Are you ready for Christmas? America's theme parks are

November 1, 2019, 5:54 PM · With Halloween wrapping by this weekend at the nation's top theme parks, the big annual Christmas events are up next. Here are this year's dates for holiday celebrations at Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and other top resorts, along with links to discounted tickets for several of the parks.

Walt Disney World Resort

Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort starts this year on November 8 and run through January 5, 2020. In addition to the traditional festivities at the other parks, Disney's Animal Kingdom is expanding its holiday celebration this year, adding a new holiday-inspired version of its nightly Tree of Life projection show as well as a "Merry Menagerie" of life-sizes animal puppets in Discovery Island.

Disney's Hollywood Studios will present Sunset Seasons Greetings on Sunset Boulevard and the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks and projection show above the Chinese Theater nightly.

In the Magic Kingdom, the after-hours, hard-ticket Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party event runs 23 nights from November 8 to December 22, with the new Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show performing each evening during the party.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays runs November 29 through December 30 this year, with Holiday Kitchens selling food and drinks throughout World Showcase and the Candlelight Processional performing nightly in the American Gardens Theater. To price tickets, please visit our Walt Disney World tickets page.

Disneyland Resort

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort runs from November 8 through January 6, 2020. World of Color - Season of Light returns to Disney California Adventure during its Festival of Holidays, which will again includes the Festival Foods Marketplace. DCA also will welcome the return of ¡Viva Navidad! to Paradise Gardens Park, holiday attraction overlays in Cars Land, and Santa's Holiday Visit at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.

At Disneyland, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, it's a small world Holiday, and the Believe... In Holiday Magic fireworks show all return, joining Haunted Mansion Holiday, which continues its annual run. For tickets, visit our Disneyland tickets page.

Universal Orlando Resort

Holidays at Universal Orlando kicks off November 16, running through January 5, 2020. In Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s returns, as does the Diagon Alley half of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At Islands of Adventure, you will find the return of the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular and the The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle projection show in Hogsmeade. You can find tickets on our Universal Orlando tickets page.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal's original park is waiting until Thanksgiving to start its Christmas celebrations, with Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Grinchmas running daily from November 28 through December 29. Tickets are available on our Universal Studios Hollywood tickets page.

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration

The holiday festivities start on November 23 in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, continuing through December 31 in Orlando and January 5 in San Diego and San Antonio.

Orlando is debuting its Sesame Street Christmas Parade this year as well as a new Sea Lion High Christmas pageant. The Orlando park also will welcome the return of Rudolph’s ChristmasTown, the O Wondrous Night musical retelling of the Christmas story, and the Miracles nighttime orca show.

In San Diego, visitors will find a new Sesame Street Christmas Village and WinterWonderland on Ice and Cirque Christmas shows, plus the return of Rudolph's Christmastown and Clyde & Seamore's Christmas Special. There's a "Merry Manta" holiday overlay on that roller coaster, too.

San Antonio will be putting on its own Sesame Street Christmas Parade, Christmas shows, and what it promises to be "the largest Christmas light display in Texas," with more than nine million lights.

Performances may vary by date at each park. For tickets, please visit our SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, and SeaWorld San Antonio tickets pages.

Knott's Merry Farm

This year's holiday event at Knott's Berry Farm runs from November 22 through January 5, 2020. The new Home for the Holidays show takes over the Calico Mine Stage, while the Merry Christmas Snoopy! ice show returns to the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. A Christmas Carol and a new holiday sequel, Marley’s Wings, will play in the Bird Cage Theatre, and A Peanuts Guide to Christmas will run at the Camp Snoopy Theater. You can find tickets on our Knott's Berry Farm tickets page.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

This holiday event runs daily in Tampa from November 16 through January 6, 2020, while the Williamsburg park's version runs for 38 select days from November 16 through January 5, 2020. Both events feature special musical shows, holiday-themed food and drink, meet and greets featuring Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, plus Christmas light displays. Tickets are available on our Busch Gardens Tampa and Busch Gardens Williamsburg tickets pages.

Six Flags Holiday in the Park

Holiday in the Park runs from November 23 through January 5, 2020 at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The park transforms into a winter wonderland each evening, with holiday light displays, shows, and special holiday-themed food and treats. You can get tickets on our Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets page.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all, and we hope to see you soon in the parks!

Replies (9)

November 2, 2019 at 1:01 PM

Man I miss the Osborne lights at the Studios. Just not the same without the fake snow and displays set to music.

November 2, 2019 at 8:35 PM

^I always thought the Osborne Lights should have been moved to Disney Springs when the Streets of America closed. Alas...

November 3, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Am I the only person who gets annoyed that Christmas is being pushed nearly two months ahead? I’m not a grinch but this kind of thing might turn me into one. It’s just a marketing ploy to sell more merch.

November 4, 2019 at 7:54 AM

@MarkSharp - You're not kidding. Halloween was on Thursday, yet our local Kohl's had a visit from Santa over the past weekend. The ever advancing start to the Christmas season (Halloween is the same with Disney starting MNSSHP in mid/late-August now) is getting infuriating to the point where if we're not celebrating a holiday every day of the year, there must be something wrong.

November 4, 2019 at 10:41 AM

Mark and Russell... Have to agree with your comments about the "extended" holiday seasons. But I am also glad that my home park, SFOG has staged a pretty decent "holiday in the park" the past few years.

FWIW, the younger generation just seems to take in stride as this becomes part of the "new normal". Funny story.. Last year, we took a few of my niece's teenage friends to Six Flags during Holiday in the park event. To kill time in one of the slow moving lines, I started a game similar to "heads up", but one involving quiz questions. When I posed the question, "name 3 national holidays" the response I received from one of the teenagers was equal parts amusing and disturbing. "4th of July, Memorial Day, and Black Friday". We all had a good laugh, but it made me realize just how "indoctrinated" members of the younger generation have become about materialism in this country.

November 4, 2019 at 11:29 AM

I'm there on pushing it so ahead. My local bookstore staff were apologizing for putting Christmas stuff up two weeks before Halloween. I'm really old enough to remember when folks waited until Thanksgiving to get serious on Christmas stuff, now it's ridiculous.

November 4, 2019 at 12:51 PM

I can't wait to see all the decorations and experiences this week!

November 4, 2019 at 3:13 PM

Does anybody else get really infuriated with the constant grinches everywhere that make every effort to complain when they see anybody else dare to celebrate the Christmas season outside of December?! As if that’s the ONLY holiday that that happens with?

As if Walt Disney World isn’t celebrating Halloween in August? Or if Valentine’s Day shows up in the stores before Christmas Eve? Oh! And how the Easter/Patriotic/Summer merchandise shows up months in advance as well!

Give me a break... We’ve gotten to the point where Christmas spends less time celebrating than other holidays because of Halloween. Quit acting like Christmas is the only holiday this happens with.

It’s November... it’s fair game now to see Christmas everywhere and let the people that really do enjoy it be happy!

November 5, 2019 at 10:33 AM

I believe I noted that other holidays are advancing earlier and earlier too - pointed out the start to the MNSSHP in mid/late August. It's not just Christmas that seemingly starts earlier and earlier every year (Halloween hasn't prevented retailers from putting out trees and lights in mid-October), but the now 2+ month long (and growing) celebration has gotten to the point where the actual holiday is devalued.

It's not "grinch-y" to complain about Christmas infiltrating Halloween and expanding its obsessive materialism into the public subconscious for 2+ months. I just want some sanity and celebration of the actual holidays instead of turning them into seasons that bleed into each other and eliminate any sense of normalcy as we jump from one holiday celebration to the next.

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