Theme Park Christmas Celebrations: All the Best Events Happening this Holiday Season

October 2, 2019

You may not think of theme parks when it comes to celebrating Christmas, but so many throughout the country double down on holiday spirit.

If you’re a fan of glorious lights and installations, treats, and performances, then read below to see the top theme park Christmas celebrations. Fun for the whole family, you won’t be disappointed.
Theme Park Christmas Celebrations

Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau / Flickr

Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas is even larger and brighter this year! Celebrate the holidays with a brand new towering eight-story, decked-out Christmas Tree in the all-new Joy on Town Square. This custom-made tree presents hundreds of dancing high-resolution lights that merge colors, music, light, and animated imagery. Watch with wonder as the 80-foot tree rises into the air, with a cup of hot cocoa. Further, the novel Joy On Town Square will illuminate the Square’s buildings, landscape, and trees to enhance guests’ holiday experience. Overall, more than 1 million LED lights will brighten up the Square, making this one of the top theme park Christmas celebrations.

Additionally, guests can enjoy the lights in Midtown, the Frisco Sing-Along Steam Train, and the Rudolph Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade. Even better, Broadway-style productions of A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life will dazzle audiences once again. For more information, see our full guide on An Old Time Christmas.

Dates: November 2 – December 30

Disney World

Disney World showcases a magnificent display of Christmas festivities that will grow any Grinch’s heart. Each park in the resort celebrates in their own unique manner from November 8, 2019 until January 5, 2020. Don’t miss out on these premium theme park Christmas celebrations:

Magic Kingdom

Mickey and Minnie team up with Santa for special parades, holiday lights and decor throughout the park, sweet treats, and meet-and-greets! Moreover, Queen Elsa from Frozen transforms Cinderella’s Castle into a residence fit for the Snow Queen, and Minnie hosts a spectacular fireworks display. After you ride your favorites like Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion, head to Tomorrow Land’s Christmas Party or dance the night away at Club Tinsel. Further, when you’re in the mood for dinner, Magic Kingdom hosts dining options to fill you with Christmas cheer and goodies like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dining.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom provides bubbly entertainment, charming decor, and meet-and-greets with your favorite characters throughout the park. Experience life-size sculpted animal puppets, colorful rooftop luminaries, and bird lanterns brightening up Discovery Island. Of course, the Tree of Life awakens at night as the park’s true masterpiece. Or you can head on over to Donald’s Dino-Bash in DinoLand U.S.A. to dance with Chip ‘n Dale at the new Holiday Hoopla Dance Party. Further, Asia celebrates Diwali (India’s festival of lights), and Africa blends Western African traditions with cheerful presentations. Finally, Pandora’s display merges The World of Avatar with vintage Earth pieces for an out-of-this-world holiday experience.

Related:  Halloween on the Marshwalk


Discover the wondrous holiday traditions of Epcot’s 11 World Showcase nations. Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays lights up the park with gorgeous sights, music, and international flavors. Take in costumed performers presenting authentic traditional dances throughout the World Showcase as you sample delicious meals.

In addition, the annual Candlelight Processional features a celebrity narrating the birth of Christ accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and choir performance. And the fun doesn’t stop there! Experience the magic of Christmas and Kwanzaa with the uplifting ‘Joyful!’ vocal ensemble performing renditions of Gospel, R&B, and holiday songs. Pair the music with seasonal cookies during the Holiday Cookie Stroll and you’re set for the evening.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios brings the Christmas spirit every night from with Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Watch the buildings and rooftops come alive with classic scenes from Beauty and the Beast, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and more! Mickey, Minnie, Olaf, and friends will party with guests as projections accompanied by laser effects and fireworks go off! Also, you don’t want to miss out on the Holiday Dessert Party!

Theme Park Christmas Celebrations

Jared / Flickr


Whether you’re at SeaWorld San AntonioSeaWorld Orlando, or SeaWorld San Diego, you’re bound to feel the Christmas spirit at one of the best theme park Christmas celebrations. Experience stunning live performances, holiday decor and lights, festive shopping, and yummy treats. The park presents over 3 million twinkling lights and encounters with Rudolph! Included with park admission, you don’t want to miss out on the fun.

San Antonio: November 16 – January 5
Orlando: November 23 – December 31
San Diego: November 23 – January 5


Ring in the holidays at LEGOLAND Florida or LEGOLAND California! Boasting a variety of seasonal shows, delicious treats, twinkling lights, and hand-on building, any kid would be delighted to attend. And it’s not just kids who will enjoy the interactive shows, sing-alongs, and holiday decor. Journey to Santa’s workshop to clap along with Santa’s elves during the family-friendly “Holly Jolly Jubilee” performance or rock around the 30-foot LEGO Christmas Tree Spectacular.

