Experience the Magic of the Holiday Season in Orlando
Orlando, Florida is not just famous for its world-class theme parks and warm weather – it also knows how to celebrate the holiday season in style. December is a wonderful time to visit this vibrant city, as it comes alive with festive decorations, dazzling lights, and a wide array of activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you are seeking family-friendly events, cultural experiences, or simply want to bask in the holiday spirit, Orlando has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top things to do in Orlando, Florida in December.
1. Explore the Theme Parks adorned with Holiday Magic
Orlando is home to some of the most iconic theme parks in the world, and during December, they transform into winter wonderlands. Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando all offer special holiday-themed events and attractions that are sure to enchant visitors of all ages.
At Walt Disney World Resort, the Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a festive after-hours event featuring a parade, fireworks, and live entertainment. Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays showcases holiday traditions from around the world, while Disney’s Hollywood Studios presents “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” – a spectacular nighttime show filled with lasers, projections, and fireworks.
Universal Orlando Resort presents the “Holidays at Universal Orlando,” where you can experience the magic of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Stroll through Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley, both beautifully decorated with garlands, lights, and snow. Don’t miss the stunning projection show on Hogwarts Castle, accompanied by a live choir singing holiday songs.
SeaWorld Orlando offers “SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration,” featuring a dazzling Sea of Trees, a spectacular ice-skating show, and a chance to meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus himself. Plus, don’t forget to catch the nightly fireworks that light up the sky and add an extra touch of magic to your visit.
2. Immerse Yourself in Festive Events and Entertainment
Beyond the theme parks, Orlando offers a variety of festive events and entertainment that will leave you in awe. One of the most popular events is the annual “Light Up UCF” at the University of Central Florida. This winter wonderland features an ice-skating rink, carnival rides, a holiday film festival, and a dazzling light show.
For a charming and nostalgic experience, visit the Leu Gardens for their “Holiday Movie Night.” Bring a blanket and some snacks, and enjoy classic holiday movies under the stars in this beautiful botanical garden. The Enzian Theater also hosts special screenings of beloved holiday films, providing a unique and cozy cinema experience.
If you’re a fan of live performances, don’t miss out on the chance to see the Nutcracker ballet at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This timeless holiday tradition is brought to life by talented dancers and accompanied by a live orchestra, creating a truly magical experience for all.
3. Shop Till You Drop at Festive Markets and Malls
December is the perfect time to indulge in some holiday shopping, and Orlando offers a wide range of options for every shopper’s taste. Visit the charming Winter Park neighborhood, where you’ll find the Winter Park Village and Park Avenue. These streets are lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants, making it the perfect place to find unique gifts and enjoy a leisurely stroll.
For a more festive experience, head to the Eola Wonderland Market in Lake Eola Park. This European-style market features local vendors selling handmade crafts, gourmet food, and holiday treats. Enjoy live entertainment, take a ride on the carousel, and soak in the festive atmosphere.
If you prefer a one-stop shopping experience, visit The Mall at Millenia or the Orlando International Premium Outlets. These shopping destinations offer a wide range of high-end designer brands, as well as discounted prices on popular brands. Take advantage of the holiday sales and find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.
4. Delight Your Taste Buds with Festive Dining Experiences
Orlando is known for its diverse culinary scene, and during December, many restaurants offer special holiday menus and dining experiences. Treat yourself to a festive feast at one of the many upscale restaurants in the city, where you can indulge in traditional holiday favorites with a gourmet twist.
For a unique dining experience, book a reservation at the ICEBAR Orlando. This ice-themed bar and restaurant offers a chilly atmosphere with ice sculptures, frozen furniture, and even glasses made of ice. Sip on holiday-inspired cocktails and enjoy a delicious meal in this one-of-a-kind setting.
If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, head to the Food Truck Bazaar’s Holiday Homecoming event. This gathering of food trucks offers a variety of cuisines, from savory to sweet, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Grab a bite to eat, listen to live music, and embrace the festive spirit with the local community.
5. Take a Break from the Festivities with Outdoor Adventures
While the holiday season is full of indoor activities, Orlando’s mild December weather allows for outdoor adventures as well. Take a break from the festivities and explore the natural beauty of the city.
Visit the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, where you can challenge yourself on aerial obstacle courses and zip lines amidst the lush treetops. This thrilling adventure is suitable for all ages and skill levels, making it a fun activity for the whole family.
If you’re a nature lover, make sure to visit the Wekiwa Springs State Park. Go for a swim in the crystal-clear springs, rent a kayak, or explore the park’s trails. This peaceful oasis offers a tranquil escape from the holiday crowds and allows you to connect with nature.
Orlando, Florida is a magical destination year-round, but December brings an extra dose of holiday cheer to the city. With a wide range of activities, from theme park festivities to festive markets and outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Embrace the holiday spirit, create unforgettable memories, and experience the magic of Orlando in December.
