Orlando may not have snow to enhance the winter holiday ambiance, but some of the country’s most dazzling light displays take center stage during the Christmas season here. Theme parks, gardens, resorts, and other attractions entertain with shimmering light shows and magical activations throughout the central Florida city — no boots, parkas, or wool hats required.
Here’s where you can revel in holiday cheer at some of the best places to see Christmas lights in Orlando.
The 11 Best Places To See Christmas Lights In Orlando
1. Walt Disney World Resort
No surprise, Walt Disney World Resort pulls out all the stops when it comes to festive decorations at its four Orlando theme parks, as well as its hotels and other attractions like Disney Springs. In particular, once the sun goes down, gather in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom to witness an illuminating Frozen Holiday Surprise. It’s one of the best Christmas light shows in Florida!
Also check out Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
2. Holiday Nights At Island H2O Waterpark
While the water-based attractions aren’t open during Holiday Nights, guests can stroll through a variety of brightly lit displays ideal for snapping family photos and fun selfies. Kids’ activities include a scavenger hunt, train ride, and Blizzard Bash Foam Party.
3. Magic Of Lights At Daytona International Speedway
At Daytona International Speedway, you don’t have to get out of your car to enjoy a holiday-themed array of LED lights and digital animations. Magic of Lights is a drive-through experience that winds through the speedway.
4. Dazzling Nights At Leu Gardens
Elements of Dazzling Nights, an interactive experience at the 50-acre Leu Gardens, include pads that light up when visitors jump on them, a forest filled with laser beams, light tubes synced to music, and a shimmering 30-foot Christmas tree. There’s also a play area of giant, rolling ornaments; dozens of hanging Moroccan lanterns; and a bright, 70-foot light tunnel.
5. Universal Orlando Resort
Like its Disney counterpart, Universal Studios Resort decks out its theme parks, hotels, and attractions during the holiday season. Hogwarts Castle is amazingly illuminated with a stunning projection show during The Magic of Christmas celebration at Universal Islands of Adventure. Meanwhile, Diagon Alley is aglow with lights at Universal Studios Florida. The holiday parade featuring Macy’s showcases larger-than-life balloons and the Grinch stars in the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.”
6. Oh, What Fun! A Holiday Festival In Lake Nona
Lake Nona, a planned community just southeast of the Orlando International Airport, hosts a variety of festively illuminated photo ops, including oversized ornaments and a centerpiece Christmas tree. During Oh, What Fun!, you can also stroll the Evergreen Tree Trail lined with brightly lit trees, shop at a holiday market, and even experience a “snowfall.” Skip over to Lake Nona Wave Hotel for a cocktail at the sculpture garden’s upbeat Fa La La La Bar. And while you’re in the neighborhood, check out a residential home draped in over-the-top lights at Lake Nona Lights.
7. Gaylord Palms
One of Orlando’s most elaborately decorated hotels during the holidays, the Gaylord Palms holds a free #Lit Light Show featuring a dynamic tree lighting nightly. Most impressive is ICE! featuring “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” showcasing more than 2 million pounds of colored ice carved into amazing displays, slides, and tunnels. You can even scoot through a chilly version of Snoopy’s doghouse.
8. LEGOLAND Florida Resort
The looming Christmas tree built with giant LEGO bricks twinkles with a 360-degree light show at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The entire theme park exudes holiday joy with a special menu of sweet treats, seasonal shows, and interactive character experiences featuring the likes of LEGO Santa.
9. Dinos In Lights At Orlando Science Center
With your general admission ticket to the Orlando Science Center, you’ll view the dinosaur displays like you’ve never seen them before. Every half hour, the Dinos In Lights show brings a sparkly, entertaining musical production featuring Stan the T. Rex and his fossil friends.
10. Downtown For The Holidays
Head to downtown Orlando for a bevy of glittering light displays. The Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show takes place nightly with synchronized lights and music. Every night at dusk in Luminary Green Park, check out the mesmerizing art installation and light activations. The Orlando sign on the north end of the park features a light show with holiday flair as well — all part of the Downtown for the Holidays celebration.
11. Asian Lantern Festival: Into The Wild
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens puts a twist on typical winter holiday light displays with the Asian Lantern Festival, celebrating the culture, art, and beauty of traditional lantern festivals celebrated throughout Asia for centuries. There are more than 30 larger-than-life displays of illuminated sculptures depicting animals, plants, and traditional Chinese elements along a 0.75-mile walking path.
The Bottom Line
If your holiday travel plans bring you to Orlando, it’ll be hard to miss some of the most incredible displays of glowing Christmas lights. Have fun taking in all of the twinkling displays, entertaining photo ops, and holiday spirit.