Orlando Christmas Shows: Top Holiday Performances to See

Published date on December 22, 2023

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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Orlando’s enchanting Christmas shows in 2023. Orlando comes alive with holiday spirit, offering a dazzling array of performances and attractions. Whether you’re a fan of ballet, music, theater, or family-friendly activities, this guide has you covered. Explore the wonders of Cirque at Gaylord Palms, relive the classic tale of “A Christmas Carol” at Orlando Shakes, and immerse yourself in the joy of UCF’s Knights Season of Joy. Get ready to experience the magic of Christmas in Orlando, where the keyword “Orlando Christmas Shows” unlocks a world of festive entertainment.

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Orlando Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Every holiday season, Orlando becomes a hub for cultural and artistic expression, and nothing exemplifies this better than the Orlando Ballet’s rendition of “The Nutcracker”. This year marks a special milestone for the ballet company, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary of performing Tchaikovsky’s enchanting masterpiece. The show’s reputation for mesmerizing choreography, opulent costumes, and lavish sets continues to draw crowds, making it a cornerstone among Orlando Christmas shows.

Enchanting Performances for All Ages

The Nutcracker’s appeal stretches across generations. Its magical story, featuring world-class dancers, transports audiences to the whimsical Land of Sweets. The ballet’s adherence to the traditional storyline, coupled with its high-caliber production, makes it a must-see event during Christmas in Orlando 2023.

Additionally, the Orlando Ballet has made an inclusive effort by introducing a special Nutcracker Family and Sensory-Friendly Show. This adaptation is designed to be accessible for audiences of all ages and abilities. Adjustments to sound and lighting ensure a comfortable experience for everyone, with quiet spaces available for those who need them.

Details for Planning Your Visit

  • Performance Dates: From December 8th to December 24th, 2023.
  • Venue: The Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts, a central location in Orlando.
  • Ticket Information: Prices start at $29, making it an affordable option for families and individuals alike.

Why It’s a Must-See

Orlando Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” offers a blend of tradition and artistic excellence, making it a standout among Christmas shows for kids in Orlando and adults alike. Whether you’re a ballet aficionado or seeking a special holiday experience, this production promises to leave a lasting impression. Additionally, its commitment to inclusivity through the sensory-friendly shows aligns well with the festive spirit of giving and togetherness, making it a perfect fit for Christmas events in Florida 2023.

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Phantasmagoria’s A Most Haunted Victorian Christmas

Phantasmagoria’s A Most Haunted Victorian Christmas is not your typical holiday performance. It is a blend of whimsy, horror, and Victorian elegance, making it a standout among the Orlando Christmas shows. This performance by the critically acclaimed Victorian Performance Troupe Phantasmagoria is set to take you on a festive journey through a variety of holiday haunts, ghostly mysteries, and whimsical spirits.

Theatrical Storytelling with a Twist

The troupe’s storytelling prowess is unmatched, as they weave tales that cover haunted poetry, ghostly greetings beneath mistletoe, and terrifying mythic creatures. The stories told in A Most Haunted Victorian Christmas celebrate the centuries-old tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve, a wonderfully “spirited” way to enjoy the holiday season. The performance is bound to be a delightful experience for those who enjoy a chilling twist to their holiday festivities.

Show Details and Venue

  • Performance Dates: The show will be performed on Saturday, December 9, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 10, at 2 p.m.
  • Venue: It will take place at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, located at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue in Orlando.

For those interested in a unique holiday experience, this performance is a must-see. Its blend of holiday themes with a hint of the supernatural offers a refreshing change from the traditional Christmas shows.

The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays

A Spectacular Display of Illusions

Orlando’s holiday season is set to be dazzled by “The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays.” This show, celebrated worldwide for its extraordinary blend of the most astonishing acts, promises a thrilling experience for all ages. Renowned for shattering box office records globally, the Illusionists bring a spectacle filled with sophisticated and awe-inspiring magic.

