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Celebrating the Holidays at the Theme Parks

Epcot Center in Orlando, FL

Though the holidays may look different this year, your favorite theme parks are still finding ways to make the season festive! Both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort have rolled out new Christmas experiences to bring families together and add some holiday joy to the year.

Walt Disney World is continuing to operate their new character cavalcades -- now with a Christmas twist! You can see your favorite Disney characters, like Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and more, in their holiday outfits throughout the day at Magic Kingdom. You never know when the cavalcade will go by, so be sure to check out Main Street and other areas of the park throughout your visit. You may even get to see Santa Claus himself! The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet and Main Street Philharmonic also parade down Main Street throughout the day, providing festive music for park visitors.

The Christmas fun doesn’t stop in Magic Kingdom, though. In fact, every Walt Disney World park plus Disney Springs has been reimagined for the Christmas season. In Epcot, check out the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. You can try special food and drinks, shop for festival merchandise, and try your luck at Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt throughout the World Showcase. Mickey Mouse, your favorite Frozen friends, and Santa Claus will also be seen throughout the World Showcase in their own cavalcades, similar to Magic Kingdom. The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays kicks off November 27 and ends December 30.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a new Christmas motorcade and new seasonal decor throughout the park. Plus, check out the Hollywood Tower of Terror for a Christmas themed projection show throughout the evening. Hollywood & Vine will also be transformed into Minnie’s Holiday Dine -- a modified character dining experience for those wanting a sit-down holiday meal.

Over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, check out the festive flotillas featuring Disney characters like Donald Duck, Chip and Dale, and more. The Tree of Life will also come alive with the magic of Christmastime each night with the help of new lights. Disney Springs will have the Christmas Tree Stroll, a watercade featuring Santa Claus, magical snowfall, and fun entertainment. The holiday magic does not stop there, though. Check out resorts throughout Walt Disney World for even more Christmas and holiday decor. Ask your Vacation Wizard for more details on where to stay during the holiday season!

The fun continues at Universal Orlando Resort. In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, theme park guests can check out new holiday decor and enjoy Christmas music from Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees and the Frog Choir. Plus, you can purchase brand new merchandise sold only during the Christmas season.

Several fan favorites will return this year, though some may be modified. This year, guests can walk through Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons. Pose for photographs in front of the balloons and parade floats during an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Universal Studios visitors will have the chance to see their favorite characters from movies like Madagascar, Shrek, and Despicable Me as they make special appearances in the park specifically for this holiday season. If you visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you may even catch a glimpse of the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who! CityWalk is also getting in the holiday spirit with a Holiday Tree Hunt, Holiday Treat Trail, and other special seasonal offerings.

Don’t miss out on all the fun this year! Things may be different, but that does not mean this season can’t be magical. It’s never too early to start planning for next year. Gifting a vacation allows you to give what is most important in life -- time with those you love. Contact your Vacation Wizard today for more information!

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