Theme Parks and Beyond: Nearly 2 Dozen Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Orlando This Season
Posted on 11/25/2021 | About Orlando, Florida
Orlando’s claim to fame is its extraordinary collection of family-friendly theme parks standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the balmy weather of the Sunshine State.
But the warmth of the holiday season in Orlando outshines even the Florida sun.
From Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, to re-imagined Christmas and New Year’s Eve experiences at the theme parks and beyond, it’s a great way to get into the Christmas or Hanukkah spirit - or get a change of pace from the stresses of spending the holidays at home - again!
Whether your celebratory taste runs to festive performances, dazzling light shows, or theme park themed celebrations, Orlando is the place to capture the spirit of holiday cheer this year.
Your expert travel advisor can help you find the best value, last-minute holiday trips now, gift a future trip, or make plans to get away to Orlando later this winter. Happy Holidays!
FESTIVE THEME PARK CELEBRATIONS
Walt Disney World Resort - Select nights starting November 12, 2021
• Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park runs for 24 select nights
from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The new separately ticketed, after-hours holiday event will bring
festive food and beverage offerings, dance parties, nighttime spectaculars and “Mickey’s
Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”
• The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays takes guests on a global holiday
celebration with costumed performances, seasonal food throughout 11 World Showcase
nations, along with sights, sounds and flavors of the season celebrated by cultures near
• At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests can dine with Minnie and friends at Minnie's
Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine, catch a glimpse of old St. Nick as he cruises in his
candy-apple red convertible down Hollywood Boulevard and experience a captivating
projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
• Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings a holiday twist to the magic of nature with festive
flotillas featuring Chip n’ Dale, Donald Duck, holiday percussionists and Santa sailing
down the Discovery River. As nighttime falls, a holiday edition of the Tree of Life
Awakening will begin accompanied by a heartwarming musical score.
Universal Orlando Resort - November 13 – January 2, 2022
• Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure brings holiday charm to Seuss
Landing with The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a live retelling of the classic tale
starring the Grinch.
• Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features festive decor in both
Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.
Guests can cap off their evening in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade to
enjoy “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” – a spectacular transformation of
Hogwarts castle with a stunning projection.
• Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons offers guests a walk-
through experience of larger-than-life Macy’s balloons and colorful Christmas floats,
including characters from Shrek, Madagascar and Despicable Me, along with Santa.
SeaWorld Orlando - November 12 – January 2, 2022
• During SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, over 3 million sparkling lights will shine
throughout the park. Festivities include live performances, seasonal food and meet-and-
greets with Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer.
New for 2021: the littlest guests can sing and dance with their favorite Sesame Street characters during Elmo’s
Christmas Wish Show and Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale features soaring fountains, dazzling lights and fireworks.
LEGOLAND Florida - Weekends November 26 – December 31, 2021
• Holidays at LEGOLAND will feature a giant LEGO Christmas tree, seasonal shows,
holiday characters, special treats, LEGO activities, twinkling lights and more.
FUN BEYOND THE THEME PARKS
• ICON Park is home to The Santa Workshop Experience through December 24. Every
child who participates receives a free ticket to ride The Wheel (adult guests receive 50%
off). ICON Park hosts its first tree-lighting ceremony on December 1 with a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree visible from International Drive.
• The Night of a Million Lights at Give Kids the World Village holiday spectacular, taking
place November 12 - January 2, 2022, immerses guests in a sparkling wonderland of millions of lights, including a sparkling tree trail, larger-than-life holiday displays and a guided storytelling tour of 100 magnificently lit villas from the comfort of a tram.
• The Dazzling Nights outdoor holiday event at Harry P. Leu Gardens, running November 19 – January 9, 2022, features a three-quarter-mile interactive holiday experience with epic lighting installations, themed photo moments, live entertainment and more.
• Crayola Experience’s Colorful Christmas, taking place November 20 - January 3, 2022 includes diving into a life-sized snow globe, complete with falling snow, and crafting unique gifts.
• Throughout the entire month of December, downtown Orlando is offering nine free holiday
events as part of Downtown for the Holidays. Visitors can watch The Nutcracker by the
Russian Ballet of Orlando; stroll around Eola Wonderland to see the dazzling holiday décor and lights - including the Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree; or grab a blanket and enjoy a holiday movie on the Lake Eola lawn.
• The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts hosts holiday-themed performances
during its outdoor, socially distanced FrontYard Festival. Holiday performances include
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's Wild & Swingin' Holiday Party and the Big Band Holidays
tradition by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
SPARKLING EVENTS TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR
Live large at New Year’s celebrations in Orlando! From five-course dinners to
exciting theme park celebrations, ringing in 2022 in Orlando will sure be worth the countdown.
• The New Year’s Eve Dinner at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa’s
Sear + Sea features a gourmet meal and rooftop terrace boasting nightly views of both
theme park fireworks, which typically provide an extra-large NYE display.
• Downtown Orlando’s Wall St. Plaza area, features multiple themed bars linked by an
open-air courtyard, for an annual New Year’s Eve Block Party with lightshows, dance
parties and a big countdown to 2022.
• On New Year’s Eve during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, spectacular music and
a bold fireworks display will send a wave of welcome to the New Year ahead.
• On International Drive, numerous venues hosting celebrations with unique entertainment and live music.
HOLIDAY TRAVEL OFFERS
Ask your expert travel advisor about the best Orlando travel deals for upcoming holiday season.