Despite seasonably good weather for December, the home of theme parks goes all out for the holiday season with extravagant décor and special Christmas parties that feature all your favourite characters.
This year there’s an excellent line-up of Christmas-themed events, parades and lights at theme parks and other festive attractions that are sure to get you in the festive spirit.
Here’s our guide:
Get into the festive spirit at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
At Walt Disney World Resort, get ready for a festive holiday gathering with some familiar Disney Characters — during the specially ticketed Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Running on selected nights from November 8th to December 22nd, this special Christmas event requires separate admission from your normal park tickets and allows you to celebrate the season in style with Mickey and friends.
The iconic Magic Kingdom puts on a proper festive show with characters donning Christmas attire, a parade complete with snowfall on Main Street, seasonal entertainment, carol singing and shows. It’s undoubtedly the best time of year to visit the Magic Kingdom as the park pushes the boat out to put on a festive extravaganza that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
Shop for Christmas gifts at Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland
Go on a festive shopping splurge Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland and pick up brand-name clothes and shoes, Disney gifts, fancy toiletries and designer sunglasses with savings of up to 65 per cent.
Spread over a large shopping area, you’ll find more than 160 outlet name-brand stores like Burberry, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo, Prada and Tommy Hilfiger to browse for bargains.
Make sure to head to guest relations to ask about their VIP Coupon Books for even bigger savings.
The outlets are easy to find if you have a car, conveniently located off Interstate 4 and a short drive from Walt Disney World and several major hotels in the area. Many Orlando hotels and resorts also offer shuttle service to the outlets.
Experience Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Have a very merry Hogwarts Christmas at the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s a large, themed area that’s located between two parks – Universal Studios Florida and the Islands of Adventure and you can travel between the two on a life-size replica of the famous Hogwarts Express.
Access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is included with valid Universal tickets, so you can check out the other movie rides while you’re visiting.
You can buy cloaks and wands in Diagon Alley, ride the Hogwarts Express and experience immersive rides and coasters. Thrilling wizard rides currently include Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – housed inside Hogwarts Castle.
During the holiday season the wizarding world really puts on a show, so don your house colours and get ready to experience a little Christmas magic for muggles.
Marvel as Hogwarts castle lights up for the holidays, wander the decorated streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and enjoy a hot Butterbeer and yuletide performances by the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.
Celebrate Holidays Around the World at Epcot
Get a taste of Christmas around the world at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort, with festive food, holiday storytellers & Santas, decorations, music and candlelight processions. The special festive events run from November 25 until December 30, 2022.
This year, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays features a range of family-friendly events around the park and seasonal kitchens serving international cuisine with a festive twist.
Entertainment during this time includes international holiday storytellers who will regale you with winter and festive traditions from their native countries. You’ll also find a range of European Santas, a holiday cookie stroll and an Olaf scavenger hunt for the kids.
If you haven’t previously visited Epcot, the park consists of three main areas: World Celebration, World Discovery and World Nature, all offering various rides, shows and attractions.
EPCOT’s first “other-world” pavilion has also now arrived with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, an intergalactic and thrilling chase through time and space that features an indoor coaster.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is another relatively new ride at Epcot and takes you on a 4D ride experience with Chef Remy. With these exciting new rides and some new restaurants, EPCOT is definitely upping its game and is worth a visit during the holidays.
Watch the Drawn to Life show at Disney Springs
What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a family-friendly show? Drawn to Life is an original creative collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering and is located in Disney Springs.
Featuring some of your favourite Disney characters, this spectacular live acrobatic journey tells the story of Julie, a determined young girl who discovers an unexpected gift left by her Disney animator father: an unfinished animation.
Julie dives into the dream-like, inner world of animation, on an inspiring quest filled with her childhood Disney memories.
The show and animations are brought to life through Cirque du Soleil’s unique blend of design, hair-raising acrobatics and fun circus performances. Watching this emotional performance is sure to bring back childhood memories of your favourite Disney films and characters. Just make sure to bring some tissues!
Stay in the Four Seasons Orlando
Stay in the heart of all the Disney action at the Four Seasons Orlando, and njoy exquisite decorations, festive dining, and a Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy & His Pals that the kids will love.
Their festive programming ranges from cookie decorating with Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber and pizza-making classes with Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi.
The Resort’s complimentary kids camp, for ages 4-12, will also offer interactive activities including Santa’s helper’s workshop craft time, holiday-themed scavenger hunts, supervised “polar plunge” swim times and more.
This 443-room luxury property is also perfectly positioned to explore the nearby Disney parks and is a dreamy lakeside escape dotted with gardens, pools and palm trees.
There’s a huge range of upscale facilities, dining, shopping and things to do at this luxury property. Enjoy treatments at the swanky spa, dine at one of their six exciting restaurants including Michelin Star-rated Capa Steakhouse and enjoy impressive views of the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks
You’ll also find a private 5-acre water park here including a winding lazy river, two water slides, a splash zone and a fun family pool. It’s the ideal place to spoil yourself with a swish stay this Christmas and create some happy family memories.
Enjoy festive fun beyond the parks
Outside of the famous theme parks, you’ll find a range of festive performances and concerts around Orlando. The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre will present “A Christmas Carol”, on select dates and serve fresh hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies at intermission.
Have family fun at Crayola Experience’s Colourful Christmas which includes a life-sized snow globe, complete with falling snow, a light show featuring Scarlet and her singing reindeer and crafting unique gifts.
Located just minutes from downtown Orlando, the sub-tropical Harry P. Leu Gardens will also transform into a winter wonderland with dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music and beautiful sculptures during their Dazzling Nights season, running from Nov. 25 – Jan. 1, 2023.
The Outta Control Magic Comedy Holiday Show at WonderWorks Orlando will receive a holiday makeover this season. Expect festive décor, storytelling and tricks for a fun entertainment experience with audience participation.
Book your Orlando holiday: Magic Breaks
More information: Visit Orlando