10 Magical, Holiday Family Events In the Orlando Area

It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas in the Orlando area -- with its virtual twist. As a Floridian and frequent central Florida visitor, here are ten of my favorite unexpected one-of-a-kind family happenings to check out during this holiday season.
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It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas in the Orlando area -- with its virtual twist. As a Floridian and frequent central Florida visitor, here are ten of my favorite unexpected one-of-a-kind family happenings to check out during this holiday season. With all the global tension, let's rev up 2015's joy-factor:

-- Join Mickey and friends at Magic Kingdom during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, a winter celebration for live entertainment, big-deal fireworks and a jolly holiday parade. Select Nights November 8 - December 18, 2015

-- 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, is brought to life using two million (!) pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, including two-story tall ice slides at ICE! at Gaylord Palms. This year's Christmas at the Gaylord Palms will also feature Alpine Rush Snow Tubing, Breakfast with Mrs. Claus, Gingerbread Decorating Corner, The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt and more. November 24, 2015 - January 3, 2016

-- Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure transforms Seuss Landing into the whimsical world of the Grinch. See characters come to life, as Whos down in Who-ville stroll through Seuss Landing, ready to say hello and spread good cheer. Get the Grinch's autograph, shake his hand and have a photo taken with the mean, green one for a one-of-a-kind holiday memento. December 5, 2015 - January 2, 2016

-- This is the final year to see buildings blanketed in sheets of multi-colored lights, twirling carousels, heavenly angels and even Santa and his reindeer at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This display features millions of glittering lights synchronized to holiday music. November 6, 2015 - January 3, 2016

-- Now Snowing is a month long Winter Wonderland Spectacular featuring an ice rink, strolling Charles Dickens Carolers, community performers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, the Celebration Express train, and nightly snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. November 28 - December 31, 2015

-- Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios will make the streets come alive with balloons and floats. Treats to eat and drink plus festive music add to the celebration, including the return of holiday favorite, Mannheim Steamroller. Live performances on select Saturday and Sunday nights, December 5, 2015 - January 2, 2016

-- Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration, creating a wintery, watery wonderland. Journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express Experience, then share a smile with a playful penguin in Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin! With everything from Santa to Shamu, presents to penguins, and elves to Elmo. November 21- December 31, 2015

-- A joyous telling of the Christmas Story at Epcot's Candlelight Processional is narrated by celebrity guests, accompanied by a choir of hundreds, and an orchestra. November 27 - December 30, 2015

-- Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland Florida brings in the holiday season with a 30-foot tall Lego Christmas tree made of 270,000 Lego bricks. Every night a family will be chosen to help light the Bricktacular tree and visitors will also have a photo opportunity with a life-size Lego Santa Claus. Christmas Bricktacular festivities take place every Saturday and Sunday in December.

-- Celebrate the season with the annual festival of lights parade in Historic Downtown Kissimmee. The event features holiday carolers, strolling entertainers, marching bands, seasonal food and beverages and a special appearance from Santa!