If you’ve never experienced a Florida Christmas, I recommend it. Not only is there magic in Orlando during the holidays, but 75 and sunny isn’t a bad way to celebrate. Great weather and less tourists is the perfect recipe for getting out and taking in the holiday spirit. Here are some of my favorite Christmas time things to do in the Orlando area.
1. Night of a Million Lights
Night of a Million Lights is an incredible display of Christmas spirit for a good cause. Located at Give Kids the World Village – a non-profit that gives all expense paid wish trips to children with terminal illnesses + their families. Night of a Million Lights transforms the village to a holiday party. Every villa is decorated with lights that are timed perfectly with your favorite Christmas music. The result is a fun and magical walkthrough. There are snack bars, a Christmas tree trail, and you can even meet Santa! My recommendation is to go during the earliest time slot (5-7 PM) in order to beat the crowds before nightfall. Find your tickets here.
2. Mount Dora
Mount Dora is straight out of a storybook. Add in some Christmas spirit and you have the most wonderful display that is absolutely worth a visit! Check out their historic main street to take in all the decorations, lights, and huge Christmas tree! The town is so cute you almost expect Santa’s elves to pop out of the cute shops. Another town to get here before sunset and stay until after dark to get the full experience.
3. ICON Park
A hot spot all year round, ICON Park transforms to the North Pole during December! Visit Sea Life Aquarium on Thursdays and see Santa and his elf dive with the sharks, or take a ride on the Pearl Express decked out with decorations. You MUST go visit Santa’s Workshop and meet the big man himself! Meet oversized toys, tinker on Santa’s workbench and take pictures with him too!
4. Disney Springs
Up for a little challenge and a little exercise? Head on over to Disney Springs and take part in their Tree Stroll! Grab a map from any of the retailers and start your journey to find the 20 trees decorated with your favorite Disney movies and characters.
My personal favorites were the Toy Story and Coco trees. Will you complete them all? Make sure you mark them on your map for a special surprise if you find all 20!
DeLand is a town that prides itself on their art and their festivals. So you KNOW they do Christmas right! Walk around and take in all the shop windows decorated in the spirit of Christmas. Wave hello to the super tall nutcrackers that stand guard on the corners. The holidays are done right in DeLand
6. Disney World
It’s no surprise that the most magical place on earth turns even more magical during December! The parks are all decorated to the nines, the Christmas music, even the characters turn up in their best Christmas outfits! Take part in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas, an after hours park event with snacks, lights, and even “snow” falling! Magic Kingdom is well, magic – but Epcot is worth a visit! You’ll be able to have a taste of what the holidays mean around the world by sampling traditional holiday meals from all the countries represented in the park!
The Experiences are Endless
Thanks to the perfect weather in Orlando during December there are plenty of options to get into the Christmas spirit! If none of these convinced you – or you want more – make sure you check out Lake Nona, Winter Park, Celebration, Kissimmee, or Lake Eola/Thornton Park just to name a few! Christmas in Orlando is truly an unforgettable time!
Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and I hope you celebrate in the best way you know how!