International Drive Resort Area Dazzles for the Holiday Season!

The International Drive Resort Area pulls out all of the stops each December to make this Orlando vacation destination one of the most popular in the country for holiday travelers. Filled with fun for the entire family, the area's 100 hotels and resorts, five of the world's great theme parks, more than 150 restaurants, more than 485 shopping outllets and entertainment complexes are all decked out for the season.
Holiday Dazzle on I-Drive at Pointe Orlando Nov. 30!
Sponsored by the International Drive Improvement District, plans include a dazzling evening of Christmas fun beginning at 6 p.m. The event kicks off a month of holiday events at Pointe Orlando. Enjoy a tree lighting, spectacular decorations, caroling, special holiday entertainment and discounts on holiday dining and shopping! Don’t miss a chance to experience Pointe Orlando transformed into a magical holiday wonderland filled with activities to begin the season filled with holiday memories!
In addition to a 45-foot Christmas tree, enjoy local entertainment by the Central Florida Christian Academy Singers, Dr. Phillips High School “Dance in Motion” Company, Pointe Orlando Strolling Carolers and the I-Ride Trolley Quartet. Santa will be there, so bring your camera and take pictures with Santa for FREE!
Parking is easy and FREE! Bring four or more non-perishable food items per car OR a $15 gift card donation (from Walmart, Target or Publix) to Edgewood Children’s Ranch (a 501C-3 registered charity) and parking is free on Nov. 30.
More holiday fun! 
Throughout I-Drive, decorations, special holiday entertainment and visits from Santa at many hotels and restaurants greet visitors who are celebrating their holiday in the area. Meet the Grinch, have a holiday dinner with Pirates, have a photo taken with Santa, shop at the area’s world-famous retail outlets, visit the area’s world-famous theme parks. The options are as endless as the decorations along I-Drive!
The nostalgic I-Ride Trolleys, decked out in wreaths and garland, travel throughout the I-Drive area and are a yearly Central Florida tradition in Orlando’s tourist corridor. Visitors will enjoy parking the car and using the popular trolleys to travel throughout the area from 8 a.m. until 10:30 pm daily. Special hours for Christmas Eve: 8 am to 8 pm; Christmas Day: 10 am to 10:30 pm; New Year’s Eve: 8 am to 1 am. During the ride, visitors may stop for shopping, dining, entertainment or attractions. Affordable for the entire family, the trolley fare is $1.25 per person, per ride with accompanying children riding free (age 12 and under). Unlimited ride passes are also available. For additional information and downloadable maps, click “Trolley” on this site.
For holiday vacation planning, the following is a sampling of the area’s not-to-be-missed holiday events:
Holiday fun at the theme parks!
Universal Studios Florida Orlando
Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios
Dec. 3--Jan. 1, 2012
The world’s most famous parade in New York has become a traditional holiday experience at Universal Studios. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Macy's Holiday Parade features some of the most popular balloons and floats direct from the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Complete with a tree lighting ceremony by Santa Claus each day of the holiday season. 407-363-8000.
Dec. 3- Jan. 1, 2012
Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure is transformed into a bah-humbug haven by the Grinch. The entire Seuss-themed island is colorfully decorated for the season and guests are invited to meet the Grinch in his lair, which is outfitted with authentic movie props and gadgets. Grinch fans enjoy a live, musical stage show that tells the world-famous story of the grumpy Grinch. Meet the Grinch in person and have a photo taken! 407-363-8000.
Returning this year, Mannheim Steamroller will perform at the Holiday Village nightly on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. And don’t forget to visit Santa and enjoy tree lightings at all three of the Universal resort properties.
SeaWorld Orlando
Christmas Celebration events: Nov. 25-Dec. 31, 2011 (check for specific dates)
The Polar Express Experience at SeaWorld Orlando
This enchanting experience surrounds guests with the true spirit of the holiday season through laugh, thrills and animal encounters. Classic scenes are recreated in a multi-sensory experience immersing passengers in special lighting, scent, sound and motion effects from the smell of Christmas cookies to bright lights glistening on a festive tree. 407-351-3600. Also don’t miss:
Shamu Christmas Miracles
A festive atmosphere of sight and sound, where thrilling holiday music soars throughout the night as Shamu tells a story of reflection and understanding.
Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas
SeaWorld’s prankster-loving pinnipeds Clyde and Seamore put a comical twist on some of their favorite holiday moments in this holiday-themed show.
A Sesame Street Christmas
Favorite friends from Sesame Street come to SeaWorld for a festive and fun musical celebration at Seaport Theater! The holidays have arrived, but Abby Cadabby doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. She’s never heard of Christmas. Elmo, Telly Monster, and the rest gather to share the true spirit of the holiday. Through engaging choreography, gentle humor, and interactive sing-a-longs, the Sesame Street friends teach Abby what Christmas means to them.
Winter Wonderland on Ice
Christmas comes to life on a stage of ice, jewels and light. This extravaganza is a don’t miss experience!
Sea of Trees
This wonderland of trees sparkles with holiday spirit!
Holiday entertainment
Rosen Shingle Creek is once again creating plenty of ways for visitors to capture the spirit of the holiday season. For the fourth year, the luxurious AAA Four Diamond hotel will offer its one-of-a-kind series of holiday events. New events, including spirited song and dance performances, as well as choral concerts by school and church groups, have been added to this year’s bustling holiday line-up, which includes a Sugar Plum Afternoon Tea and a and visit from the Sugarplum Fairy, live performances of excerpts from “The Nutcracker,” visits from Santa Claus and more. For details, call 407-996-9770 or visit
Fantasyland Productions presents Yes, Virginia There is A Santa Dec. 2-18. 407-374-3587.
New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld Orlando
Dec. 31, 2011
SeaWorld Orlando is throwing a New Year’s Eve party complete with live music and fireworks. At the stroke of midnight, witness the Orlando sky radiate during a brilliant fireworks show that will light up the night. 407-363-2259.
New Year’s Eve at Universal CityWalk
Dec. 31, 2011
This 30-acre entertainment complex with themed restaurants, nightclubs and shops, hosts one of Orlando’s hottest New Year’s Eve parties. The evening features live performances by national acts, an expansive gourmet buffet, a champagne toast and live entertainment at its nightclubs, including the groove, an electrifying dance club; CityJazz, a hip jazz venue; Jimmy Buffett’s Magaritaville and others. 407-224-4233.

Holiday Dazzle on I-Drive Official Flyer in PDF Format