Mickey Mouse dressed as Santa Claus shaking hands with a boy and his family, with Cinderella's Castle festively decorated in the background

Make Every Day a Holiday in Orlando

From August through December, holidays are magical in Orlando.

In Orlando, you can immerse yourself in fall decorations and holiday celebrations from August through December. So, your holiday season can begin at any time when you visit Orlando: Theme Park Capital of the World®!

Starting in late summer until well into fall, Orlando also offers better values, fewer crowds, cooler temperatures and an array of special events, making it one of the best times to visit — particularly if you’re fond of culinary delights and Halloween thrills for children and adults.

As autumn starts to make way for winter, Orlando resonates with the lights, sounds and magical joy of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, and New Year’s. Whether you want to ring in these festive holidays at our world-famous theme parks and attractions; eat, drink and be merry at some of Central Florida’s most acclaimed restaurants; or simply escape the cold at home by relaxing poolside at our luxurious hotels and resorts, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable holiday season in Orlando.

See our list below of the most popular fall and holiday events in Orlando. Come early and save with great seasonal offers. Then, start planning an unforgettable holiday in Orlando!

Holiday Magic in Orlando

Orlando is always a magical place, and we shine even brighter during the holiday season. With unique celebrations at our theme parks, joyous performances at state-of-the-art concert halls, and Santa sightings throughout the area, Orlando rings in the holidays like no other destination.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Cinderella's Castle in Disney's Magic Kingdom festively decorated with streaming fireworks lighting up the night sky(Select Nights, Nov. 8 – Dec. 21)
Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World Resort transforms into a winter wonderland during this separate-ticketed experience, which is co-hosted by Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus! They receive plenty of help from their friends, too, as more than a dozen beloved Disney Characters — including Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws — come dressed in their holiday best for the party.

Learn More: Discount Tickets to Walt Disney World Resort

You can also catch the holiday spirit at Walt Disney World’s other Orlando theme parks, including:

  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays (Nov. 18 – Dec. 30): Celebrate the holidays with food, music and beloved traditions during this heartwarming event, included with regular admission.
  • Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® (Nov. 8 – Jan. 6, 2019): All park guests can enjoy faux snow, holiday décor, festive shows and other holiday happenings.
  • Diwali at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park (Nov. 8 – Jan. 1, 2019): India’s famed festival of lights comes to Orlando courtesy of a special edition of the park’s newest show, UP! A Great Bird Adventure.

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail
Mom with daughter looking at a Christmas treeFrom November 8, 2018 through January 6, 2019, discover 27 holiday trees—each inspired by a Disney character or theme. Capture one-of-a-kind photo ops during a walk-through experience featuring music, falling snow, festive trees and more. Begin your tour near the play fountain outside Once Upon a Toy in the Marketplace.

This experience will be in full effect Sunday through Saturday from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Times are subject to change without notice.

Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort™
A family looks up in wonder with the giant Christmas tree in the background at Universal Studios.(Nov. 17 – Jan. 6)
Put a little mischief in your merry when Universal Orlando Resort™ unwraps a resort-wide celebration that will elevate your season.

The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular: Dr. Seuss’ holiday humbug leads this live production at Universal’s Islands of Adventure™. It’s complemented by The Grinch™ & Friends Character Breakfast, which is available as a paid upgrade to regular admission.The Grinch dressed as Santa Claus with his dog over his shoulder

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™
Christmas is the most of magical holidays, which makes it a perfect fit for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort! Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida™ and Hogsmeade™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ are transformed with festive décor and lighting — including The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle nighttime spectacular.

Learn More: Discount Tickets to Universal Orlando Resort™

There’s even more holiday magic in store for you at Universal Orlando Resort™ from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6, including:

  • Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s: Never mind elves; the Minions and other fan-favorite characters team up with Santa Claus for this daily parade at Universal Studios Florida™.
  • Mannheim Steamroller: The holiday hit-makers return to Universal Studios Florida™ for live performances on select days.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
A sea of Christmas trees and their reflections in the water after sunset.(Select Nights, Nov. 17 – Dec. 31)
SeaWorld Orlando puts the “sea” in “holiday season” with this festive celebration, which is included with regular park admission. The centerpiece is the gorgeous Sea of Trees, where more than 100 trees sparkle with lights and music designed to fill you with wonder. You’ll also have the chance to meet Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as well as their friends from Rudolph’s classic TV special.

Learn More: Discount Tickets to SeaWorld Orlando

LEGOLAND Florida’s Christmas Bricktacular
(Select Dates)
When the 30-foot LEGO Christmas tree goes up in front of LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Market Restaurant, it’s time for the park’s Christmas Bricktacular — a jolly celebration filled with twinkling lights, seasonal entertainment and, of course, ample LEGO building opportunities!

Learn More: Discount Tickets to LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Fall Food Festivals in Orlando

Orlando hosts a cornucopia of autumnal food and wine celebrations, each offering unique epicurean delights to satisfy your culinary cravings.

