Christmas in Orlando: Take a Magical Vacation With Loved Ones

Orlando is a top family vacation destination year-round, but during December, its world-class theme parks pull out all the stops, turning this Florida town into a magical place of wonder and joy. December is also one of the busiest times of the year at Orlando’s theme parks, but extended hours allow guests plenty of time enjoy everything the parks offer. If planning to spend Christmas in Orlando, here are some must-see events.

Christmas in Orlando: 6 Family-friendly Activities

christmas in orlando family vacation

Photo: Rob Bixby

Meet Mickey and Friends

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney World will put even Scrooge in the holiday spirit. The event offers special performances with Mickey and Santa in the evenings at Magic Kingdom. Live entertainment delights visitors of all ages, and don’t miss Cinderella’s Castle, which shines like ice with holiday lights and a fireworks show. There are also meet-and-greet options throughout Magic Kingdom, complete with free cookies and hot cocoa. Please note: A separate park ticket is required for the Mickey Christmas Party event.

Catch the Macy’s Parade

Universal Studios Florida recreates Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, complete with giant balloons, floats, marching bands and Santa. Don’t miss the tree-lighting ceremony afterwards, and find holiday gifts at Universal’s Holiday Village. Other holiday shows include Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and The Grinch. All Universal events are included in the regular ticket price.

Orlando Christmas Vacation

Photo: Theme Park Tourist

Greet the Grinch

Step into Who-ville at Grinchmas, held at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This event transforms Seuss Landing into a Christmas wonderland full of beloved costumes, decorations and stories. Perfect for all Seuss fans, guests enjoy a live retelling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and can meet The Grinch or even have breakfast with him (separate tickets required).

See a SeaWorld Christmas

SeaWorld Orlando gets into the Christmas spirit with carolers, Sesame Street and a Winter Wonderland on Ice. O Wondrous Night features 30 carolers who tell a memorable nativity story. In addition, parents can take kids to see Elmo’s Christmas Wish, or hop aboard The Polar Express and arrive at the North Pole in time to meet Santa.

While celebrating Christmas in Orlando, don’t miss ice skaters, lights and music at the Winter Wonderland. Then walk through the forest of more than 100 trees that dance to classic Christmas songs. Most activities are included in the park’s admission.

Celebrate With the World

People all over the world celebrate Christmas. Learn about different cultures and traditions at Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays. The IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth captivates visitors as they hear about Earth’s past, present and future, all celebrating the spirit of humanity. Music lovers will want to check out the Candlelight Professional, which features a 50-piece orchestra, huge choir and narrated Christmas story.

Explore LEGOLand

See a 30-foot LEGO Christmas tree and life-size Santa – complete with sleigh and reindeer – at the Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida. Parents and kids can spend quality time together building festive scenes, or try the LEGO Santa scavenger hunt. Other events include nightly fireworks, live music and dancing, meet-and-greets, and photo ops with Santa and a toy soldier.

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