Ho-Ho-Ho: Guide to Florida’s theme parks during the holidays

Florida Theme Parks: Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Image by: NavinTar

Walt Disney World is sure to pull out all of the festivities this Christmas season, including the return of the beloved Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but the resort’s competitor theme parks are also celebrating the holiday season with new experiences and classic festive favorites that are giving the famous mouse a run for his money.

Keep reading to find out what all the Florida theme parks have to offer during the jolliest time of year.

Walt Disney World

With four different theme parks celebrating from November 11, 2022, through January 8, 2023, there are plenty of holiday festivities at Walt Disney World Resort. From “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Hollywood Studios to a “Merry Menagerie” of artisan-sculpted winter animal puppets at Animal Kingdom, Disney’s array of holiday events is sure to be a ton of fun for both children and the rest of the family.

The annual International Festival of the Holidays returns at Epcot, along with the fan-favorite Candlelight Processional that features the story of Christmas narrated by several celebrities–and on Epcot’s brand new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride, Star-Lord is switching up his typical 80s jams for a seasonal playlist.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom (which is completely sold out), offers guests the “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks,” “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration show,” and the guest favorite, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

Universal Orlando Resort

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with its Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle projection show, and the Grinchmas celebration featuring the Who-liday Spectacular in Seuss Landing are just a few of the holiday activities that will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort through January 1, 2023.

And that’s not all the resort has to offer.

Universal’s Holiday Parade is heading to the streets of Universal Studios Florida with enormous holiday floats and balloons featuring classic characters from the Shrek franchise, Madagascar, and Despicable Me, and, of course, Santa Claus, who is the star of the show during the lighting of the park’s 80-foot Christmas tree.

Fans of Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees won’t want to miss her renditions of beloved holiday songs from the Wizarding World, including “Accio Christmas” and “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas.” The witches and wizards who run the shops in Hogsmeade village and Diagon Alley have also decked the halls for the holiday season.

The Who-liday Spectacular in Islands of Adventure, a live musical reenactment of Dr. Seuss’s well-known Christmas tale, marks the Grinchiest season in Orlando. Fans of Dr. Seuss can dine with the villainous Grinch at The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast.

SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration

SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration takes place on several dates through New Year’s Eve and offers thousands of sparkling lights meet and greets with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus, and a wintery, watery sea of synced trees that light up as holiday tunes play.

The Dinner with Santa experience at SeaWorld Orlando allows visitors to share their holiday wishes with Santa as well as enjoy a special all-you-can-eat menu of holiday favorites. Children (and children at heart) won’t want to miss the Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast at SeaFire Grill, where their favorite furry friends will dance, sing, and interact with guests for hugs and photos.

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