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Holiday Activities in Orlando

Holiday Parades in Orlando

Parades & Festivals

For many of us, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® is a TV tradition this time of year. Once the legendary New York City parade ends, many of its breathtaking balloons and floats are sent straight to us for Universal Studios Florida®’s very own holiday spectacular featuring marching bands, clowns, and an appearance by Santa himself! Afterwards, enjoy the spectacular tree lighting ceremony with music and a dazzling display of lights! The Orlando version of the parade begins at 5:00 pm on nights between December 3rd, 2016 – December 18th, 2016, and at 8:00 pm on nights for December 19th, 2016 – January 1st, 2017.

While Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure don’t plan specific Thanksgiving festivities – other than extended park hours because of the busy holiday weekend – Thanksgiving is celebrated at Universal’s on-site hotels: Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort, Sapphire Falls Resort, and Cabana Bay Beach Resort. If you’re planning on being at Disney World for Thanksgiving, here is a list of restaurants planning on serving a Thanksgiving meal. Note that all of the restaurants in the parks, resorts and Downtown Disney are open.

This year, the on-site hotels are featuring a festive lineup of holiday celebrations. From holiday buffets with live entertainment to a tree-lighting luau and Holiday Harbor Nights, the resorts will glisten with holiday decorations and the spirit of the season. Let’s check out the full lineup!

So consider the alternatives to cooking for the holidays. Instead of preparing a meal from scratch, you can order take-out or catered meals, dine at one of many spots, or organize a potluck. Many have found that making a Thanksgiving meal from scratch can be the most costly. We can’t decide for you which will be the best fit, but it’s nice to know you have options in Orlando. Happy Holidays!


Fall Festivals Orlando

Best Festivals in Orlando

The Power Event LIVE

If cool cars and motorcycles are your thing, head to the first annual “The Power Event LIVE”, Saturday, November 19th, at The Southeast Ramp in Sanford, Florida. It will be a unique evening featuring Classic Automobiles, Antique and Contemporary Air and Watercrafts, Motorcycles and the ever popular “Battle of the Heavyweights” that puts speed to the test on the runway. The Power Event LIVE will benefit Impower – Inspiring Life’s Potential.

Festival of Trees

Come celebrate the season at Orlando’s premiere holiday event, the Annual Festival of Trees in November. For nine magical days, at Loch Haven Park, from November 12th thru the 20th, the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) is transformed into a glittering holiday wonderland where trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses inspire the holiday spirit. Art on the Wall showcases original artworks by Central Florida artists as well. Every tree, wreath and gingerbread house is available for purchase.

Each year special activities are designed just for children to make crafts, email Santa or play games. Guests can purchase holiday gifts and decorative accessories in the Holiday Boutique or get a bite to eat in the Festival Cafe. There is daily entertainment featuring a wide array of talent and holiday spirit, ranging from appearances by Santa Claus, choir performances and other special events.

The nine-day Festival of Trees is packed with special events beginning with the elegant opening party, Patron’s Gala, an elite black tie affair on the opening Friday evening. Children have an evening of their own at Reindeer Romp. The ever-popular Holiday Jazz Stroll will take place on the final Friday of the event.

Enjoy your Fall Fest Orlando events and get ready for a healthy dose of holiday spirit. Make sure you save room for turkey!