Holly Jolly Christmas & Holiday Events in Orlando
Updated for 2021! Every holiday season, Orlando’s world-famous theme parks and resort hotels dazzle with jubilant cheer along with miles of garland and twinkling lights. Holiday traditions and joyful celebrations transform Orlando — Theme Park Capital of the World — into a magical wonderland guaranteed to have your family singing “fa-la-la-la” all the way home.
Celebrate the holiday season with our list of events, parades and lights, including several options at low or no cost, or included with theme park admission. Because the holidays are a joyous time — and no destination is more joyous than Orlando!
Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy travel in Orlando, and check with your favorite attractions, restaurants and other businesses for their current status.
Holiday Events at Orlando’s Theme Parks
See how Orlando’s world-famous theme parks are celebrating the holiday season in 2021, with most events being included with park admission!
Learn more: Orlando’s Theme Parks Welcome You Back
Holidays at Walt Disney World® Resort
Disney Very Merriest After Hours
Select Nights, Nov. 8 – Dec. 21, 2021
Ready for a little holiday joy? At Walt Disney World® Resort, join Mickey and the gang select nights during Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom® Park! Here, you can marvel at Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show. See Santa, Olaf and some of your favorite Disney pals during Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. And not only will you enjoy shorter wait times on over 20 attractions — but there’s also a sleigh full of character moments, magical “snowfalls” and complimentary treats.
Save on discount tickets: Disney Very Merriest After Hours
Best of all, you picked the absolute perfect time to join the festivities — during the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary gala, The World’s Most Magical Celebration. When you celebrate with Walt Disney World, nothing could be more magical!
Please note: Entertainment offerings for Disney Very Merriest After Hours are subject to change without notice. Admission to this event requires a separately priced ticket. Ticket valid only during specific event hours and subject to availability.
EPCOT® International Festival of the Holidays
Daily, Nov. 26 – Dec. 30, 2021
Starting November 26 during EPCOT® International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth, you’ll be surrounded by the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season. Savor treasured recipes from around the globe at Holiday Kitchens throughout the park … and embark on a sweet Holiday Cookie Stroll while you’re at it.
Save on discount tickets: Walt Disney World Resort
During your tour around the world, you’ll also discover festively dressed performers bringing time-honored traditions to life. The beloved “Candlelight Processional” will once again grace the America Gardens Theatre with a live orchestra, cast choir and celebrity narrator retelling the traditional Christmas story in spectacular and heartwarming fashion.
This joyous celebration is included with admission to EPCOT®, with food and beverages being available for purchase.
Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
Nov. 12 – Dec. 30, 2021
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, festive decor and decked-out flotillas with some of your favorite Disney Characters (and Santa) await. And when the evening comes, Beacons of Magic and Holiday Awakenings will alternate on the Tree of Life® … one shining with a warm and glorious light as enchanted fireflies gather to call forth the magic of nature; the other coming to life with a series of wintry tales, complemented by familiar and heartwarming holiday music.
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, get ready to be swept up in Yuletide adventures like Sunset Seasons Greetings on The Hollywood Tower Hotel. Boasting amazing effects and “snow,” this experience also includes songs and cheer brought to you through on-screen appearances by Mickey, Minnie, Olaf and friends. You can even catch the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade and wave to the jolly old elf himself. And beginning at the top of the night, Sunset Seasons Greetings will intermix with Beacons of Magic for an even more unforgettable sight.
SeaWorld® Orlando’s Christmas Celebration™
Nov. 13, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
Gather your family and join all of your festive friends at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. SeaWorld Orlando transforms into a winter wonderland sparkling with holiday cheer, excitement and over 3 million beautiful lights. Experience award-winning entertainment like the showstopping ice-skating extravaganza, Winter Wonderland on Ice. Meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or head to Wild Arctic® and visit with Santa himself. Create unforgettable holiday memories with a magical Christmas celebration you can only find at SeaWorld, all included with park admission!
Save on discount tickets: SeaWorld Orlando
Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort
Nov. 13, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
Anyone can “Ho-ho-ho” and “Fa-la-la” for the holidays. But if you want to scream, laugh and shout your jingle bells off, you’ve got to awesome up your holiday at Universal Orlando Resort, where they do the holidays big time.
Join the celebration of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ as Hogwarts™ castle lights up for the holidays and festive decor brightens up the streets of Hogsmeade™ and Diagon Alley™. Enjoy a hot Butterbeer™ while both the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees put a holiday spin on their performances. Larger-than-life balloons float through the streets of Universal Studios Florida in Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, along with appearances by the Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me and some of your favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek and Madagascar films. 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™.
There are even more festivities in store around every corner of Universal Orlando Resort. You’ll find tasty holiday food and drinks, character encounters and more. And to top it all off, you’ll want to stay at one of Universal’s spectacular hotels, where you’ll find even more themed food, decorations and festivities.
