Most places in the world have a special festivity for the holidays. For many families, they form part of the annual traditions and are visited year after year.
Growing up in the United Kingdom families would take a trip to the theatre each December to watch a ‘pantomime’ (a family show based on a fairy tale with music, jokes, and slapstick comedy) and visit the town center ‘Grotto’ to meet ‘Father Christmas’.
In New York you would no doubt watch the Rockettes Holiday Spectacular at Radio City Music and attend the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lightening. Gray Line Munich has its German Christmas Markets -around the world we have so many festive holiday delights to explore.
However, in Orlando, it’s hard to find a local that was born and raised here. The city grew from a small rural farming town to the metropolis we know and love today after Mr. Walt from Disney World settled land for his parks and resorts here. But, Gray Line Tours can help.
You can learn the full details of the history of the region on Gray Line’s City Tour of Orlando. So, what are the charming holiday traditions of the area? Well, every person you speak to that lives here has something different to say, however, most people agree the contents of Gray Line’s ‘Snow, Ice and Gingerbread Tour’ really do help you celebrate the holidays in Orlando style – in a way that is only possible right here in Central Florida.
You cannot celebrate the holidays in Central Florida without heading to the very reason many settled in Orlando, Walt Disney World! The first stop is their flagship hotel Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort and Spa. During the holiday season, the lobby of this resort has the best smell in town, warm Gingerbread. It is home to a 14-foot Gingerbread house which is created by a team of Disney bakers. Using a classic Austrian recipe in July each year that starts backing batches of Gingerbread shingles, as they need over 10,000 pieces to cover the house… add along with these 1,000 pounds of honey, 700 pounds of chocolate, and 600 pounds of confectioners’ sugar to put it together, it’s enough to make anyone hungry for a snack. Luckily there is a small window from the back of the house from which they sell…. You guessed it, Gingerbread treats!
Before you worry about what happens to all this gingerbread after the holiday season, you can trust Disney to repurpose it. Indeed, it is not discarded but used to help the bee population.
Following on from the biggest gingerbread house you will ever see, head to ‘The Florida Fridge’. Located at the Gaylord Palms Resort is ICE, a winter wonderland, this year it features How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Gray Line will provide you with a large blue parka to keep you warm as you enter the display which is kept at a cool 9 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a 20,000 square ft immersive walk-through experience, with over 2 million pounds of brightly colored Ice. This really must be on your holiday season list. Every year the ICE carving changes theme so even if you have been in previous years you are treated to something new. And for the young, or young at heart don’t miss slipping down the ICE slides super-fast.
The final stop location is to watch the snowfall. Who doesn’t love to have a white Christmas? Especially in Central Florida where December evenings rarely fall below 60 degrees. That’s where the magic of Disney comes in again. Visiting Market Street in Celebration you can see ‘Florida Snow’ fall. It happens on the hour each evening in December. Children can laugh and play in the snow bubbles that fall on the main street, and in this area, many of the most beautifully decorated homes you will ever see are lit up with millions of sparkling lights all over them. The town of Celebration cannot be missed, the festivity truly helps you celebrate the season.
So, book and reservation your next Holiday traditions and come with Gray Line Orlando to ride the Snow, Ice, and Gingerbread and learn about the holiday traditions in Orlando. Tours operate each Sunday in December.