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining® Month Sponsored by American Express
(Aug. 24 – Sept. 30)
Foodies, take note: If you can only come to Orlando once a year, make sure it’s during this epic event! For Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, more than 100 of Central Florida’s top restaurants offer three-course, prix-fixe meals for just $35 per person, making it an exceptional way to sample the best that Orlando’s culinary scene has to offer.

Learn More: Orlando Restaurants

A couple eating at Epcot's food and wine festival by a fountain

© Disney

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival
(Aug. 30 – Nov. 12)
For many visitors to Orlando, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World® Resort is the reason for the fall season! Included with regular admission to Epcot, and encompassing a record-tying 75 days, this year’s edition boasts more than 30 Global Marketplaces with incredible food and beverages from around the world, including spotlights on such far-ranging locations as Brazil, China, France, Hawaii, Morocco and many others.

Learn More: Discount Tickets to Walt Disney World Resort

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival also features the popular Eat to the Beat concert series, where dozens of top musical acts serve a feast for the ears with pop, country, R&B and other genres. Throw in culinary demonstrations, beverage and cheese seminars, hands-on workshops, and appearances by celebrity chefs, and it’s no wonder why so many foodies come to Orlando every fall.

Food & Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria®
(Weekends, Sept. 14 – Nov. 11) Located minutes from Walt Disney World, Waldorf Astoria Orlando celebrates exceptional cuisine and fine wine during this annual tasting event, which is designed to complement the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. In addition to a broad range of cuisine, Food & Wine Weekends features a macaron bar, traditional Royal Tea, a Bar du Chocolat with champagne, and live entertainment.

Learn More: Orlando Hotels & Resorts

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic
(Oct. 26-27)
Paying homage to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort showcases dishes designed by award-winning chefs and fine wines from around the world. Tickets are available to resort guests and the general public, with admission to the event’s Beer Garden offered as an upgrade to regular admission.

On Oct. 28, the celebration continues with the Sunday Bubbles Brunch, hosted by the resort’s Il Mulino New York Trattoria and featuring vintages from J Vineyards and Winery of California.

Craft Beer Festival at SeaWorld Orlando
(Nov. 3-11)
Brewed fresh for 2018, this brand-new event at SeaWorld® Orlando will offer more than 100 draft beers from breweries across Florida, as well as a selection of international and domestic craft favorites. Food-lovers won’t be left out, either, as SeaWorld’s chefs have dreamed up 20-plus unique dishes designed to pair perfectly with the brews.

Learn More: Discount Tickets to SeaWorld Orlando

Food and beverages will be available a la carte at culinary marketplaces throughout the park, and the festival is included with regular admission to SeaWorld.

Halloween Haunts in Orlando

From mild chills that are fun for the whole family, to spine-tingling terrors best enjoyed by older teens and adults, Orlando is the ultimate Halloween haunt for all ages.

Halloween Horror Nights™
Fire spouting the background lights the scene with a very tall skeleton figure overlooking the swirling crowds while gripping a scythe.(Select Nights, Sept. 14 – Nov. 3)
Halloween Horror Nights™ at Universal Orlando Resort™ is always one of Orlando’s most intense celebrations of the macabre for teens and adults — and in 2018, the separate-ticketed event will offer even more thrills and chills with a record-breaking 10 haunted houses that are ready to fill you with fear!

Learn More: Discount Tickets to Universal Orlando Resort™

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Chip and Dale dressed as cowboys interact with Halloween visitors in the Magic Kingdom(Select Nights, Aug. 17 – Oct. 31)
Not all of Orlando’s Halloween celebrations are designed to scare the pants off you — take Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World Resort, for example! Fun for all ages, this separate-ticketed event invites guests to wear costumes without masks for an evening of trick-or-treating at the world’s most popular theme park.

Learn More: Discount Tickets to Walt Disney World Resort

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular
A colorful witch surrounded with bubbles, costumed characters, and children in a parade(Weekends, Sept. 22 – Oct. 28)
Dive into a “fantasea” of Halloween fun at this all-ages daytime event, which is included with regular admission to SeaWorld® Orlando. Costumes without masks are welcome, and families can look forward to trick-or-treating, encounters with whimsical sea creatures, live entertainment and other fun, fear-free festivities.

Learn More: Discount Tickets to SeaWorld Orlando

LEGOLAND Florida’s Brick or Treat
(Weekends & Halloween, Oct. 6-31)
Included with regular admission to LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, Brick or Treat offers semi-spooky LEGO fun for kids and their families. And with more days, more entertainment and more candy in 2018, the event promises to be bigger and better than ever!

Learn More: Discount Tickets to LEGOLAND Florida Resort

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HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18)Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2018 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & Related Characters © 2018 Macy’s Inc. All rights reserved. Dr. Seuss properties TM & © 2018 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All rights reserved. Madagascar © 2018 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.