From breathtaking hotels to Universal CityWalk to thrill-packed theme parks, it’s the biggest, loudest, awesomest celebration of the season. And it’s only at Universal Orlando Resort!
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)
Prices, times, dates, entertainment, event and/or experience details are subject to changes and/or cancellation without notice. Dr. Seuss properties TM & © 2021 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All rights reserved. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & Related Characters © 2021 Macy’s Inc. All rights reserved. Shrek 4-D, Madagascar © 2021 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Holidays at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort
Select Dates, Nov. 26 – Dec. 31, 2021
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
Holiday Events Throughout Orlando
Our theme parks aren’t the only places where you can deck the halls when you visit Orlando this holiday season. See some of the other holly, jolly events taking place all over town, including options for all ages, and check back for more as they get added!
Special Holiday Events
Santa Photos at The Mall at Millenia
Nov. 10 – Dec. 24, 2021
The magic of Santa Photos at The Mall at Millenia is back, inviting you to a Santa photo experience at with The Mall at Millenia that ensures a safe setting for you, your family, Santa and his helpers.
Santa Workshop Experience at ICON Park®
Nov. 5 – Dec. 24, 2021
At ICON Park on International Drive, the Santa Workshop Experience is Christmas photo session like no other. Continuing a tradition that started in 2002, this ticketed attraction includes a free train ride from the complimentary parking garage to Santa’s Workshop (plus free valet parking after 4 p.m.), unlimited cellphone and video use with your advance reservation, a free ride on The Wheel in a private holiday capsule, 50% off admission to The Wheel for additional riders, and holiday beverages and treat offerings.
Learn more: ICON Park
Night of a Million Lights at Give Kids the World Village
Nightly, Nov. 12, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
During Give Kids the World Village’s Night of a Million Lights, watch a dancing lights show in a fairytale neighborhood, stroll amidst millions of lights and a sparkling tree trail, enjoy festive music and holiday treats, take a tram ride through the storybook village, visit a holiday marketplace, and create unforgettable memories at the place where happiness inspires hope. Minutes from Walt Disney World Resort, Give Kids the World Village is an 89-acre, whimsical, non-profit resort that provides critically ill children and their families from around the world with magical, weeklong wish vacations at no cost.
Downtown for the Holidays
Nov. 12, 2021 – Jan. 6, 2022
Experience the sights and sounds of the season when visiting Downtown for the Holidays. Throughout the entire month of December, downtown Orlando is offering free holiday events for all to enjoy. Features include dazzling holiday decor and lights around Lake Eola Park, holiday films, holiday shopping, and much more!
35th Annual Festival of Trees
Daily, Nov. 13 – Nov. 21, 2021
Presented by Council of 101, the 35th anniversary celebration of the Festival of Trees brings glitz, glitter and glam, to the Orlando Museum of Art with designer inspired trees, decorated wreaths, exquisite gingerbread creations, holiday decor and so much more. Show features include live entertainment, pop-up shops, a variety of special events and visits from Santa.
Dazzling Nights 2021
Nightly, Nov. 19, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022
Orlando’s 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens will transform once again into a stunning winter wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music and beautiful sculptures during Dazzling Nights — a family-friendly adventure from Creative City Project that gives guests the opportunity to embark on an unforgettable, three-quarter-mile, interactive holiday experience. Leu Gardens is minutes from downtown Orlando in the Audubon Park Garden District.
Learn more: Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District
Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience
Nov. 20, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022
Help Santa and his friends save the holiday season during Colorful Christmas, included with admission at Crayola Experience! Meet animatronic Christmas characters and listen to them tell stories as you solve their riddles. Then, dive into a life-sized snowglobe, watch a light show starring Scarlet and her singing reindeer friends, and craft unique gifts from the heart. It's a holiday hullabaloo with snow much to do!
Save on discount tickets: Crayola Experience
Gatorland’s Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Down
Saturdays & Sundays Through Dec. 19, 2021
Gatorland’s Holiday Ho Ho Ho-Down features holiday displays, interactive characters, and the most Floridian holiday photo opportunity of the season with Gatorland’s own Gator Claus on his very unique sleigh, his merry elves, and the Krampus Croc along with other holiday characters! All the family-friendly holiday fun is included with admission to Gatorland.
Save on discount tickets: Gatorland
Oh, What Fun!
Nov. 21, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
Held in Lake Nona close to Orlando International Airport, Oh, What Fun! is a magical, open-air winter wonderland with dazzling decorations, festive treats, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, nightly snowfalls, and hourly live entertainment guaranteed to spread holiday cheer. It will also feature menorah lightings each night of Hanukkah from Nov. 28 – Dec. 6, 2021.
