Orlando's Holiday Events Shine with Creativity
ORLANDO, Fla. - With candy cane hunts, a life-size chocolate Santa, Macy's Holiday Parade and marching toy soldiers - imagination comes to life in an Orlando vacation this holiday season. Starting as early as Nov. 7 and running through New Year's Day, Orlando makes the most out of every Yuletide day. Visitors can discover insider tips on an Orlando holiday getaway alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at visitorlando.com/holidays or download the new Visit Orlando App in the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Theme Park Holiday Events
Walt Disney World Resort: Select nights Nov. 7- Dec. 31
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party presents a winter fairytale, as Queen Elsa covers Cinderella's castle in glittering ice. Lively stage shows feature Disney characters in their holiday best, and a festive holiday parade sends toy soldiers and snow flurries dancing on Main Street, U.S.A. Guests can even enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa around the park. Disney's Hollywood Studios debuts a new show this year, "Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!" The explosive event features spectacular fireworks, special effects and infectious holiday music every night, beginning Nov. 14. The Candlelight Processional at Epcot is a beloved Disney tradition. This joyous retelling of the Christmas story features a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra and several magnificent choirs. Narrators this year include Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg.
Universal Orlando Resort: Select nights Dec. 3 - Jan. 1
At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy's Holiday Parade fills the streets every evening with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in Macy's famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Elaborate floats, dancers and other entertainment will dazzle and delight as well. At Universal's Islands of Adventure, Grinchmas descends on Seuss Landing with a live retelling of Dr. Seuss's beloved holiday tale during, "Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular," featuring the Whos from Who-ville and an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller.
SeaWorld Orlando: Select nights Nov. 25 - Dec. 31
Waves of holiday spirit splash in during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration. Here in a wintery, watery wonderland, live shows inspired by the natural world light up the park with majesty and cheer, including a charming nativity show with live animals. New this year, guests can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends, and enjoy Rudolph-themed attractions.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort: Dec. 17-18, 24-30
At Christmas Bricktacular, families can block time to marvel at the more than 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree, made with 270,000 LEGO and DUPLO bricks, and pose for a perfect holiday picture with a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh.
Holiday Cheer at Orlando Resorts
An Orlando holiday getaway wouldn't be complete without a holly, jolly place to stay, and the destination's wide variety of resorts join the festivities. The holiday spirit is shared in events, dining and entertainment, creating comfort and cheer around every corner.
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort features lavish holiday offerings and décor Dec.1 - Jan. 3. Festive events at the resort include candy cane hunts or sleigh decorating for children or adults-only wine tastings. Opt to host a personal holiday party with Mickey and Minnie or Anna and Elsa from "Frozen," upon request. Those who stay in top suites even get a butler to help wrap holiday gifts, decorate the suite and arrange a hot cocoa and cookie decorating party. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel offers sweet holiday treats this year, including a Life-Size Chocolate Holiday Santa Scene in the Swan lobby, constructed with 2,000 pounds of real chocolate. The Dolphin hotel lobby will offer even more holiday magic, with an indoor-snow fall and 45-ft tall Christmas tree. For the most amazing Night Before Christmas, guests can invite a fully-costumed elf to deliver milk and cookies to their room for a Christmas Eve bedtime story and tuck in. Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center returns with an Orlando holiday classic: ICE! At Gaylord Palms, featuring an elaborate tableau of interactive hand-carved ice sculptures and displays, Nov. 18 - Jan. 1. This year, ICE! has a new theme: Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz. Guests can follow along as Charlie Brown discovers the meaning of Christmas and bask in the chilly, award-winning splendor carved by a team of 40 skilled artisans. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort's Mediterranean yule time experience includes holiday carolers and a Hanukkah Candle Lighting Ceremony. For a unique celebration, the resort recreates an evening in seaside "Italy" with live holiday music, wine tasting and the grand illumination of the Christmas tree.
A Unique New Year's Eve in Orlando
Ring in 2017 in a big way at one of the destination's many New Year's Eve events. Some of the year's biggest firework shows light up the night as fine dining, entertainment and champagne flow below.
The "Disney Countdown to Midnight" at Disney's Contemporary Resort sets a thrilling tone for the New Year, with a live DJ, dancing and libations, culminating with Magic Kingdom Park fireworks viewing and a champagne toast. Five Star New Year's Eve at I-Drive 360 will gather local celebrities and Orlando's most influential people to celebrate in style beneath the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. The exclusive event features world class DJ's rotating through the night as visual entertainment of fireworks and fire shows entertain. General admission offers a full-service open bar with beverages, beer, vodka, whiskey and Prosecco. Those looking to party hard into the new year can head to Universal CityWalk for jam-packed celebrations, including unique party zones, live music, unlimited gourmet cuisine and a pulse-pumping outdoor dance floor. Families can ring in the New Year before bedtime At "Kids' New Year's Eve" at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Move and groove at an exclusive dance party, catch the giant LEGO brick drop at a kid-friendly hour and wind down the year with LEGO-inspired fireworks - all before midnight.
The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world's top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, THEME PARK CAPITAL OF THE WORLDSM, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.
Editor's Note: Find high-resolution downloadable images here.