November 5, 2023, 7:22 PM ·
It’s time again for the holiday season at America’s top theme parks. To help you plan when and where to go, here is our list of this year’s theme park holiday events and their dates.
DisneyThe Holidays at the Disneyland Resort begins Friday, November 10. In addition to the return of the A Christmas Fantasy parade and Believe… In Holiday Magic fireworks at the original park, Disney Festival of Holidays and Viva Navidad return to Disney California Adventure, which also shows World of Color – Season of Light throughout the season. The Holidays conclude January 7, 2024. TicketsHolidays at the Walt Disney World Resort begins November 11, though the after-hours Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party kicks off November 9. Disney World is adding a second hard-ticket party this year, Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which runs select nights from November 11 to December 20. A new Frozen Holiday Surprise castle projection show runs this year at Magic Kingdom, while the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays begins November 24, continuing through December 30. Otherwise, the Holidays at WDW officially wrap on December 31. TicketsUniversalHolidays at Universal Orlando run November 17 through December 31, with Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s in Universal Studios Florida, Grinchmas – and The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular live musical show – at Islands of Adventure, and Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at both parks. Mannheim Steamroller also will appear four nights at Universal Studios Florida. TicketsUniversal Studios Hollywood waits until after Thanksgiving to start its Christmas celebrations, which include Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with the Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle projection show, and Grinchmas in Universal Plaza, with its nightly tree lighting and character shows. USH’s Holidays run November 24 through January 1, 2024. Tickets
HerschendSmoky Mountain Christmas started this weekend at Dollywood. continuing through January 6, 2024. This year’s event features the new Joyful! Season of Light drone show, as well as indoor musicals “Christmas in the Smokies” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” At Silver Dollar City, An Old Time Christmas runs select days now through December 30. The event included Rudolph’s Jolly Holiday Christmas Lights Parade, Frisco Sing-Along Steam Train, and Christmas-theme musical shows.SeaWorld/Busch GardensSeaWorld Christmas Celebration starts November 9 at SeaWorld San Antonio and November 10 at SeaWorld Orlando , running select dates in Texas and daily in Florida through January 2 at both parks. At SeaWorld San Diego in California, the celebration starts November 17 and continues daily through January 7. Busch Gardens Christmas Town runs select dates November 10 through January 7 at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and daily November 11 through January 7 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Six FlagsIs it jumping the gun to include the Cedar Fair parks here? Knott’s Merry Farm starts November 17 at Knott’s Berry Farm, continuing daily through January 7, 2024. TicketsAt Carowinds, Winterfest runs select nights from November 17 through January 1, 2024. At Kings Dominion, the dates are November 17 through December 31, and at Kings Island, Winterfest runs select nights from November 24 through December 31, which also are the dates at California’s Great America.At the current Six Flags parks, here are the dates for the Holiday In the Park event, which runs select nights:Six Flags Fiesta Texas: November 18 – December 31Six Flags Over Georgia: November 18 – January 3, 2024Six Flags Over Texas: November 19 – December 31Six Flags Great Adventure: November 24 – January 1, 2024Six Flags Magic Mountain: November 23 – December 31Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: November 24 – December 31In addition Six Flags Great America will hold its World of Illumination: Arctic Adventure drive-through light experience on select nights from November 17 through December 31.LegolandHolidays at Legoland runs select dates from November 18 through January 7, 2024 at Legoland California and November 24 through December 31 at Legoland Florida. The Holiday Bricktacular event runs daily from November 10 through December 31 at Legoland New York.And finally…Hersheypark Christmas Candylane runs select dates from November 10 through January 1, 2024, with the separately charged drive-through Hershey Sweet Lights also available those dates. And at Kennywood, Holiday Lights runs November 18 through January 1, 2024.Once again, I was a nominating judge for USA Today’s 10Best contest to determine America’s best theme park holiday event. You can see the full list of nominees and vote for your favorite on the 10Best website.But while you are here, please tell us in the comments about your favorite theme park holiday event.To keep up to date with more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider’s weekly newsletter.