Wekiva Island will be hosting its beloved Winter Wonderland celebration from December 1 to January 1. In its fifth year, the event will be adjusted for the “elf” and safety of guests and staff—but it will still bring the holiday cheer with daily “snow” flurries, thousands of lights, festive décor, and plenty of events for the whole family.
To officially kick off the event, Santa and Mrs. Claus
arrive at 7 p.m. December 4, bringing the first “snow” of the 2020 holiday
season with them.
“We’ve put a lot of thought and hard work into making sure this event is as safe as possible for all of our guests,” said Carrie Vanderhoef, manager. “This is always a favorite event, and we’re happy to be able to keep the holiday spirit alive this season.”
Guests will have plenty of opportunities to soak in that spirit and capture the perfect holiday photo on the Island.
This year’s Winter Wonderland will feature a breathtaking Christmas tree forest full of decorated trees that will serve as the perfect backdrop.
The schoolhouse will be made up to look like a giant gingerbread house, and “snow” flurries will fall nightly from 6 to 9 p.m. and 12 to 9 p.m. on weekends.
Guests can also take a “sleigh” ride down the river for $20 for adults and $10 for children on Saturdays and Sundays.
Families looking for the Santa experience with the kids also won’t be disappointed. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make a socially distanced appearance for photos on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
This year, rather than sitting on Santa’s lap, guests are encouraged to leave letters for Santa in a special mailbox or via email. These letters will be read live at 7 p.m. every Tuesday on Wekiva Island’s Facebook.
Winter Wonderland features many socially distanced holiday
activities for children of all ages to enjoy:
Breakfast with Santa – Enjoy the most important
meal of the day with Jolly Old St. Nick himself! Bring the entire family for
the chance to take socially distanced photos with Santa while enjoying a
delicious plate of breakfast eats. 9 a.m. to noon on December 13 with ticketed
seating by the hour. $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 10 and younger.
VIP Winter Wonderland Party – Get the VIP
treatment at the Island’s exclusive ticketholder-only holiday party. Enjoy
craft beer and wine, gourmet small plates, live music and more from 7 to 11
p.m. on December 19. $50 per person, $90 for couples.
Holiday movies – Bring the whole family out to
watch holiday classics at the Island! Bring your own lawn chair to social
distance in style while enjoying the popcorn and hot cocoa available to
purchase. 7 p.m. Sundays starting December 6.
Cocoa, stories & cookies with Mrs. Claus –
Spend some time with Mrs. Claus and enjoy some tasty treats! This event is
limited to the first 20 children in person but will also take place virtually.
Reservations required. 6 p.m. December 10 and 17. $10 per child.
Reindeer feed box workshop – Join Santa and Mrs.
Claus to learn how to make reindeer feed from the pros. For $10 a child, guests
will receive all necessary ingredients to make the feed, a keepsake box and a
cup of hot cocoa. If parents prefer a virtual experience, boxes can be
purchased from The Tooting Otter General Store for $10. 6 to 8 p.m. December
New Year’s Day Brunch – Ring in the New Year
with a delicious brunch and river views on January 1.
To give back to the community, Wekiva Island will be filling
canoes with toys to donate to Toys for Tots starting November 27. Marines will
visit from 1 to 5 p.m. December 12 to collect the toys.
Wekiva Island also offers gift options at its General Store,
and those who purchase a $100 gift card receive a $20 gift card free. The
Island offers free gift wrapping on ALL gifts, even those not purchased there,
so guests can kick back and enjoy a relaxing beverage while the Island elves do
the hard work.
Winter Wonderland is open to the public. There is a $2 admission fee. A full calendar of daily events is available here. Tickets can be purchased for select events here.
Wekiva Island is requiring masks for guests at the entrance
and whenever they are outside the boundaries of their small, socially distanced
group. Temperature checks are required at the gate.
In these times of Covid-19, we have to decide what we are comfortable doing when venturing out of the house and looking for entertainment.
It really depends on what you feel is right for you and your family. For my family, we have a young toddler, so I personally haven’t felt comfortable to go inside buildings with her yet.
Instead, we try to choose some outdoor places we can visit, and we try to do this a couple of times a week.
This week we decided to wander around Newton Park, in Winter Garden which is a lakefront park by Lake Apopka.
It wasn’t busy at all mid week, but I can see it being more popular on weekends for fishing and picnics.
In this park, you can even bring your own boat and go out onto the lake itself and do a little fishing.
We mainly love it because it’s so peaceful and the views are so pretty, on a clear day you can see pretty far.
The day we went, it was pretty cloudy so you couldn’t see too much but it helped that it was much cooler!
We walked right out onto the pier to take in some of the views since it was such a nice windy day.
Pro-tip, try not to drop any Goldfish snacks along the pier if you can help it, was a bit daunting like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds movie!
We even got to see some gators, they were a few baby-sized ones floating around and then we spotted this larger one right by the pier. Must have been a good 5-6 feet long!
Lake Apopka is the fourth largest lake in Florida, and during the 1940s was one of Central Florida’s main attractions.
Anglers traveled from through the world to fish here. The Edgewater Hotel in downtown Winter Garden used to house many of these visitors.
Sadly, the discharge of water, rich in nutrients from agricultural and other sources, produced conditions that created a chronic algal bloom and resulted in a loss of the lake’s recreational value and game fish populations.
In the ’90s, clean up measures with good intentions failed and muck choked the lake bottom.
This eventually led to other restoration projects, each with its own problems and work continues to develop a plan to ensure future development does not negatively impact the lake.
