SeaWorld’s Sea of Trees add some sparkle to the nautical park (Photo: SeaWorld Orlando)

Theme Park News

One of the greatest parts of the holiday season is seeing all of those amazing Christmas light displays pop up around town. And no one does it better, or bigger, than the Orlando theme parks! From clever uses of classic light strings to high-tech synchronized light shows, and even a little projection mapping thrown in as well, here are the top 5 Christmas light displays at the Orlando theme parks.

Sea of Trees at SeaWorld Orlando
Walk along a beautifully decorated seaside village at SeaWorld Orlando, bursting with lights after the sun goes down. As you make your way to the water you may encounter a group of silly toy soldiers marching down the street. In the lagoon there are over 100 trees covered in thousands of lights. At select times throughout the evening, the lights on the trees begin to dance, all synchronized to holiday classics. The magnificent centerpiece tree towers 70 feet above the water, featuring animated characters like Frosty the Snowman and more! Be sure to pick up a specialty hot cocoa in a souvenir mug before the show starts, to you stay warm while you watch in wonder.

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
You just have to visit Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in Universal Orlando during this, the most wonderful time of the year. Every storefront is decorated for the holidays, and there are special shows, seasonal treats and more. Everywhere you look you'll find garland and other festive decor, specifically designed for the Wizarding World. For example, the Owl Post features handmade garland made of owl feathers! Throughout the evening in Hogsmeade, Hogwarts Castle is transformed through projection-mapping to create a stunning nighttime spectacular called "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts." Plus, if you catch Celestina Warbeck performing her holiday hits in Diagon Alley, you may even be surrounded in a special snowfall!

Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Every evening in the Magic Kingdom, join Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf for a very special lighting of Cinderella Castle called A Frozen Holiday Wish. This special stage show features Queen Elsa using her magical ice powers to conjure up glowing snowflakes, dazzling fireworks and more, culminating in the lighting of the holiday lights. More than 200,000 sparkling lights adorn Cinderella Castle each evening. To bring them all together, 18 miles of electrical cables are used. The end result is a gorgeous dazzling light display, transforming one of the most iconic castles in the world into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays.

Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure
During this time of year, all of Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure is decorated in the style of Dr. Seuss's Who-ville. There are wondrous lights and trees and ornaments every which way you wander. Even the Whos from Who-ville are out and about. In addition to the amazing decorations, you can catch the returning classic, The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, running multiple times a day. This live-action re-telling of the classic tale starring the Grinch features music by Mannheim Steamroller and a talented cast of human actors – plus one dog, who plays Max. Don't forget to get an autograph and photo with the green guy himself, with the Grinch meeting guests in Seuss Landing daily.

Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Returning for its second year, this show sees Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios explode into color and light as Sunset Seasons Greetings begins each evening after dusk. Watch as the Hollywood Tower Hotel magically transforms with impressive projections, while decorations and billboards down the street animate together, choreographed with the show. New this year are colorful laser effects and falling "snow." This street-wide show features fun holiday scenes like Mickey and Minnie reminiscing about Christmases past, the Toy Story characters guessing what new toys will come this year, Olaf singing as the scene freezes into a Frozen winter wonderland, and the Swedish Chef from The Muppets (attempting to) make gingerbread.