Orlando is one of the most visited areas in the world due to its world-class theme parks and attractions. There is so much to do that a person could visit a hundred times and still find more. The Holiday season offers no exception to this rule with many seasonal shows and events for you to visit. It is impossible to see everything the city has to offer for the season, so here are 5 things you must do when visiting the Orlando Area at Christmas time.

Spending a Day at Disney Springs

Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney, is an open-air marketplace on the eastern edge of the Walt Disney World Resort. The area has dozens of shops, shows, restaurants and attractions as well as some innovative holiday additions. When visiting Disney Springs at Christmas there are a few things you must do. The first is to visit the 25 Days of Christmas store. Here you can find any Disney themed decoration that you could wish for from Mickey nutcrackers to Cinderella Slipper Ornaments and more.

After touring the shop you should take the time to view this year Christmas Tree Trail. The trail is a new addition to the area and each tree is themed after a Disney Masterpiece and with trees ranging from Mulan and Tangled to the Muppets. Any of the restaurants in the area would be a fine choice for a Holiday meal but afterward, you should stop at Ghirardelli’s for a world-class Hot Chocolate, or if you want your Cocoa that much more Christmassy, you can head over to Starbucks for the Peppermint Hot Chocolate, its Holiday perfection. As the night winds down you’ll want to head to the water’s edge for the new night time show as dozens of drones take to the skies and light up creating Holiday themed shapes in the sky.

ICE! At Gaylord Palms

  One of the best Christmas attractions in the City of Orlando is ICE at Gaylord Palms on West Osceola Parkway. Every year dozens of artisans from Harbin China come to Kissimmee to build an indoor winter wonderland entirely out of Ice. These talented artists come from generations of Ice sculptors and an area famous for its yearly Ice Lantern Festival and they have brought that magic with them.

 The large pavilion houses over 2 million pounds of ice at a chilly 9 degrees. This ice takes the form of 4 giant Ice slide as well as beloved characters and scenes from A Charlie Brown Christmas as well as a beautifully carved Nativity. You don’t need to be a guest at the hotel to attend, but you do need to purchase tickets to enter. Tickets are $29.99 for an adult and $16.99 for a Child with a slight discount if you order your ticket online.

Grinchmas and more at Universal Studios

 This is another Christmas time tradition for the Orlando Area. For the holidays every year, Seuss Landing is completely Grinched. The area is decorated right out of both movies and you can even visit with the Grinch himself. There is also a musical stage show retelling the whole story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It is definitely something you don’t want to miss.

The main park at Universal has its own Holiday Fun. There are stage shows and decorations, but the star attraction is the Macy’s Day Parade. Yes, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade finds its way down to Orlando each year. So if you’ve never been able to catch the show in the Big Apple, why not take the time to see it in Orlando?

Sea World

ICE has Charlie Brown, Universal has the Grinch, and Dinsey has Christmas versions of the cast. As of this year, SeaWorld has Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Friends. Families can meet the famed reindeer as well as Santa Clause before heading over to see the other Christmas time attractions in the park. Shamu has a special Christmas show and so do Seymour and Clyde. There is Winter Wonderland on Ice, a figure skating show for the holidays, as well as the “Sea of Trees” a whole flotilla of Christmas Trees that light up the waterways of the park at night.

The park also has a show called “O Wondrous Night”, which is a retelling of the Christmas story. This 30-minute living nativity included 30 Christmas carols and life-sized puppets of the animals in the story making this a charming and heartfelt rendition of the greatest story ever told.

Vising the Walt Disney World Resort

Disney always does its best to present guests with the magic of the holiday season. Each year you can visit the various resort properties to see the trees and gingerbread displays. You can also find each of the four parks completely dressed up for the season. The three parks that really shine at this time of year are Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

Hollywood Studios

The Studios has a new show to replace the Osborn Family Dancing Spectacle of Lights. The new show is called Jingle Bell Jingle Bam. It’s a projection and firework show reminiscent of the Star Wars spectacular that has run for most of this year. The show is set to popular Christmas tunes and features scenes from beloved Disney Christmas shorts and films.

Magic Kingdom

 The Magic Kingdom dresses in its Christmas best for the holidays with trees, wreaths and more. There is a special holiday party that you can purchase tickets for. The party includes special meet-and-greets and more. However, if you are able to brave the crowds, most of the special events happen during the last week of Christmas without the additional ticket. There is a special Holiday parade in the afternoons. The cast of Frozen ices the castle every night and it even snows on Main Street USA (Watch out, it can get a bit slippery).


My personal favorite park at Christmas would be Epcot. Each pavilion does something unique whether it is the gingerbreads and decorations in the Land, or the story tellers found thought out the World Showcase. IllumiNations has an extra special Christmas time ending for the seas as well. But the absolute must do is the Candle Light Processional.

It happens every night in the American Pavilion. Special guest speakers read the Christmas story out loud with the accompaniment of Christmas carols sung by a large choir. This Disney tradition started in Disneyland in 1957. It has been performed in Walt Disney World since the resort opened with the Magic Kingdom in 1971. You can line up to get a seat a few hours before the show. Or you can purchase one of the dining/show combo tickets to get a guaranteed seat. However, if you can’t get into the actual auditorium you can still see and hear the whole event from the main walkway in America. Though it is standing room only if you can’t get a seat inside.

These are just a few of the fantastic things happening in the Orlando Area at Christmas time. We’d love to know what are some of your favorites are if we missed them!

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