We continue to visit other parks in the area but wanted to talk about this one since its a lovely local place to visit.
Newton Park is located at 31 W Garden Ave, Winter Garden, FL, 34787.
There’s absolutely NOTHING like waking up to this view…
Or taking a moment to sit on your atrium balcony at the end of your day.
See? That’s some holiday Magic right there!!!
I Love Christmas Movies
This year the new I Love Christmas Movies takes you through 17,000 square feet of holiday movie magic.
A Production assistant takes you and another party through iconic movie scenes from THE POLAR EXPRESS, A CHRISTMAS STORY, ELF, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS.
We had a great time enjoying the interactive elements, and went through several times during our stay!
It’s a unique experience chocked full of fun movie facts, movie replicas, special effects, and fun photo opportunities.
We had a great time, and our PA was awesome at helping us snap family photos!
Just make sure to hit your mark!
I do have to say that I was super excited to see the Nativity scene they created to keep the tradition going…
And for the return of ICE! in 2021!!!
While the Snow Factory has looooong been a favorite stop for us, this year the area has been completely been redesigned.
Let’s start with the slides!!!
This year 6 slides made of REAL ice let guests can choose their thrill experience! There’s the speed slide for a race to the bottom or the opportunity to brave the “ice coaster” plummet.
Then our favorite…the Snowball Build & Blast lets families compete to see who can make the best snowballs out of ice AND how accurately they can throw them.
We are a SUPER competitive family, so we played as much as we could during our stay!!!
Explore the Alpine Village
The Alpine Village is really the heart of Christmas at Gaylord Palms, and this year the village has been designed with more room for social distancing with the same amount of fun!
Zoe was stoked for her annual visit to the Build A Bear Workshop! She always makes a special friend, and this year it was awesome to see costumes that tied to the movies in I Love Christmas Movies!
Why yes…that is a Cousin Eddie outfit for your Build A Bear!!!
And you can’t sleep on the outfits that are exclusive to the Gaylord Palms Resort!
Also tucked into the Alpine Village are fun, hands-on experiences.
We had a blast in the Elf Training Academy making ornaments.
You seriously aren’t shocked that I monogrammed mine…right?
And we created our annual Gingerbread house with Nutmeg the Gingerbread Man!
PRO-TIP: At the entrance to the Alpine Sweet Shop, you will find bags of candy to purchase. Our bag was less than $3 and having the extra options made the decorating process less stressful. It was AWESOME!!!
Help the Grinch
A staple of every event at the Gaylord Palms Resort is their scavenger hunt, and this year you get the explore the beautifully decorated resort to help The Grinch.
The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt lets families solve puzzles together for a great prize.
Time together + holiday fun + the opportunity to walk-off and earn more holiday treats = Priceless
Christmas at Gaylord Palms has gone out of its way to maintain its fantastic entertainment schedule in a safe environment for performers and audience members.
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped is once again filling the St. Augustine Atrium Stage with thrilling acts several times a night.
The Greatest Story, a multicultural, musical journey celebrating the story of Christ, will fill your heart with the holiday spirit.
And you won’t want to miss the #LIT light show featuring thousands of sparkling lights, a larger-than-life Christmas Tree, and holiday music.
This year, Santa will bring the North Pole experience to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort with a new Santa’s Village themed area for guests to enjoy a socially distant, yet festive holiday experience – without the North Pole weather!
Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elf, Kandy Kane, return for their annual holiday vacation to Santa’s favorite resort as part of the resort’s 2020 holiday season celebration.
On select nights beginning November 27, the new Santa’s Village experience will give the young and young-at-heart a chance to experience the sights, scents, and sounds of the holidays.
Playful elves will host socially distant reindeer games and guests will enjoy specialty drinks from Santa’s ho-ho-hometown in the hotel’s restaurants, take part in holiday cookie decorating and meet and take socially distanced pictures with the big man himself.
The full slate of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort holiday activities include:
Santa and Mrs. Claus Meet and Greets
Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Kandy Kane, decked out in their favorite Florida vacation attire, will meet guests on select nights Nov – Dec. This unique, socially distanced holiday photo opportunity is filled with Florida flair, featuring reindeer, palm trees, flamingos, and holiday cheer.
Event dates: November 27-28, December 4-5, December 11-12, December 18-19, and December 21-22.
Fun has never tasted so sweet! On select nights, families can participate in a favorite holiday tradition – cookie decorating.
Kids and parents alike can unleash their creativity on frosted sugar cookies from the hotel’s award-winning food and beverage team, then devour their delicious creations.
The cookie decorating will be arranged with special health protocols in place.
Life-Size Chocolate Holiday Santa Scene
Constructed entirely of chocolate, this life-size sculpture weighs approximately 2,000 pounds!
The sculpture, created by a two-time world pastry champion and the resort’s executive pastry chef, Laurent Branlard, is showcased in the Swan Hotel.
It features chocolate Santa sitting in his chair; a 7-foot-tall, 400-pound chocolate nutcracker; a chocolate fireplace; a chocolate Christmas tree, and chocolate toy train.
The scene will be displayed throughout December and is 100 percent edible.
However, any chocolate lovers thinking of taking on the challenge of consuming this enormous sweet should consider that it is 4 million calories! (And unfortunately, the sculpture is not available for tasting.)
Dancing Lights Show
A dazzling musical light show transforms the outdoor causeway each evening into a holiday spectacle with dancing illuminated palm trees and favorite holiday tunes. The performances occur regularly from sunset through 10 p.m.
