International Drive Resort Area Sparkles With Holiday Excitement
It is almost impossible not to feel the holiday spirit when you see the nostalgic I-Ride Trolleys, decked out in wreaths and garland, traveling throughout the I-Drive area packed with holiday visitors.
A yearly Central Florida tradition in Orlando’s tourist corridor, I-Drive is filled with special events and holiday entertainment to greet visitors along with dining, shopping and attractions that have made the area a major travel destination for holiday travelers. The area’s trademark symbol, the I-Ride Trolleys are decorated inside and out and look like a Christmas card from years past with their beautiful garland and wreaths as they transport holiday visitors throughout the area.
The I-Drive area is a popular holiday destination 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 outlets and entertainment complexes are all decked out for the season. 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, shop at the area’s world-famous retail outlets, visit the area’s world-famous theme parks. The options are endless!
Visitors will enjoy parking the car and using the popular I-Ride Trolley
service that travels 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
. Affordable for the entire family, the trolley fare is $1 per person, per ride with accompanying children riding free (age 12 and under). Unlimited rider ship passes are also available. For additional information, click “Trolley” on this site.
For your planning, the following are just some of the area’s not-to-be-missed holiday events:
Macy’s Holiday parade at Universal Orlando Resort, Dec. 8-Jan 1
- the worlds most famous parade in New York has become a holiday experience for park guests at Universal Studios. 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, the event is included in daily park admission, which is $71 for adults, $60 for children ages 3-9 and free for children ages 2 and under.www.universalorlando.com. 407-363-8000.
The Return of Grinchmas™-To mark the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Seuss's beloved Christmas story, Universal is pulling out all the stops on a brand new, live musical starring The Grinch™. Then stroll around the Who-ville Wonky Tree Lot and take in the whimsical new decorations. It's all part of the mischievous holiday celebrations at Grinchmas in Universal's Islands of Adventure. Also: Join the Grinch and his friends for breakfast! Call 407-224-4012 for reservations and times. www.universalorlando.com.
Christmas at SeaWorld Orlando Nov. 24-Dec. 25
- Festive decorations, snowfalls and live holiday music The event is included in daily park admission, which is $64.95 for adults, $53.95 for children ages 3-9 and free for children ages 2 and under. www.seaworld.com. 407-351-3600.
Pirate's Dinner Adventure
- A shipload of yuletide surprises are in store for guests of the Pirate's Christmas Dinner Adventure
. Choreographed swordplay, aerial artistry and dynamic duals combine as the cast of pirates engage in a thrilling, heroic effort to save Christmas. Youngsters are invited to participate in the show's March of the Toy Soldiers and more than 150 guests each night find themselves in the middle of the show action. A pre-show Nativity Scene with live barnyard animals and a post-show Buccaneer Bash Dance Party with a live DJ complete the high-seas holiday festivities. The adventure is $55.95 for adults, $35.95 for children ages 3 to 11, and free for children ages 2 and under. www.piratesdinneradventure.com. 800-866-2469.
Christmas at Dixie Stampede through Jan. 31, 2008
- Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show celebrates the holidays by featuring spectacular music, ice-skating, majestic horses, snowfalls and an appearance by Jolly Ole St. Nick. Adults $49.99, Children ages 4-11 $21.99, Children ages 4 and under are free. 407-238-4455. www.dixiestampede.com.
Orlando Premium Outlets
- Savvy shoppers kick off their three-day Thanksgiving Weekend gift-buying spree with special deals at high-end designer and name brand fashion outlet stores during the Orlando Premium Outlets "Midnight Madness" event beginning at midnight on Nov. 23. Exclusive offers and coupon book vouchers worth hundreds of dollars in additional savings are also available online throughout the holiday season for impressive savings at Ann Taylor, Barneys New York Outlet, Burberry, Coach, Diesel, Fendi, Gap Outlet, Giorgio Armani, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, MaxMara, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Theory, Tommy Hilfiger and more. www.premiumoutlets.com/orlando. 407- 238-7787.
New Year's Eve at SeaWorld Orlando - Dec. 31
New Year's Eve party complete with live music and fireworks. Dance to the beat of a live DJ as the countdown to 2007 begins at SeaWorld's attraction - The Waterfront - where guests also enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment venues. At the stroke of midnight, witness the Orlando sky radiate during a brilliant fireworks show that will light up the night. Admission: Included in regular park admission. Adult $61.95, Children ages 3-9 $49.95, Children ages 2 and under free. www.SeaWorld.com. 407-363-2259.
Universal CityWalk, 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. www.universalorlando.com. 407-363-8000.