Christmas Season in Central Florida
We’re spending our first Christmas season here in Florida, after making the big move from Michigan this past year. We’re used to Christmas including a healthy dose of snow, chopping down our own Christmas tree, ice skating, and thick winter coats. We know this holiday season will look a little different, so we’re making a point to take it all in and appreciate our first Floridian Christmas season. Whether you’re visiting from out of town or new to the area like we are, I hope this list will be helpful while planning out your holiday calendar! Here is everything to do in Central Florida this holiday season!
The theme parks are a great place to start for a healthy dose of holiday cheer! Orlando is home to some amazing places that each have their own unique Christmas traditions. Some parks feature special after-hours events, while others include holiday extras in the normal park admission.
- Walt Disney World Resort
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom – Select nights through November and December.
Admission: Separate ticketed event that ranges from $149 to $169 per person.
This event will feature Christmas music, shows, unlimited hot cocoa and cookies, shorter wait times for rides and Christmas parades!
For more information: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- EPCOT Festival of the Holidays – Beginning Nov. 25, 2022
Admission: Included in general park admission price that ranges from $109 to $159 per person.
EPCOT will feature a holiday cookie stroll, special Christmas kitchens and the annual Candlelight Processional returns with celebrity narrators.
For more information: EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
- Blizzard Beach – Opening November 13.
Admission: Ranges from $58 to $69 per person
Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park will have all kinds of festive additions this season. See Santa in his tropical attire, sip a holiday drink and enjoy special treats.
For more information: Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
- Plus, there are endless sights and sounds to enjoy at Disney Springs, select Disney resorts and at the other Disney parks!
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom – Select nights through November and December.
- SeaWorld – Select Dates, Nov. 11, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023
Admission: Starting at $132 (but SeaWorld is known to run sales!)
The beautiful Christmas Celebration returns to SeaWorld. Everything is included with your regular theme park admission! SeaWorld Orlando transforms into a winter wonderland with more than 3 million sparkling lights. Experience the Sea of Trees that dance to music and light up on the water, ice skating shows, live holiday music, and a holiday firework show.
For more information: SeaWorld Christmas Celebration
- Universal Studios – Nov. 12, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
Admission: Park admission starts at $109 per person. Christmas activities are included in general park admission.
In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hogwarts castle lights up for the holidays and festive décor brightens up the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Enjoy hot Butterbeer while watching a holiday performance by the Frog Choir or Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.
At Universal Studios, enjoy the Macy’s Holiday Parade. Featuring characters from Despicable Me, Shrek and the Madagascar films.
In Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you can enjoy the music and fun of The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular starring the Grinch.
Mannheim Steamroller will be performing live once again on the Music Plaza Stage December 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 7pm.
For more information: Holidays at Universal Studios Orlando
- Holidays at Legoland – Select dates, NOV. 25 – DEC. 31, 2022
Admission: Starting at $99 per person
Come see a giant LEGO Christmas tree, seasonal shows, holiday characters, special treats, LEGO activities, twinkling lights and more! Everything is included in your regular park admission.
For more information: Holidays at Legoland
- Gatorland – Holiday Ho Ho Ho-down – Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18
Admission: $22.99 to $32.99
Nothing says “Floridian Christmas” like this holiday event! Meet Gator Claus and his elves, Krampus Croc, and other holiday characters. Dance to live music and enjoy the festive food and treats. Craft vendors will be visiting so you can take a look at some local fun for the whole family. This special event is included in your regular admission.
For more information: Gatorland Holiday Ho Ho Ho Ho-down
Greater Orlando Area
In addition to obvious places, Central Florida hosts a wide range of Christmas activities and special events! Here’s our bucket list of events to experience for our first Floridian Christmas season.
- Old Town Kissmimee – Select nights in November through December
Admission: It is free to walk around, but individual rides and attractions may have an entrance fee.
Old Town Kissimmee is decked out with festive décor, colorful lights, a Christmas tree, live performances and fluffy snow that falls at night. Sundays in December feature Holiday Family Movie Night. If you’re here Dec. 3 and 4, come for the Cruiser Toy Drive.
For more information: Old Town Kissimee
- Celebration Town Center – Nov. 26 until Dec. 31
Admission: Free to park and walk around. Individual experiences may have a fee.
Join the town for this family-friendly experience with surprise “snowfalls” throughout the night and ice skating in the center of main street. Listen to Charles Dickens-style carolers, visit Santa, or enjoy a carriage ride. Open nightly with special events held on select dates. Art Festival (Celebration Art Walk) will be held on December 3rd. Hearts of Reality featuring over 100 reality stars from such hit shows as Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, the Circle and more will raise money for Give Kids The World on December 10th. On Dec. 11, A Countdown to Christmas celebration with young talent from across the U.S. perform free concerts.
