Holiday Light Shows: Drive-Thru Christmas Displays and More in Orlando for 2020
For many Orlando families, visiting local Christmas light displays is a treasured holiday tradition. It’s a great way to get in the Christmas spirit, and Orlando has no shortage of options, even in 2020. From dazzling displays at the theme parks to lighted boat parades and spectacular private home light shows, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to see lights here in Central Florida.
Get an exclusive view of Give Kids the World Village as it's tranformed into a wonderland of lights at Night of a Million Lights. Stroll through the illuminated forests and watch dancing light displays at Leu Gardens' Dazzling Nights. Or marvel at elaborate displays on private homes around the area. You can even catch a nightly light show on the slopes of Florida's first snow park. Read on for the very best holiday light displays around Orlando and Central Florida.
For those wanting to enjoy the magic of holiday lights while staying out of the public, there are multiple drive-thru events, including Magic of Lights in Daytona, Space Coast Lightfest in Melbourne, and the Winter Wonderland of Lights in Winter Springs, all detailed below.
Looking for other fun Christmas events in the area? Be sure to read our roundup of Must-Do Orlando Christmas and Holiday Events for Kids and check out our Events Calendar.
While we try to promote safe activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, keep your family and others safe by wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.
Christmas magic is colorful at Hogwarts Castle. Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando
Holiday Lights at Orlando Area Theme Parks
Walt Disney World Resort—Lake Buena Vista
Christmas at Walt Disney World Resort is completely magical. At Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Castle is transformed with cheerful light projections. Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life shimmers each night with sparkling lights. Take in the festive decor and holiday food at Epcot during the International Festival of the Holidays. Not to mention the resorts, which are each uniquely and meticulously decorated. Note: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot's Candlelight Processional, and the annual life-size gingerbread house at Disney's Grand Floridian have all been canceled for 2020.
Universal Orlando Resort—Orlando
Experience the magic of Christmas Harry Potter-style at Universal Orlando. Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are transformed with thousands of lights and holiday decorations. Plus, visit a real life Whoville at Seuss Landing for Grinchmas, complete with whimsical holiday lights and decor, and a Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular show. CityWalk and the surrounding resorts are also beautifully decorated for the holidays; take a trip on the complimentary water taxi to check them out.
SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration has more than 3 million lights twinkling for the holidays. Guests can watch a Sesame Street Christmas Parade, enjoy seasonal shows, visit Santa in the Wild Arctic and more. Cap off the visit by walking through a holiday wonderland in the Sea of Trees, where more than 100 trees light up the water and dance to holiday music.
Legoland Florida Resort—Winter Haven
Legoland's holiday celebration includes a Holly Jolly Jubilee Spectacular complete with interactive lights, a 30-foot Lego Chrismas tree, music and snow. Kids can visit with Lego Santa and take photos with a life-size Lego Snowman and reindeer-led sleigh built with thousands of bricks.
Thrill to Cirque Dreams Unwrapped at Gaylord Palms. Photo courtesy of Gaylord Palms
Holiday Lights Around Central Florida
Christmas at Gaylord Palms—Kissimmee
November 13, 2020-January 3, 2021
If you haven't experienced Christmas at Gaylord Palms, add it to your calendar now. Guests can enjoy many holiday festivities, including a Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show, Feast with The Grinch, an I Love Christmas Movies pop-up experience, Snow Factory, a free #LIT Light Show, a Christmas Tree Trail, more than 2 million holiday lights and acres of property-wide holiday decor. It's a must-see during the holiday season. Note: There will be no ICE! walk through attraction this year due to COVID-19.
Magic of Lights—Daytona
November 13, 2020-January 2, 2021
Daytona International Speedway isn't just for racing. During the holiday season, visitors can enjoy a holiday lights extravaganza from the comfort and safety of their own cars. More than a million lights are on display, including a candy cane lane, snowflake forest, a tunnel of lights, and more fun holiday-themed displays.
Night of a Million Lights—Kissimmee
November 13, 2020-January 3, 2021
Watch as Give Kids the World Village is transformed into a winter wonderland of more than 3 million lights. The display starts with a 150-foot lighted tunnel that leads to decorated family villas, large holiday-themed displays, a gingerbread arch, and more. There will also be a visit from Santa. Admission includes ice cream and hot cocoa, as well as unlimited access to the rides and attractions at the village.
Space Coast Lightfest—Melbourne
November 13, 2020-January 3, 2021
Enjoy more than 3 million lights while never leaving your car at this holiday drive thru attraction. This annual, family-oriented event features twinkling lights and animated displays, as well as a 200-foot lighted tunnel. Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Kids and get a discount on tickets at the gate.
