What happens in Orlando in December?

If you are planning to go for an Orlando vacation in December, there is enough sunny weather to explore all the activities, events and attractions present for residents and tourists during the holiday period, good deals when you shop for Disney packages and Orlando vacation rentals. December brings nice days and cold nights to Florida, so this is a good time to enjoy a lot of action at the amusement parks without suffering the heat.

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How busy is Orlando in December?

Note that Florida gets quite crowded during the holiday season, so plan your activities in advance. Christmas on New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney is most popular; also the week right after Thanksgiving is the most popular, up to the week right before Christmas. This generally applies to other attractions, such as Universal Orlando.

What to wear?

You can choose long-sleeved clothes, long pants and light-weight thick jackets for the night, but if not, recurring casual clothes, including shorts, is suitable if you can tolerate colder temperatures. Don’t forget these comfortable walking shoes when you visit the amusement park. Always be mindful that sunscreen is needed in Florida throughout the year. The heat may be strong enough to cause burn in December & you can bring a bathing suit, though even if the waters are too cold, sunbathing’s could be an option for some.

Things to do in Orlando in December

Epcot Candlelight Procession: The Epcot Candlelight Procession takes place every night from November 24 to December 30. Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, one of Disney’s most popular Christmas traditions, tells the lively Christmas story of a celebrity accompanied by a 50-member orchestra and a massive choir.

Nights of Lights: Nights of Lights transforms Florida’s oldest city, St. Augustine, and has become an important festival of lights and a joyful festival with more than two million lights illuminating colonial buildings, downtown parks and historic bays of the forehead. The event has been extended to include activities that keep visitors busy until the new year. The event takes place every night from mid-November to the end of January.

Events and celebrations for New Year’s Eve: Florida celebrates the New Year in style, so don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the new year with the best celebrations and fireworks in Florida, including New Year’s Eve in the world, Disney’s main fireworks in live shows and new attractions.

The Busch Garden Christmas Town: From mid-November to the end of December, explore the spirit of this holiday season with Busch Gardens Christmas Town, annual Christmas celebration with thousands of lightings, Christmas shows & even the special performance “Sam Snowman” , one of which is a brand new production with characters from “Rudolph, the red- nosed Reindeer”.

Christmas at Walt Disney World Resort: This is one of the most enticing ways to spend your Orlando vacation. The Walt Disney Resort shines with millions of bright lights, decorations, celebrity appearances, parades and more. Holidays at the Walt Disney World Resort are enjoyable.

ICE of Gaylord Palms Resort: The Resort located in Kissimmee, south of Orlando, becomes a winter paradise for “ICE! With Christmas throughout the world” from mid-November to early January each year. This amazing family event offers guests the opportunity to experience an interactive and unique environment with the largest three-dimensional monuments and ice sculptures in life. The large structure where ICE is occupied, called the “Florida refrigerator”, has cooled to 9 degrees, so the resort must provide winter coats for visitors.

Photo by agustininn.com
Photo by agustininn.com

The best hotel in Orlando in December

What do you look for when searching for Orlando hotels and Orlando vacation homes? Regardless of whether your best offer is the lowest price or the best hotel with additional spa services for an amount less than the specified amount, it will be covered.

Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista as low as USD 44: The hotel is located just 13 blocks from the entrance to Disney World. They offer a FREE transportation service to all Disney World theme parks. They also offer transportation services to SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Premium Outlets Mall. The hotel was completely renovated in 2012. These are the most spacious rooms you’ll find in the Disney World area. All rooms have two queen size beds, flat-screen TVs, microwaves, refrigerators, and free coffeemakers. This hotel has the highest recognition of any Holiday Inn on the market and you are very close to the WDW, so you feel like it

Red Lion Maingate Resort starts at $ 45: are you looking for an extraordinary price for a hotel that is literally next to Disney World? Then look for Red Lion Maingate Resort. The hotel is also close to many others, such as restaurants, shops and shows. The hotel is easily accessible through the entrance to Sherbeth Road on Highway 192, which is located a few blocks from the hotel and near 429 and I-4. If you plan to spend time at Universal Parks or SeaWorld, you’ll be glad to know it’s less than 15 minutes. This high quality hotel, located in the center of the city, is a good option for visitors with limited budget who want comfort.

Baymont Inn & Suites Orlando near Universal Orlando Resort ™ From USD 58.00: As the name implies, the recently opened Grand Hotel is located a few blocks from the famous Universal Studios. All new furniture, new carpets, new beds, new bathrooms, new flat screen TVs, all new and even a landscape very cozy and fresh. The Grand offers a full hot breakfast for families with four children and a free shuttle service to Universal Studios, SeaWorld and the adjacent Walt Disney World.

Are Orlando Waterparks open in December?

The two most popular waterparks in Orlando are Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World. Disney Blizzard Beach is known for its water slides and Typhoon Lagoon is known for the biggest wave pool in the country. Disney maintains a modified maintenance schedule for 2 waterparks in late fall. One park is always open though the other one is served. SeaWorld Orlando, 5 miles north of Disney World, made up of 2 waterparks, Discovery Cove and Aquatica. Aquatica is full of wave pools and slides. Stay open through the winter and fall, although the opening hours are shorter and the waterpark only opens five days a week, not seven days as in the summers. In addition, the selected tourist objects are closed in autumn and winter. Discovery Cove is open all year. The water park opens from 10.am. in the morning until 5:00.pm.