For more information: Now Snowing Celebration Town Center
- ICE! Gaylord Palms – November 18 to January 1
Admission: $36.99 adult, $23.99 ages 4-11
Enjoy live performances, one-of-a-kind light shows, and all-new attractions. Experience two million pounds of colorful ice displayed as some of your beloved holiday characters! See the story of the Grinch in ice sculptures and enjoy the town of Whoville. Slide down a slippery, icy tundra and take in all the breathtaking wonder of ice. Take part in the gingerbread decorating corner, elf training academy, snowball build and blast, and so much more.
For more information: ICE! Gaylord Palms
- Santa at the Mall at Millenia – November 12 to December 24
Admission: Visits with Santa are free but a $10 donation to Orlando Health is requested. Photo packages start at $24.99 – You MUST make an appointment online ahead of time even if not doing photos. You may choose to have your child sit on Santa’s lap, next to him or with special holiday props.
For more information: Santa at the Mall at Millenia
- Dazzling Nights – Select Nights, Nov. 25, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
Admission: Adults $25, Children (3-13) $22, Parking $12
Dazzling Nights is back for its third year near downtown Orlando. This holiday event transforms the 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens into a winter wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music and sculptures. New things for 2022 include character meet-and-greets, a giant inflatable yeti playground, and a snowstorm in a 40-foot snow globe.
For more information: Dazzling Nights Orlando
- 70th Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade – Dec. 3, 2022 9-10:30am
Central Florida’s oldest continuous holiday parade of nearly 60 years!
For more information: Winter Park Christmas Parade
- Holiday Pops – December 4, 2022 5:00-7:00pm
Listen to the holiday sounds of the Orlando Philharmonic orchestra from the beautiful Central Park in Winter Park, FL. Bring a blanket to sit on!
For more information: Holiday Pops
- Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience – Nov. 19, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023
Admission: $27.99 ages 3 and up or $24.99 if purchased online
Step into a giant snow globe, see a singing Christmas tree and watch the singing lightshow, while creating holiday art projects! Special Christmas features are included in your regular admission price.
For more information: Colorful Christmas at Craylola Experience
- Night of a Million Lights at Island H2O Live! – Nov. 11, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
Admission: $30-40 adults, $15-20 kids
This event benefits Give Kids the World Village. The event is moving to Island H2O Live! at Margaritaville Resort Orlando for the first time in 2022. At Night of a Million Lights, immerse yourself in a dazzling winter wonderland illuminated with millions of lights and filled with festive family activities and live entertainment.
For more information: Give Kids the World Village – Night of a Million Lights
- Christmas Nights in Lights – Nov. 11, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023
Admission: $41 to $54 per vehicle depending on the date
Hosted by Dezerland Park in the International Drive Entertainment District, Christmas Nights in Lights is a drive-thru light show.
For more information: Christmas Nights in Lights
- Jingle Eve – Nov. 19, 2022
Admission: Free to the public. “12 Wines of Christmas” walk is $50
Jingle Eve takes place in Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village Main Street district near downtown. From beer gardens to live music, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, a children’s holiday village, and fireworks.
For more information: Jingle Eve at Ivanhoe Village in Orlando
- Dasher’s Lightshow Orlando – November 18 – December 31
Admission: General admission starts at $29.95 with optional packages up to $74.95
For more information: Dasher’s Lightshow Orlando
Travel beyond the Orlando area to find some other great Floridian holiday fun!
- Enchant St Petersburg – November 25 – January 1
Held at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, FL. Ice skating, light maze, Christmas village and more.
For more information: Enchant St Petersburg
- Magic of Lights at Daytona International Speedway – Nov. 18, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
Admission: Starts at $17 per vehicle if purchased online
Holiday drive-thru light display at Daytona International Speedway.
For more information: Magic of Lights Daytona International Speedway
- Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center – Dec. 17 – 24 & 26 – 31, 2022
Admission: $75 adult, $65 ages 3-11
On select dates in December, your regular daily admission ticket will include extra special holiday fun.
For more information: Kennedy Space Center Holidays in Space
- Surfing Santas at Cocoa Beach – Christmas Eve 8am – 12pm
Watch hundreds of surfers dressed as Santa, surf Cocoa Beach for this annual Christmas Eve tradition!
For more information: Surfing Santa
- River of Lights Holiday Cruise – Select nights November 25-December 24
Tickets: Start at $35
Cruise the river in Tampa, FL aboard the pirate water taxi. See holiday lights, listed to carolers and enjoy Christmas cookies!
For more information: River of Lights Holiday Cruise
- Space Coast Light Festival
Admission: $5 to $50 depending on vehicle type
Drive or stroll though a dazzling light display in Cocoa, FL.
For more information: Space Coast Light Festival