After the last bite of your turkey sandwich has been devoured and your final Christmas decoration has been lovingly placed in its spot of honor this year, the snow that is falling, the icy streets, and the cold that doesn’t stop until May doesn’t bother as you much as normal. You know that in just a few short days or even weeks, you are getting on that plane and heading to sunny Orlando. Celebrate in a new way in 2021 as you experience the beauty of a Florida Christmas. This year is about starting new traditions while holding many of the old tightly to your heart, and this guide to your Christmas in Orlando will allow you to seamlessly blend them both together!
Tree Lighting Ceremony, December 3 at Lake Eola Park, Washington Plaza
As the sky darkens and carolers sing, the anticipation begins to build. Of course, the dark spruce standing tall in the center of the plaza amazes, but when the switch is flipped and the colorful lights begin to gleam, you can’t hold back the stunned gasp of delight. The tree lighting ceremony is a tradition we all love, and during your Orlando visit, it is not one you have to skip if you are here in the early days of December! Featuring a holiday performance at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, food trucks offering festive foods, and a holiday market for getting a jump start on your Christmas shopping, this beautiful ceremony is all about the feels.
We Love a Parade
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is over, but there are more ways to draw out that feeling of anticipation all the way up to big day itself, and not all of the parades will be about Disney! The 69th Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade, held in nearby Winter Park, is scheduled to be held on December 4 from 9 to 10:30 AM and is guaranteed to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Known as Ye Olde Hometown Parade and featuring Christmas themed floats, marching bands, and of course, Santa himself, this parade will be enjoyed even more under sunny skies and in warm temperatures! The Once Upon a Christmas Parade is back at Disney, held after their Disney Very Merriest After Hours event early in the month and at various times during the week of December 22; it promises to be the parade your youngsters will remember forever! Offering the magic of Disney, all their favorite characters join in the party and of course, at the end, Santa makes his own appearance, giving parade viewers the thrill of a lifetime!
Christmas Festival, December 12, 1919 Delaney Avenue
The joy of Christmas never shines brighter than through the eyes of a child, and this special event will be just the proof you need. Featuring a winter wonderland (minus the cold and snow!) with cookies, hot chocolate, and a live nativity scene with real animals, the Christmas Festival is one event our children look forward to every year. Starting at 5 PM and lasting until 7 PM, the petting zoo and pony rides offer a unique way to celebrate everyone’s favorite holiday and the opportunity to meet Santa will finish off the event in the most perfect way possible!
Kissimmee Holiday Festival, December 18, Kissimmee Civic Center
There are lots of ways to celebrate Christmas in the Orlando area, and even though we really can’t choose our favorite, we will tell you that the Kissimmee Holiday Festival ranks right up there with the best of the events going on during this magical season! Finish up your Christmas shopping as you explore the aisles filled with craft vendors, and as you sing along to the holiday music playing merrily in the background, you will realize that your tank of Christmas spirit has been filled quite nicely! On the main stage of the Civic Center there will be two performances of A Christmas Who’sical—it’s rumored that the Grinch will be on his best behavior—and as with most Christmas events in the Orlando, there will be another opportunity for your littles to have a heart to heart with Santa.
Feeling Festive with Magnolia Villas
As if all these wonderful events weren’t enough, spending your down time in the comfort of our Magnolia Villas holiday hideaways promises to make this Christmas extra special! Sit by the pool on a warm December evening, sipping eggnog as the sun sets over the horizon, watch Christmas movies on state-of-the-art televisions, and when December 25th finally arrives, gather in the living room to open presents under the watchful eyes of Dad’s camera phone. Reserve your favorite rental property with us today!
A visit to Orlando is always guaranteed to be a great time, but there is something magical about a visit to Orlando during the holidays. The buzz in the air is amped up as stores, parks, and ordinary people decorate with style, and as you relax in comfort in your Magnolia Villas seasonal sanctuaries, you know that within minutes you will be out there, participating in all the fun! The holiday season is just about on us, and as we look towards the future and your Halloween escape to Orlando, you know you will be comfortable and spoiled in your vacation home away from home, but now you are beginning to wonder what kind of Halloween shenanigans you can get into during your time in the “City Beautiful” and so we have created a guide to the events, activities, and shenanigans that make this time of year one of our favorites!
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, September 3-October 31
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal has been a tradition in Orlando for a VERY long time and as they celebrate their 30th anniversary this year, you have to expect that a spooktacular time will be had by all who partake in excitement! Offering a variety of haunted houses with easily recognizable themes (Beetlejuice, The Exorcist, and The House on Haunting Hill, to name just a few) nearly every weekend there will be something new to be scared about! This year’s theme, “Never Go Alone” is probably some good advice to follow, but we would recommend skipping the frights if you are traveling with young children!
SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular 2021, September 18-October 31
It should be of no surprise that the most fun you can have over the Halloween holiday will take place at the major theme parks that make Orlando one of the most exciting vacation destinations in Florida, and SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is the perfect example! Taking place on the weekends and offering trick or treat stations, (wear your costumes for your day at the park) a pumpkin garden, the chance to meet a mermaid, and a DJ hosted Dance Party, children of ALL ages will fall in love with All Hallows Eve when they spend it at SeaWorld! Your littles will be thrilled to share breakfast with all their Sesame Street favorites at Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast, but if you are traveling with an older bunch, you might want to consider taking part in SeaWorld’s Howl-o-Scream! Ticketed separately, this ghoulish haunted house/coaster/spinetingling show promises offers blood-curdling frights and moments of pure terror, bringing back the thrill of Halloween to the grown-ups and teens in your traveling party!
Trick or Treat, October 6- October 27, Museum of Illusion Orlando
Don’t look at this fun event as being too early to celebrate the holiday proper, look at it as an opportunity for more candy! Wednesday nights from 5-8 The Museum of Illusion adds a sweet treat to its exhibits and as your children learn about perspective and illusion in their favorite costumes, they can beg for treats as well! Many of their standard exhibits are revamped for the hair-raising Halloween holiday and all promise to offer just the right amount of fear; not so much as to cause nightmares, but not so little as to bring about yawns of boredom!
Boo Bash, October 17, at Walt Disney World
This most popular event has almost completely sold out, but October 17 is still open so we suggest you buy your tickets now! Offering seasonal decorations, character visits (dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes) and a variety of special events that are guaranteed to make this Halloween your favorite, Boo Bash will change you the way you look at the holiday forevermore!
Spooky Empire, October 22-October 24, at the Hyatt Regency, 9800 International Drive
When you live to be scared over Halloween, Spooky Empire offers exactly what you need! Offering a tattoo and film festival filled with frightening movies and colorful tattoos, vendors selling everything Halloween, and a variety of holiday activities, this unique event is much loved in the Orlando area! Taking place over three days the week before Halloween with tickets (on sale now) ranging from $40 to $250, your Halloween adventures would be incomplete if you were in town and missed out on this exciting event!
Horror Movie Binge Fest, October 31, Your Magnolia Villas Seasonal Sanctuary!
As you rush from park to park, soaking in the spooky vibes that feed your soul, you may find that by the time Halloween actually does arrive, you are too tired to go out and do anything more, but that is completely ok! Take this nightmarish night to do what you love most, binge watching horror movies until the sun comes up the next day. Our state-of-the-art televisions offer all the major channels, and if you choose one of our properties with a home theater, it will feel as if you are a part of the action. Reserve your favorite Halloween hideaway today!
There are many things you can count on during your stay with Magnolia Villas in beautiful Orlando, including a comfortable luxurious lifestyle to which you will happily grow accustomed, the fresh and delicious meals you will find in our restaurants, and of course, an exciting getaway filled with adventures big and small! From alligators to zebras (at Gatorland and the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens), your bucket list is guaranteed to be a long one, but what happens if it begins to rain? Does a rainy day automatically put an end to your fun? The answer is absolutely not! This guide to all the activities in Orlando you will be able to enjoy when the skies open up will ensure that every minute of your stay is destined to be memorable.
Gray Skies WILL Clear
Just as the song tells us, this rain will not last forever, and the heartiest of travelers understand the fun that can be had at the house the mouse built, especially in the rain! As long as there is no thunder and lightning, a rainy day spent at Disney World is the best way to fill those vacation hours; the worst of the crowds will be trying to find indoor activities and the lines will be short! Many of the rides take place under cover of a roof, keeping you dry, or you can grab a sit-down dinner at any of the restaurants in the park and wait for the sun to appear once again.
Oh, How the World Has Changed!
If you have spent any time at all on Instagram or TikTok, you know the value of a good background, and the Orlando Wall Crawl helps you do that! Located at 1016 W Church Suite Suite C and offering over 4500 square feet of air-conditioned coolness, this warehouse of backdrops can help you become the star of your favorite social networking site while you stay dry. Featuring a variety of colorful and unique backdrops, including Christmas, graduation, and glamour themes, the admission fee gives you an hour of unlimited photo opportunities!
How Sweet It Will Be
It’s true that you may be feeling a little blue when the skies are gray and gloomy, but the quickest way to a smile is through chocolate, and it is impossible to be sad when you visit the Chocolate Kingdom! Located at 9901 Hawaiian Court, this factory dedicated to the sweetest treat of all may not change your life, but it will definitely sweeten your disposition as you explore the museum, take the factory tour, and create your own custom chocolate bar. The rain may be soaking the grounds, the skies may be dark and gloomy, but you will be in your happy place surrounded by the most wonderful of aromas, the smell of chocolate in all its many forms!
A Fiery Example of History
This next activity is only available on Fridays and Saturdays, but families with little boys and girls will want to add a visit to the Orlando Fire Museum to their itinerary, even if the sun is shining brightly. Located at 814 E Rollins Street inside a brick firehouse built in the 1920s, the exhibits found here cover decades of firefighting history and include a variety of uniforms, equipment, historic fire trucks, and a fascinating glimpse into the bedrooms that are built into every station.
