So, this is Christmas in Florida

Visitors to the ever-popular destination this month could be forgiven for thinking it is December rather than just November, as the Holidays are likely to be firmly in evidence. It is led, of course, by the world-class theme parks, who have quickly cottoned on to the fact guests are just as happy to enjoy this time of year in November as in December.

And the rest of The City Beautiful is just as happy to go along with the idea that Christmas and the other seasonal celebrations are perfectly suited to the 11th month.

But that is good news for guests, as it provides a MUCH greater opportunity to see and experience what Orlando does best, which is turn on the style for special events. With almost two months of the Holidays, it provides a bigger window – and a more leveling out of the crowds – to soak up the festive vibe.

It all starts, of course, with Walt Disney World, where the decorations start to go up in the first week of November and the season is officially launched by the first party of the month – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, that is.


This separately ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom is one of the most sought-after tickets of the year, on select nights from November 9 to December 22 in 2023, offering a complete Yuletide extravaganza full of treats, characters, shows, and fireworks, as well as several park attractions with an extra seasonal twist.

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests can also opt for the brand-new Disney Jollywood Nights, on select evenings from November 11 to December 20. This party promises an occasion “where Hollywood glamour meets Holiday cheer,” with a succession of glitz and glitter, attractions and characters. The highlight of the evening should be the Jingle Bell Jingle BAM night-time fireworks spectacular, but get ready also for live bands and a completely novel stage show.

And then there’s all the fun of Epcot, where the International Festival of the Holidays kicks off on November 24 and lasts until December 30, with plenty of Holiday entertainment, special food kiosks, and the headline event of The Candlelight Processional three times each evening.

The Disney Springs area of shops, restaurants, and entertainment is another superb seasonal showcase, running from November 9 to December 31. Look out in particular for the Christmas Tree Stroll, featuring an elaborate series of highly decorated trees through all four districts, as well as Santa’s Winter Watercade on the lake and a chance to Meet Santa at the Once Upon A Toy store.

If the House of Mouse is happy to kick things off, Universal Orlando isn’t far behind, with their Christmas offerings starting up on November 17 and continuing through December 31.

Here, events are all part of the regular park admission and include the famous Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s (their own version of the epic annual New York cavalcade, with giant balloons) and the Grinchmas Who-holiday Spectacular show, featuring the Mean Green One himself.

SeaWorld opens its Holiday season on November 10, running through January 3. It features a magnificent program of lights, shows, and other entertainment. This winter wonderland offers a tableau of millions of twinkling lights, fab food, ice-skating, the signature Sesame Street Christmas Parade, and the return of long-time fan favorite show, O Wondrous Night, which is worth the price of admission alone.

The Holidays at LEGOLAND run on select days from November 24 to December 31, with special emphasis on festive fun for kids. This includes Holiday tunes around the LEGO Tree, character photo ops, seasonal shows and themed food and drinks.


But it isn’t just the theme parks that are bursting with the spirit of the season, not by a long chalk. You can also look for the Holiday vibe at the fab Leu Gardens, where their Dazzling Nights program runs on select dates from November 17 to January 6, while the Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience is ideal for young ‘uns at the Florida Mall from November 28 to January 7, and the superb family-friendly Santa Workshop Experience is back at ICON Park from November 24-December 26.

It is a line-up of Holiday fun and entertainment you’ll be hard-pushed to experience anywhere else, and it is all packed into this little destination for the next two months.

Be aware, if you choose November – either side of the big Thanksgiving holiday – or the first week or so of December, you will definitely have lucked into an ideal time to experience all that Orlando has to offer at this most wonderful time of the year.

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