Magic Keys for Santa on Christmas Eve
How will Santa deliver presents to each guest room without a chimney? With a magic key of course!
Children can hang a magic key on their door to help Santa find his way on Christmas Eve. Magic keys are available on December 24 at the concierge desk.
Deck-The-Halls Decoration Packages
Extend the hotel’s festive décor to your guestroom. Guests can order a Deck-The-Halls decoration package, where elves will transform their room with holiday-themed décor and leave behind some tasty treats and a specialized holiday note for the kids.
This is an ideal way to surprise the family after returning from a fun day in the theme parks! Hanukkah packages are also available.
Advance reservations required. Fees apply.
24/7 In-Room Holiday Movies
Families can enjoy round-the-clock holiday cheer with a variety of free holiday-themed movies available in-room.
Guests can join all the holiday excitement with rates starting at $167 per night. And, if they are on the nice list, they can also enjoy a special bonus: up to 50% off a second room. Just use the code: SANTA.
For more details about all the holiday excitement, including a full schedule of activities, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort or to make room reservations, please visit www.santasfavoriteresort.com or call 1-800-227-1500.
Starting November 22, guests can take their holiday celebrations at Universal Orlando Resort to the next level with the all-new Universal’s Holiday Tour, a specially guided tour filled with exclusive access to holiday experiences across the theme parks.
Available on select dates this holiday season, the guided experience will give guests the opportunity to:
Enjoy priority access to Universal’s Holiday Experience Featuring Macy’s Balloons, where they can get up-close with larger-than-life parade balloons and stunning floats inspired by everything from iconic holiday staples to characters from popular animated films – and enjoy a special appearance by Santa Claus
Embark on a tour of the first-ever Holiday Tribute Store, featuring four incredibly-themed rooms – including one inspired by The Grinch – stocked with a variety of new merchandise
Meet and greet The Grinch at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous in Seuss Landing, where they can encounter the mean, green one himself and enjoy a delicious Hot Cocoa Bar
Cap off the evening in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure with an exclusive showing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” – a stunning projection of holiday spirit and Christmas moments inspired by the beloved “Harry Potter” stories
And, guests will also receive a special, themed gift during the tour to commemorate their experience
Pricing starts at $59.99 (plus tax) and separate theme park admission with a 2-Park 1-Day Park-to-Park ticket is required.
Universal Orlando passholders receive a special discount on the tour with pricing starting at $49.99 (plus tax) per ticket, per passholder. Passholders can book and take advantage of their discount through the VIP Call Center and in-park at the UOAP Lounge.
Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing, and sanitization” across its entire destination, and those practices will be applied to all experiences taking place during Universal’s Holiday Tour. Key measures include requiring face coverings, enforcing social distancing, limiting capacity in each tour group and at each experience throughout the tour, including at “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” and more.
Universal’s Holiday Tour has limited availability and advanced reservations are required. For more information about this offering and all of Universal Orlando’s Holidays experiences, plus incredible deals for guests to take advantage of this season – including the limited-time “Get 3 Days Free When You Buy 2 Days” offer that is available for purchase through January 6, 2021, the “Get 3 Days for $55 per Day plus tax” offer for Florida residents, and $100 savings on select annual and seasonal passes – visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.
Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens will transform into a magical wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, and beautiful sculptures during Dazzling Nights, a new family-friendly adventure that gives guests the opportunity to embark on a three-quarter-mile interactive holiday experience.
Created by the team who brings the IMMERSE Festival to Downtown Orlando every Octoberand presented by AdventHealth, Dazzling Nightsis an awe-inspiring holiday event.
“When we began dreaming about a holiday experience, we knew it had to be more than just lights on trees,” says Creative City Project Executive Director, Cole NeSmith. “We’re always asking how we can create unique, creative experiences that will inspire our guests. Some of the installations are breathtakingly epic, and others are quite intimate. We think adults and kids, alike, are going to want to make this an annual tradition.”
A few snapshots of the Dazzling Nights fun:
When guests arrive at Leu Gardens, they will have a photo opportunity in front of a unique, 30’ tall towering Christmas tree.
Interactive lights on the ground light up and ring-like holiday bells when stepped upon.•Guests journey through a forest of light and fog, as if walking through the aurora borealis.
Visitors immerse themselves in a 65’ long tunnel of wondrous light.
The evening event also features snow and holiday tunes.
And so much more!
The outdoor event is designed to ensure adequate social distancing and safety amid theCOVID-19 pandemic, and visitors will be required to wear masks.
“Our holiday traditions may look a little different this year because of COVID, and that gives us an opportunity to find new ways to discover joy, feel whole and find inspiration this season,” said Sharon Line Clary, vice president of marketing at AdventHealth. “We encourage our neighbors to visit Dazzling Nights, take in the fresh Florida air, and celebrate the holidays at the beautiful Leu Gardens with your loved ones.”
Dazzling Nights will feature lights, music, and interactive elements to complete the transformation of the 50-acre, Harry P. Leu Gardens into a stunning holiday wonderland.
“AdventHealth is the perfect partner for Dazzling Nights,” says NeSmith. “They are committed to the wholeness and healing of all people, and I think Dazzling Nights will do just that. I’m excited to see spirits lifted among families and groups of friends as they share this meaningful experience together.”
Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites, the newest hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, will open to guests for the first time on December 15, 2020, with an impressively low starting rate of $79 per night.
Dockside Inn and Suites will be the second hotel in the destination’s Value category, joining sister property Surfside Inn and Suites.