No, we are not suggesting you head out in the rain for a game of golf; we are inviting you to enjoy 18 holes of colorful fun at the Putting Edge indoor miniature golf course! Black lights and neon colors make mini golf fun as you move from themed hole to themed hole, exploring the ocean, the jungles, and the mysteries of outer space with your kids and spouse. Located at 5250 International Drive and offering a cool respite from the dreary weather outside, spending a couple of hours here is fun on rainy and sunny days!
Photos with the Stars
Another popular activity in Orlando is Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, located at 8387 International Drive, where you can mingle with big-time celebrities that include Shrek, Taylor Swift, and our personal favorite, Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Take your turn in the hot seat as you are “interviewed” by Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show, pose at the big desk in the Oval Office, or help Superman hold up a helicopter, saving everyone who is inside! The options are limitless at Madame Tussauds, and the fun never ends!
At Home with Magnolia Villas
Of course, there is no law that says you have to leave the premises of your Magnolia Villas vacation escape! Staying in for the day has never been so fun as you sleep late, play games, and maybe, take a swim in the rain because you know you can’t get any more wet. Reserve your stay with us today!
Enjoy Amazing Outdoor Adventures and Plan Exactly What To Do During Orlando Summers
The early summer is a great time to visit Orlando and enjoy all the outdoor activities. Many flock to the Orlando area in the summer months for its many activities and easy beach access. Many theme parks have just opened their gates for the season, including Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure. There are beautiful lakes near Orlando with plenty of fishing opportunities. Here are some details on early summer activities in Orlando.
Well, Theme Parks!
Let’s be clear: theme parks rock everything! This is the main reason people come to Orlando, and even if you come here thinking you will skip them, chances are you’ll visit at least one. It might be so much fun you’ll go to the others, too.
Walt Disney World is perhaps the most well-known. This magical land of make-believe is popular with young and old alike and has experienced for all ages. The young ones will see all their favorite Disney characters as they walk along the paths to the next ride. Older children will love the thrills of the more adventurous rides and special events. Adults may enjoy the shopping and dining, but most of them would rather get on the rides themselves!
On a warm day, you can also visit their waterparks. Typhoon Lagoon has a fun surf pool, a water coaster ride, a huge body slide, and a water playground for the littles. Blizzard Beach has an exciting body slide called Summit Plummet, one of the world’s tallest and fastest. It also has shoot-the-rapids with tubes, a toboggan race, and Tyke’s Peak, a play area for younger children. Orlando Watersports Complex is also a ton of fun, but more on that later.
Universal Orlando has some fabulous movie-themed rides, with Fast and Furious-Supercharged, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, E.T. Adventure, Transformers-The Ride 3D, and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit starring the lineup. Islands of Adventure has its own magical and exciting themes, from Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure to Jurassic Park River Adventure.
Legoland Florida is always a fun trip! Besides the exciting theme park rides, they have a water park and the new Peppa Pig Theme Park. SeaWorld is always a family favorite, and Busch Gardens in Tampa is chock full of fun!
Animals, Animals, and More Animals!
If you ever wanted to get close to a gator, you can do that at Gatorland, where you can get up close and personal with an alligator! There are other adventures at the park, along with zip line and off-roading. One of the unique things about Gatorland is their Trainer for a Day program. Ages 12 and up will get a chance to see what it’s like to work with animals—dangerous ones! Are you ready?
Discovery Cove is one of the most popular places to swim with the wildlife. You can swim with a dolphin, hold the birds in the aviary, and go snorkeling with tropical fish in their coral reef habitat.
Outside of the several theme parks, Orlando has plenty to do in terms of outdoor adventures. You can rent a boat to explore Ocala National Park or hit one of the beach attractions nearby. There are also some exciting outdoor adventures, like the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure or Wild Willy’s Airboat Tours. It’s also fun to just go hiking along the trails in Orlando and watch for native wildlife.
If it is warm enough, watersports are a great way to enjoy the Orlando sunshine. You can rent kayaks, wave runners, and more from one of many rental companies. There are also some fabulous fishing opportunities in Florida with freshwater lakes all over the place. From largemouth bass to the beautiful sailfish, offshore fishing is fun and fun to watch for the whole family.
If you like paddle boarding, waterskiing, wakeboarding, or kneeboarding, Buena Vista Watersports has what you need. They also have tube rides and pontoon boats and the much-loved Jet Ski for rent as well.
If you want some excitement and lots of different activities, don’t miss the Orlando Watersports Complex. They have two full-sized cables, an aquapark, wakeboarding, wake surfing, kneeboarding, wakeskating, and more. There are so many activities here you may need to visit twice!
If it rains one day on your trip, or you want a break from the outdoors, not a problem! In the morning, you can see Madam Tussauds or WonderWorks–the hands-on interactive STEM exhibit–then have lunch at one of the fabulous restaurants in Orlando. Once you’re satisfied, check out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum or Chocolate Kingdom, where you can tour a chocolate factory and even make your own treat!
With so much to do in Orlando during the summer, you’ll need a comfortable home from which to experience it all. Browse our comprehensive list of rentals, including our luxury homes, cozy villas to rent in Orlando, and beachfront properties. Contact us today to book one of our lovely rental properties in Orlando!