Orlando gets dazzling for Christmas and the holiday season, starting in November. The theme parks twinkle with lights, and guests can enjoy great concerts and shows included in regular park admission prices. Other attractions turn on the bright lights too.
Yes, the theme parks are crowded, but for many families this is the best time to visit Mickey's theme parks. The decorations are beautiful, the parks are open late, and many special events -- both major and minor -- add highlights in all four theme parks. Below are some major holiday season events at Disney World, but guests will find much more.
Millions of lights sparkle in the falling snow at the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park during this annual display that runs from mid-November to early January.
At any time of year, it's fun to walk around the World Showcase Lagoon visiting the pavilions which are inspired by 11 different countries. During December, you'll also find holiday storytelling and celebrations from around the world.
Toy soldiers, snowflakes, dancing deer, and Santa and Mrs. Claus in a grand finale-- this parade is a Christmas highlight. Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade starts the season as part of Mickey's "Very Merry" party (see below), which is a ticketed event; but after the Party dates are finished, the parade marches for everyone.
Mickey and Minnie host this special-ticket party that includes a parade, snowfall on Main Street, character greetings and stage shows, cookies and hot cocoa, special Holiday Wishes fireworks, and access to popular Magic Kingdom attractions. The party takes place on multiple nights in November and December and tickets sell out early, so be sure to plan ahead!
Nightly fireworks at Cinderella's Castle are always a highlight at Disney World, but at this time of year the display gets even more spectacular, with a special fireworks show titled "Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season".
With its four giant theme parks, Disney World has many more holiday season events and displays, such as Castle Dream Lights at Cinderella's Castle, nightly tree lightings, and seasonal parades... See more Orlando Christmas Events at Disney World.
The other multi-day, multi-park theme park complex in town also celebrates the season big-time, with some terrific extras for guests at both the Universal Studios Florida and the Islands of Adventure theme parks.
In the Universal Studios Florida theme park, the Macy's Holiday Parade rolls every evening, with the authentic giant balloons that are a signature of Macy's annual Thanksgiving parade in NYC.
If you've visited Seuss Landing (in the Islands of Adventure theme park) during summer, you may have wondered: "Where's the Grinch?" He's nowhere to be seen except at Grinchmas-time, when Seuss Landing turns into a winter wonderland, and features live performances of a musical show based on Dr. Seuss's beloved "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" book. The show has an original score was written by Mannheim Steamroller (see below).
--check prices for Orlando hotels, at About.com's affiliate, Kayak.com
--continue to Orlando Christmas, p. 2: ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort, SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration, Christmas Day Parade...