The show features a lineup of some of the most talented illusionists on the planet. Each performer brings their unique flair to the stage:

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  • Chris Cox: Known as a “mind reader who can’t read minds,” Chris Cox has captivated audiences globally, with shows in New York’s Broadway, London’s West End, and Sydney Opera House.
  • Hyunjoon Kim: A master of manipulation, Hyunjoon Kim is a celebrated magician from Korea, renowned for his precision and artistry.
  • Pablo Cánovas: The young Spanish illusionist has been recognized internationally for his enchanting performances.
  • Steve Valentine: With extensive experience in both acting and magic, Steve has earned numerous awards and is a respected figure in the magical community.
  • Kevin James: An inventor and performer, Kevin James brings a fresh approach to magic, blending comedy with astonishing acts.

Show Details

  • Date and Time: December 15, 2023, at 8:00 pm.
  • Venue: The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, a premier location in Orlando for performing arts.
  • Ticket Prices: Starting from $30, offering an accessible experience for families and individuals alike.

“The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays” is more than just a magic show; it’s an immersive experience that combines the joy of the holiday season with the wonder of magic. This event is a perfect addition to the array of Christmas shows for kids in Orlando and is equally enjoyable for adults, making it a versatile choice for holiday entertainment.

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ICE at Gaylord Palms: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

This year, the Gaylord Palms presents an extraordinary holiday experience with ICE! featuring “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This event is a unique spectacle where over 40 world-renowned master artisans hand-carve approximately 6,700 blocks of ice, creating a 20,000-square-foot winter wonderland filled with immersive scenes from the beloved holiday classic.

Highlights of the ICE! Experience

  • Crawl Through Snoopy’s Doghouse: Visitors can see Snoopy’s iconic red doghouse, meticulously carved from colorful ice. It’s not just for viewing – you can crawl through it too!
  • Slide Down Two-Story Ice Slides: One of the most thrilling parts of the ICE! experience is the two-story tall ice slides. There are five slides to choose from, including one specifically for children.
  • Find the True Meaning of Christmas: The heartwarming scene where Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang gather around the Christmas tree is brought to life in stunning detail.
  • ICE! Carver’s Showcase: After exploring the ice sculptures, guests can watch master artisans at work, demonstrating the skill and artistry involved in ice carving.
  • O Holy Night Nativity Scene: The experience concludes with a separate area dedicated to a beautifully crafted Nativity scene made entirely of crystal-clear ice.

Additional Details and Offers

  • Event Duration: The event runs from November 17, 2023, to January 3, 2024.
  • Special Offers: There are special ticket offers available, including a Buy One Get One Free deal for a limited time, allowing more visitors to enjoy this magical experience.
  • Temperature Inside: The attraction is kept at a steady 9 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the ice sculptures, but visitors are provided with parkas to keep warm.

ICE! at Gaylord Palms is more than just a display; it’s an immersive experience that combines the magic of Christmas with incredible craftsmanship. It’s an ideal family-friendly attraction, perfect for creating holiday memories.

Lake Eola and Downtown Orlando Celebrations

Lake Eola Park and Downtown Orlando offer a variety of holiday events and activities that capture the essence of the Christmas season. Here are some of the highlights:

1. 2023 Tree Lighting Celebration

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer invites residents and visitors to the annual Tree Lighting Celebration at Lake Eola Park’s Washington Plaza. This event includes holiday performances, food trucks, and a holiday market at International Plaza within Lake Eola Park. The Merry Market returns this year, available each weekend through December 23, where you can enjoy snowfall in Florida and shop local from over 30 vendors. A visit with Santa is also a must!

  • When: Friday, December 1, 2023 | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Location: Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando 32801

2. Eola Winter Wonderland

The Eola Winter Wonderland at Lake Eola is a central feature of Orlando’s holiday festivities. It includes a 64-foot tall Christmas tree with a dazzling light show and incredible light displays around the lake. Additionally, snowfall events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings add to the magical atmosphere.

