If you’re spending Christmas in Orlando then you’re in for a treat! The theme park capital does the holiday season in spectacular style. Here’s a look at some of the best Christmas events in Orlando for 2020.
No matter the season, Orlando is always a fun place to visit – but some might say that Christmas is the most magical time to go.
Through the holidays, the world-famous theme parks and resorts roll out elaborate festivities that supersize the excitement. Incredible decorations, theatrical parades, spectacular fireworks and nightly snow falls (not real ones of course) are just part of the action.
Away from the theme parks there are plenty of smaller, local offerings too, including lots of free ones! So if you’re spending Christmas 2020 in Orlando and you’re looking for the best things to do, check out our handy guide.
Christmas 2020 at Disney World
As with pretty much everything, Christmas 2020 is a little different at the theme parks. There are capacity limitations and physical distancing requirements, but lots is still happening for the holidays.
The entire resort has been decked out in decorations, and all of the parks present festive entertainment and events including all-new offerings for 2020. Even Disney Springs and the hotels lay on lots of excitement.
Whether you’re visiting in the run-up to Christmas or on the day itself, you’re guaranteed to find oodles of festive fun.
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At Magic Kingdom, the ‘town’ is decked out for Christmas, and Cinderella Castle beckons at the end with its shimmering holiday lights. The entire park follows the winter wonderland theme with dozens of elaborately-decorated trees, hundreds of festive wreaths and miles of Christmas garland. Disney characters don their most festive attire, favorite attractions take on a Christmas theme, and you’ll find plenty of seasonal treats to enjoy.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is cancelled for 2020 but the Jingle Cruise ride is back with a Christmas twist including decorations in the show scenes, queue decorations and boats adorned with Christmas-inspired names.
New for 2020 are Themed Character Cavalcades, consisting of mini character parades featuring Mickey and friends plus special appearances from Santa. Also new are the Castle Projections – these are bursts of cheerful projections on Cinderella’s Castle with quirky themes like festive stripes and dots, a whimsical Christmas sweater and special pyrotechnic ‘pixie dust’ moments.
The Holly Trolley musical parade is continuing for 2020, as is the iconic Main Street Philharmonic featuring Toy Soldiers marching through Magic Kingdom, bringing musical holiday cheer for all to hear.
Like Magic Kingdom, is going all-out for Christmas 2020. Highlights include the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays running through December 31, when you can visit the colorful holiday kitchens and take part in the sweet Holiday Cookie Stroll. Epcot visitors can also see Santa in his horse drawn sleigh at the Santa Claus Promenade, look for Mickey and friends at the World Holiday Tour, watch Queen Anna and Elsa at the Frozen Holiday Promenade, and take part in the all-new Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Scavenger Hunt.
Plus there’s music in the air with the Jammitors on the Mill Stage, the Joyful Celebration of the Season inside World Showcase, a rotating line-up of holiday performances at America Gardens Theatre, and the Epcot pianist taking center stage at World Showcase to play holiday tunes from around the world.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Get swept up in the magic of the season through December 30, 2020 as the Hollywood Tower Hotel comes to life with colorful projections of holiday scenes. Expect to see Mickey & Minnie’s Hometown Tower, the Toy Story Christmas Toy Tower, The Muppets Gingerbread Tower and Frozen Winter Wonderland Tower.
Also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Christmas 2020 is the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Located at Echo Lake, the show features a heartwarming celebration of Frozen with a flurry of stories, songs and special guests. Shows have limited capacity and run throughout the day from 9.30am through 6.30pm.
Herald holiday flotillas you will never forget at Animal Kingdom’s Christmas 2020 celebrations.
Highlights include the colorful Santa Claus Festive Flotilla, along with other Christmas-themed floats like Donald’s Dino Bash, Chip & Dale’s, Mickey and Friends, and Discovery Island Drummers.
Plus, be sure to check out the Tree of Life Awakenings – Holiday Edition, where the park’s iconic tree glitters with lights each evening and comes ‘alive’ with the magic of nature and the sounds of the holidays.
Also new for December 2020 – giraffe cubs join the rest of the herd on the Kilimanjaro Safaris Savanna.
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Disney Springs is still hosting its Christmas Tree Trail in 2020, albeit in modified form. Santa Claus will be in attendance, plus there’ll be numerous trees each themed to different Disney characters, decorations aplenty and some live entertainment, holiday carollers and photo opportunities.
You’ll find shops galore where you can buy those special holiday gifts for your family and friends. Visitors can also indulge in seasonal treats at one of the many award-winning restaurants, and soak up the seasonal sights and sounds at the decked-out waterside promenade.
Christmas 2020 at Universal Orlando
Running through January 3, 2021, Universal’s theme parks will offer an array of holiday-themed entertainment. Both of the Wizarding Worlds get holiday makeovers with beautifully themed decor, musical entertainment and special holiday treats. The highlight is the awe-inspiring laser-and-fireworks show which takes place nightly at Hogwarts Castle.
Merriment at Universal Studios includes the all-new Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons. In this brand-new walk-through experience you will get closer than ever to huge balloons and colorful Christmas floats.
