It's the day after Halloween, which means that many around the nation are rushing to put up their Christmas decorations and get going with the holiday season.
Are you in the holiday spirit already? Or would you prefer a break between the goth chaos of Halloween and the sweet sentiment of the Christmas season?
Once upon a time, we had such a break, and it was called Thanksgiving. But theme parks pretty much have decided to ignore November's biggest holiday in favor of cutting to the big finale at year's end. Granted, you will find plenty of turkey- and pumpkin pie-inspired foodstuffs for sale at the parks leading up to Thanksgiving Day, but almost no one is programming entertainment and attractions for that holiday.
Requisite shout-out here to Indiana's Holiday World, which does celebrate Thanksgiving throughout its season - but that season does not actually extend to November and Thanksgiving Day. Sigh.
Among major year-round theme parks, Universal Studios Hollywood holds off until Thanksgiving passes to begin its holiday celebrations. Yes, Epcot also holds off until "Black Friday" to start its Festival of the Holidays, but Christmas blankets so much else at the resort by that time that I feel like I cannot give Walt Disney World credit for holiday patience.
Personally, I appreciate at least a weekend off after Halloween before seeing Christmas trees and lights appear and eggnog hitting the dairy case. I need the space to breathe there. But I suspect that if it were not for Halloween, some parks would be firing up the Christmas celebrations soon after the start of the new school year.
So when are you ready to celebrate the holidays? Talk to us in the comments. In the meantime, here are the start dates for some notable theme park holiday events:
Walt Disney World: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starts November 8, the resort-wide Holidays celebration starts November 11, with the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays starting November 25.
Universal Orlando: Holidays at Universal Orlando, including Grinchmas, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, and Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, begin November 12.
Disneyland: Holiday entertainment and attractions begin November 11 at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Universal Studios Hollywood: Grinchmas and Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter begin November 25.
Knott’s Berry Farm: Knott’s Merry Farm starts November 18.
SeaWorld: SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration begins November 10 in San Antonio, November 11 in Orlando, and November 14 in San Diego.
Busch Gardens: Christmas Town begins November 11 in Williamsburg and November 14 in Tampa Bay.
Six Flags: Holiday in the Park begins November 24 at Magic Mountain in Los Angeles and November 25 at Great Adventure in New Jersey.
Dollywood: Smoky Mountain Christmas begins November 5.
Silver Dollar City: An Old Time Christmas begins November 5.
Happy holidays to all, and thank you for reading Theme Park Insider.
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