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Things to Do and Places to Visit in Orlando, FL

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  • One of the most festive theme parks at Christmastime is SeaWorld Orlando. More than 100 trees sparkle throughout the park and surprises can be seen around every corner--from A Cappella singers, tasty treats to live Toy Soldiers. Entertaining shows can be seen hourly--From O Wondrous Night and Winter Wonderland On Ice to the fabulous end of evening Holiday Reflections fireworks. Every square inch of the park is decked out in colorful decorations to get you in the holiday spirit. There's so much holiday cheer to experience during this regular park event  happening on select dates, now through Dec. 31. Here are our top twelve "must know" insider tips for making the most of your visit this holiday season. #1. Grab a map: Sea World prints a new one every day to make sure show times are up-to date-and so you can get a lay of the land. #2. Plot your strategy. Want to get in all the shows? Sea World has a suggested itinerary: 6:00 p.m. Sea of Trees (see tip 3) Lighting at Shops At Waterfront and Christmas Market 6:15 p.m. Elmo's Christmas Wish at Seaport Theater 7:00 p.m. O Wondrous Night at Nautilus Theater 7:45 p.m. Shamu Christmas Miracles at Shamu Stadium 8:30 p.m. Winter Wonderland on Ice Holiday Reflections: Fireworks & Fountain Finale at Bayside Stadium SEE ALSO: Twelve Days of Christmas Treats in Orlando  #3. The Christmas Market is one place to see the Sea of Trees but it's crowded! Watch from the Sand Bar where you can order a drink and have a seat with an unobstructed view. #4. Don't be in such a rush from show to show that you miss all the atmosphere and all there is going on outside like this A Capella Group singing carols or sit by the relaxing fire pit. #5. Watch the signs for "Deal of the Week" on selected merchandise along the Christmas Market. You'll find some great gifts. #6. Try the Tripleta sandwich from Sea World's Executive Chef Héctor Colόn. He only makes this pork, chicken and steak creation during the holidays. Don't miss out! #7. When the temperature goes down, it's time for a hot cocoa-and you get to keep the mug! Bonus tip: Treat your taste buds to even more holiday cheer such as the homemade s'mores. #8. Christmas merchandise is only sold at Christmas! So don't forget a souvenir ornament or nutcracker to take home. #9. Play the grab bag game found throughout the Christmas Market. $3 a chance or $8 for 3 chances-and every one is a winner! #10. Don't miss the train to see Santa aboard the "Polar Express" - based on the hit animated film, starring Tom Hanks. #11. Find the "toy soldiers" and wait for the perfect pic! They're also just fun to watch. #12. Ever wondered what it's like inside a snowglobe? Here's your chance! There's also great props to strike a pose and get the perfect family holiday photo. SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is just one of the many Holly Jolly Christmas and Holiday Events in Orlando  happening now through New Year's Day. Contact one of our Official Travel Counselors to help plan holly jolly holiday traditions that will have your family singing "fa-la-la-la" all the way home. Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on all the yuletide fun you can have this holiday season in Orlando.

