Christmas in Orlando 2022: The Most Festive Things to Do

October 27, 2022

The theme park capital of the U.S. might not conjure up images of a winter wonderland, but locals know that this palm tree populated paradise is just bursting with holiday cheer.

Follow along to discover the best Christmas things to do in Orlando 2022.

Visitors will delight in the wealth of family-friendly festive attractions, entertainment, and holiday traditions that can be discovered in Orlando at Christmas time. 

Whether you have your sights set on attending Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show or decorating a village of gingerbread houses, we have an epic array of Holiday celebrations, shows, and festivals for you.

So hang those stockings, clap along to a Christmas parade, or cozy up with a mug of cocoa as we bring you the ultimate roundup of Christmas in Orlando events.

Orlando Florida in December

Balmy days sans a puffy jacket? Sign us up for an Orlando getaway in December! In addition to ideal temperatures, you’ll never have to wonder what to do in Orlando in December. From millions of majestic twinkling lights to scrumptious Disney seasonal treats, there’s mistletoe and magic around every corner.

Try to spot gators on a windswept Wild Florida Airboat Ride or ring in Christmas eve with the acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil. You’ll never run out of epic things to do in Orlando in December. 

Psst.. planning your Yuletide getaway a little early? If you are searching for things to do in November in Orlando, check out our Orlando Thanksgiving guide.

girl hugging Lego character at LEGOLAND breakfastOrlando Christmas Hotels

Why not kick off the season of sugar plums and Santa with a night or two away? Make the most of your Floridian getaway by staying in one of our many Orlando Hotels and Resorts.

Whether you are craving modern and minimalist lodgings just minutes from downtown Orlando or want to schedule some R&R at a Disney Springs resort, we have options for every budget and taste. Many of our accommodations even provide priority access and perks to your preferred theme park.

Preserve your peace of mind when you book your accommodations with Tripster, as we always offer the guaranteed lowest rates online.

photo credit: Waldorf Astoria Orlando via Facebook

Christmas Events in Orlando 2022

Disney Very Merriest After Hours, Disney World, Orlando

When: Select Nights November 8-December 22nd, 2022

It’s sure to be a holly jolly holiday season when Mickey and the gang are involved! What would Orlando in Christmas be without a visit to Walt Disney World? Get ready to celebrate all things merry and bright with Mickey’s Very Mery Christmas Party.

This specially ticketed event takes place all winter long at the Magic Kingdom and promises to dazzle Disney addicts all evening long with the following:

  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Club Tinsel Dance Party
  • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show
  • Groovy dance moves from Disney Junior Jingle Jam
  • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas
  • Holiday-theme decor throughout the park and on classic rides, such as ‘Jingle Cruise.’
  • Mouth-watering seasonal goodies and novelty items available for purchase
  • Shorter wait times on over 20 popular Magic Kingdom rides and attractions 

Pro Tip: Want to hit up the classic Disneyworld highlights during the day? Make sure to buy a general admission ticket to not miss out on all of the Orlando Christmas fun to be had as the sun shines.

close up of minnie and mickey mouse mascots on float with large christmas tree at night at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Disneysnapshots1 via Facebook

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays - Fun for All Ages

When: November 25th - December 30th, 2022

Cookie monsters unite! Scurry over to EPCOT to indulge your sweet tooth with the Holiday Cookie Stroll. From buttery vanilla shortbread to Linzers and chocolate crinkle, munchkins of all ages will ride a sugar high as they sample 5 cookies from various official stroll locations.

Taste traditional sweets from around the world as you collect stamps. Bring your completed passport to Holiday Sweets & Treats to receive a special surprise.

2022 Holidays at Universal Orlandoâ„¢ Resort, Universal Studios Orlando

When: November 12-January 1st, 2023

Faster than you can summon your favorite Wizarding robes, the festive season will be upon us. Universal Studios Orlando is turning up the charm and cheer with one-of-a-kind experiences in both the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure.  

All of these activities are included in your general admission ticket*, so you have no excuse not to partake in some epic movie-inspired mischief and holiday delights.

Elves gossiping at Universal Studios Orlando

photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons

Check ‘viewing real Macy’s balloons’ off the bucket list! Make your childhood dreams come true as you get closer than ever to the colorful Christmas floats and balloons from the famed Macy’s day parade. Don’t forget to stop for some grand photo ops with the larger-than-life characters from Shrek, Despicable Me, and of course, Santa.

Experience The Magic of The Holidays in The Wizarding Worldâ„¢

What’s more festive than a snow-covered Hogsmeade or deliciously decadent hot Butterbeer? 

Pretend you are hanging out with Harry and the gang as you meander through both Diagon Alleyâ„¢ and Hogsmeadeâ„¢ and enjoy:

  • Merry holiday decor and enchanting lighting
  • The Magic of Christmas at Hogwartsâ„¢ Castle, featuring fireworks, lights, and more
  • A thematic, seasonal live musical show performed by the legendary Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees
  • The lulling lullabies and carols of the Frog Choir
  • All the creamy Butterbeer you can consume

Are you a Potterhead? Check out our magical guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida!

Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventureâ„¢

Is your heart three sizes too small? Commiserate with Mr. Green and grumpy himself, the Grinch, this Christmas at Seuss-Landing! 

Explore the sparkly decorations and tree-tressed trimmings of Dr. Seuss’s famous Who-ville. Kiddies and adults alike will laugh at the hilarious and heartwarming Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, featuring music by Mannheim Steamroller. But, before you depart, don’t forget to grab an autograph and photo with the man who stole Christmas.

family interacting with Grinch mascot for Grinchmas at Universal Studios Orlando in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Olga Rodriguez via Facebook

Holidays at LEGOLAND, LEGOLAND® Orlando

When: Select dates November 25-December 31st, 2022

Everything's coming up awesome this holiday season at LEGOLAND, Orlando!

No lumps of coal to be found here, just lots of brick-tacular lego fueled fun. Your favorite lego lover will be thrilled to soak in all of the following:

  • Entertaining live shows
  • Holiday characters
  • Delicious seasonal treats
  • Festive decor
  • Lego building activities
  • A giant Lego tree and rides in a Lego sleigh

And as an early gift to you, all of this jingle bell-worthy joy is included in your general admission ticket!

Santa and Toy soldier standing in front of lego holiday tree at Legoland California in los angeles california usaSeaworld’s Christmas Celebration, Seaworld, Orlando

When: Select dates November 11-January 3rd, 2023

Seeking a yuletide adventure that will take you under the sea? Seaworld Orlando Christmas Celebration is a colorful explosion of winter cheer and festive excitement.

Explore a park lit aglow with the shine of over three million brilliant lights. The Seaworld you know and love has been replaced by an enchanting winter wonderland complete with:

  • Dinner with Santa
  • A Sesame Street Christmas Parade
  • Winter Wonderland on Ice
  • Holiday Reflections fireworks and fountains finale 
  • Frozen hot chocolate and eggnog delights
  • An illuminated Sea of Trees
  • Elmo’s Christmas Wish Show
  • And more!

All of this maritime merriment is included in your general admission ticket or annual pass. 

Christmas trees in the water at SeaWorld Orlando with the theme park in the background

photo credit: SeaWorld Orlando via Facebook

Christmas Parades & Shows

The Nutcracker® by the Orlando Ballet, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando

When: December 2-December 18th, 2022 

Sit back, relax, and appreciate the artistry and magic of the Orlando ballet as they perform this seasonal favorite. This timeless tale of wonder, magic, and toy nutcrackers come to life and will transport and transfix you.

Pro Tip: Worried the wee babes won’t be able to sit for a full-length performance? The Orlando Ballet also performs a family and sensory-friendly show that is only one hour long and features adjustments to sound and lighting effects.

Ballet dancers performing the Nutcracker at the Orlando Ballet

photo credit: Orlando Ballet Company and School via Facebook

Winter Park Christmas Parade in Orlando, FL

When: December 3rd, 2022, 9:00 am-10:30 am

Worried Santa won’t make it from the North Pole to sunny Florida? Assuage your fears and spread some good tidings by attending the Winter Park Christmas Parade. 

This incredible event has been running for over 65 years and is Central Florida’s longest-running holiday parade. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open as you take in marching band performances, classic cars, holiday garb, and even snow.

Photo Ops & Festivals in Orlando

Tree Lighting Celebration Lake Eola Park

When: December 2nd, 2022

Hop all aboard for a train ride of holiday delights when you Sunrail your way to Lake Eola Park this December. Gather up your nearest and dearest to witness this epic display of lights, giant Nutcrackers, and festive songs. Kickstart sweater season along with Mayor Buddy Dyer when you attend the annual Tree Lighting Celebration in Lake Eola Park.

Come early winter, Washington Plaza will be transformed into a glittering oasis of palm trees, tinsel, and sparkle. The evening's other activities will include seasonal performances at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, mouth-watering food truck offerings, and a holiday market.

close up of christmas tree with palm trees in backgroundThe Santa Workshop Experience, Icon Park, Orlando, FL

When: November 5th - December 24th, 2022

Have you been waiting all year to get that Christmas card-worthy snap of your kiddies with Santa? Get the cutest Santa pics ever with the complete Santa Workshop Experience at Icon Park. Little ones will get to share their gift list with the big man himself, and parents will be delighted to commemorate the experience with various professional photo and video package options.

Oh, What Fun! A Holiday Festival, Lake Nona Town Center, FL

When: December 7-24th, 2022

Who says there’s no ice skating in Florida? Take part in the wonderfully wintery activities and make unforgettable memories at the annual Oh What Fun! Holiday Festival in Lake Nona. 

