Spend Christmas in Orlando 2024 | Resorts, Christmas Events, Themeparks, & More!

Christmas in Orlando is a unique experience filled with holiday traditions such as movie screenings, Christmas dinners, and gingerbread houses, along with the magic of parades, Christmas tree trails, festive displays, light shows, and celebrations at the many amusement parks in the city. Here’s a list of all you can do in Orlando this Christmas.

Christmas in Orlando - Why Spend Christmas in Orlando?

Why spend Christmas in Orlando?

  • Orlando is packed with festive events and activities for people of all ages during Christmas, making it the perfect family holiday destination.
  • Christmas in Orlando is all about watching Christmas movies, parades, and light shows, and walking along streets lined with decorated and themed Christmas trees.
  • The city offers a welcoming cultural scene during the holidays with a bunch of free Christmas-themed movie screenings, ballet performances, choirs, concerts, and more.
  • Orlando is best known for its many themed amusement parks which have grand decorations and celebrations lined up for Christmas.
  • The many Winter Wonderlands across the city are sure to transport you to a snowy White Christmas despite the warmer climate.

Top 15 things to do during Christmas in Orlando

Christmas in Orlando - Christmas parades

1. Watch a Christmas parade

Be a part of Orlando’s Christmas celebrations watching some of the many festive parades marching across the streets in and around the city. These troops are lined with marching bands, dancers, festive costumed characters, floats, and Santa Claus to welcome the holiday season.

Most popular Christmas parades in Orlando include:

Christmas in Orlando - winter wonderlands

2. Visit a Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderlands set up all over the city promise visitors a White Christmas despite Orlando’s December weather. Head to any of them to enjoy some snow, the luminous displays, ice skating, live entertainment, fun activities, carnivals, Christmas markets, and more.

Here are the best Winter Wonderlands in Orlando this year:

Christmas in Orlando - light shows

3. Watch a spectacular light show

Christmas is a time when Orlando lights up the sky with brilliant displays of fireworks, laser, and light shows. These spectacular festive sights paint the city in glitter and color all around the holiday season.   

Some of the must-see Christmas light shows in Orlando are:

Christmas in Orlando - Christmas trees

4. Woo at decorated Christmas trees

Every part of Orlando has its own set of Christmas tree lighting events and decorative Christmas tree displays that bring cheer to anyone passing by the streets. Prepare to be surprised by the variety of sizes, themes, and decorations of these trees.

Do check out the Christmas tree displays at:

Christmas in Orlando - Christmas boat parades

5. Watch the Christmas boat parades

Christmas boat parades are yet another unique sight on Orlando’s holiday scene. Enjoy the lakeside views as cheerfully lit up and festively decorated boats cruise over the waters in celebration.

Here are the Christmas boat parades not to be missed:

Christmas in Orlando - Christmas markets

6. Go shop at a Christmas market

Christmas markets in Orlando are more like carnivals with rides, fun activities, competitions, and a lot more festivities. These pop-up markets also bring a great variety and some of the best deals on holiday gifts, handicrafts, local delicacies, and festive merch.

Most popular Christmas markets in Orlando include:

Christmas in Orlando - Christmas special performances

7. Attend a Christmas special performance

The cultural scene of Orlando also gets festive around December with Christmas-themed concerts, plays, musicals, opera, and ballet performances. Make sure to book your seat in advance as many of these events including the Nutcracker by the Russian Ballet, allow free entry.

This year’s most popular Christmas special performances in Orlando are:

Christmas in Orlando - holiday movie screenings

8. Catch a classic holiday movie screening

Watching a holiday movie is a Christmas tradition for most people in Orlando. Many theatres, parks, and city halls host special screenings of some of the classic holiday movies, inviting large crowds to get into the festive spirit.

Check out these Christmas movie festivals in Orlando this year:

Christmas in Orlando - Disney world

9. Have the most magical Christmas at Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, is all set for Christmas with decorations, new rides, special events, live performances, and more across all its six parks. This year, the holiday season coincides with The World’s Most Magical Celebration as it is Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.

Here’s what’s lined up for you at Disney World, Orlando:

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Magic Kingdom Park 
  • Festive Floatillas and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Disney-themed Christmas trees and snowfall at Disney Springs
Christmas in Orlando - Universal Orlando
Christmas in Orlando - Gaylord Palms Resort
Christmas in Orlando - SeaWorld
Christmas in Orlando - Legoland
Christmas in Orlando - Hop Around Decorated Disney Hotels

14. Hop around decorated Disney hotels

A delightfully popular and free thing to do in Orlando during the holidays is to go hopping around Disney hotels and resorts and admiring their lavish, over-the-top, ornamental decorations. Go on and cherish the embellished trees, the magical light displays, and the incredible gingerbread creations.