Also new for Christmas 2020 at Universal is the exciting Holiday Character Celebration, where you can celebrate through the day as your favorite characters from Shrek, Madagascar, Minions and Despicable Me come out to make appearances and spread holiday cheer.
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Islands of Adventure
Over at Islands of Adventure, celebrate Christmas 2020 at The Grinch & The Whos. The mean, green one is in attendance, along with the resident Whos at the Seuss Landing area.
Seaworld’s 2020 Christmas Celebration
Each holiday season, Seaworld ramps up the fun with festive shows, wintery displays, holiday decorations and live music. On select dates through December 31, 2020, more than 3 million twinkling lights transform the park into a winter wonderland, and live entertainment comes in the form of stunning shows, light spectaculars and a show-stopping ice-skating extravaganza.
Guests can see the stunning Sea of Trees, meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or head to Wild Arctic and visit Santa himself. As with all of the theme parks, capacity and social distancing rules will be in place.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms
Running through January 3, 2021, Orlando’s Gaylord Palms will be bedecked with millions of holiday lights and acres of magnificent decorations. Events for Christmas 2020 include the Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show, Feast with the Grinch and the all-new I Love Christmas Movies pop up show and Snow Factory experiences.
Little ones will love the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, and can enjoy hours of fun sliding around on Snow Flow Mountain.
Holidays at Legoland
Perfect for families with younger kids, Holidays at Legoland features a combination of seasonal shows, festive treats, brick-building activities and amazing surprises.
Running on select dates through December, guests are invited to dance and sing-along at amazing interactive shows, meet Lego characters, take rides in a giant Lego sleigh and see live ‘snow’ falls.
The fun isn’t just confined to Christmas either. From December 26-31 the park will host its annual New Year’s Party. Expect amazing nightly fireworks, fun dance parties, special building activities and lots of other fun events. On New Year’s Eve itself, the whole family can enjoy a special New Year’s Eve party with fireworks- at the kid-friendly hour of 8pm.
Get discounted theme park tickets
All Disney World and Universal Holiday events are included with regular park admission – you can get discounted attraction tickets by contacting the Top Villas team.
Now Snowing at Celebration
One of the top ‘snowing’ events in Florida, Now Snowing at Celebration offers a busy Christmas schedule packed with seasonal cheer. Through December 31, 2020, the town’s main square will host an ice rink, Christmas carollers, live performers, photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides and the Celebration Express train. Perhaps the most magical event of all is the nightly snow fall which takes place every hour starting 6pm – while it may not be the snow that Northerners are user to, these flurries definitely tick the Christmas spirit up a notch.
Other things to do in Orlando for Christmas 2020
It’s not just the theme parks and resorts that celebrate Christmas in Orlando – there are heaps of things to do besides. You can stock up on Christmas goodies at the many malls, dine out at the myriad restaurants and enjoy all kinds of holiday happening around the city. Here are a few of our favorite festive things to do away from the big ticket attractions.
Go Christmas shopping
With its sprawling malls and shopping plazas, there’s no better place than Orlando for Christmas shopping. There are options for all tastes and budgets, from top department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, to the budget-friendly Premium Outlets on International Drive and Vineland Avenue. What’s more, the best-known shopping destinations are all within easy reach of the main vacation resorts in Orlando.
Get out and explore
Wherever you go in Orlando at Christmas you’re bound to see something festive. Get out and explore and you’ll find all manner of Christmassy things to do. There’s a Santa meet-and-greet at Millenia Mall, holiday happenings all along International Drive, and a festive lights show at Lake Eola. You’ll also find Christmassy goings-on at Harry Leu Gardens, Winter Park, College Park, and Cranes Roost Park – to name just a few!
Eat festive food
If you fancy dining out for Christmas 2020 you’ll find an abundance of places for a festive meal. Amazing Christmas buffets take place at many of the main hotels, and tasty Christmas dinners can also be found at Orlando’s restaurants which are serving seasonal specials through the holidays.
Rent a luxury villa
Imagine spending Christmas in a luxury villa decked out with family friendly amenities. You can cook up a festive feast in a state-of-the-art kitchen, watch Christmas movies in your own private cinema, and keep the kids entertained in the game rooms – some even have bowling alleys! Many villas come complete with private swimming pools and large outdoor terraces, perfect for soaking up the sun. Some homes also have private gyms and amazing themed kids’ bedrooms.
Hire a private chef
If you’re renting a villa for the holidays why not make it extra special by hiring a private chef? That way you and your nearest and dearest can kick back and relax while someone else does all the hard work. Not only will your chef prepare a delicious Christmas feast just how you want it. They’ll also take care of the shopping, serving and even the cleaning up afterwards! To discuss the packages available contact the Top Villas guest experience team.
Where to stay
If you’re staying in Orlando for Christmas 2020 check out the wide range of vacation rentals available. Located in Orlando’s best resorts, these homes are packed with fun amenities such as private pools, movie theaters, game rooms and themed kids’ bedrooms.
Follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly without any phone calls or fuss. It’s easy to check availability, get a quote and book instantly online. Alternatively, submit an enquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.SEE OUR LATEST DEALS