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    Top 12 “Must Know” Tips for SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
  • Oh what fun it is to celebrate the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort. The most joyous holiday traditions sparkle with cheer, including new surprises in the Macy's Holiday Parade, face-to-face encounters with the Grinch and the yuletide sounds of Mannheim Steamroller. Universal's festive season of events are guaranteed to add glitz and glamor to your family's celebration in Orlando. Included in regular park admission, you can enjoy this two-park (Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure) celebration from now through January 4, 2015. Visit Orlando's holiday revelers got the inside scoop from Universal's Producers about this year's new features and new surprises. Here are our top tips you must know before you go. Macy's Holiday Parade Many of us have dreamed of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person on the streets of New York City. Now that magic comes to life on the streets of Universal Studios Florida with many of the larger-than-life balloons that have made this parade an annual tradition. Insider Tip: Grab a seat on the sidewalk by the five-story Christmas tree, this is one of the best spots to get the first look at all of the floats, bands and balloons in the Macy's Holiday Parade. This year, Chloe The Clown "Balloonicle," a new addition to the parade combines a towering balloon with a self-powered vehicle that roams the streets of Universal Studios. See more insider facts about this fascinating addition to this historical parade. Chloe "Balloonicle" Insider Facts: Chloe stands 25 feet tall and took six years to build The Balloonicle debuted in the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Chloe is a balloon vehicle - balloon over a self-propelled vehicle The Balloonicle is battery powered and has continuously air pumped into the balloon Chloe is one year old and was designed after European clowns Mannheim Steamroller Following the tree lighting ceremony with Santa Claus at the Macy's Holiday Parade, make your way to the Music Plaza stage at Universal Studios. The acclaimed musical group synonymous with the Christmas holiday season, Mannheim Steamroller, will perform memorable holiday hits on Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21. Insider Tip: Find a comfortable spot in the grass under the stars so you don't have stand in the back. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the majestic holiday sounds from their new album "30/40." Grinchmas Universal's Islands of Adventure transforms Seuss Landing into the world of Grinchmas. Included with park admission, Grinchmas will be sure to delight Dr. Seuss fans of all ages with festive storybook décor, a heartwarming live show featuring recorded music by Mannheim Steamroller, and meet-and-greet- opportunities with the Grinch himself! Insider Tip: Although there are up to eight shows in a day, get in line extra early for the 30 minute Grinchmas show so you can get the best seat possible, the center section is best. Bonus Tip: Get your camera ready, because in this show you're allowed to take pictures and video! Just make sure to turn off your flash. Use #UniversalHolidays when you share your photos of the show. Your friends will be green with envy. Buy Universal Orlando Resort Discount Tickets These must do events are just part of the many holiday events in Orlando happening now through New Year's Day. Contact one of our Official Travel Counselors to help plan holly jolly holiday traditions that will have your family singing "fa-la-la-la" all the way home. Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on all the yuletide fun you can have this holiday season in Orlando.

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    Top “Must Know” Insider Tips for Universal’s Oh What Fun Holiday Celebration
  • Every holiday season, Orlando dazzles with dozens of joyful holiday celebrations, parades and live entertainment. And beyond our world-famous theme parks, Orlando's jubilant cheer continues with unexpected surprises from snowy pool parties to millions of pounds of carved ice. If you're wishing for extra holly jolly family fun, your dreams are guaranteed to come true with our list of ten holiday events outside Orlando's theme parks. SEE ALSO: Twelve Days of Christmas Treats in Orlando #1. Singing Christmas Trees As if the splendor of 40-foot-tall Christmas trees and sparkling with 250,000 lights aren't enough, look closer: those "ornaments" are singers! A tradition for more than 30 years, a full orchestra accompanies this huge choir presenting Christmas classics. #2. Rosen Centre Holidays On Ice Classic holiday songs with a modern twist are brought to life on ice this interactive, professional skate show. Also for the holidays, your turn on the ice with the Solar Bears players and mascot, and two chances to meet Santa: cake pop decorating and lunch, and letter writing and dinner. #3. Gaylord Palms ICE!  More than two million pounds of carved ice are transformed into a playground of sculptures and four slides. This year's theme is The Nutcracker. New for 2014: Alpine Rush Snow Tubing - an eight-lane tubing hill covered in real snow. And for some frosting fun: Gingy's Gingerbread Decorating and a sweet chance to meet Gingy. #4. Orlando Ballet: The Nutcracker The new Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts celebrates its first holiday season with Clara, the Mouse King and Sugar Plum Fairy. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra accompanies this full length production. #5. Light Up UCF Bigger, Brighter and Brrr-ier - for the seventh year, Light Up UCF includes an 8,000 square foot outdoor ice skating rink, rides, and holiday attractions. Take in the Holiday Film Festival on a huge two-story screen, thousands of twinkles in the choreographed light show, and snow set to a DJ's beat. #6. Let It Snow at the Nick Hotel At the Oasis Pool Deck at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, registered guests can dive into a winter wonderland of snow, lights, holiday music and treats. Picture perfect moments feature Nickelodeon characters dressed in their holiday finest. We also hear a special red-suited, white- bearded guest stops by, too! #7. Now Snowing in Celebration The main street in picturesque Celebration is blocked to traffic just for that reason: a celebration, featuring nightly snow, strolling Charles Dickens Carolers, and horse drawn carriage rides. Live music each weekend by the lake features performances including a Radio Disney Holiday concert and American Idol finalist Jason Castro. #8.  Friday Nights at the Morse Museum Every Friday evening, enjoy free admission and live holiday music. The melodies from harps, flutes and guitars set the mood for holiday season programming, which also includes art demos and tours. #9. Santa's Winter Wonderland Village at Waterford Lakes Town Center Twenty-two Christmas-themed rides from around the world are the main attraction at this annual festival. You're surrounded by holiday lights and displays; Santa even has a workshop here! Parking, admission and entertainment are free. #10. Winter in the Park  Even without a chill in the air, twirl and glide into the holidays at the outdoor ice rink at the Central Park West Meadow, located on the corner of New York Ave. and Morse Blvd. Shop, snake and then skate - admission is only $12 and includes the ice skates! Bonus Event: Santa's Workshop at Bass Pro Shops  Get ready for a rugged Christmas celebration where you can get your photo with the big guy, himself for free! Bass Pro Shops at the new Artegon Marketplace also has a variety of free games, crafts, and activities for the entire family. SEE ALSO:  Top Five Unexpected Must Do's in Orlando for the Holidays These must do events are just part of the many holiday events in Orlando happening now through New Year's Day. Contact one of our Official Travel Counselors to help plan holly jolly holiday traditions that will have your family singing "fa-la-la-la" all the way home. Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on all the yuletide fun you can have this holiday season in Orlando.