The extra-affordable resort will add 2,050 guest rooms, featuring standard rooms and spacious 2-Bedroom Suites. And with the low $79 per night rate, the all-new hotel creates a value experience that is unmatched in the Orlando area.
Brought to life by the award-winning Universal Creative team, Dockside Inn and Suites will make guests feel like they have escaped to the perfect sunset with the cool, calm feeling of a beach retreat. It’s the destination’s eighth property in partnership with Loews Hotels & Co, providing Universal Orlando guests with a variety of hotel options for every style and budget, complete with exclusive theme park benefits and a seamless vacation experience.
At Dockside Inn and Suites, guests can experience all that the hotel and Universal Orlando have to offer, including:
2–Bedroom Suites – These suites, which make up more than half the rooms at both Dockside Inn and Suites & Surfside Inn and Suites, sleep up to six and offer guests an unrivaled value. With two separate rooms, families no longer need two connecting rooms for extra space. There is also a kitchenette area, a picnic table for meals and hanging out, and a bathroom with separate bath and vanity areas so multiple people can get ready at once. The 2-Bedroom Suites begin as low as $120 per night based on a four-night stay.
Exclusive Theme Park Benefits – Hotel guests receive exclusive benefits including Early Park Admission to the theme parks, complimentary and convenient shuttle bus transportation, charging privileges with their room key, and more.
Pier 8 Market – The all-American Pier 8 Market offers casual dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu will feature extra-affordable options with most dishes under $12, ranging from themed comfort foods to convenient on-the-go options.
Awesome Amenities – The lobby bar, Sunset Lounge, serves specialty cocktails and is the perfect place to unwind after a day at the theme parks. The hotel will feature two pools and two pool bars as well as a Universal Orlando Vacation Planning Center, Universal Studios Store, and more.
Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing, and sanitization” across its entire destination, including its hotels. Key measures include requiring face coverings, requiring temperature checks for guests and team members, enhanced cleaning of guest rooms and public areas, managing capacity at food and beverage outlets, offering several contactless experiences, and more. For more details on our safety measures, please visit https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/safety-faqs.
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The Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace, taking place select nights until January 2nd, is full of holiday fun for the entire family including the Holiday Village complete with thousands of dazzling Christmas lights, live music, snow, and Santa Claus!
You can even dine on specialty food & beverage or shop at the Christmas Marketplace. Food, beverage, and merchandise are available at an additional cost.
Fresh off their 32 year run at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Society Orchestra has found their new Holiday Home at Jolly Creek.
The Jolly Creek Society Orchestra plays nightly at Jolly Creek, every hour for 20 minutes.
See it Snow
The whole family will love the artificial snowfall each hour of the Jolly Creek Holiday Festival!
Meet Santa Claus
No visit to a Holiday Village is complete without meeting the big man himself.
Santa Claus will be available on a socially distanced stage and you can interact with him from a distance of 6 feet.
All guests are permitted to take selfies with Santa, but may not approach or stand on the stage.
Marketplace, Specialty Food & Beverage, Crafting, & More
Available at additional cost, guests can indulge on unique Christmas shopping, some festive Holiday bites, or try their hand at Christmas Crafts, all with the aid of Santa’s Helpers.
The best part is that a portion of the proceeds of this event goes to benefit the Second Harvest Central Florida food bank.
Tickets for the Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace are available now online.
Busch Gardens Christmas Town, the park’s award-winning holiday event is kicking off with a preview weekend with light displays and select entertainment elements on November 14 and 15 with the full Christmas Town running daily with park-wide festivities from November 20, 2020, through January 3, 2021.
To bring the merriment to life, Busch Gardens’
creative team has consulted with medical experts to offer a modified event with
required reservations and limited capacity that celebrates the spirit of the
This seasonal event features open-air entertainment and experiences as well as enhanced health, safety, and sanitation measures, including temperature checks, face-covering requirements, and physical distancing.
Included in park admission, park guests can
enjoy holiday traditions with a twist, from millions of twinkling lights
throughout the park’s 335 acres to physically distant holiday shows,
breathtaking animal encounters, and contact-free visits with Santa and Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Christmas Town Holiday Entertainment
A warm-weather winter wonderland awaits park
guests with a variety of holiday programs offered throughout the event. Guests
are encouraged to check the park’s website before visiting to learn which
programs are available each date.
NEW “Spark the Night” Fireworks Show: This year, guests will have several opportunities to enjoy festive bursts of Christmas colors as they cover the sky in a dazzling display. Fireworks are offered select nights throughout the event at the Festival field, offering plenty of space for guests to spread out and enjoy the sights.
“Christmas on Ice”: For the first time ever, park guests can enjoy Busch Gardens’ longest-running holiday show at a NEW outdoor location on the Festival Stage. This fan-favorite skating production will perform awe-inspiring delights on real ice for physically distant audiences every Friday through Sunday and additional holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Elmo’s Christmas Wish: Families can sing and dance with their favorite furry friends in this fun holiday show. Celebrate the Christmas spirit with Sesame Street in the outdoor Sunny Day Theater with physically distant seating.
Three Kings Journey: The musical tale of the famed journey to Bethlehem is now offered alongside festive eats at the spacious Dragon Fire Grill.
Holly Jolly Express: All aboard for Christmas Cheer! With limited capacity, this locomotive is on track to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with favorite songs of the season as guests venture through the park in a festive fashion.
Card-Worthy and Contact-Free Photo
Santa’s Merry Meet & Greet: Jolly elves guide guests to see Santa for a physically distant photo at a spacious new outdoor location this holiday season.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Jingle all the way to Pantopia to Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland to find the most famous reindeer of all and snap some contact-free pictures with Rudolph and Clarice.