3. Violectric Holiday Show

The Violectric Holiday Show, a free electric violin concert, takes place at the Lake Eola Park Amphitheater. This unique show features a local electric string quintet band, Violectric, performing traditional holiday jingles mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits.

  • When: Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 7 p.m.
  • Location: Lake Eola Park Amphitheater, 195 North Rosalind Avenue

4. The Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show

Lake Eola Park also hosts The Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show, a spectacular display with a 64-foot Christmas tree adorned with close to 2,000 ornaments and 200 pounds of lights. The lights are musically synced, creating an enchanting experience for all visitors.

5. City of Orlando’s Christmas Tree

A highlight of the season is the City of Orlando’s Christmas tree, a symbol of the holiday spirit in the city. The tree lighting event at Lake Eola is a cherished tradition for both residents and visitors.

6. Other Activities

In addition to these events, there are various other holiday activities and shows throughout Downtown Orlando and Lake Eola Park. From festive decorations to special performances, the area is a hub of holiday cheer.

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Celebration, Florida’s Festive Charm

A Whimsical Winter Wonderland

Celebration, Florida, known for its picturesque setting and close-knit community, transforms into a whimsical winter wonderland during the holiday season. This year, the town is all set to host its 25th annual “Now Snowing” event, a month-long Winter Wonderland Spectacular, from November 25th through December 31st, 2023.

Highlight Events in Celebration

  1. Now Snowing Nightly: Central Florida’s original and premier “Snowing” event, Now Snowing offers an array of activities including a synthetic ice rink, community performances, concert events, and nightly snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 PM. This family-friendly event is a throwback to traditional holiday celebrations, complete with strolling Charles Dickens-style carolers, photos with Santa, and horse-drawn carriage rides.
  2. Celebration Holiday Home Tour: Early December visitors can tour exquisitely decorated homes around Celebration. The tour also includes access to Winter Wonderland, showcasing beautifully decorated trees and table designs for purchase, and The Market Place for unique gifts.
  3. Celebration Farmers Market: Held every Sunday, the market offers arts, crafts, gifts, jewelry, and local fresh produce – perfect for holiday shopping.
  4. 2023 Holiday Concert: Featuring “Feeling Good” with Michael Evans, this concert on December 19th at Lakeside Park offers a tribute to Michael Bublé, combining big-band standards and classic hits in a high-energy show.
  5. Tree Lighting Event: The annual Now Snowing Tree Lighting takes place on November 30th from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm, marking the beginning of the holiday festivities in Celebration Town Center.

Culinary Delights and Dining Options

Celebration boasts a variety of dining options, from sushi and Thai to traditional American, Italian, and Mexican cuisines. Notable mentions include the Turkey Stacker at Celebration Town Tavern, fine dining at Columbia, and sweet treats at Le Macaron and Kilwins. The town is also pet-friendly, with several restaurants offering patio dining for dogs.

Practical Information

  • Event Duration: November 25th – December 31st, 2023
  • Location: Celebration Town Center and various locations around the town
  • Parking: Free in select lots, but be mindful of parking laws as unauthorized parking may lead to towing.

Diverse Musical and Artistic Events in Orlando

Orlando’s holiday season is filled with a variety of musical and artistic performances that cater to diverse interests. From traditional ballets and theatrical productions to festive concerts and live performances, the city offers a rich tapestry of holiday entertainment.

