It's that time of year again! Are you ready for some amazing times in Orlando? Here's a quick list of things that will guarantee a great, unforgettable and magical Christmas and New Year's! 1. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.Fireworks, parades and live entertainment with favourite Disney characters all come together in this fantastic event! Children can meet and greet loved Disney characters, tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and indulge in some complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. They can even be surprised with magical snowfall on Main Street! There will also be special access to many popular Magic Kingdom attractions. Pamper yourself with the magic from November 9th to December 21st, held on select nights at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom attractions. 2. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Be amazed as you behold millions of glittering lights perfectly synced to holiday music! Sheets of multi-coloured lights cover the buildings and other decorations, guaranteeing a spectacular sight. Watch the lights dim and flare into life every ten minutes on the Streets of America, in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. This wondrous event can only be seen between November 9th to January 6th, and you may be lucky enough to experience a flurry of snow at the end of the night! This attraction is included in the standard admission ticket. 3. Festival of the Seasons. Enjoy some holiday shopping in Downtown Disney amongst live entertainment, festive holiday décor, and holiday carollers. There are also fun photo opportunities and visits to Santa Claus! However, you can only experience it through November 16th to December 17th. 4. SeaWorld Christmas Celebration. If you want to see the Christmas tale told with carollers, large puppets and live animals, then SeaWorld Orlando is your next holiday destination! The SeaWorld Christmas Celebration also includes Shamu Christmas – Miracles which features seasonal music, a story of reflection and understanding, friendship and love, the everyday miracles around us…and, of course, the killer whales! Enjoy a special Sesame Street Christmas performance with fun music and celebration, Winter Wonderland with ice skaters who dazzle the senses, and more! However, these can only be seen through November 17th to December 31st. 5. Holidays around the World and Candlelight Processional. An international celebration of Yuletide traditions, this event put on at Disney World’s Epcot Theme Park includes festive decorations and live entertainment. The Candlelight Processional is held at the America Gardens Theatre and retells the story of Christmas with a guest narrator, 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir. This is a great way to celebrate Christmas and is an unforgettable experience. However you need to book in advance for this event, only available from November 23rd to December 30th. 6. Busch Gardens Christmas Town. Watch Tampa Bay transform into a wintry wonderland in Busch Gardens. Attractions such as Celebration Village, Candy Cane Lane, Miracle Way, Poinsettia Parkway and Sesame Street A Very Furry Christmas and many more are all available through November 30th to December 23rd. 7. Musical celebration of Holiday Fun and Excitement.Experience Christmas – or should I say, GrinchmasTM – at Universal Orlando Resort! Join in on the fun with Macy’s Holiday Parade with larger than life balloons from Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The Celebration is included in your normal admission ticket, and can only be experienced from December 3rd to January 1st. 8. New Year’s Eve Party at DisneyQuest Interactive Theme Park. Fun, games and dancing are all included in this spectacular party, held in Downtown Disney! Five floors fuelled by electronic Disney innovation and imagination provides entertainment and includes access to all DisneyQuest attractions and video games. There will be a DJ dance party complete with party favours, New Years Eve countdown and confetti drop at midnight, as well as a coupon for select food and drinks! 9. New Years Eve at SeaWorld.Spectacular musical celebration and fireworks, done SeaWorld style! Celebrate a connection to the sea, sea life and the world in this beautiful event, a truly fantastic way to bring in 2013! 10. Busch Gardens New Year’s Eve.A great way to welcome the New Year! Busch Gardens’ New Year’s celebrations include special musical entertainment, DJs, rides all evening long, holiday events, and fireworks at midnight. All of this is included in the standard admission ticket.
Avoid paying top dollar for items that ordinarily will not enhance your trip. Save money and systemize your budget towards more lasting memories with these budgeting tips! Know Before You Go: Book your vacation early The earlier you book your vacation the better price you are going to receive. As hotel occupancy rates rise so will the prices. Booking 4 to 6 months in advance should be plenty of time to guarantee the best prices. Hotels are not always practicalDepending on the size of your group or family, a hotel may not be the most logical accommodation. Vacation homes and condos are recommended for larger families and can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis with search options including condos, villas and townhomes in the area.Create a structured budget Determine what overall finances are available to spend on the trip and what splurges you can live without to save money.Make an Orlando “Bucket List” Orlando has 52 different theme parks! Write down a tentative schedule of all activities, attractions and restaurants you, your family or friends plan to visit while in the area. Try prioritizing activities by category headings such as: theme park rides, family fun, water parks, music, cinema, sightseeing, shopping etc.Write out a Daily Spending PlanTotal the costs of all the predetermined information listed above. Don’t forget to include admission fees, estimated food costs, gas or transportation and of course extra spending money for souvenirs etc. Keep the budgeting information with you to combat excess spending and serve as an itinerary.Bring All Convenience Goods From HomePack all necessary products or first-aid materials before you depart on your theme-park paradise. Do not forget first aid materials and sunscreen!During Your Orlando Theme Park StayAvoid overpaying for foodPlan to consume larger meals away from the parks. Take advantage of your hotel’s continental breakfast (if available) during allotted morning hours.Eat at a large breakfast before the park and do not forget to grab fruit, yogurt or a snack-sized box of cereal from the buffet before departing for the day for a midday snack. Minimizing large afternoon meals can do wonders for your budget.Lunch can either be split between two or enjoyed as a medium snack inside the park. Not only does this allow more time to experience more of the parks but it also provides leeway for your group to indulge in a large dinner outside in the surrounding area like CityWalk.® Utilize the monorail to travel to and from parksAvoid parking at Disney World for $14 a day and walking across hot parking lots at each park destination. Use the complimentary monorail service instead! This free aboveground transportation takes you to all the major Disney resorts and theme parks within minutes and is air-conditioned so you can cool off on the ride over.Save on Shopping with Outlet Malls Galore! Orlando has three huge outlet centers and many great malls near Disney World with brand names such as: Coach, Nike, DKNY, Brooks Brothers, Gucci, Polo, and more. Most factory outlet items area originally discounted 35% to 65% and offer fabulous sales!Buy Souvenirs at the end of your Orlando vacation Do your wallet a favor and buy your souvenirs at the end of your vacation. By the end you and your family should be able to narrow down exactly what you want. Majority of stores are happy to ship items out for a small fee whereas airline checked baggage prices are sky high!