Original Christmas Town Characters: For moments that sparkle, guests will encounter the Poinsettia Princess, Sugar Plum Princess, Ice Princess, and jolly snowmen throughout their Christmas Town journey.
Sesame Street Friends: Enjoy physically distant photo opportunities with everyone’s favorite furry friends in their festive holiday attire.
Holiday Eats & Unique Gifts
As guests dash through the night between iconic rollercoasters, they can explore the Christmas Town Village: a delicious destination filled with drinks and dishes from an all-NEW chef and mixologist crafted holiday menu.
Beyond a selection of fan-favorite seasonal beers and mulled wine, guests can also choose from a variety of NEW holiday-inspired beverages rooted in classic Christmas traditions.
These unique, limited-time options include specialty cocktails like the “Winter Wonderland Hot Toddy” made with winter cider, honey whiskey, and a chai infusion and the festive “Spiked Hot Cocoa” with gingerbread crumbles, caramel, and whipped cream.
The spirit of the season is in every bite of holiday dishes throughout the park such as sliced pork tenderloin, smoked turkey legs with pumpkin cider glaze, harvest turkey and prosciutto sliders, and a variety of peppermint desserts.
The best way for guests to savor and save during the holidays is with a Christmas Town Sampler Lanyard, starting at ONLY $34.99 for a 5-punch lanyard. Pass members can enjoy an extra special offer with an exclusive 12-punch lanyard for the price of a 10-punch lanyard to sip and savor throughout the event.
After fueling up for festive fun, guests can
check everyone off their holiday shopping list from dazzling ornaments to
charming nutcrackers with Busch Gardens exclusive 2020 holiday
merchandise which is only available during this special event.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, taking place November 14 through December 31, will transform the park into a winter wonderland with more than three million sparkling lights and park-wide holiday activities.
To bring the merriment
to life, SeaWorld’s creative team consulted with
medical experts to offer a modified event with required reservations and
limited capacity that celebrates the spirit of the season safely.
This seasonal event features open-air entertainment and experiences as well as enhanced health, safety measures, including increased cleaning and sanitation, temperature checks, face-covering requirements, and physical distancing.
Included in park admission, park guests can safely enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the holiday season with specialty shopping, physically distant holiday shows, tasty holiday treats, and beloved holiday traditions.
New This Year at SeaWorld Orlando’s
It’s a Wonderful Night: A New Story to Tell
experienced the spirit of the season quite like this before. SeaWorld is bringing over 30 of your favorite Christmas
carols back to the stage with new clever surprises and lighthearted laughs.
Check back soon for details on this reimagining of an old favorite for SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, coming to the Nautilus
Theater with limited capacity and
Ice Skating at Bayside Stadium
All-new for this year, guests can now experience outdoor ice skating! You and your family can skate alongside the water of SeaWorld’s central lagoon throughout the day in a beautiful winter wonderland. Capacity will be limited to promote physical distancing and all guests must wear crew length socks and gloves. Additional charge required which includes rental of ice skates, socks, and gloves can also be purchased.
year, SeaWorld will be celebrating more
holidays than ever before. For the first year ever, SeaWorld Orlando will be
celebrating the festival of lights! From December 10 through 18, gather with
your friends and family in a socially distant experience to view the
traditional lighting of the menorah throughout Hanukkah.
experience for the holidays this year, SeaWorld will
celebrate the festivities of Kwanzaa! Taking place December 26through
January 1, guests can enjoy a joyous time of reflection and celebration of
African heritage with the nightly lighting of the kinara.
a visit to the top of the world to meet the
Arctic’s most famous resident, Santa Claus, at SeaWorld’s
Wild Arctic for a safe alternative to family photos with everyone’s favorite
jolly elf! One party at a time will greet Santa in the expansive family room and have the
opportunity to sit (physically distant) in Santa’s sleigh with Santa seated
above and behind, separated by a plexiglass partition. *Photo packages available.
Holidays from Sesame Street Land
It’s furry and bright on your favorite street as your favorite Sesame Street
friends invite you to join their Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa celebrations.
Holiday Shows at SeaWorld Orlando’s
Rudolph’s Movie Experience
Rudolph and his friends star in this movie that will get the
entire family in the holiday spirit, playing daily in the Sea Port
Theater with limited capacity and physical distancing. This special movie
experience is approximately 10 minutes long and begins every 30 minutes.
Sea of Trees
Take a walk through a wintery, watery wonderland, and immerse yourself in the expansive holiday Sea of Trees Located in SeaWorld’s lagoon where the glistening forest sparkles to music and lights up the water—and your eyes. With 360-degree views from around the park, there is plenty of space to enjoy safe physical distancing. As the lights dance to holiday classics, your heart will soar with wonder and delight at this truly awe-inspiring Christmas treat. Plus, a magnificent centerpiece towers 70 feet above the water.
Wonderland on Ice
Christmas comes to life on a stage of ice, jewels and lights as
skaters dazzle and delight in a show-stopping, ice skating extravaganza with
physically distant seating arrangements. A sea of
sparkling trees and towering fountains dancing in the background come together
to create a don’t-miss experience for the holidays that the entire family will
Special Events at SeaWorld Orlando’s
Rudolph’s Christmas Town
Returning for another year of festive fun, guests can immerse themselves in the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Rudolph’s Christmas Town. Stroll outdoors past life-size story book vignettes featuring the classic tale, and meet beloved characters including Rudolph and Bumble. This attraction has a limited capacity to promote physical distancing.