Learn more: Lake Nona
69th Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade
Dec. 4, 2021
Admission is free to the Winter Park Christmas Parade, which has been bringing Santa and Mrs. Claus to its upscale namesake city for more than 60 years. Not only is this Central Florida’s oldest continuous holiday parade, but it also provides a great opportunity to check out everything else Winter Park has to offer!
Learn more: Winter Park
Twisted Krampus 4 Party at ICEBAR Orlando
Dec. 5, 2021
Guests ages 21 and up can join all the shenanigans, including contests and drink specials, at the Twisted Krampus 4 Party. Serving ice-cold drinks in even colder environs, ICEBAR Orlando is part of the International Drive tourism district.
Learn more: Orlando for Adults
Holiday Concerts & Stage Productions
Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash
Select Dates, Nov. 12 – Dec. 18, 2021
Ring in the holidays at The Winter Park Playhouse with this fresh, swingin’ musical! From classic Sinatra tunes to seasonal favorites performed Rat Pack style, Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash is complete with 40 popular hits, including “Fly Me to The Moon,” “That’s Life,” “New York, New York,” “Mistletoe and Holly,” “The Christmas Song,” “Silver Bells,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and many more. Winter Park is approximately 25 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourism districts.
Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker
Nov. 27, 2021
Hosted by downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and presented by Orlando Community Arts, Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker is an urban adaptation of the classic Nutcracker story that highlights Central Florida’s rich cultural diversity. Written by Orlando Community Arts Executive Producer/President Beverly Page, the production is filled with ballet, jazz, hip hop and gospel, as performed by a mix of professional dancers and local community youth.
Learn more: Downtown Orlando
A Christmas Carol
Select Dates, Dec. 1 – 24, 2021
Featuring your favorite carols and awe-inspiring special effects, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s (aka Orlando Shakes’) delightful rendition of A Christmas Carol tells the iconic tale of one man’s chance to change for the better. Gather together to witness the Christmas magic and create a tradition for the whole family! Orlando Shakes is located in Loch Haven Cultural Park close to downtown Orlando’s core.
Learn more: Orlando Arts & Entertainment
Select Dates, Dec. 3 – 19, 2021
Orlando Ballet’s enchanting annual favorite, The Nutcracker is a not-to-be-missed holiday tradition. Witness the beloved story of a godfather’s Christmas Eve gift of a toy nutcracker that comes to life and transports Clara to a world of wonder. The production is hosted by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando.
Holly Jolly Sounds of the Season
Dec. 4 – 5, 2021
At The Plaza Live, join the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s brass and percussion families for Holly Jolly Sounds of the Season. The production will include numerous holiday classics, including “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and more. The Plaza Live is in Orlando’s Milk District, just east of downtown’s core.
Learn more: Orlando Neighborhoods
The Buzzcatz Holly Jolly Christmas
Dec. 5, 2021
At The Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park, local favorites Ricky Sylvia & The Buzzcatz will be bringing the holiday cheer with The Buzzcatz Holly Jolly Christmas, a swinging show of nostalgic favorites. The Buzzcatz boast a 20-plus-year history with a deep bag full of great classic tunes.
A Holiday Homecoming
Dec. 9 – 10, 2021
The Central Florida Community Choir, members of the Central Florida Community Arts (CFCArts) Symphony Orchestra and the CFCArts Dance Company return to their holiday roots for A Holiday Homecoming! Returning after last year’s hiatus, this holiday concert will have you dashing into the most wonderful time of the year. It takes place at Northland Church in Longwood, about 30 minutes north of our main tourism districts.
Dec. 18, 2021
Multi-platinum, progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to downtown Orlando’s Amway Center with its highly-anticipated winter tour, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the group’s landmark album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories.
Clara’s Christmas Adventure
Dec. 21, 2021
At the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, suspend disbelief as Clara’s Christmas Adventure transports you to a dazzling winter wonderland with a snowfall on stage in this new, full-length production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker.
There’s Always More to Do in Orlando
Holiday festivities aren’t the only can’t-miss events waiting for you in Orlando this fall and winter. See what else is happening during your next visit, and make plans to join the fun.
If you need help plotting your getaway, take advantage of our free planning resources, or reach out to our Official Visitor Services team via Live Chat or by phone at 407-363-5872 . You can also stock up on authorized discount tickets for theme parks, attractions and experiences at Visit Orlando powered by BestofOrlando.com and take advantage of other special offers. It’s the best way to enjoy a wondrous holiday season in Orlando!
Map of Holiday Events in Orlando
Use this interactive map to deck the halls at all of Orlando’s holiday celebrations in 2021. (Click here if you found us via Google and don’t see a map or images!)