This adorable festival experience will warm even the frostiest of hearts with its:

  • Signature open-air iceless skate rink
  • Appearances by Santa and his magical friends
  • Classic holiday movies in Boxi Park 
  • Classic carols performed by the Merry Measures
  • Timed ‘snowfalls’ on the hour 
  • Immersive experience with Peppermint the Penguin

Yummy-themed eats like piping hot chocolate and massive Christmas cookies

Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience in Orlando

When: November 19-January 3rd, 2023

Tinsel, tree trimmings, and mistletoe, oh my! For those who like to add a big dash of crafting and creativity to their holiday decorations, the Colorful Christmas at the Crayola Experience is the place to be. 

Color outside the lines of your imagination and maybe even create a homemade gift or two at this hands-on attraction.  

Children of all ages will be filled with holy delight as they:

  • Sing along with seasonal musical numbers with reindeer friends
  • Interact with animatronic holiday characters
  • Participate in a Santa-approved scavenger hunt
  • Get artsy, and craft unique presents

Christmas Lights in Orlando

Night Of A Million Lights, Kissimmee, Florida

When: November 11th-January 1st, 2023

Not sure what things there are to do in Kissimmee for Christmas? Keep the Candy Cane pride alive this winter by sharing the joy and kindness of the season. Night of a Million Lights is a one-of-a-kind spectacular hosted by the non-profit Give Kids the World Village.

This enchanting light show extravaganza provides invaluable funding to allow critically ill children and their families to live out their dream vacations. This year's epic illumination will be taking place at a brand new venue: the Island H2O Water Park!

Appreciate the ethereal glow of over three million twinkling lights even more, knowing you are doing good. 

Guests, young and old, will be able to meander through this beautiful fairytale land come to life as they witness:

  • 360-degree dancing light show
  • Shimmering Christmas tree trail
  • Lifesize holiday displays, step-in frames, and backdrops (all make ideal photo ops)
  • Quaint holiday marketplace
  • Meet and greets with Santa 
  • Guided storytelling tour of the over 100 expertly decorated villas (from the convenience and comfort of a tram)
Christmas light scattered across trees and building and giant light mushroom on the left hand sign at Night of a Million Lights

photo credit: Give Kids The World via Facebook

Things to do in Orlando during Christmas 

Fuel up for a night of tree trimming or just brighten up someone’s day by treating them to a scrumptious cup of hot cocoa at one of Orlando’s sweetest cafes or restaurants. Orlando during Christmas, may not be frosty, but everyone loves a soothing cup of cider or a warm cookie. Tackle the tastier side of things to do in Orlando at Christmas with our list of tantalizing experiences:

Peterbrooke Chocolatier, Winter Park, FL

Ready to give yourself a very chocolatey Christmas? Indulge in all things cocoa and nice at Peterbrook Chocolatier. This European-style chocolate shop delivers a high-quality (and super aesthetic) hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, crushed peppermint, and a solid chocolate rim. 

Pro Tip: Need to bring the sweet treats home for some very thirsty (and hungry) elves? Peterbrooke also sells various hot chocolate bombs and blocks in flavors like peppermint, Mexican Hot Chocolate, dark, white, and vegan dark chocolate.

You can also purchase holiday-themed chocolate snowmen, a chocolate house-building kit, and the ever-popular peppermint bark.

Gingerbread House Party

When: December 13th, 2022

Stumped on how to take your mon amour on a Love Actually-worthy date night? Then, inject your Orlando Christmas activities with a dash of holiday spice when you attend a Gingerbread House Party. Marvel at an abundant candy selection and glean master tips from the pastry team at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando as you craft the ideal Gingerbread dwelling.

Work in teams of four as you piece together your delicious masterpiece using panels and edible decorations. Afterward, snag a celebrity brew at the Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company.

gingerbread man coming out of the door of his gingerbread house with a gingerbread bunny, sleigh, and tree all on white icing.Tapa Toro Restaurant, Orlando, FL

Looking to elevate your at-home hot chocolate-making experience? 

Tapa Toro sells gourmet hot chocolate bombs in single or four-pack packages. For a larger holiday get-together, you can also spring for their special Hot Cocoa Board, which serves as a type of chocolate charcuterie board, complete with 2-4 hot chocolate bombs, assorted cookies, mini-marshmallows, and marshmallow mug toppers, meringues, and cookie stirrers.

Experience the Holidays in Central Florida 

Baby, it’s (not so) cold outside, but that doesn’t mean Christmas in Orlando FL is nowhere to be found. 

All over central Florida, theme parks, parades, and Santa’s villages are illuminated by the smiles of happy children and sparkling festive lights. 

Whether you are jingling all the way home with Harry and Hagrid or marveling at the beauty of the Nutcracker ballet, there are so many ways to celebrate the snowy season here in Orlando.

However you decide to spend your Floridian holiday, we hope you are surrounded by all the joy, gratitude, and hope of this happiest time of year!

What Christmas Things to Do in Orlando Did We Miss?

Did we miss any of your top things to do in Orlando for Christmas?

Share them with us below!

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Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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