Nestled along the park’s Bayside Pathway, the Christmas market features festive entertainment and delicious culinary delights from an all-NEW chef and mixologist created holiday menu. Guests will also encounter playful elves and a charming model train village. Relax near the warm glow of the fire pit with a fan-favorite seasonal beer or mulled wine, or chose from a variety of NEW unique holiday-inspired beverages rooted in classic Christmas traditions. Limited capacity and physical distancing measures will be in place. These unique limited-time options include specialty cocktails like the “Winter Wonderland Hot Toddy” made with winter cider, honey whiskey, and a chain infusion, and the festive “Peppermint Cocoa” made with peppermint schnapps.
The spirit of the season is in every bite of holiday food pairings throughout the park such as the ale-cured and smoke-cured pork slider, the mini chicken philly, or the “Traditional Christmas Dinner Stack” which layers roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce over texas toast. The market also features a variety of peppermint desserts like the peppermint bark cheesecake. The best way for guests to savor and save during the holidays is with a Christmas Celebration Tasting and Brew Sampler Lanyard, starting at ONLY $35.00 for a 5-punch lanyard or a 10-punch lanyard for $50.00.
Holiday Dining Options at SeaWorld Orlando’s
Dinner with Santa
The wonders of
Christmas come to life this season in an experience that’s destined to make
memories for the young and young at heart. Dinner with Santa invites you to a
sumptuous holiday meal with all the trimmings and a delightful opportunity to
take a (physically distant) photo with Santa Claus himself! Featuring
protective food service barriers, widely spaced single-party tables, sanitation
between meals and more, guests of all ages will delight in this safe holiday
Street Christmas Breakfast
Join your favorite furry friends for a fun-filled holiday breakfast feast. This experience combines a delicious meal with exciting (but physically distanced) character appearances. With protective food service barriers, widely spaced single-party tables, sanitation between meals, and more, it is a safe, fun time for the whole family!
Best Way to Enjoy the Holiday Cheer
For a limited time, buy a 2021 Fun Card and get the rest of 2020 FREE or upgrade to an Annual Pass starting as low as $11.75 per month with no down payment. Annual Pass Members* receive 12 months of visits, now with the best benefits ever such as FREE parking, up to 6 free guest tickets, Pass Member VIP Ride Nights, and up to 50% savings on merchandise, photo prints, Quick Queue, and more. The Fun Card gives park-goers unlimited access to the park to visit again and again for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year and all of 2021 for one low price, but does not include the additional pass benefits!
SeaWorld Orlando is committed to the health and safety of its guests, employees, and the animals in their care. The park has worked diligently with state and local health officials, outside consultants, and attraction industry leaders to enhance already strict health, safety, and cleanliness standards. These protocols and guidelines will be modified based on evolving industry standards and methodologies, public health, and governmental directives, and advancing scientific knowledge on the transmissibility of COVID-19. SeaWorld Orlando is excited to continue to provide guests with fun, inspiring, and memorable experiences while addressing important health and safety needs during this time.
The Universal Orlando Resort is unwrapping details on their 2020
Holiday celebrations, happening daily from November 14 through January 3, 2021,
and it is going to be EPIC!
This holiday season the Universal Orlando Resort is spreading
holiday cheer with some of their most beloved holiday traditions and characters
returning in a reimagined way that align with the destination’s enhanced health
and safety procedures as well as the debut of experiences such as the all-new “Universal’s
Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons”.
The best gift of all is that these holiday offerings are all
included with your theme park admission!!!
Let’s take a look at what you can experience this holiday season
at the Universal Orlando Resort!
2020 Holidays at the Universal Orlando Resort
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley will become beautifully adorned with themed decorations, garlands, and lights as the sounds of special holiday-themed performances fill the air throughout the lands. Guests can hear both magical and Muggle Christmas carols from the Frog Choir comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant croaking frogs, as well as the unique holiday hits of one of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensations, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. There will also be seasonal treats, holiday eats, and beverages – including the highly-anticipated return of the fan-favorite, hot Butterbeer.
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and Who-liday Character Appearances at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
It wouldn’t be a holiday celebration without the mean, green one himself! While visiting Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, holiday-goers will enjoy appearances by the maven of mischief, The Grinch, as he continues to try and find ways to steal holiday cheer and the merry Whos from Whoville.
Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons at Universal Studios Florida
New this year, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close with larger-than-life parade balloons and floats like never before during “Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons.” Guests will stroll along a picturesque pathway where they’ll encounter elaborate floats and stunning balloons inspired by everything from iconic holiday staples like reindeer and the Nutcracker, to characters from popular animated films, including the mischievous Minions from Illumination’s “Despicable Me” and “Minions” films, Gingy, The Gingerbread Man, from DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek” movies and the penguins from DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar” franchise. And it all culminates with a special appearance by Santa Claus and the opportunity to take a socially-distanced portrait with the big man himself.
Universal’s Holiday Character Celebration at Universal Studios Florida
During “Universal’s Holiday Character Celebration,” guests can celebrate the holiday season with the Minions and other beloved characters from Illumination’s “Despicable Me” and “Minions” films, and with DreamWorks Animation’s treasured family of Shrek characters and King Julien and the crew from the “Madagascar” franchise. Guests will sing and dance along with some of their favorite characters as they arrive aboard incredibly-festive parade floats, then perform special holiday show moments that the entire family will enjoy. Afterward, guests will have the chance to take socially-distanced photos of themselves with the characters and floats.
