Florida during Christmas time is just different. In a fantastic way! One of my favorite activities during Christmas time in the Orlando area is to look at all of the decorations around the different theme parks. My personal favorite is all of the gingerbread houses around the Disney World resorts! We also love to visit Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll! Another personal favorite for my family is to attend SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration! This event runs from November 10th through January 2nd and cannot be missed! Stay tuned for more information on this event later in this article!
First up: Disney World Resorts! Here are all the locations you can find gingerbread houses and displays throughout Disney World resort this year:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House): Life-size gingerbread baby giraffe (Ginger) and baby zebra (Debra).
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort: Ducktales-themed Gingerbread Carousel
- Disney’s Boardwalk Resort: Gingerbread Boardwalk Deli
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort: Mary Blair-inspired 100th Celebration-themed Gingerbread Castle Display
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: Life-sized Gingerbread House
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort & Spa: Gingerbread Lighthouse and Christmas Village
- American Adventure Pavilion in EPCOT: A festive display for the festival of the holidays in The American Pavilion!
Here is a sneak peek of a few of these awesome displays!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Another Disney Christmas time favorite my family and I never miss is Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll! This year is not a trail as it has been in years past. The trees are scattered throughout Disney Springs.
This year Disney will feature trees decorated with the following themes:
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Haunted Mansion
- The Lion King
- Mickey and Minnie Mouse
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- The Princess and the Frog
- Star Wars
- Toy Story
And you won’t want to miss other festive decorations like Disney Cruise Line topiaries and trees honoring:
- Annual Passholders
- Disney Vacation Club
- Town Center
Here is a copy of the official map that can be downloaded on Disney’s website.
You can also pick up your complementary map at one of the following locations:
- Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company
- City Works Eatery & Pour House
- Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
- The LEGO Store
- Planet Hollywood
Once you’ve found all the trees, bring your map to one of the locations listed above for a special surprise!
There’s even more fun this year thanks to MagicBand+!
Select trees will interact with your band by making simple gestures around the trees!
Be sure to try this out at the following trees:
- Nightmare Before Christmas
- Mickey and Minnie Mouse
- Town Center
Here’s a look at a few of my family’s favorite trees we saw this year!
Disney Vacation Club (as a DVC member myself, I am pretty biased to this one!)
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit with the jolliest guy himself!
Here is Orlando Mom Collective’s Executive Assistant Allison and her family creating magical memories with Santa this year!
- Disney Springs: Explore the festive wonderland at Disney Springs where Santa awaits to hear your Christmas wishes amidst the twinkling lights and joyful atmosphere.
- Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays: Discover Santa at Epcot, where the World Showcase celebrates global traditions and culture during this enchanting season.
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Don’t miss the chance to meet Santa at this merry event hosted at Magic Kingdom, filled with special holiday shows and parades!
- Santa’s Chalet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Head to the Studios for a cozy encounter with Santa, nestled in a charming setting perfect for creating lasting holiday memories.
- Resort Lobbies: Some Disney resorts, like the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, and Wilderness Lodge, often feature Santa appearances in their festively decorated lobbies.
Here is an amazing video Allison made to help you schedule your visit with Santa this year.
This Christmas, make sure to seek out these magical places where Santa’s presence brings extra joy to the holiday season at Disney World!
Last, but certainly not least on my Theme-Park-Christmastime-must-not-miss list: SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration!
This is one of my favorite celebrations around all the theme parks at Christmas time! And the best part? It’s included with the cost of your admission and your annual pass!
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration runs select nights from November 10th through January 2nd. The park transforms into a winter wonderland where you can find Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and some of his other famous friends from the North Pole, catch breathtaking ice spectaculars, and even have dinner with Santa!
Here are some of the shows and activities you can look forward to this year:
- O Wondrous Night: Hear the greatest story ever told with over 30 carols, life-size puppets, and live animals!
- Holiday Reflections Fireworks Finale: Each Christmas Celebration ends with a fireworks finale choreographed to joyous musical favorites.
- Elmo’s Christmas Wish Show: A few of Elmo’s Sesame Street friends help Elmo find his Christmas wish!
- Christmas Movies at Seafire Grill: Step inside for a bite to eat and enjoy a rotating selection of Christmas classics playing throughout the day!
- Sesame Street Christmas Parade: features festively decorated floats with the Sesame Street friends performing and celebrating the holiday season!
- Snow Flurries at the Waterfront: experience spectacular snow flurries, marching toy soldiers, a ballerina, and some of Santa’s favorite helpers as you stroll the Waterfront!
- Sea of Trees: Located in SeaWorld’s lagoon, this glistening forest sparkles to music with 360-degree views from around the park!
- Public Ice Skating at Bayside Stadium: this is on a first-come, first served basis
- Winter Wonderland On Ice: This is my favorite of all the shows during the Christmas Celebration! Skaters put on a show-stopping ice spectacular while the sea of trees and towering fountains dance in the background!
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes to life as you stroll along a life-size storybook of this classic tale and meet beloved Characters including Rudolph and Bumble.
- Photos with Santa at Wild Arctic
- An Elf’s Story: A fun interactive storytelling of some of the most classic Christmas tales around the fire!
- Big Bird’s Christmas Storytime: Gather around Big Bird’s nest to hear classic Christmas stories!
- Holiday Trains: In the heart of the Shoppes at the Waterfront, enjoy a miniature Christmas train set as it winds its way through the Christmas village adorned with twinkling lights.
- And NEW this year! Mrs. Claus’ Magic Kitchen: Join the one and only Mrs. Claus for a hilarious cooking show!
For a full schedule of dates and times for these events be sure to check out the calendar of events here.
Christmas at the theme parks is truly a magical experience. It brings out the inner child of any adult and enhances the youthful joy innate in children. If you have the chance to visit any or all the theme parks, please do! And don’t forget Universal does The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!