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 2023.
No matter the season, Orlando is always a fun place to go. When it comes to Christmas, there’s nowhere better! Throughout the holiday season, the world-famous theme parks roll out elaborate festivities that supersize the excitement. Incredible decorations, theatrical parades, and spectacular fireworks are just part of the action.
Away from the theme parks, there are plenty of smaller offerings too — many of which are free! If you’re spending Christmas in Orlando and are looking for the best things to do, check out our handy guide.
Winter weather in Orlando
Tired of spending Christmas in the cold? Then head to the Sunshine State! The weeks before and after Christmas are wonderfully warm, allowing you to swap frosty winter mornings for family pool time. Temperatures in Orlando can reach the mid-70s through December so you’ll be able to leave your winter jacket at home. It’s the ideal destination for winter sun and warm weather. If you fancy a family beach vacation this Christmas, then Orlando is a great place to go. This super-detailed guide has more tips on the best time to visit Florida.
Christmas at Disney World 2023
Every year, Disney enthusiasts descend upon Walt Disney World for a spectacular yuletide experience. This year, the enchanting holiday season runs from November 11 to December 31, transforming all four theme parks, nearly two dozen hotels, and Disney Springs into a winter wonderland. From festive decorations to limited-time events, delectable cuisine, and more, here’s everything you need to know about Christmas at Disney World.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023
Running from November 9 through December 22 at Magic Kingdom Park, this ticketed event offers unique character appearances, specialty fireworks, parades, and unlimited hot cocoa and cookies. With limited capacity, you can enjoy shorter wait times and holiday overlays on popular attractions.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party 2023
Join your cheerful host, Minnie Mouse, as she invites you to bask in the enchantment of a dazzling yuletide fireworks display. Marvel at the night sky ablaze with vibrant colors, all set to the beloved melodies of holiday classics like “Deck the Halls” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
This merry spectacle can be enjoyed from numerous vantage points throughout Magic Kingdom park, including Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Don’t miss Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show, a highlight of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, offered on select nights from November 9 through December 22, 2023. Get ready to be captivated by the magic of the season!
Disney Jollywood Nights 2023
From November 11 to December 20 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this after-hours event promises a holly jolly atmosphere with themed venues, character appearances, specialty entertainment, and unique experiences like the Tip Top Club cocktail soiree.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays 2023
Starting November 24, Epcot offers a delightful twist on its food and wine festivals. Explore how different cultures celebrate the holidays with storytelling, traditional recipes, and the beloved Candlelight Processional featuring celebrity narrators. As these narrators regail the enchanting story of Christmas, they’ll joined by a magnificent massed choir. Accompanied by a grand 50-piece orchestra, herald trumpets, and the enchanting Voices of Liberty, this performance promises to immerse you in the true spirit of the season.
Step into the enchanting world of Disney Springs, where you’ll encounter a dazzling display of 20 themed Christmas Trees. As you explore, don’t miss the delightful Florida-style snow flurry, adding a touch of winter wonder to your visit.
In previous years, the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll has featured trees inspired by beloved favorites like Black Panther, Moana, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, and even the Disney+ streaming service itself. Prepare to be charmed by this festive holiday spectacle!
Universal Studios Orlando Christmas 2023
One of the #1 destinations for incredible Orlando Christmas events is Universal Studios. Universal’s theme parks will offer an array of holiday-themed entertainment. Both of the Wizarding Worlds get holiday makeovers with beautifully themed décor, musical entertainment and special holiday treats. The highlight is the awe-inspiring laser-and-fireworks show which takes place nightly at Hogwarts Castle.
Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Embrace the enchantment of the Wizarding World during the holiday season as Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley come alive with festive decorations. Even the charming shops of the Wizarding World are adorned with holiday cheer. Delight in delectable holiday-themed treats and beverages, and don’t miss the captivating entertainment.
The pinnacle of Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a breathtaking holiday show presented on the grand canvas of Hogwarts Castle. This remarkable experience utilizes cutting-edge mapped-projection technology to “enchant” the castle, featuring iconic moments from the beloved films.
Universal’s Holiday Parade 2023, featuring Macy’s
End each evening at Universal Studios Florida with the dazzling Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. Larger-than-life balloons and floats come to life with beloved Illumination and DreamWorks Animation characters. Marvel at the presence of the Minions, Shrek, “Madagascar” favorites, and more. And, of course, Santa himself makes an appearance to illuminate the New York Christmas tree!
For Grinch enthusiasts, there’s no better time to visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure than during Grinchmas. Seuss Landing is magically transformed into the whimsical world of Grinchmas, featuring the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular.” This enchanting performance showcases beloved Grinch characters and is set to the delightful music of Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can also get up close and personal with the Grinch for photos and autographs at Honk Honkers. Additionally, the Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast has made a joyful return, making it a holiday season to remember!
Celebrate the holidays at LEGOLAND® Florida
Know any LEGO fans? If so, come and experience the enchanting Holidays at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, from November 24 to December 31. Send letters to LEGO Santa at the Holiday Village Postal Service, dance around the towering LEGO tree to holiday tunes, and snap “elfies” with your favorite holiday LEGO characters. As you gather around the GIANT LEGO Christmas tree, be captivated by its 360-degree light show.
Meet LEGO Santa, Holiday Unikitty, and more members of the LEGO holidays crew, before enjoying some Santa-approved holiday shows. You’ll also find a tempting selection of festive food and drinks to tuck into. When it’s time to celebrate the arrival of 2024, your family will be be wowed by the kid-friendly fireworks display over Lake Eloise.
Other things to do in Orlando for Christmas 2023
Spending Christmas in Orlando? It’s not just the theme parks 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 a myriad of restaurants and enjoy all kinds of holiday happenings around the city. Here are a few of our favorite festive things to do away from the big-ticket attractions.
Now Snowing at Celebration 2023
When you think of Christmas in Florida, snow might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But in Celebration, Florida, the holiday season gets a delightful snowy twist with Now Snowing. This annual tradition, running nightly from November 25th through December 31st, turns the charming town of Celebration into a winter wonderland, and the best part? It’s free!
Now Snowing offers a medley of festive activities for visitors of all ages. From ice skating to horse-drawn carriage rides, train excursions, and even a chance to meet Santa himself, there’s no shortage of merriment. The highlight is the nightly snowfall on Market Street, giving you a taste of a white Christmas in the Sunshine State.
Visit Gaylord Palms
Gather your loved ones and embark on a holiday adventure like no other at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in charming Kissimmee, Florida. From November 17, 2023 through January 3, 2024 you’ll be able to step into a holiday wonderland, as you journey through the extraordinary world of ICE! featuring “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Be amazed by larger-than-life sculptures, exhilarating frozen slides, and enchanting tunnels, as you let Gaylord Palms immerse you in the sheer splendor of the holiday season!
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 Bloomingdales — 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 2023 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.
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 afterward!
Even if you’re planning to spend the holidays away from home, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite traditions. When you book one of our Orlando homes, we can arrange for your villa to be decorated in time for your arrival. We offer a range of different Christmas décor packages – from simple door wreaths to beautiful 7ft trees! To find out more about our travel extras, just contact a member of our Travel Planners ahead of your stay.
Where to stay
If you’re planning to spend Christmas in Orlando this year, we offer a wide range of vacation rentals available. Situated within Orlando’s best resorts, our homes are packed with luxury amenities such as private pools, movie theaters, and game rooms.
Follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly. 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.