Christmas Time in Orlando
Christmas is my favorite holiday! Nothing else compares to this time of year and there is no place I’d rather be during the Christmas season than in Orlando. Yes, it is hot during the holiday season, you can still get sunburned in December from the sun’s rays, you may even break a sweat, but despite the heat Orlando still encompasses the magic of Christmas. And why not with Disney right in the heart of the area?
Disney knows how to celebrate Christmas. Disney has the iconic Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom lit up; lights drip and sparkle from all around it. Up until 2016 the Osborne Lights were in Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios has a new light show instead, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to the Osborne Lights.
All of the parks have huge Christmas trees at the entrances. The resorts are decorated, too! I love resort hopping and seeing all the trees and decorations at each of the hotels. My favorite tree is the one outside of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
My favorite resort to visit is the Grand Floridian, it has a life-size gingerbread house! It’s amazing! Every year there are hidden mickeys on it for guests to find. There’s also a stand inside the gingerbread house that sells hot chocolate.
Disney world also has a ticketed even on certain nights: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom.
Universal Studios Florida
Universal is another one of my favorite spots to visit during the holidays. Some of the park areas are decorated, mainly in Universal Studios, though unfortunately neither of the Harry Potter parks are decorated. Universal has a great Christmas parade in the Universal Studios park. It even snows at the end of the parade. I love the huge Christmas tree and the ornaments are reflective spheres, if you catch them at the right angle you can take a picture of yourself in them.
Grinchmas is also at Universal! You don’t need a separate ticket for this event, it’s only during certain days and times in Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure. Seuss Landing is heavily decorated for Christmas & it is wonderful!
Downtown Lake Eola has a huge Christmas tree and other lights around the lake. The park is gorgeously located in the middle of the city. It’s easy to forget you’re in the center of downtown until you look up at the buildings above surrounding you. It’s beautiful walking around with lights all around you and in the reflection of water.
There’s even a light tunnel on one side of the park you can walk through!
ICE! at Gaylord Palms
Gaylord Palms has my favorite Christmas Time viewing: ICE! This is a huge ice display you can walk through. There is a slide you can go down and they offer snacks and hot cocoa outside the display. You get to rent huge a jacket (which is covered under the cost of your ticket), but I would take a scarf and gloves and dress warmly underneath. I wore two pair of socks and Uggs just to be warm!
There’s also an ice bar inside. Artists chisel and color all of the sculptures from ice brought into the area. Each year has a new theme. We stayed inside ICE! almost and hour and we were freezing when we came out, but it was worth it!
Gaylord Palms is beautifully decorated inside and out. When you’re finished walking through ICE!, be sure to walk around the hotel.
There are so many different ways to celebrate Christmas time in Orlando! If you have another favorite that I haven’t listed, please share! Merry Christmas!