Imagine dancing snow flurries, unlimited hot cocoa and meeting the world’s most famous reindeer, without any of the hassle of the blustery winter cold – that’s how Orlando does the holidays.
This year, explore a glittering winter wonderland of holiday happenings for 59 days straight, at 20 festive events, all with average daily temperatures in the 70s. With everything from 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas trees and holiday-themed fireworks to castles frosted with magical snow and rockin’ New Year’s Eve parties for all ages, visitors and their loved ones can make holiday memories as unique as snowflakes with activities for everyone.
Travelers can check out VisitOrlando.com/Christmas for more details and to start planning their perfect winter getaway.
Theme Park Holiday Events
Walt Disney World Resort: Select nights Nov. 8 - Dec. 21
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party presents a winter fairytale, as Queen Elsa puts a spell on Cinderella's Castle, covering it in glittering ice. Lively stage shows feature Disney characters in their holiday finery and a festive holiday parade sends toy soldiers and snow flurries dancing on Main Street U.S.A. Guests can also enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa around the park.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios hosts Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! The event features spectacular fireworks, special effects and holiday music classics every night, beginning Nov. 9 through Jan. 6, 2019.
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, beginning Nov. 18, features storytellers, a daily character tree-lighting ceremony and a stunning display of snow-white lights. The Candlelight Processional, a favorite of all ages, joins holiday traditions at the 11 World Showcase nations.
- The Candlelight Processional at Epcot is a beloved Disney tradition, beginning Nov. 22. This joyous retelling of the biblical story of the origins of Christmas features a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra and several magnificent choirs. The special line-up of narrators this year includes Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Hunt and Auli'i Cravalho, along with other spirited celebrities.
- Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a holly, jolly celebration brimming with magical merriment. Beginning Nov. 8, guests can delight in festive shows, holiday décor, Toy Story Land cheer and so much more. Sunset Season’s Greetings transforms Sunset Boulevard into a winter wonderland, including “snow,” holiday decorations and beloved characters getting into the Christmas spirit to the backdrop of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
Universal Orlando Resort: Select nights Nov. 17 - Jan.6
- At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade fills the streets every evening with the larger-than-life balloons from Macy’s famous annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Elaborate floats, dancers and live entertainment dazzle and delight guests.
- At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Grinchmas descends on Seuss Landing with a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s beloved holiday tale during the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, featuring the Whos from Who-ville and an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller.
- Also at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, see Hogwarts transform into a magical holiday extravaganza with Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, starting Nov. 17. Wizards and Muggles alike can watch in awe as Hogwarts Castle is illuminated with dazzling projections, and savor seasonal treats and drinks while listening to the famed Frog Choir and the wizarding world’s famous “Singing Sorceress” Celestina Warbeck.
SeaWorld Orlando: Select nights Nov. 17 - Dec. 31
- This holiday season, there are more reasons than ever to join the merriment of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Guests of all ages can delight over scrumptious food, stunning live shows and joyful entertainment inspired by the natural world as they create treasured memories together. Over 3 million sparkling lights will shine bright during the festive Christmas event, offered select dates from Nov. 17 to Dec. 31. New for 2018 is Dine with Santa at Shamu Stadium, where guests can enjoy a warm-hearted holiday experience and meet Santa Claus as family memories are made.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort: Select weekends Dec. 1-25
- At Christmas Bricktacular, families can block time to marvel at the more than 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree - made with 270,000 LEGO and DUPLO bricks - and pose for a perfect holiday picture with a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh.
Holiday Events in and Around Orlando
- The City of Orlando’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Nov. 30 at Lake Eola Park, featuring a 72-foot Christmas tree, live entertainment and a food truck bazaar.
- The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts features a host of holiday shows and concerts this season, from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas" to “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.”
- The Central Florida Ballet's fire-enhanced, Cirque du Soleil-inspired take on The Nutcracker is known to many as the "pyrotechnic Nutcracker." It returns to the Orange County Convention Center's Linda Chapin Theater Dec. 15-16.
- The Winter in the Park ice skating rink opens Nov. 24 in Winter Park, and hosts an annual tree lighting ceremony, featuring carolers and a visit from Santa on Dec. 1.
- On Dec. 8, enjoy Winter Park’s Ye Old Hometown Christmas Parade, the longest-running parade in Central Florida, now in its 66th
A Unique New Year’s Eve in Orlando
Ring in 2019 at one of Orlando’s biggest celebrations. New Year’s Eve events across the destination invite guests to toast, dine and shine beneath massive fireworks shows at the theme parks and beyond.
- The Disney Countdown to Midnight at Disney’s Contemporary Resort sets a thrilling tone for the New Year, with a live DJ, seasonal bites from several Disney restaurants, dancing and libations, culminating with Magic Kingdom Park fireworks viewing and a champagne toast.
- On International Drive, those searching for a glamorous and exciting New Year’s party will find countless options for their party needs. From Mango’s Tropical Cafe and Tapa Toro at Pointe Orlando to Top Golf, guests will be in for a night of unique entertainment, live music, decadent food choices and of course, fireworks.
- At EVE, Universal CityWalk’s jam-packed New Year’s celebration, guests can feast on unlimited gourmet cuisine and signature drinks, revel in six clubs with live bands and DJs and rock out on Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor.
- Families can ring in the New Year before bedtime at Kids' New Year's Eve at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Move and groove at an exclusive dance party, catch the giant LEGO brick drop at a kid-friendly hour and wind down the year with LEGO-inspired fireworks – all before midnight.
- Celebrate the connection to the sea, sea life and the world at SeaWorld Orlando's New Year's Eve Vibrant fireworks will fill the night sky and festive entertainment will take place throughout the park, including interactive DJ stations, craft beers and delectable bites.
The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, Theme Park Capital of the World®, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.
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