First-Ever Holiday Tribute Store
A brand-new Tribute Store dedicated to the Holidays will debut at Universal Studios Florida for the holiday season. Located in the New York area of the park, guests will come dashing through the store into a winter wonderland featuring four immersive rooms – including one inspired by Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch – stocked with a variety of new merchandise that will make perfect holiday gifts, plus delicious seasonal food items. Guests can also browse Universal’s assortment of Holidays merchandise and make purchases online by visiting www.shop.UniversalOrlando.com
Holiday Tree Hunt
Guests who purchase the Holiday Tree Hunt will embark on a search for 16 holiday-themed trees scattered throughout various merchandise locations in the theme parks and CityWalk. Guests will receive a brochure that outlines the participating locations, where they’ll have to collect stamps to mark their visit to each stop. Those who successfully complete the entire hunt will receive an exclusive Holiday Tree Hunt-branded ornament.
Holiday Treat Trail
Guests can participate by grabbing a complimentary Holiday Treat
Trail brochure that outlines a list of specialty food and beverage menu items
across select dining venues. Those who purchase all qualifying items will
receive a special sweet treat.
Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing, and sanitization,” and those practices will be applied to all experiences taking place during the destination’s Holiday celebration. Key measures include screening guests and team members, enforcing social distancing, requiring face coverings, limiting capacity at the parks, attractions, and hotels, and increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures, and more.
I am BEYONDDDDD ready
to start celebrating the holiday season with these holiday offerings!!!
This holiday season ICON Park will be transformed into The Santa Workshop
Experience – a winter wonderland complete with all of your favorite
The Workshop will kick off November 6, 2020, at 5 p.m. and runs
until December 24, 2020.
“ICON Park is ready to kick off the holiday season in Central Florida! We’re proud to provide fun, open-air entertainment for our locals to enjoy this year,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, president and CEO of ICON Park. “Our team has been able to build a safe, socially-distanced experience with Santa that will provide unforgettable memories for our community.”
For many years, The Santa Workshop Experience selected the best Santa experience in Central Florida, was at the Mall at Millenia. This year, The Workshop has been expanded, SANTA-TIZED, and moved to ICON Park.
For parents who are concerned about having to skip the classic
pictures with Santa tradition this year, ICON Park and The Santa Workshop
Experience have the perfect, socially-distanced solution.
On the photo set, a plexiglass barrier will be set up on Santa’s chair between the big man himself and the children. They will be able to have all of the same interaction and connection as normal, but without direct contact. Plus, Santa’s elves have magically made the plexiglass barrier completely invisible in the photos.
Christmas guests will be able to take their own candid photos of
their children in a new Holiday Set in addition to the professional photos with
Santa. There will also be special attractions like cookie decorating and story
time with Mrs. Claus!
Upon arrival and safety check-in, only one family group will visit
with Santa at a time in our secure 800 sq. foot Workshop assuring everyone a
socially distanced and memorable event.
Santa will be at ICON Park Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8
p.m., and on Friday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Every child who participates in The Santa Workshop Experience will receive a free ticket to ride The Wheel at ICON Park. Additional tickets can be purchased with a 50 percent discount for all of Santa’s guests.
In addition to meeting Santa, families can take a ride on the
Pearl Express Train decked out in its holiday best. In fact, the train will
pick up registered children for free directly from the parking garage. Parents
simply show their reservation confirmation, and the train will transport their
family to Santa’s workshop.
The Wheelhouse Market Food Hall will be serving up your holiday favorites including Hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, and cookies.
ICON Park is at the center of the new Orlando Entertainment
District. With complimentary parking and complimentary valet parking after 4:00
To register for The Santa Workshop Experience, click here.
This week we were invited to preview the upcoming Night of a Million Lights event, taking place for the first time ever at Give Kids The World!
The Give Kids The World Village was forced to close back in March this year due to Covid-19, delaying more than 4,000 wishes. This 89-acre non-profit resort provides critically ill children and their families with magical week-long wish vacations at no cost to them. There are a total of 166 storybook residential villas for them to stay in while enjoying experiences at the local theme parks and attractions.
Night of a Million Lights is designed to raise funds to ensure that when they are able to reopen, the wishes for these families can be granted and return bigger and better than ever before.
This event has transformed the village into a dazzling wonderland!
The Night of a Million Lights features more than 3 million glittering lights, larger than life displays, and 45 amazingly decorated wish family residential villas. This really is a sight to see!
Once you enter the residential villas area, you will see each house has its own sponsor, some are very obvious who the sponsor is before you even read the sign, one of my favorites being the Crayola house!
I love the crayons “decorating” the house and their expressions!
Mayor Clayton’s home, which is home to the 6-foot tall bunny rabbit who governs the Village, has a garden area that is not to be missed with decorations under a beautiful archway perfect for those selfies!
They were busy at work setting up all the lights and we even saw a “whack a mole” game being set up.
Admission for all guests includes complimentary ice cream from the Village’s new centerpiece, Henri’s Starlight Scoops and hot cocoa. There is also unlimited access to the Village’s wheelchair-accessible rides and attractions.
Additional food and beverage and special edition holiday merchandise- including 3D glasses for the lights will be available for purchase.
Santa and some other surprises will be making this visit extra special for all guests!
Night of a Million Lights will take place from November 13 through to January 3, from 5:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m daily with staggered entry times to promote social distancing. Mask wearing will be required for all guests.
The Village is always open for more volunteers, especially to help decorate for this upcoming event, you can apply on their website now at http://gktw.org/lights/volunteer or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
To purchase tickets for the event please head to their website http://gktw.org/lights today as some busy days may start selling out.
