Living in Orlando,FL definitely has it’s perks, especially during the holidays. There is so much to do on any given weekend . My other half has worked at Walt Disney World for over 27 years and I worked for Universal Orlando for over 10 years, so we have a good handle of the holiday events at the theme parks. If you find yourself visiting and spending the holidays in Orlando, here is a list of events that our family is sure not to miss.
1. The Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World EPCOT – (Included in the price of admission) There are usually 3 shows nightly from Nov 29th though Dec 30th. A celebrity narrator tells the biblical story and a choir fills the air with holiday songs. There is always a long line for the show so be sure to get to the American Gardens theater at least 1 hour prior to show time. If you don’t make it in to the venue, guests usually stand around the perimeter and are able to have a clear view of the stage. For more information and a schedule of narrators visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/candlelight-processional/ Other than the Candlelight Processional, there are holiday celebrations throughout the park.
2. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios – (Included in the price of admission) You can walk the streets with a hot cocoa (it may be 80 degrees outside) and be transformed to a magical holiday world. I’m always amazed at the amount of lights displayed https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/hollywood-studios/osborne-family-spectacle-of-dancing-lights/
3. Grinchmas at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure – (Included in the price of admission) This show is absolutely adorable. I remember when it was performed on the streets of Who-ville. Now held inside one of the sound stages, it’s become a popular event. The performers are so great in bringing the citizens of Who-ville to life. Kids will love this show https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Holidays/Grinchmas.aspx
4. Macy’s Holiday Parade and Mannheim Steamroller Live in Concert – (Included in the price of admission) Who doesn’t love a parade? Especially when the balloons and floats are the ones from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. On Saturdays and Sundays you can end the night with a concert by Mannheim Steamroller https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Holidays/Macys-Holiday-Parade.aspx
5. Walt Disney Worlds Magic Kingdom – I love visiting this park during the holidays. Although it’s probably the most crowded, the decorations and holiday shows throughout the park are worth it. They also host Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights. The event requires a separate ticket and begins at 7pm and ends at midnight https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party/
I would also check Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando for character dining experiences. Select characters make appearances at each table making it a great opportunity for kids to get pictures and autographs. Reservations are highly recommended.