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    Top 10 Holiday Events Beyond Orlando’s Theme Parks
  • New Year's Eve is one of the biggest fireworks evenings of the year at Walt Disney World Resort (Kent Phillips, photographer) New Year's Eve is a great time to be in Orlando. Whether you want to ring in the New Year in our world-famous theme parks, jam with Billy Joel in concert, or you'd prefer a laid back evening with family and friends, Orlando is sure to have the perfect way to celebrate. Want to bring in 2015 in a big way? Explore our list of events to find something that's sure to make your New Year's a magical celebration for everyone. Walt Disney World Resort Celebrate the New Year at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios theme parks. Each of the three parks will have special enhancements to their nightly fireworks and entertainment with special midnight fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. December 31, is also one of the most popular days to visit. So be sure to pick your park of choice and arrive early before the parks "closes" to additional guests. Universal Orlando Resort Celebrate the New Year at either or both of Universal Orlando's theme parks - Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve festivities in the parks include party zones that will feature DJs, character appearances and fireworks at midnight. Admission to the theme parks on New Year's Eve is the same as the standard gate price. New Year's Eve at SeaWorld Orlando Celebrate our connection to the sea, sea life and the world we share as we ring in the New Year, SeaWorld style. A spectacular musical celebration and bold fireworks display send a wave of welcome to the New Year ahead. Billy Joel in Concert at the Amway Center Billy Joel will perform a special New Year's Eve concert in Orlando at the Amway Center on December 31, 2014. This performance marks Billy Joel's first solo headlining appearance in Orlando since 2007. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 14 at 10 a.m. LEGOLAND Florida - Kid's New Year's Eve Happy Kids' New Year's Eve at LEGOLAND Florida where the giant LEGO brick drops at a very kid-friendly midnight KST (Kid Standard Time) - otherwise known as 7 p.m. Other event elements include fireworks and a dance party DJ. New Year's Eve at CityWalk Orlando Step up your New Year's at Universal CityWalk with a party that doesn't stop until next year. Bid a fond farewell to 2014 with incredible food and live performances. Between shows, dine on all-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine, including filet mignon, jumbo shrimp and decadent desserts. You'll also enjoy live entertainment in every club, a midnight champagne toast, and more! Cuba Libre New Year's Eve This New Year's Eve, we're giving you the opportunity to celebrate with us in two ways: before 8:30 p.m. during our Twilight Dinner Seating, and after 9 p.m. for our Celebration Dinner Package. We are now accepting reservations! Call 407-226-1600 to reserve your table for New Year's Eve today. New Year's Eve on Wall Street! Join us for another all out New Year's block party equipped with a street wide lightshow, outdoor dance party and the biggest and best countdown to 2015 in Downtown Orlando hosted by, the one and only, DJ Draven. All of the action kicks off December 31st at 8pm. Advance tickets are $25 or $30 on New Year's Eve. Orlando Museum of Art New Year's Eve Party Brilliant at 90 New Year's Eve Party is the Orlando Museum of Art's First Ever New Year's Eve Party. NYE at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort Ring in the New Year with an Extraordinary New Year's Eve Bash! Bid farewell to the good old times and ring in hope, joy for the year to come at Rosen Shingle Creek's New Year's Eve Bash! Join our celebration and revel in: Deluxe accommodations for you and a guest for one night, Prix fixe dinner for two at our gourmet Italian restaurant, Cala Bella, and New Year's Eve celebrations, party favors and a street festival. Price is $201.50 for two. Please call (407) 996-6338 for reservations. Check out our calendar of events for even more ways to ring in your new year. These New Year's events are just part of the many holiday events in Orlando happening now through New Year's Day. Contact one of our Official Travel Counselors to help plan holly jolly holiday traditions that will have your family singing "fa-la-la-la" all the way home.