Top Questions Regarding Things To Do In Orlando Florida In December
What are some popular holiday events in Orlando in December?
– One of the most popular holiday events in Orlando in December is the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.
– Another popular event is the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, where visitors can experience the holiday traditions of different countries.
– Additionally, the Universal Orlando Resort hosts the Grinchmas celebration, featuring the Grinch and other characters from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The three most important information about popular holiday events in Orlando in December are:
1. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom
2. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
3. Grinchmas celebration at Universal Orlando Resort
What are some outdoor activities to enjoy in Orlando in December?
– December in Orlando offers pleasant weather for outdoor activities, such as visiting the various theme parks and enjoying the rides and attractions.
– Another popular outdoor activity is exploring the natural beauty of the area by visiting parks like Wekiwa Springs State Park or Lake Eola Park.
– Golf enthusiasts can also take advantage of the numerous golf courses in and around Orlando.
The three most important information about outdoor activities to enjoy in Orlando in December are:
1. Visiting theme parks and enjoying rides and attractions
2. Exploring natural parks like Wekiwa Springs State Park or Lake Eola Park
3. Playing golf at the various golf courses in and around Orlando
What are some indoor attractions to visit in Orlando in December?
– In December, visitors can enjoy indoor attractions such as the Orlando Science Center, which offers interactive exhibits and planetarium shows.
– Another popular indoor attraction is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where visitors can learn about space exploration and even meet astronauts.
– Additionally, the Orlando Museum of Art showcases a variety of art collections and exhibitions.
The three most important information about indoor attractions to visit in Orlando in December are:
1. Orlando Science Center with interactive exhibits and planetarium shows
2. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to learn about space exploration
3. Orlando Museum of Art with various art collections and exhibitions
What are some shopping destinations in Orlando in December?
– Orlando is known for its shopping destinations, and in December, visitors can take advantage of the holiday sales and promotions.
– The Mall at Millenia is a popular upscale shopping mall that offers a wide range of luxury brands and designer boutiques.
– Another popular shopping destination is the Orlando International Premium Outlets, which features a variety of outlet stores offering discounted prices.
The three most important information about shopping destinations in Orlando in December are:
1. The Mall at Millenia with luxury brands and designer boutiques
2. Orlando International Premium Outlets with a variety of outlet stores
3. Holiday sales and promotions in various shopping destinations
What are some holiday-themed dining experiences in Orlando in December?
– In December, visitors can enjoy holiday-themed dining experiences at various restaurants in Orlando.
– For example, the Gaylord Palms Resort hosts the ICE! event, where guests can dine in a winter wonderland surrounded by ice sculptures.
– Additionally, many restaurants offer special holiday menus and decorations to create a festive dining atmosphere.
The three most important information about holiday-themed dining experiences in Orlando in December are:
1. ICE! event at the Gaylord Palms Resort with dining in a winter wonderland
2. Special holiday menus and decorations at various restaurants
3. Festive dining atmosphere during the holiday season in Orlando
1. Orlando is only about theme parks
One common misconception about things to do in Orlando, Florida in December is that the city is solely focused on its famous theme parks. While it’s true that Orlando is home to world-renowned attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld, there is so much more to explore beyond the theme park gates.
2. The weather is always warm in December
Another misconception is that Orlando enjoys warm weather year-round, even in December. While the city does have a subtropical climate, December can bring cooler temperatures to the region. Visitors should be prepared for mild to cool weather during this time, with average highs ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 18-23 degrees Celsius). It’s advisable to pack a light jacket or sweater when planning outdoor activities.
3. Outdoor activities are limited
Contrary to popular belief, there are numerous outdoor activities to enjoy in Orlando during December. The city boasts beautiful parks and gardens that offer stunning scenery and opportunities for leisurely walks or picnics. Places like Lake Eola Park, Harry P. Leu Gardens, and Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve provide serene settings to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
4. Festive events are only limited to theme parks
While theme parks are known for their extravagant holiday celebrations, there are plenty of festive events that take place beyond their gates. Downtown Orlando hosts a variety of holiday-themed events, including the annual “Light Up UCF” festival, where visitors can enjoy ice skating, holiday movies, and a mesmerizing light show. Additionally, the city’s neighborhoods often organize tree lighting ceremonies, parades, and holiday markets that showcase local crafts and cuisine.
5. Orlando is not a cultural destination
Some may mistakenly assume that Orlando lacks cultural attractions. However, the city is home to a vibrant and diverse arts scene. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of shows, including Broadway productions, concerts, and ballet performances. The Orlando Museum of Art offers an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art, while the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses the largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Visitors can also explore the historic Winter Park neighborhood, known for its charming boutiques, museums, and picturesque lakes.
These common misconceptions often overshadow the multitude of experiences and activities available in Orlando, Florida, during the month of December. By dispelling these myths, visitors can fully appreciate the diversity and richness of this vibrant city beyond its famous theme parks.
Things To Do In Orlando Florida In December
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