Let’s face it, Orlando is magical any time of year but there is something extra special about the City Beautiful and her neighbors during the holidays. Though the temperature may still be warm (to our out of town guests, anyway) there is no doubt that the spirit of the winter holidays is in the air. From the theme parks and attractions to the parks and town squares, there is something for everyone and if you are lucky you might even see some snow.
Traditional favorites abound at the Walt Disney Resort and although one such classic, The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, will not be making a comeback this year, there are new treats to discover with the conversion of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. The Walt Disney Company has always focused on innovation and embraced new technologies, from technicolor to RFID-enabled wristbands, and this holiday season they are debuting what could possibly be the first show of its kind. Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration is a light show spectacular comprised of 300 show drones that are choreographed and synchronized to an original Disney score of holiday favorites. Another new offering at Disney Springs is the Christmas Tree Trail. Starting at the play fountain in front of Once Upon a Toy you can follow a trail leading amongst a collection of Christmas trees, each decorated in a different Disney theme. Find your favorite character or movie for a special holiday picture you and your family will cherish for years to come. And for those guests who want to revisit fond memories of days of yore, don’t worry! The Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World at Epcot, as well as the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, will all be back.
If Disney isn’t the theme park on your nice list this Christmas, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld have their own holiday cheer. At Islands of Adventure, you can enter the beloved Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” as the Whos celebrate Grinchmas! Meet the green guy himself and wander the streets of Whoville as they are decked out in their finest. If parades are more your style head over to Universal Studios to be part of a piece of American history that many of us grew up watching: The Macy’s Holiday Parade! Many of the iconic floats and balloons that make their way down 34th Street make an encore appearance at Universal. Another Christmas favorite comes to life at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends on select nights while dining, shopping, and enjoying festive entertainment.
Perhaps something a little more hometown is what your family is craving this holiday season. Perhaps even a little…snow? Now Snowing is Central Florida’s original snowfall event. Strolling Charles Dickenson Carolers help set the mood as snow falls every night at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00pm. An ice skating rink is sure to make the kids happy and mom and dad can get some shopping down at one of the dozens of specialty boutiques in the town square. A short drive to Lake Wales will bring you to a Florida historical landmark. Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens includes a special nighttime carillon concert with a live choir, decorating workshops, and a Holiday Home Tour of Pinewood Estate, a 20 room Mediterranean-style mansion built in 1930 and acquired by Bok Tower Gardens in 1970.
With all there is to do in Central Florida it is difficult to be homesick over the holidays. Want to know more about an event not covered here? Leave us a comment and we will try to add it to a future post.