Further, feel free to bring your camera for plenty of photo-ops with beloved characters and the seasonal LEGO Toy Soldier! The party concludes with the Kids’ New Years’ Party, which presents a fireworks show, dance parties, special building activities, and much more. There’s even a brick ball drop, making this one of the best theme park Christmas celebrations!

Related:  Build LEGOLAND Into Your San Diego Trip

Florida: November 29-30, and December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 20-31
California: November 23 – December 31


Dollywood brings back their annual Christmas in the Smokies with full force. One of the best theme park Christmas celebrations, make sure you head to Pigeon Forge to celebrate with the Queen of Country. Experience the magic of the season with a cast of 14 singers and dancers performing holiday favorites accompanied by a live band. Furthermore, guests can admire the glory of four million holiday lights, the Parade of Many Colors, and traditional performances like Christmas in the Smokies and It’s a Wonderful Life. Make lifetime memories with your family, as well as Rudolph and crew!

Dates: November 9 – January 4

Theme Park Christmas Celebrations

HarshLight / Flickr


Behold the holiday cheer at the happiest place on Earth! You can’t beat seeing Sleeping Beauty’s Castle lit up for the holidays with 80,000 LED lights and snow as fireworks spread over the towers. Better yet, the snow is gingerbread-scented for an added boost of magic at one of the top-rated theme park Christmas celebrations. Relish in festivities such as a holiday parade, amazing holiday treats, festivals, and stunning decor. You’ll want to take plenty of pictures as you walk down Main Street and take in the 60-foot towing Christmas Tree decked out to the fullest. Custom-made ornaments from top to bottom adorn the tree, which guests are free to (carefully) inspect.

Additionally, Disneyland hosts its Candlelight Processional the first weekend of December with four performances over two days. Dating back to 1958, celebrity narrators will retell the story of the birth of Christ in front of Main Street Station.

Dates: November 8 – January 6

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Merry Farm transforms the park into a holiday winter wonderland, even in sunny Southern California. A Christmas celebration for guests of all ages, Knott’s Merry Farm futures thrilling attractions, live entertainment, festive treats, nightly snow, and splendid holiday decor. Also, guests can enjoy a Christmas Crafts Village as well.

Dates: November – December select dates TBA

Universal Studios

Whether you’re in California or Florida, Universal Studios is a sight to behold during the holidays. I implore you to head over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to see their Christmas display over the castle, as it’s a magical experience worth capturing. Also, guests can experience the Holiday Parade and each a live retelling of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas in the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular!

Related:  Disney World Bucket List: 9 Experiences You Can't Miss

Dates: November 16 – January 5

Theme Park Christmas Celebrations

Sesame Place / Facebook

Sesame Place

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place rings in the holidays with festive, family-friendly cheer. Beloved Sesame Street characters meet-and-greet guests as the park transforms into a Christmas wonderland with millions of twinkling lights and seasonal decorations. Make memories with your kids at Merry Marketplace in Oscar’s Wacky Taxi courtyard, eat tasty treats like kettle corn and hot chocolate, and gaze up in wonder at the 30-foot pixel-based Christmas Tree. Projected festive images accompanied by an-all new soundtrack create a spectacular light show experience.

In addition, guests can ride the train through the Gingerbread Cookie Factory on the Furry Express, and witness the splendor of the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade with music and lots of dancing. Get cozy with Santa, Rudolph, Clarice, and Bumble and make sure to bring your camera.

Dates: November 23 – January 1

Busch Gardens

Celebrating the holidays in Williamsburg or Tampa? Don’t miss out on Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town! Guests can walk through the park surrounded by millions of festive lights, Yuletide shows, scrumptious holiday treats, and much more! In fact, in Williamsburg, there is a brand new holiday train with 2 million lights and festive holiday vignettes.

Williamsburg: Dates TBA; not included with park admission
Tampa: November 16 – January 6; included with park admission

Jeremy Thompson / Flickr

Six Flags

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia returns to spread joy and cheer in Atlanta! Six Flags’ awe-inspiring wonderland creates a family-friendly environment to entertain guests to the max. Get into the holiday spirit with pumpkin spice pretzels, cider, and a breaded soup bowl while you help keep the villains at bay in Gotham City. You can also create our own s’mores, do some shopping, or immerse yourself into a land of peppermint and lights in Peppermint Plaza. One of the best theme park Christmas Celebrations, Six Flags Over Georgia should be on your list if you’re in the area.

Note that other locations throughout the country also feature Holiday in the Park festivities!

Dates: TBA

What Are Your Favorite Holiday Traditions?

With so many theme park Christmas celebrations to choose from, which parks will you head to this year with your family?

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