The Gaylord Palms Resort, located in Kissimmee, Florida, has been inviting guests to enjoy their interactive and immersive holiday experiences for almost two decades, and this season Christmas at Gaylord Palms, happening daily from November 13, 2020, until January 3, 2021, includes a full line-up of new and returning favorites.
New Holiday Experiences
For the 2020 holiday season, the marquee attraction is a new experience called I Love Christmas Movies, a multi-sensory pop-up exhibition created in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Once inside of the
exhibition, guests will find that they have stepped into 15 fully immersive scenes
with replicas of film props, audio clips, and more from such beloved holiday
movies as THE
POLAR EXPRESS™, A CHRISTMAS STORY™, ELF™,
NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™, and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS™.
The Snow Factory will also be
opening during Christmas at Gaylord Palms to transport guests into a winter wonderland
filled with chilly fun including Snow Flow Mountain and the Snowball
Build and Blast.
Returning Holiday Favorites
When guests return to Christmas at Gaylord
Palms, in addition to the 4.5 acres of indoor atriums decorated for the
holidays they will find many of their favorite holiday experiences.
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
will awe audiences multiple times a night with unique acts during their live
performances on the St. Augustine Stage.
The Greatest Story, a multicultural,
musical journey celebrating the story of Christ, will fill your heart with the
The newly reopened Villa de Flora is home to breakfast with character…a mean, green one…The Grinch.
At the Elf Training Academy, kids will see if they have what it takes to be one of Santa’s helpers.
The St. Augustine atrium will
be #LIT with a light show featuring sparkling lights, a larger-than-life
Christmas Tree, and holiday music.
Join Nutmeg the Gingerbread
Man in the Gingerbread Decorating Corner to create holiday-themed gingerbread
cookies or a complete gingerbread house.
Get your list ready,
because you can meet Santa in a redesigned space with photographers on-hand to
capture the moment in a socially-distanced way.
Christmas classics and traditions are
celebrated with the retelling of “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” an
immersive Storytime with The Nutcracker’s Sugarplum Fairy, and Mrs. Claus’
Christmas Traditions, a holiday sing-along.
This year’s holiday-themed scavenger hunt, The
Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt, will help the Grinch’s heart grow
three sizes by showing him the meaning of the season.
The Christmas at Gaylord Palms season closes out with The Journey of Los Tres Reyes Magos live show taking place December 27, 2020, to January 3, 2021. Guests will join the Three Kings in a musical celebration as they retell the Christmas story and the celebrations surrounding it, including Las Posadas and el Día de Los Reyes.
The holidays are being ‘reimagined’ at the
Walt Disney World Resort bringing new and returning favorites to all four theme
parks, Disney Springs, and the Disney Resort Hotels through December 30, 2020.
During the festivities, guests will find new entertainment experiences, enjoy seasonal food and drink offerings, and discover themed merchandise perfect for a special gift or souvenir to remember the holiday season.
holidays at Walt Disney World may look a little different this year, but a new
addition to the fun will be pop-up appearances by Santa Claus at each park, as
well as Disney Springs. For example, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom he will sail
down the Discovery River on a special flotilla.
take a look at the special holiday celebrations guests can find in each park.
the Magic Kingdom will not be hosting Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this
season, guests will now be able to enjoy Character Cavalcades featuring their
favorite Disney characters in their holiday finest and characters synonymous
with the season – including gingerbread men and elves – throughout the day.
Main Street, U.S.A., the iconic toy soldiers will march alongside the Main
Street Philharmonic as they fill the park with cheer.
When night falls at Magic Kingdom Park,
projection effects will illuminate and transform Cinderella Castle with a series
of designs that are sure to be the perfect colorful background for a magical
Also returning this holiday season is the world-famous Jingle Cruise. During the seasonal overlay to the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, guests will see how the homesick skippers are celebrating the holidays with festive decorations and new jokes.
From November 27th until December 3oth, the Taste of the EPCOT International Festival of the holidays will fill the park with an ‘International Yuletide Extravaganza’.
Guests will enjoy the return of holiday
kitchens around the World Showcase promenade serving up traditional holiday
dishes from around the world and the Holiday Cookie Stroll.
As guests make their way through World Showcase
they will find their favorite characters spreading holiday cheer. Watch Queen
Anna and Elsa in the “Frozen Holiday Promenade,” Mickey Mouse and his pals
making merry on the “Mickey and Friends Holiday World Tour,” and Santa Claus
spreading holiday cheer during a grand horse-drawn tour.
Holiday entertainment will include the Candlelight Processional, however, guests will still find JOYFUL! inside the World ShowPlace and the Voices of Liberty sharing songs of the season at the America Gardens Theatre.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will enjoy
festive decorations, tasty holiday treats, and their favorite Disney characters
on flotillas throughout the day.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests will
enjoy fantastic holiday decorations, scrumptious holiday treats, and Merry Motorcades
featuring familiar faces spreading holiday cheer.
Mouse will once again host a yuletide dining experience at Hollywood &
Vine, inviting some of her best pals – including Santa Goofy – to join the fun.
only is Disney Springs the perfect place to shop for holiday merchandise, this
holiday season it will feature elaborately decorated Christmas trees and magical
snowfalls throughout Town Center, West Side, and The Landing.
will also be able to enjoy the festive décor and limited-time menu of holiday
favorites at Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar.
Disney Resort Hotels
For the holidays, the Walt Disney World Resort hotels will welcome guests and visitors with iconic Christmas trees in their lobbies and other festive flourishes.