Florida’s Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

         Each year Florida says “Christmas is here” from November
on and puts on wonderful festivities and celebrations throughout the
state. Among what’s on tap for the season in various Florida resorts
are special activities and themed attractions, spectacular Christmas
trees and fantastic seasonal displays.

Here are some outstanding festivities in popular Florida destinations:

Captiva – The Seventh Annual Holiday Village Festival in
Captiva presents a variety of themed events on weekends in November
and December. Hotels, shops, restaurants and attractions on this
picturesque island in Southwest Florida offer fireworks, Christmas
tree illuminations, musical events, decorated boat parade and more.
Visit www.CaptivaHolidayVillage.com.

Florida Keys – Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key offers a
tropical Christmas celebration –think of Santa on a Jet Ski instead of
a reindeer-pulled sleigh! The resort offers a special Hawks Cay
Christmas package and among the special activities are photos with
Santa and hot cocoa with Mrs. Claus. Visit www.hawkscaychristmas.com.

 Kissimmee  – The magic of Christmas comes to Gaylord Palms Resort from
Nov. 18 to Jan. 1. The décor of the resort is spectacular with two
million twinkling lights, an abundance of poinsettias, a 54-foot
Christmas tree and other ornaments. ICE! is a big attraction with ice
sculptures created from almost two million pounds of ice by talented
sculptors from China, ice slides, an ice bar and more. The theme for
ICE! this year is “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (with the beloved
characters of Charles Schultz’ “Peanuts” strips).

Florida’s Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Florida’s Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Other activities in Gaylord Palms include “Alpine Rush Snow Tubing,”
with 18-foot slides, character meet-and-greets, live entertainment,
breakfast with Charlie Brown and his gang, and gingerbread cookies and
houses decoration. Visit www.ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.


Lake Buena Vista/Orlando – The Walt Disney World resorts
celebrate Christmas to the max with majestic Christmas trees, lights,
poinsettias, garlands and other ornaments including gingerbread
houses. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Victorian dream
with a beautiful Christmas tree and a 16-foot-tall gingerbread house
in the lobby. This house, that looks big enough to spend the night in
comfortably, requires 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of sugar and
1,050 pounds of honey to be built, and it boasts even a chimney.
Visitors can see smoke coming out of the chimney every so often! And
in case visitors are tempted by so much sweetness, there is a shop in
the rear of the gingerbread house that sells cookies and other
goodies. The Grand Floridian is on the Magic Kingdom monorail line and
for its part the park is decorated spectacularly with millions of
lights, Christmas trees, poinsettias and a special attraction: the
Cinderella Castle Dream Lights with more than 300,000 white lights
that give it the aspect of an ice palace. Special events at Disney
World include “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” in the Magic
Kingdom, a separate ticket event with a special parade, “snowfalls” on
Main Street and festive entertainment; and the “Candlelight
Processional” in Epcot with an orchestra, massed choir and celebrity
narrators that tell the Christmas story (the “Candlelight
Processional” is included in park admission. Visit

Another option in Lake Buena Vista/Orlando is “Holiday
Happenings” at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin in the area of
Epcot. This resort offers a variety of festive events and activities
beginning in the end of November and continuing in December with
appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Activities include visits with
Santa who is dressed for the tropics and his favorite elf, Kandy Kane;
illumination of the resort’s 45-foot Christmas with Mrs. Claus in the
lobby of the Dolphin on select nights. Meet-and-greets with Santa and
Mrs. Claus also occur on select nights. Other attractions include a
2,000 pound chocolate sculpture of Santa Claus (possibly the world’s
largest chocolate sculpture in the world) and a festive fireplace,
Christmas tree, toy train and seven-foot-tall Nutcracker that are
displayed in the lobby of the Swan during December. Visit


Vero Beach – ‘Tis the season to be jolly at Gloria and
Emilio Estefan’s Costa d’Este resort. The seaside resort features an
annual Christmas Brunch at its restaurant, The Wave Kitchen & Bar. The
brunch offers everything from a made-to-order omelet station to the
tropical flavors of a whole roasted suckling pig. Visit

Christmas at sea from Florida – On select cruises to
the Bahamas and the Caribbean from Florida ports cruise ships of
Disney Cruise Line offer “Very Merrytime Cruises” in November and
December. These cruises boast Christmas decorations including
24-foot-tall Christmas trees and big gingerbread houses. There are
activities with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Disney character meet-and-greets
and many festivities for the whole family. Visit www.disneycruise.com.

Author: Georgina Cruz

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