  1. Cirque: Spirit of Christmas at Gaylord Palms: Experience breathtaking acrobatics, aerialists, and holiday music from November 19th to December 31st, 2023 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.
  2. “A Christmas Carol” at Orlando Shakes: Watch Charles Dickens’ timeless classic come alive at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater from November 29th to December 24th, 2023.
  3. UCF’s Knights Season of Joy: Enjoy a special event featuring the UCF choirs, UCF Symphony Orchestra, and vocal jazz quartet “RESOLVE” on December 3rd, 2023, at The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
  4. Christmas at the Movies: A Very Merry Sequel: Delight in music from holiday films performed by the CFCArts Community Choir and Symphony Orchestra on December 7th at Northland Church.
  5. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The Ghosts of Christmas Eve: A captivating combination of music, storytelling, and lights, this performance is on December 22nd, 2023, at the Amway Center.
  6. Christmas Tea and Cello Performance: Enjoy live cello music accompanied by Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Tea Room Experience on December 23rd and 24th.
  7. Disney Jollywood Nights: Featuring live bands, stage shows, and fireworks, this event occurs on select nights from November 11th to December 20th, 2023, at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.
  8. Epcot’s Candlelight Processional: A blend of celebrity narration, a 50-piece orchestra, and massed choir as part of the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, available with dining packages.

Interactive and Family-Oriented Activities in Orlando

Orlando is a wonderland of holiday cheer, especially for families looking for interactive and fun activities. Here are some highlights of family-oriented activities you can enjoy during the Christmas season:

  1. SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration (November 10, 2023 – January 2, 2024): This event offers over 3 million lights on display, a Christmas parade, live shows, ice skating, and a visit with Santa near the Wild Arctic area.
  2. Disney Jollywood Nights (November 11 – December 20, 2023): A festive event at Hollywood Studios featuring festive photo ops, shows, themed food, entertainment, and lower wait times for rides.
  3. Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort (November 17 – December 31, 2023): Enjoy the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, and Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  4. Colorful Christmas at Crayola Experience Orlando (November 18, 2023 – January 7, 2024): An event that includes animatronic Christmas characters, a life-size snow globe, a light show, and unique gift-making opportunities for kids.
  5. Holidays at Legoland Florida (Select days, November 24 – December 31, 2023): Celebrate the holidays with seasonal shows, holiday Lego characters, twinkling lights, and fireworks on select nights.
  6. Mount Dora Lighted Boat Parade (December 2, 2023): Enjoy a festive boat parade on Lake Dora with local boats decked in holiday lights.
  7. Holiday Ho Ho Ho-Down at Gatorland (December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17): A signature holiday event featuring music, festive displays, interactive characters, and holiday treats. Don’t miss the photo opportunities with Gator Claus and the Krampus Croc.
  8. Winter Fest at U-Pick at Amber Brooke Farms (Saturdays and Sundays, December 9-17, 2023): A holiday-themed farm experience with strawberry u-Pick, Santa visits, and festive activities.
  9. Bass Pro Shops Santa’s Workshop (November 4 – December 24, 2023): Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland with an array of activities and photo opportunities with Santa.

These events offer a variety of experiences from dazzling light displays and parades to interactive activities and character meet-and-greets, ensuring a memorable holiday season for the whole family.

Theme Park Holiday Attractions in Orlando

Orlando’s theme parks are renowned for their spectacular holiday celebrations. Here’s a guide to what you can expect in 2023:

Walt Disney World

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - Parade
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Parade
  1. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Magic Kingdom hosts this event filled with holiday lights, decor, food, music, and live entertainment. Highlights include the Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Available on select nights from November 9 to December 22.
  2. Disney’s Jollywood Nights: A new holiday event at Hollywood Studios, featuring live entertainment, a festive fireworks and projections show, and a “Nightmare Before Christmas” sing-along. Special culinary creations and cocktails are available during this event, which runs on select nights from November 11 to December 20.
  3. Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays: Starting November 24, this festival showcases holiday and winter traditions from around the world. The Candlelight Processional is a highlight, featuring celebrity narrators, the Voices of Liberty choir, and a 50-piece orchestra. The festival also includes the Holiday Cookie Stroll, outdoor holiday kitchens, and festive decor.
  4. Big Holiday Sale: The offer from Epik Vacations features a 4-day/3-night stay at Westgate Resorts near Disney World for $99, plus a $100 Visa gift card and flexible 12-month travel window. More details at Orlando Epik Vacations

Universal Orlando Resort

  1. Grinchmas: Islands of Adventure’s Seuss Landing turns into a festive Who-ville, complete with the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” show.
  2. Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Both Universal parks celebrate with festive decor and live entertainment in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, including performances by Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.
  3. Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s: Experience the excitement of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with towering balloons and festive floats. This daily and nightly event runs from November 17 to December 31.

