It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Orlando theme parks. Add some cheer to your holiday with a live retelling of Jesus’ birth, The Grinch, colorful creations, and much more. Plus, December also includes some new ride openings. Here’s what’s new in December in Orlando 2019:
Walt Disney World
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays - Enjoy an international yuletide extravaganza during the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. The festival features the holiday traditions of Epcot’s 11 World Showcase nations through live musical productions, seasonal food and beverage, costumed performers and more. The highlight of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is the Candlelight Processional. Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the story of Jesus’ birth as an orchestra and choir perform in the background. The remaining celebrity narrators include:
Isabella Rossellini - December 8 through 10
Alton Fitzgerald White - December 11 through 12
Gary Sinise - December 13 through 15
Pat Sajak - December 16 through 18
Geena Davis - December 19 through 21
Steven Curtis Chapman - December 22 through 24
Edward James Olmos - December 25 and 26
Marlee Matlin - December 27 and 28
Lisa Ling - December 29 and 30
Opening of Rise of Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios - December means the highly anticipated ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is finally open at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The ride debuted on Dec. 5 and is the latest groundbreaking attraction at the new land. It offers multiple ride experiences through multiple ride systems. It’s part dark ride, part simulator, part walk-through! The attraction places guests in the middle of a battle with the First Order.
Gingerbread Displays at Disney Resorts - Don’t forget to check out the amazing gingerbread displays throughout Disney Resorts. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney Springs, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and The American Adventure at Epcot all feature incredible displays.
Jingle Bell, Jingle JAM! Holiday Fireworks Show - Light up the holidays with the thrilling Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam fireworks show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The large-than-life spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios brings to life popular Disney moments. Watch as buildings and rooftops become backdrops for scenes from Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Pluto’s Christmas Tree and more. The show features traditional holiday songs and stores from Mickey, Minnie, Olaf and friends.
Macy's Parade - Enjoy some merry and mayhem this year during Universal Orlando’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. The processional features characters from Madagascar, Shrek and more. Universal’s Holiday Parade runs now through Dec. 24; Dec. 25 - Jan 5 at 5:30 p.m. and Dec. 25 - Dec. 30 at 8:00 p.m.
Grinchmas - Seuss Landing at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is decorated like the town of Who-ville from Dr. Seuss’ beloved story The Grinch. The area is also home to Grinch’s Who-liday Spectacular, a live retelling of the classic tale featuring music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. You can even meet The Grinch himself.
Grinch’s Who-liday Spectacular runs:
Dec. 14 - Dec. 29 at 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 9-13; Dec. 30 - Jan 5 at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Christmas Town - You don’t have to wait until Christmas to experience the memories and magic of the holiday. Busch Gardens Tampa invites you to Christmas every day during the park’s annual Christmas Town. The event features millions of twinkling lights, the Sing-Along Train, holiday shows, festive treats, and visits with Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Celebrate Christmas Town every night now through Jan. 6.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration - Now through Dec. 31, gather your family and friends for SeaWorld Orlando’s annual Christmas Celebration. The festive event features over 3 million twinkling lights. holiday shows, the all-new Sesame Street Christmas Parade, Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer and Santa himself.
Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience - Brighten up your Christmas during Crayola Experience’s Colorful Christmas. Now through Jan. 5 weave your way through 9 new holiday activities including a themed scavenger hunt, a life-sized snow globe, a light show and much more. All of the fun is included in general admission.
Sea Life Orlando Aquarium
Deck the Seas - Experience an underwater winter wonderland during Sea Life Aquarium’s Deck the Seas. The event features festive decor, Scuba Claus and his elves, and more! The underwater holiday runs now through Jan. 6.