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Great Places to See Santa

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Universal Orlando
Macy's Holiday Parade. Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.

Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.

Christmas in Orlando theme parks means great added value, with special performances, concerts, shows, all included in regular ticket admission. In Universal Orlando's two theme parks, Christmas brings some great opportunities to see Santa -- and a whole lot more.

Macy's Holiday Parade
At the Universal Studios Florida theme park, this parade happens every evening at sunset from early December through January 1, with authentic giant balloons and floats from the famous Thanksgiving parade in New York. And of course there's an opportunity to see Santa: he's the star of the show.

Grinchmas, at Islands Of Adventure
If you've visited Seuss Landing (in the Islands of Adventure theme park) at any other time of year, you may have wondered: Where's the Grinch? In fact, he's not to be seen, except at Christmas-time, or rather Grinchmas-time, when Grinch and dog Max join frolicking Who's at decorated Seuss Landing. Celebration includes a live musical show, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".

Holiday Concert Series at Universal Studios Florida
The musical group Mannheim Steamroller -- acclaimed for their Christmas music -- have sold more than 40 million albums and return every year for multiple concerts in December. Also at Universal Studios theme park, guests can hear nightly holiday music in the Holiday Village and see special holiday-themed versions of live shows.

Read about these and more Christmas at Universal Orlando events at the Universal Orlando site. Outside the theme parks, the CityWalk shopping/ entertainment area has decorations, horse-drawn carriages, live music, snow flurries, and appearances by Santa and his elves.

Holiday Hotel Events
Meanwhile, Universal Orlando's three resorts offer festive decor, carollers, holiday movies, and other seasonal fun. The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has nightly tree lighting and music in the harbor piazza; the Hard Rock Hotel has Hanukkah candle lights, special holiday buffets, visits with Santa, and a New year's Eve party; and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort has cookie decorating, Hanukkah candle lights, Santa visits, and a family-friendly New Year celebration. Read more about these holiday hotel events. Great perk, during the busy holiday season: guests staying at all these resorts get Universal Express fast-track access to popular rides.

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