It is the most wonderful time of the year in Orlando. Orlando theme parks have transformed into winter wonderlands full of holiday decor, festive entertainment and seasonal treats. If you’re planning to experience the holiday magic this season, here’s what’s happening at Orlando theme parks in December:
Walt Disney World
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – The festival features the holiday traditions of Epcot’s 11 World Showcase nations with sights, sounds and flavors of the season celebrated around the world. Guests can enjoy live musical productions, special food & beverages at the expanded Holiday Kitchens, costumed performers and more. Perhaps one of the most popular events of the festival is the Candlelight Processional. The retelling of the Christmas story is told by celebrity narrators and accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. This year’s storytellers include:
Jodie Benson Dec. 6 to 8
Kurt Russell Dec. 9-11
Warwick Davis Dec. 12-14
Trace Adkins Dec. 15-17
Neil Patrick Harris Dec. 18-21
CCH Pounder Dec. 22-24
Jack Velasquez Dec. 25-27
Chandra Wilson Dec. 28-30
Sunset Seasons Greetings – New to Hollywood Studios this year, Sunset Greetings invites guests to enjoy a flurry of holiday fun in an enchanted winter wonderland. The special event includes snow fall, lights on Sunset Boulevard, and the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM spectacular show with fireworks, merry music and state-of-the-art projections. Enjoy a flurry of fun at Sunset Seasons Greeting now through December 31.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Disney’s Magic Kingdom is celebrating the season with their annual Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The merry event features such holly jolly fun as Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Frozen Holiday Wish, Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration with Mickey Mouse inviting all of his friends to celebrate the season, Club Tinsel where you can show off your best dance moves and the always popular Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs select nights now through December 22.
Star Wars: Galactic Nights – This family-friendly event features exclusive Star Wars experiences including a panel discussion about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, special guests including Warrick Davis, character encounters and much more! Star Wars Galactic Nights is a one-night only event December 16.
Disney Springs is celebrating the season with a sleigh full of festive entertainment including a walk-through experience featuring music, falling snow and trees in Marketplace Miracle; Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt where you can embark on a mission to locate all the items on Stitch’s lost list; and larger-than-life entertainment like Toy Soldier stilt walkers, carolers, a DJ, a Kwanzaa celebration and more. Holidays at Disney Springs run now through January 7.
Universal Orlando has changed up their holiday offerings. The all-new Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort now includes Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. You can also watch the retelling of the Dr. Seuss classic holiday tale starring The Grinch during the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The all-new Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s will hit the streets of Universal with minions and Santa Claus as well as new floats. The best-selling holiday artist of all time, Mannheim Steamroller will also perform during the holiday season. Dates are December 9-10 and 16-17.
Christmas Bricktacular – Join LEGOLAND Florida this December for festive fun during Christmas Bricktacular. Guests can enjoy a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree, which comes alive several times each evening with synchronized lights and holiday music. Kids can also send letters to the North Pole and hear stories told by Mrs. Claus. Santa will be there too but in LEGO form. You can also help create a giant LEGO mosaic and look for Santa’s LEGO elf hiding in the theme park. LEGOLAND Florida’s Christmas Bricktacular runs select nights through December 25.
Christmas Celebration – Create holiday memories during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. From now through December 31, families can enjoy stunning live shows like the popular Clyde and Seamer’s Countdown to Christmas, Elmo’s Christmas Wish, O Wondrous Night, Shamu Christmas Miracles and more. Also, don’t miss the beautiful Sea of Trees and meet-and-greets with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa himself!
Busch Gardens Tampa
Christmas Town – Busch Gardens Tampa transforms into Christmas Town with twinkling lights, Yuletide shows, holiday shopping and a visit for Santa. You’ll also run into characters from the television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the debut of Sam the Snowman. The Christmas fun continues through December 31.
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Christmas in the Wild – Go wild this Christmas at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo with the park’s annual Christmas in the Wild. The event returns with even more twinkling lights and jolly surprises. Guests can experience 18 nights of seasonal treats, enchanting entertainment, and a 50-foot animated Christmas tree.
Orlando, FL – 12/17/17
By: Jena Pugh