What's happening for the holidays at Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and Six Flags?

December 2, 2016, 11:15 AM · With the start of December, Christmas and year-end holiday celebrations are underway at all of the nation's top theme parks. You'll find holiday-themed parades, shows, and special meals and sweets waiting for you at dozens of top parks between now and the start of the New Year. For our weekly video show, Natalie and I visited Disneyland yesterday to sample some of what Disney has to offer, but let's also take a what's on at other major parks and chains, too. You'll find links to our extended coverage of these events throughout the post.

Disneyland is offering its three main attraction overlays again this year: Haunted Mansion Holiday, It's a Small World Holiday, and Jingle Cruise. In addition, the Christmas Fantasy parade plays in the afternoons and the Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks go off each night. At Disney California Adventure, the park is offering a new Festival of the Holidays celebration, with food stands and a new version of World of Color - Season of Light.

At the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Epcot is hosting a new Holidays Around the World festival, with food booths serving holiday favorites from around the world. Disney's Hollywood Studios is running a new projection and fireworks show, Jingle Bell Jingle BAM!, and Disney Springs has launched the world's first aerial drone show, Starbright Holidays. At the Magic Kingdom, the after-hours Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party continues on select nights.

The Universal theme parks in Orlando and Hollywood are offering Grinchmas once again this year, starting tomorrow. Orlando's Islands of Adventure is showing the "Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular" while you can see "Martha May and the Who-Dolls" in Hollywood. The Grinch also is available for meet and greets. Also in Orlando, the Macy’s Holiday Parade runs again at Universal Studios Florida and Mannheim Steamroller plays the Music Plaza Stage on Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18.

SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration this year includes Rudolph’s Christmastown, where you can meet the famous red-nosed reindeer from the Rankin-Bass television special. In Orlando, there'a also as an all-new Santa's Workshop. SeaWorld Orlando continues its line-up of holiday-themed shows, too, including Clyde & Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas, Shamu Christmas Miracles, O Wondrous Night, and the Sea of Trees. An San Diego will again have its 320-foot Christmas Tree of Lights in addition to Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special and the last year of Shamu Christmas Miracles in San Diego.

Six Flags' Holiday in the Park is running at several of the chain's parks, including Six Flags Magic Mountain, north of Los Angeles. This year's event includes the Santa's Wild Sleigh Ride Virtual Reality Coaster in Santa's Star-Spangled Plaza, holiday lights in the Gleampunk District, and the holiday acrobatics show Kwerkmas.

Which theme parks' holiday celebrations will you be visiting this year?

Replies (9)

December 2, 2016 at 11:39 AM · I felt like I was right there with you guys..
I will assume Robert has a sweet tooth or a few sweet teeth...
December 2, 2016 at 11:52 AM · Been to Holiday in the Park at Great Adventure. Will be going to the event at Six Flags Over Texas, where I hope to do and see more insofar as I can stay until closing time b/c my hotel offers free shuttle service to and from the park. (Had to leave GAD early due to poor night vision for driving.)
December 2, 2016 at 4:05 PM · Taylor Strickland, owner of Orlando Informer, is tweeting that Universal Hollywood will be removing the 3D from Harry Potter Forbidden Journey very soon.(Update: 3D was removed today) If true, that will be a significant change for the upcoming holidays.
December 2, 2016 at 12:35 PM · I thought there's fair use of the music. Many other sites show the attraction music without any concern. There's way too much food, shows, and attractions at Disneyland Resort to enjoy on one trip. The sugar cookies look enticing.
December 2, 2016 at 2:31 PM · I'll get to experience Six Flags' Holiday in the Park for the first time this year at two parks: SFA and SFOT. This in addition to multiple visits to BGW Christmas Town because I live here :)
December 2, 2016 at 5:46 PM · Kennywood Park does a great Christmas Town. About two thirds of the park is open. 90' Polar Express tree, 2 million lights,special displays, minature railroad indoors , two lagoon light & music shows, local choral groups, Railroad Christmas themed through a Christmas village,Polar Express 4D, Dark ride attractions Christmas themed, bonfires with hot chocolate & s'mores, and much more. I'll be there Saturday night.
December 2, 2016 at 6:07 PM · Each time I've been to Disneyland, it has been during a time when they have the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. I always wonder why they would ever switch back from that, as it's so awesome.
December 3, 2016 at 9:29 PM · Do notforget Christmastown at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
December 7, 2016 at 8:17 PM · Why is Polar Express Orlando not running yet

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