SeaWorld Orlando

  1. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration: The park becomes a winter wonderland with millions of lights, holiday decor, live entertainment, and special shows like “O Wondrous Night” and the Holiday Reflections fireworks finale. Snow flurries, the Sea of Trees, Winter Wonderland on Ice show, and visits with Rudolph and Santa are part of the festivities. Event dates are from November 10, 2023, to January 2, 2024.
  2. Seaworld Christmas Offer: Don’t miss out on this holiday sale: Get 2 SeaWorld Orlando tickets for just $69, a 76% discount! Get details at EpikVacations to enjoy the savings. Offer ends soon!

Legoland Florida

  1. Holidays at Legoland: Featuring Lego Christmas builds, lights, character experiences, and festive food, the park hosts holiday villages with various activities. The event runs on select dates from November 24 to December 31.
  2. Big Savings with Legoland: Experience the magic of Legoland Florida with an exceptional End of the Year Sale offer: 2 tickets for just $49. Enjoy unbeatable value and create unforgettable memories!” For more information and to purchase, visit Orlando Epik Vacations.

Gaylord Palms Resort

  1. ICE: Although not a theme park, Gaylord Palms is known for its ICE event, a 20,000-square-foot exhibit with characters and decor carved from 2 million pounds of ice. This year’s theme is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

These theme parks and resorts offer a blend of traditional holiday joy and unique entertainment, making Orlando a must-visit destination during the holiday season​​​​.

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As we wrap up our journey through Orlando’s Christmas wonderland, remember that this city has something special for everyone during the holiday season. From heartwarming theatrical productions to high-energy concerts and family-oriented activities, Orlando’s Christmas shows in 2023 promise unforgettable moments. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, make the most of your holiday season by immersing yourself in the joyous celebrations and performances that Orlando has to offer. The memories created here will stay with you long after the lights have dimmed and the music has faded. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is on Orlando Christmas 2023? A1: Orlando Christmas 2023 is packed with festive events and shows. From dazzling theme park attractions to magical musical performances, there’s something for everyone. Explore the Nutcracker ballet, Cirque at Gaylord Palms, and more.

Q2: What is there to do in Orlando at Christmas time? A2: Orlando offers a wide range of activities during Christmas time. Enjoy holiday concerts, theatrical productions, family-friendly events, and theme park celebrations. You can also explore downtown Orlando’s festive charm and Lake Eola’s spectacular decorations.

Q3: What is SeaWorld like at Christmas? A3: SeaWorld Orlando transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas. The SeaWorld Christmas Celebration in 2023 features dazzling lights, festive shows, and even the chance to meet Santa Claus. It’s a magical experience for the whole family.

Q4: Is Orlando busy during Christmas? A4: Yes, Orlando can be quite busy during Christmas. The city attracts visitors from around the world for its holiday events and attractions. It’s advisable to plan your visit in advance, make reservations, and expect crowds, especially at theme parks and popular shows.


  • Fabian Mendoza

    Master in Digital Marketing with over 15 years of experience, Fabian has focused a significant part of his professional career on promoting the tourism industry. From the beginning, he led commercial, communication, and marketing strategies for renowned tourist attractions in Colombia, his native country. Currently residing in Orlando, he has worked on projects that encourage tourism in the Caribbean region. More recently, he has dedicated himself to promoting Orlando, highlighting not only its famous theme parks but also its hidden gems.

  • Corey Piccirillo

    Corey Piccirillo was born on March 26, 1995, in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They received their education at The University of Florida, where they studied Mass Communication Spec. In Digital Strategy. Corey is a content creator in Orlando, FL. creating relevant travel content for tourists and locals alike. This includes writing on the blogs, capturing videos and pictures, and creating short-form content on social media.