Orlando's 2017 Holiday Season Has More Magic Than Ever!

There’s no question that Orlando does up the holiday season like nowhere else. This year's biggest news is that Christmas has at last come to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and man is it ever magical! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party serves up all the Disney sparkle you expect on a Magic Kingdom visit with the additional pomp of decked halls and streets, snow on Main Street (snow!!!), carolers, cocoa, cookies and loads of your favorite characters dressed to the holiday nines. And don’t even get us started on that resplendent, lit-up castle…. That said, there are plenty of smaller, local offerings – even free ones! – that serve up the season just beautifully. Take Long & Scott Farms’ annual corn maze, a whopping six-acre labyrinth that reels in the locals throughout the season, reminding us that there’s lots of holiday cheer to be had between Halloween and Christmas time. A mini-maze for the kids and lots of other fun activities make it a day-long event at a fraction of what you'd spend at larger attractions. At Epcot, they deliver an international festival (at no added cost above admission) that immerses guests in an array of holiday traditions via music, story and spectacle. Locally, the Orlando Ballet’s annual Nutcracker performance is a perpetual wow at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the towering twin trees of First Baptist Orlando will burst into song at its annual Singing Christmas Trees performances. Nightly snowfall can be enjoyed on the hour in Celebration.

Sure, the December holidays are great but why skip the October/November harvest?! The folks at Long & Scott Farms have been growing since 1963 and its charming Country Market sells Zellwood Sweet Gourmet Corn, crisp Kirby cukes and other...  Read More

East Orlando

This East Orlando favorite (and holiday pseudo-homecoming for locally based alumni) is running now through December 31 and in 2017 celebrates its 10th anniversary of bringing lots of holiday fun to the community. On tap this year: more snow,...  Read More

The quaint town of Celebration was essentially purpose-built for small-town charm and family fun and so it's no surprise that Now Snowing ranks among Central Florida's original and premier "snowing" events. It offers a schedule filled with...  Read More

Rise up on your feet and celebrate the season at an Orlando tradition that's been going strong for some 30-plus years. The Singing Christmas Trees of First Baptist Orlando are two solid towers of vocal power, serving as the festive, 40-foot...  Read More

The Orlando Ballet is the city's only resident professional ballet company and The Nutcracker, of course, is a ballet that tells the story of little Clara, her nutcracker, and their holiday adventures. This year's performances run from December...  Read More

Disney Springs continues its expansion in dining, shopping and entertainment by extending into the holiday season, decking its halls and morphing into a winter wonderland (one where it's likely you won't even need a coat!). Each "neighborhood"...  Read More

At Epcot, just about EVERYTHING is a festival and so this year, the longtime "Holidays Around The World" is transforming into the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays (now through December 30). Familiar favorites such as Joyful! (this...  Read More

On select nights, now through Dec. 22, the Magic Kingdom becomes a holiday haven as the halls are decked to the Disney nines and Cinderella's Castle comes alive with icy-glittering lights. This separate, ticketed event (prices start at $89)...  Read More

When the holiday season rolls around (this year, that's now through Jan. 7) the verdant landscaping of the Gaylord Palms is bedecked with glittering lights and inside its biosphere-like atrium about a zillion more of them blow the collective...  Read More

Now through Jan. 6, guests at Universal Orlando Resort's two theme parks will have an array of holiday-themed entertainment to get a solid Christmas fix amid coasters, Transformers, dinosaurs, super heroes and the like. The big news in 2017 is...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has logged close to 30 years as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster...  More About A.D.