Things to do at Walt Disney World in November

There is a Christmas spirit throughout Walt Disney World with intricate decorations, Christmas music and family celebrations. Additional tickets must be purchased for some special events. Plus, you will get good discounts when you buy Disney World tickets in December.

  • Candlelight procession: with famous speakers, 50 orchestras and a great choir, this Epcot performance comes alive in the biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam! Christmas dessert party: watch the fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from the available lounge area while enjoying sweets and snacks.
  • Disney Springs Vacation: Sing Christmas carols and take photos with Mr. Christmas at Santa Claus Chalet in Disney Springs.
  • New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World: play the New Year while eating, dancing and enjoying the fascinating fireworks.
  • Mickey Merry Christmas: Santa Claus celebrates a merry Christmas with Mickey in Magic Kingdom, which will delight the young children of his family and young people. Disney characters decorate their vacations, while lively music and favorite attractions with bright holiday decorations.
  • Epcot International Holiday Festival: with music, costumed artists and seasonal food and drinks, the festival shares the Christmas traditions of 11 countries of the world in Epcot.

What to Pack?

Bring a light jacket or sweater in the morning and wear a winter coat at night. Many December holiday events take place after dark, so be prepared for the cold. You can wear layers in the park during the day so you can wear or undress when the temperature changes.

Parking hours

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Things to do at Universal Orlando Resort in December?

  • Universal Orlando is on vacation throughout December. You will get great deals when you purchase Universal Studios tickets in December.
  • Christmas in the magical world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida in Diagon Alley and the Islands of Adventure in Hogsmeade. Both villages are decorated for parties and every night the resort presents a fascinating show of projections of “The Wonders of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle”.
  • Universal CityWalks EVE: known as the park’s biggest party this time of year, the New Year’s Eve party welcomes guests to a private event in CityWalk, where champagne, fireworks and live music help you plan the Year New.
  • Universal Holiday Parade with Macy at Universal Studios Florida. Look at giant balloons that represent characters like the Minions.
  • Grinchmas revived in Seuss Landing in Universal Islands of Adventure. Enjoy the live music performance “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular”, which is based on the classic Christmas story of Dr. Seuss.

What to pack?

If you visit Orlando in late fall and early winter, the combination of layers is the key, especially if you want to go out all day until night. Since temperatures can drop to 30 °F between day and night, choose a variety of short and long sleeve shirts, shorts and pants and light sweaters if it is subject to cold. Check the long- term forecasts and consider wearing an extra warm sweatshirt or coat if mercury threatens to fall. Since Universal Orlando is very large and most of the time you walk through the park, you should also bring comfortable walking shoes.

Make sure you have at least one suit that is right for you if you want to eat at one of Universal’s exclusive restaurants or nightclubs. A festive and lively dress allows you to immerse yourself in the spirit of this season. When you visit Universal Studios Orlando in December, bring an umbrella and a raincoat for each member of your group. You can buy these items in the complex (with a nice universal logo printed on them), but could pay a fortune. Instead, bring your own equipment and save your vacation budget for important things like the magical world of the Harry Potter wand. Don’t forget your swimsuit to have fun at the Universal Orlando hotel spa or at the Universal Volcano Bay water park. It may also be advisable to bring a drawstring backpack or similar bag for your personal items, such as your cell phone and wallet.

Park Hours

Universal Islands of Adventure ™ and Universal Studios Florida ™ are open 365 days each year. The opening times usually begin at 9:00.am. in the morning & closing Hours may vary. Universal’s Volcano Bay ™ business hours generally begin from 10:00.a.m. and closing times changes. After each day at the amusement park, you can relax, unwind & enjoy cold drinks, live music and good food at Universal CityWalk ™! Universal CityWalk ™ operates 365 days each year at 11:00.am. to 02:00.am.

Things to do at SeaWorld in Orlando in December

SeaWorld Christmas Party: the Christmas excitement begins to live in SeaWorld. More than 3 million lights form the park in a festive atmosphere, while guests are immersed in the places, sounds and flavors of the season. This event offers incredible live performances, a delicious holiday experience and the opportunity to visit Santa Claus and Rudolph, red-nosed reindeer. Plus you will get SeaWorld Orlando tickets at good discounts in December.

What to pack?

Wear comfortable shoes. There are many things to do in the marine world. Make sure you have comfortable shoes.

  • Grab a poncho
  • Bring or pack water and snacks
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses

Park Hours

SeaWorld Orlando is open 365 days a year. For the safety of our guests and pets, attractions and exhibits are sometimes closed due to repairs. Parking schedules and shows are updated periodically. Most of the performances last between 20 and 25 minutes. It is advisable to come 15-20 minutes before the show to find a place (in the first days of large crowds). The opening hours are from 9:00.am. in the morning until 8:30.pm.

Starting At
$54.00

per night

The resort hotel offers FREE transportation to all Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and the nearby outlet stores.
Starting At
$57.00

per night

Budget should not make you sacrifice your family’s experience to Walt Disney World by being too far from the parks or getting less quality on your lodging.
Starting At
$74.00

per night

The Holiday Inn Resort is outside Disney Springs and a short one (1) mile to the Walt Disney World theme parks.