New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are both exceptionally busy at the theme parks. Here’s an overview of how the parks will count down to 2012 along with some helpful tips if you’re planning to be there.
Ringin’ in the New Year at the Theme Parks (blog)
Partly cloudy skies and daytime temperatures in the mid 70s are expected this weekend. Friday night temperatures are expected to be in the low 50s; Saturday and Sunday nights will be mild in the low to mid 50s. For an up-to-the-minute Orlando weather forecast, click here.
What’s Happening this Weekend…
Holidays Around The World – Candlelight Processional @ Epcot
This Friday, Dec. 30 is your last chance to attend Holidays Around The World – Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Listen to Storytellers as they recount holiday traditions from their cultures in World Showcase. Frog Family favorites include The Monkey King in the China Pavilion, Father Christmas in the United Kingdom Pavilion and La Befana in the Italy Pavilion. (Here’s a helpful guide to Holidays Around The World complete with the Storytellers’ schedules.)
Celebrity narrator Marlee Matlin will tell the stirring story of Christmas accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir during Candlelight Processional this Friday. Show times are 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. (Watch a highlight video of Candelight Processional here.)
Holidays Around The World – Candlelight Processional is included with regular admission to Epcot.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights @ Hollywood Studios
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights continues this weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beginning at 6 p.m. each night, the Streets of America come alive with millions of dancing lights perfectly synchronized to music. You have to see it to believe it! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included with regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and continues until Jan. 7, 2012.
Watch a video of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights here.
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade @ Animal Kingdom
Meet your favorite Disney Characters all dressed up their holiday finest at Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village in Camp Minnie-Mickey this weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And don’t miss Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade which kicks off at 3:45 p.m. every afternoon. Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade and Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village are included with regular admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and continue until Jan. 3, 2012.
See pictures of Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade and Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village here.
Festival of the Seasons @ Downtown Disney
Live entertainment, beautiful decorations, a holiday dance party with a live deejay, great photo opportunities and much more are all part of Festival of the Seasons which continues until Jan. 8, 2012 at Downtown Disney. Festival of the Seasons is free to attend.
Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular @ Islands of Adventure
Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure has been transformed into the whimsical world of Grinchmas. This special event continues until Jan. 1, 2012 and features a heartwarming live show starring The Grinch with music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. Between show times, guests will have the opportunity to meet characters such as the Whos from Whoville and even the green guy himself. (Check the park map for current show times.) Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure is included with regular theme park admission.
Holidays at Universal Studios
Holidays at Universal Studios continues until Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. Don’t miss Macy’s Holiday Parade complete with balloons and floats direct from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The parade begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. on Sunday. Other highlights of Holidays at Universal Studios include special entertainment such as The Blues Brothers Holiday Show, A Barney Holiday and StarToons Holiday Show as well as unique shopping, yummy treats and kids’ activities in the Holiday Village. Holidays at Universal Studios is included with regular theme park admission.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
SeaWorld wraps up its Christmas Celebration this Saturday, Dec. 31. Enjoy special holiday shows like Shamu Christmas – Miracles, A Sesame Street Christmas, Winter Wonderland on Ice, and the spectacular fireworks show Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale. Another highlight of the event is THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience when the beloved holiday classic comes to life as you and your family are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is included with regular admission to SeaWorld.
Holidays at Busch Gardens
Christmas on Ice, a limited engagement ice show with a cast of professional skaters, Christmas from the Heart, an inspiring holiday gospel performance, and Christmas Celebration, a musical extravaganza featuring seasonal songs, tap-dancing toy soldiers are all part of Holidays at Busch Gardens. Located in Tampa Bay, Busch Gardens is a little more than an hour from Orlando and will likely be less crowded than the major Orlando theme parks. Holidays at Busch Gardens is included with regular theme park admission and continues until Jan. 1, 2012.
Park Hours & Crowd Calendar
Walt Disney World Resort & Universal Orlando Resort