Dinos in Lights at Orlando Science Center—Orlando
November 14, 2020-January 4, 2021
Families with little dinosaur fanatics will want to add this to the holiday to-do list. Every 30 minutes between 11am and 3:30pm, the DinoDigs area transforms into a festive light display choreographed to music. Each show lasts 4 minutes with a surprise ending.
Cranes Roost Park Holiday Lights—Altamonte Springs
November 26, 2020-January 3, 2021
Cranes Roost Park is transformed into a water fantastical with some impressive stats: It boasts more than 100 holiday displays with more than 200,000 lights. Plus there's a 60-foot Christmas tree with more than 8,000 lights, 2,600 ornaments, and a mile of garland. There is also a nightly fountain show complete with dancing water and lights choreographed to holiday music. Enjoy special events throughout the holiday season as well, including Santa Tuesdays and Holiday Movie Nights.
Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens—Orlando
December 1, 2020-January 3, 2021
Leu Gardens is transforming into a wonderland of lights this holiday season. This 3/4-mile experience includes more than a million sparkling lights, a shimmering forest, interactive elements, live music, and snowfall. Photo opportunites will be available under a 30-foot tall Christmas tree.
Winter Wonderland of Lights—Winter Springs
December 4, 2020-December 12, 2020
Families can drive through Central Winds Park and enjoy the holiday lights presented by the city and local businesses and organizations. In the middle of the drive, catch a glimpse of Santa at his workshop.
Mount Dora Christmas Lights—Mount Dora
Nightly throughout the holiday season
Mount Dora is simply breathtaking at Christmas time, with more than 2 million sparkling lights in Donnelly Park and throughout the downtown area. Take a short walk down to the Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina to view its beautiful light display overlooking the lake. Mount Dora also offers several holiday events, including the Mount Dora Christmas Walk and the Mount Dora Christmas Parade.
Note: The annual Light Up Mount Dora event is canceled for 2020 due to social distancing concerns surrounding COVID-19. However, visitors can still see the lights nightly throughout the holiday season.
A lighted boat parade ushers in the season in Ormond Beach. Photo courtesy of Tomoka River Christmas Boat Parade
Lighted Parades in the Orlando Area
Tomoka River Christmas Boat Parade—Ormond Beach
December 4, 2020
Watch decorated boats parade down the Tomoka River, complete with holidays lights, festive decor, and music. Spectators should bring one unwrapped toy to donate. Food trucks will be onsite.
Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade—Daytona Beach
December 5, 2020
This annual lighted boat parade takes place along the Halifax River in Daytona, with local boat owners and organizations teaming up to spread holiday cheer. Popular viewing areas for the parade include the Chart House Restaurant, Daytona Marina and Boat Works, City Island, Manatee Island, and Halifax Harbor Marina.
Mount Dora Lighted Boat Parade—Mount Dora
December 5, 2020
Families can marvel at boats decked out in holiday lights at the annual lighted Christmas Boat Parade on Lake Dora. Afterward, stroll along the paths of the Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina, which is covered in an ornate light display. There is plenty of space to view the parade and observe social distancing.
Kissimmee Festival of Lights Parade—Kissimmee
December 12, 2020
Bring the family to enjoy this annual nighttime holiday parade featuring music, dancing, and thousands of lights. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to find a spot as this is a popular event.
The illuminated oak tree is a signature of the Cross Christmas home in Orlando. Photo courtesy of Cross Christmas
Holiday Lights Displays at Homes in the Orlando Area
The Fye's Crazy Christmas House—Casselberry
Open nightly through the holiday season
This beautiful display contains more than 50,000 lights and a music light show. Note: There will be no letters to Santa this year due to COVID.
The Lights on Jeater Bend—Celebration
November 26, 2020-December 31, 2020
This streetwide display was featured on The Great Christmas Light Fight in 2015 and is comprised of 11 decorated homes synchronized to music, fun projections, Florida snow flurries, and Santa. While you can drive through to view the display, it is best to park and walk to get the full experience.
Lake Nona Lights—Orlando
November 26, 2020-January 1, 2021
This annual light show started in 2012 and has grown each year, with more than 25,000 lights choreographed to music.
December 1, 2020 through the holiday season
This display features a large oak tree wrapped with more than 85,000 lights and coordinated music. It also has snow flurries every half hour between 6:30-10pm.
Bivona Christmas Light Show—Winter Springs
The Bivona Christmas lights have been shining each year at Christmastime since 1983, with more lights added each year as well as a fantastic light show.
Places featured in this article:
Walt Disney World Resort
Universal Orlando Resort
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Cranes Roost Park
Simpson Cove on Lake Dora
Historic Downtown Kissimmee
The Fye's Crazy Christmas House
The Lights on Jeater Bend
Lake Nona Lights
Cross Christmas Light Display
Bivona Christmas Light Show
Central Winds Park
Daytona International Speedway
Tomoka River Boat Parade
Halifax Harbor Marina
Space Coast Lightfest