discover new touches from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, Frozen, plus enjoy limited-time holiday offerings that include holiday-themed treats, snowfall and festive inner tubes. Guests can even meet a tropical-dressed Santa for the ultimate Florida holiday experience.
SeaWorld® Orlando’s Christmas Celebration (Select Dates, Nov. 11, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023)
SeaWorld® Orlando’s award-winning Christmas Celebration returns with the sights, sounds and flavors of the holiday season. Included with theme park admission, the event transforms SeaWorld Orlando into a winter wonderland with more than 3 million sparkling lights. Enjoy all the family-friendly holiday entertainment, from the iconic Sea of Trees that dance to music as they light up the central lagoon, to delicious holiday treats. Experience fan-favorite holiday shows and seasonal entertainment throughout the park. And be sure to stay late to finish your evening with an impressive holiday firework show.
Save on discount tickets: SeaWorld Orlando
Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort (Nov. 12, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023)
If you want to scream, laugh and shout your jingle bells off, you’ve got to awesome up your season with Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort. Join the celebration of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, see larger-than-life balloons float through the streets of Universal Studios Florida in Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, and get together with the resident Whos in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, where you can enjoy the music and fun of The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular starring the Grinch™.
Save on discount tickets: Universal Orlando Resort
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22)
Prices, times, dates, entertainment, event and/or experience details are subject to changes and/or cancellation without notice. Dr. Seuss properties TM & © 2022 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & Related Characters © 2022 Macy’s Inc. © 2022 DreamWorks Animation LLC. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2022 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Holidays at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort (Select Dates, Nov. 25, 2022 – Dec. 31, 2022)
At LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, this jolly time of year features a giant LEGO® Christmas tree, unforgettable seasonal shows, holiday characters, special treats, LEGO activities, twinkling lights and more during Holidays at LEGOLAND. An extra special gift for you: This festive event is included in general admission!
Save on discount tickets: LEGOLAND Florida Resort
In short, the Theme Park Capital of the World is the next best thing to a trip to the North Pole when it comes to celebrating the holidays. Get ready to ho-ho-ho in Orlando.
Map of Holiday Events in Orlando
Use this interactive map to deck the halls at all of Orlando’s holiday celebrations in 2022.
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