Theme Park Insider

It's already time for Christmas at America's top theme parks

November 4, 2017, 2:02 PM · The Christmas season kicks off today at Dollywood, with celebrations debuting over the next two weeks at other major theme parks across the country. Let's look at what fans can expect when visiting popular theme parks during this holiday season.

Walt Disney World

Sunset Seasons Greetings

When: November 9 - December 31.

What's New: Sunset Seasons Greetings takes over Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios, with animated billboards featuring Disney characters and projection mapping transforming the Hollywood Tower Hotel into a tower of gifts, a gingerbread house, and other holiday icons. At Epcot, Holidays Around the World doubles the number of its Holiday Kitchens food booths and becomes Festival of the Holidays, to bring its branding line with the event at Disney California Adventure. (Note that Festival of the Holidays at Epcot starts November 19.)

What's Back: At the Magic Kingdom:

At Disney's Hollywood Studios:

At Epcot:

Disneyland

Mater’s Jingle Jamboree

When: November 10 - January 7, 2018

What's New: In Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree, each playing holiday songs during the season.

What's Back: At Disneyland:

At Disney California Adventure:

Universal Orlando

When: November 18 - January 6, 2018

What's New: Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter comes to Orlando, with expanded holiday decorations, holiday music from the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, and a new Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle projection show in Hogsmeade each night. At Universal Studios Florida, the park is changing up its holiday parade, offering the Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, which will include a dozen new balloons.

What's Back: Grinchmas returns to Seuss Landing in Islands on Adventure and Mannheim Steamroller is back for concerts at Universal Studios Florida on November 18, 19, 25, 26 and December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Holiday feast

When: November 24 - January 7, 2018

What's New: The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle projection mapping show will play nightly in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

What's Back: Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter also will include holiday tunes from the Frog Choir, the return of Hot Butterbeer, and the holiday feast at The Three Broomsticks. Grinchmas runs weekends starting December 2, then in daily operation from December 15 - 31 in the Universal Plaza, including meet and greets with The Grinch and performances by several Whovillian musical groups.

Dollywood

When: Smoky Mountain Christmas starts today and runs through January 1, 2018.

What's Back: Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Junction, featuring characters from Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Also the Parade of Many Colors, Santa Land, and live performances of Christmas in the Smokies, It’s a Wonderful Life, An Appalachian Christmas, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, O’ Holy Night, My People, and Christmas with The Kingdom Heirs.

Knott's Berry Farm

When: Knott's Merry Farm runs November 17 - January 7, 2018.

What's New: Christmas Pizza, at Hollywood Hits, topped with sliced turkey, stuffing, turkey gravy, and sweet cranberry sauce

What's Back: The Merry Christmas, Snoopy! ice show at the Charles M. Schultz Theatre; the It’s The Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown show at the Calico Mine Stage; the A Peanuts Guide to Christmas show at the Camp Snoopy Theater; and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and O. Henry’s A Gift of the Magi at the Bird Cage Theatre (select dates only).

Replies (2)

November 4, 2017 at 6:57 PM · Another nail in the coffin of Hollywood Studios in Orlando .... no more Osborne Lights .. !! If anyone is at WDW over Christmas try and take an hour or so to visit the Grand Floridian and/or the Contemporary. They do an awesome job with their decorations.
Seaworld’s Christmas celebration starts on November 24th ..... and I will say they surprised us all last year with a superb display of lights, including the show centered around Bay stadium lake.
November 6, 2017 at 5:38 PM · Surprised Busch Gardens Florida is left off. Of all the Florida parks, including the Mouse, they have the best decorations, entertainment and lights of them all.

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