ORLANDO, FL (Day 3 of 5) — Talk about getting into the holiday spirit!
We’re sitting listening to Hollywood star Blair Underwood narrate the Christmas Story accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir comprised of everyone from high school students to adult professional singers.
Welcome to the Candlelight Procession at Walt Disney World’s Epcot that is a popular tradition here drawing locals and visitors alike that is performed three times an evening during the holiday season. At Epcot’s World Showcase during the holidays, you can celebrate at the Mexico pavilion as the Three Kings tell of traditions today or at Norway where you meet Sigrid the storyteller who tells you about the Christmas Gnome; Visit with Italy’s good Christmas wish or experience the spirit of Kwanzaa at The American Adventure where you can also learn the story of the first Hanukah. Spend a few minutes with Father Christmas at the United Kingdom area or Taarji as he celebrates the customs of Morocco.
There might not be snow in Orlando, but you’d be hard pressed to find a city that does more to celebrate the season. It doesn’t have to cost you a bundle either. Book your holiday getaway by Dec. 15 and save up to 45%. Visit Orlando has partnered with Travelocity to offer a wide range of holiday deals at VisitOrlando.com/holidaydeals.
Here are some other places to get in the holiday spirit in Orlando:
— Check out the millions of glittering lights synchronized to holiday music on the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park—everything from carousels to angels to Santa and his reindeer.
–Celebrate with your favorite characters at the Magic Kingdom at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom with a special Once upon a Christmastime Parade and special holiday fireworks. (The downside: It requires an additional event admission ticket is required to attend this event. Admission: Adults $58 – $68; Children (3-9) $53 – $63.
— More than two million lights, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, visits with Santa, captivating musical events and two-story tall slides made out of ice await you at Gaylord Palms with Merry Madagascar featuring characters from the DreamWorks Animation films carved out of ice.
— SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration includes carolers, a sparkling Sea of Trees and skaters dancing on ice and even the chance to journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express Experience. (SeaWorld Orlando’s New Year’s Eve features a spectacular musical celebration and a fireworks show that will light up the night welcoming 2013. Admission: Included in regular park admission.)
–Christmas Town transforms Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on weekends into a holiday wonderland of all things Christmas featuring Celebration Village, Jungle Jubilee, Candy Cane Lane and more, complete with thousands of holiday lights, festive treats and special entertainment.
— The Macy’s Holiday Parade has become a holiday experience for park guests at Universal Studios followed by the tree lighting with music and lights, A Barney Holiday, The Blues Brothers Holiday Show and more.
–If your kids love Dr. Seuss, they’ll love the Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure based on the beloved Dr. Seuss tale and blockbuster hit, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.. See characters come to life before your eyes as they stroll through Seuss Landing.
–Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Magic Kingdom presents: “Wishes” nighttime spectacular with a holiday overlay at 8:30 p.m. and “Fantasy in the Sky” at 11:50 p.m. Epcot‘s “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” salutes the new year at 6:30 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Fantasmic!” combines water, fire, lights, lasers, fireworks and music will be presented at 6:30 and 8 p.m., with “Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!” fireworks display at midnight. Admission: Included in regular park admission.)