Nahh, I’ve never actually spent Christmas day in the parks because my family likes to create our own fun. (And we definitely don’t forget to keep the CHRIST in “Christ”mas) But, I’ve noticed that every December for the past few years, my family has driven to some theme park to check out the holiday themes… and to use up any free tickets we had gathered during the year.

Both Seaworld and Busch Gardens stick to a traditional Christmas (or as traditional as possible with roller coasters and animals crying in the background) with lots of shows boasting memorable Christmas music. Busch Gardens normally features a beautiful ice skating show that displays the talents of international skaters doing crazy moves on a crazy-small stage.

Meanwhile, if you can survive the dizzying ‘Polar Express’ ride in Seaworld’s Artic attraction (uggggh, I’m imagining my already-digested lunch making a special appearance) then you’re suddenly transported to “the North Pole.” The air is made cooler, polar bears snooze, and Santa makes an appearance.

Christmas is only evident in Islands of Adventure’s Dr. Seuss Landing. The Whos from the (ugh) live-action movie The Grinch are everywhere and even host a special show.

Voted most likely to encourage you to buy gifts from it’s gift shop is the Mickey Christmas Party at Walt Disney World… but it’s a happy, fun event. Besides Disney-Christmas shows, parades, and decorations, there’s also free hot chocolate and cookies!

This is my first December not visiting a theme park… and I miss it. Oh well, my family created more fun this year than all the Mickey ears I could wear.

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