Thursday, 3 December 2015

Blogmas Day 3: My Orlando, Florida Travel Tips: Christmas

One of my favourite posts to write this year was My Orlando, Florida Travel Tips Halloween edition and as I had that much fun researching and writing about the spooky special events being held in and around Orlando in October, I thought that I would do the same for the festive period and share what some of the theme parks have planned for Christmas and the holidays this December. 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
November 8th to December 18th

If you happen to follow me on Pinterest (I'm @ellistuesday on there too), then you might have seen me pinning a whole lot of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party pictures to my Walt Disney World board

As I mentioned in my Halloween Travel Tips post, if there's one thing Walt Disney World know how to do well it's a parade and the Christmas party atmosphere is always at 100%. Alongside classic Disney characters such as Goofy, Pooh, Tigger, Jiminy Cricket and even Scrooge McDuck (who doesn't love Mickey's Christmas Carol?), you'll also find gingerbread men, toy soldiers, elves and even the main man himself (well apart from Mickey); Santa Claus, ready to wish you a "Merry Christmas!"

One of the biggest attractions when it comes to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is A Frozen Holiday Wish. Much like on Halloween when the Sanderson sisters and some of Disney's biggest and best villains took to the Castle Forecourt Stage, for Christmas it's all about Frozen. And since young and old love Frozen this looks like a must-see event at the party. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf are all there and they even transform the Cinderella Castle into a glimmering ice palace fit for the holidays.

Wishes also gets a bit of makeover during the festive period as it transforms into Holiday Wishes. Just look at how spectacular Main Street looks all decked out in Christmas decorations and fairy lights!

There's also A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas! where Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski and Stitch all get involved and the Celebrate the Season Show which is Disney's own version of The Nutcracker complete with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and more.

And as if that wasn't enough to get you into the holiday spirit, there's also complimentary Christmas cookies and hot cocoa as well as a magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A. Who else wants to immediately book a flight over to Orlando after hearing that?

Grinchmas at Universal's Islands Of Adventure
December 4th to January 2nd

Anyone who's a fan of The Grinch, either the book or the movie, will have an absolute ball at Grinchmas. Located in the Seuss Landing area of Universal's Islands Of Adventure, not only can you meet The Grinch (that's right, you can shake The Grinch's furry hand and get his autograph too) but it will honestly feel like you've stepped straight into Whoville even though you've not left Florida.

Grinchmas' big show is The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular where The Grinch himself and a whole lot of Whos take to the stage. The Grinch is one of those movies that instantly puts me into the Christmas mood (that and Home Alone and Love Actually) so to see it on stage would be absolutely amazing.

There's also the opportunity to dine with The Grinch as well as some of Suess' most well known characters such as The Cat In The Hat and some of the other Whos too. You can enjoy breakfast, which even includes a Green Eggs and Ham platter (five year old me, who was obsessed with everything Seuss related, would be unable to contain herself) and lots of yummy breakfast treats, American style of course!

Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios
December 4th to January 2nd

And if you're at Islands Of Adventure for Grinchmas why not take a stroll across to Universal Studios for the Macy's Holiday Parade. Growing up, basically every Christmas movie that I watched as a child featured some kind of parade, be it Thanksgiving or festive related and there's nothing more impressive or notable than the Macy's Parade. There's marching bands, a tree lighting ceremony and plenty of gigantic balloons and floats that will make you feel like you've stepped onto one of your favourite movie sets. Mine would have to be Jingle All The Way when it comes to Christmas parades. Who else agrees with me there?

Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida
December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26-30

If you thought that the scale and scope of LEGOLAND's Brick-or-Treat was impressive then you've not seen anything yet. LEGOLAND Florida really do go all out when it comes to the holidays. First of all there's a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made entirely of LEGO bricks and when I say LEGO bricks what I actually mean is 270,000 of them. Just imagine how long that would have taken to build. As a child I struggled to even build a little house before tearing it down and building something new.

On top of that there's also a life-size LEGO Santa, Toy Soldier, reindeer and sleigh and festive decorations, again, all made from LEGO. This means that there's plenty of fantastic photo opportunities, particularly for young ones. And there's also a LEGO Santa Scavenger Hunt and a build activity which will keep young and old occupied for hours.

Holidays Around The World at Epcot
November 27th to December 30th

And it's back to Disney for the last of my festive picks in Orlando, Florida this year. For more of a traditional Christmas feel and atmosphere there's Holidays Around The World at Epcot. With candlelight processions followed by the stunning Epcot Illuminations fireworks display, a 50-piece orchestra, a mass choir and a seasonal showcase that blends gospel with R&B and jazz, Epcot transforms into a bit of a winter wonderland.

Each of the countries from The World Showcase also do something special for the holidays, meaning that you can truly experience an international and multi-cultural celebration of the festive period above and beyond the traditional Christmas parties and parades. As someone who adores The World Showcase this really does sound right up my street.

So there we have it, my picks for the best that the theme parks in Orlando, Florida have to offer this Christmas. Have you ever visited Orlando during the month of December? If so, did you visit any of the parks and the events they held? And which of my picks would you most like to go to?


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