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    New Year’s Eve in Orlando 2014/15
  •   Move over, sugar plums! Celebrate the twelve days of Christmas with Visit Orlando's list of twelve delicious treats that will be in your dreams this season. Orlando celebrates the holiday with tastes that are sweet, salty, spiked and spicy. Whether you've been naughty or nice, everyone deserves these twelve merry morsels.   #1. Start your day with the pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting from Charlie's Gourmet Pastries. A legendary bakery for four decades, the holiday season menu also includes mincemeat and sweet potato pies.   #2. The Candy Cane Cotton Candy from Sassafras Sweet Shoppe in Winter Park is a sweet bundle of cotton that quickly melts, leaving behind a mellow hint of mint.   #3. At first glance, they look common red-and-white-striped candy canes. But as they dissolve, the chocolate-filled candy canes at Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park offer a delightful twist on this traditional treat.   #4. Think of it as eggnog with a kick: the Southern Oats cocktail is made with Oat Infused Rye Whiskey, Cherry Chestnut Cocoa, Syrup, Cream, and Egg White. Enjoy yours at Highball & Harvest, at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.   #5. Winter Wonderland cocktail - Bar 1521 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek is serving a new craft coctail for the winter using Magellan Gin paired with mint leaves, topped off with ice, blueberries, cranberries, Blue Curacao liqueur to enhance the blue color and a splash of Sprite.   #6. Even without the seasonal spirit, Eggnog ice cream is a kid-friendly version of the December-time drink. Stop by Scoops Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Winter Garden starting the first week of December for a cone.   #7. It's as decadent as the place where it's scooped: chocolate peppermint gelato at Lickety Split in the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. Creamy, rich, and minty - get your bowl or cone starting the first week of December.   #8. After the photo opp in front of the new "Frozen" inspired gingerbread house at Disney's Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort, pick up a "Frozen" S'more - moist "Frozen"-blue cake with a swirled dollop of creamy frosting, topped with candied pearls.   Bonus Treat: Also at the Contemporary Resort, the Chocolate Peppermint Cookie is rich chocolate cookie topped with thin ribbons of chocolate ganache and blue chips of "ice" (minty gems).   Photo by: The Disney Food Blog  #9. Celebrate Joyeux Noël the way the French do, with La Bûche de Noël au Chocolate et Orange - a yule log with orange and milk chocolate mousse, crunchy hazelnut praline, chocolate and orange biscuit. This traditional Christmas dessert can be found at Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie in Epcot France.   #10. Toast to Frohe Weihnachten at Epcot Germany with glühwein - hot spiced wine. This warm, spicy traditional drink combines wine, mulled spices and raisins.   #11. How cute are these ordinary snacks that SeaWorld transformed into whimsical holiday treats? The perfect size for strolling the park, check out the Snowman dipped Oreo, Christmas Sprinkle Oreo, and Christmas Sprinkle Marshmallows on sticks. You'll drool over the salty-sweet combination of the Dipped Christmas Sprinkle Pretzel Rod. Squares of Candy Cane fudge are perfect mouth-popping size. Swim on over to Sweet Sailin' to grab all five.   #12. Festive frosting turns cupcakes into season favorites Santa Hats and Christmas Trees also available at SeaWorld Orlando. You can find them at The Cypress Bakery. For the gourmet cupcake enthusiast, don't miss the cupcakes that are irresistable on the inside and outside: Nutty Holiday cupcake with hazelnut crème filling and Chocolate Peppermint cupcake with chocolate peppermint ganache filling. Both are available at the Cypress Bakery. These twelve treats are just some of the many Holly Jolly Christmas and Holiday Events in Orlando happening now through New Year's Day. Contact one of our Official Travel Counselors to help plan holly jolly holiday traditions that will have your family singing "fa-la-la-la" all the way home. Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on all the yuletide fun you can have this holiday season in Orlando.

    Click the link for the full story

    Twelve Days of Christmas Treats in Orlando

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