What's on the holiday schedule in Orlando this Christmas?

July 9, 2018, 4:08 PM · The holidays will kick off on November 8 at the Walt Disney World Resort this year, as Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party returns to the Magic Kingdom. The annual after-hours Christmas party leads several other returning events at the resort, which Disney detailed today.

Tickets went on sale for the Magic Kingdom party earlier this year, and reservations open on Wednesday for this year's Candlelight Processional dinner packages at Epcot. This year's celebrity narrators will include Chita Rivera, Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Blair Underwood, Gary Sinise, Pat Sajak, Edward James Olmos, and Jodi Benson. The Processional runs three times nightly, starting on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, and running through Dec. 30, 2018.

Also at Epcot, the International Festival of the Holidays returns on Nov. 18, featuring the park's food stands and a holiday finale for the IllumiNations show. Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Sunset Seasons Greetings returns on Nov. 8, along with the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks and projection show on the Chinese Theater. New this year will be holiday decorations in Toy Story Land, which will include holiday tunes playing at Alien Swirling Saucers.

Finally, Disney's Animal Kingdom gets into the holiday spirit with addition of Diwali, the holiday Festival of Lights in India, as part of the new UP! A Great Bird Adventure show. That also starts Nov. 8 and runs through Jan. 6, which concludes the holiday season at the resort.

Up the road at Universal Orlando, the holiday celebrations there kick off Nov. 17, and also run through Jan. 6, 2019. Universal's line-up includes the return of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle projection show at Islands of Adventure and the Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's at Universal Studios Florida, which both premiered last year. Grinchmas also returns at IOA, as does Mannheim Steamroller on select nights at USF.

To get you in the mood for the holidays, please enjoy some of our show videos from these holiday events at Disney and Universal!

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle

Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's

Replies (6)

July 9, 2018 at 4:33 PM

Really loved the new festivities from Universal last year and I'm thrilled to see them return. Universal has overtaken Disney for the best holiday entertainment in Orlando.

July 9, 2018 at 5:47 PM

Ugh, it kills me that we're already talkin the holidays. Not unexpected, got to get to planning, but still.

July 9, 2018 at 10:41 PM

Its the best time of year In the parks as long as you don’t actually come the two weeks over xmas , way too busy . Sea world has the best alround holiday atmosphere, Universal upped their game with a fantastic parade and Hogwatts light show , Candlelight at Epcot is still really special .

July 10, 2018 at 5:22 AM

Bring it on Robert! Never too early to talk about Christmastime. Mrs Plum has insisted that we come over and do a very Disney Christmas this year so had to postpone Halloween until next year. Looking forward to WDW, I-Drive and Winter Park during our stay in December.

Ssshhh! I may even surreptitiously eat a tile off the Gingerbread House in the Grand Floridian.

July 10, 2018 at 6:49 AM

I hope the Universal night time show will get a Holiday makeover. I missed the new offerings last year but I'm glad I'll be seeing it this year.

July 10, 2018 at 6:58 AM

The Christmas events cause a jam at other parks, as people avoid Magic Kingdom if it closes at 6pm. It's disgraceful to do that, and makes for a miserable experience.

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