Here are some of the best-decorated Disney Hotels to visit:

Christmas in Orlando

Top Experiences in Orlando


Frequently asked questions about celebrating Christmas in Orlando

Is Christmas a good time to visit Orlando?

Christmas is a great time to visit Orlando, owing to the holiday season festivities one can experience in the city. Christmas parades, decorated tree trails, light shows and displays, winter wonderlands, etc. make your Orlando trip a unique one during December.

How do they celebrate Christmas in Orlando?

Christmas is celebrated in Orlando by joining festive parades, watching light shows and fireworks, walking along trails of decorated Christmas trees, exploring winter carnivals, watching holiday special movies and shows, and shopping at Christmas markets.

What are some things to do for Christmas in Orlando?

Watching classic Christmas movies, watching the Disney Christmas Parade, driving by the various light displays and shows, watching Christmas boat parades, hopping around admiring the decorations at Disney hotels, and having a fun day out at a winter wonderland are some things to do for Christmas in Orlando.

What are the best hotels for Christmas in Orlando?

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Boca Raton, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Rosen Shingle Creek, and Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande are some of the best hotels for Christmas in Orlando.

What is the weather like at Christmas in Orlando?

The weather in Orlando in December is a pleasant mix of warm and cold. The average temperature around Christmas stays between 12 °C and 22 °C, with nights being cooler than the days.

Is Orlando crowded at Christmas?

The range of festivities happening around Christmas in Orlando pull in large crowds towards the end of December.

What’s open on Christmas in Orlando?

Amusement parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, and Legoland, various winter wonderlands, and several restaurants and cafes are open in Orlando on Christmas Day.

What is the most popular Christmas market in Orlando?

The Annual Light Up SoDo at SODO Shopping Center is the most popular Christmas market in Orlando. Other crowd-pulling Christmas markets include the Outdoor Christmas Market at the Audubon Park Covenant Church, the Hourglass Collective - Holiday Market at Foxtail Coffee, and Grandma Party Bazaar.

Are restaurants open on Christmas in Orlando?

A number of restaurants and cafes are open in Orlando on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most of these restaurants serve local festive delicacies and have special set menus for Christmas.

What are some breakfast places open on Christmas in Orlando?

Popular breakfast places such as  Hamilton’s Kitchen, Aurora Restaurant, Reunion Resort & Golf Club’s On Vacation restaurant,  Tapa Toro at ICON Park, and Rosen Shingle Creek are open on Christmas Day in Orlando, serving festive dishes and offering special brunch buffets.

What are the best places to stay in Orlando on Christmas?

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Boca Raton, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Rosen Shingle Creek, and Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande are some of the best places to stay in Orlando on Christmas.

What should I eat in Orlando on Christmas?

Turkey with dressing, dumplings, and cranberry sauce are some of the Christmas delicacies in Orlando.

What are the best restaurants for Christmas in Orlando?

Some of the best restaurants for Christmas in Orlando include The Boheme, Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Hard Rock Cafe, Hilton Bonnet Creek, Mia's Italian Kitchen, Rosen Plaza, Rosen Shingle Creek, Tapa Toro, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and Joe’s Crab Shack.

Where can I see the Christmas lights in Orlando?

The best Christmas lighting displays and light shows can be seen at City Hall in Winter Garden, Dezerland Park, Harry P. Leu Gardens, and Cranes Roost Park.

What are some Christmas traditions in Orlando?

Hanging a Christmas stocking by the window, decorating Christmas trees, joining festive parades, watching classic holiday movies, and having a delicious meal of dressed turkey for dinner are some of the Christmas traditions in Orlando.

Where can I watch Christmas parades in Orlando?

You can watch the 70th Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade at Winter Park, while the Sanford Parade of Lights, the Winter Garden Christmas Parade, and the Longwood Christmas Parade can be seen around their respective city centers.

Which is the most popular winter wonderland in Orlando?

The ICE! Winter Wonderland at the Gaylord Palms Resort is the most popular winter wonderland in Orlando. The space features a colorful ice sculpture display titled ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas’, the Shine Christmas Light Show, the Cirque Spirit of Christmas stage performance, an Atrium Christmas Tree Trail, a Naughty & Nice Escape Room, an indoor snowball fight and snow mountain tubing experience, and Mrs. Claus Christmas Traditions and Story Time Sing-a-long event.