Planning a vacation to Orlando in the winter provides several activities for visitors. The area’s theme parks and attractions are once again opening new rides and shows for you to experience. While some of the attractions are familiar favorites that have recently expanded, others are fresh faces. Check them out now and you’ll be among the first to enjoy the latest thrills.

Theme Parks

History repeats. Epcot opened a new gallery exhibition called “National Treasures.” Three dozen artifacts from American history are on display in the American Heritage Gallery of the American Adventure pavilion, including items from Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington Carver. Most of the items are on loan from museums and private collections and will be rotated over time.

Win a million. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has announced that its theme parks will extend their popular “Year of a Million Dreams” promotion through the end of 2008. The program is highlighted by daily prize giveaways like FASTPASS tickets, free concessions or a stay in the Cinderella Castle suite.

Show me. Walt Disney World Resort announced new shows set to open at Disney-MGM Studios, which will become Disney’s Hollywood Studios in January 2008. “Disney High School Musical 2: School’s Out!” comes to life on the streets with interactive fun and high-energy performers on a traveling stage who invite guests to catch Wildcat fever by singing and dancing. Also, “Meet and Greet,” which features Disney Channel stars JoJo and Goliath and the Little Einsteins, welcome guests in the Animation Courtyard. They will be joined for the first time by Handy Manny in November.

Attractions

Get lost. You can do just that at Scott’s Maze Adventures, Central Florida’s only six-acre themed corn maze, half-acre mini-maze, mist maze, tree maze and labyrinth, which is now open. The attraction also features a 60-foot “super slide” and picnic and play area. The mazes are located at Long & Scott Farms, 30 minutes northwest of Orlando, in Mount Dora.

Play golf, pet a gator. That’s right. At Gator Golf and Adventure Park, which opened earlier this fall on International Drive, you can play an 18-hole miniature golf course and then see an alligator—actually more than 300—with live shows throughout the day.

Double your chills. Terror in Orlando opened on International Drive and offers two unique horror experiences, Mayhem Manor and 3-D Funhouse, with plenty of scares for everyone. The manor showcases the bizarre experiments of Dr. Morphius Mayhem, while the funhouse features the sinister world of Kilmor the Clown.

Sneak Peaks

Explore the jungle. Busch Gardens Africa unveiled plans to build a new exotic jungle area in the theme park, called Jungala. The four-acre attraction area will be located in the existing Congo area and include tiger, orangutan and gibbon habitats mixed with dense landscaping. Two signature rides will be added including a zip line experience with three different flight patterns and a ride launching guests above a towering waterfall. Jungala will open in spring 2008.

Meet at the gator. Gatorland broke ground on a $4 million complex, which will include 19,000 square feet of retail, meeting and office space. The new area features an open-air admission pavilion that incorporates the historic gator-mouth entrance, a meeting facility and a shopping area. The complex is projected to open in summer 2008.

Information courtesy of Orlando CVB, Inc.

In Orlando, shopping is part of the holiday fun. The region’s nine malls, three outlet centers and a variety of other centers and stores—encompassing 52 million square feet of total retail space—make finding a gift for even the hardest-to-please on your list a snap. With special seasonal events, appearances by Santa and his crew, exciting holiday décor and extended hours, Orlando’s malls and shops are ready to serve you. Here’s some highlights:

The Mall at Millenia

Central Florida’s up-scale shopping destination, The Mall at Millenia, transforms itself into “Hollyville – Santa’s Winter Home” through Jan. 1. The seasonal experience came to life on Nov. 16 upon Santa’s rooftop arrival, with falling snowflakes, a light show, pyrotechnics, stilt walkers, magicians and elves. Santa will be available for visits at 7:30 p.m. as well as throughout the season during mall hours.

Keeping with its chic appeal, the mall is featuring an opulent holiday package like no other. Couples can plunk down a cool $13,000 for the “You’ve Been Good for Goodness Sake” experience, which combines luxury travel and shopping for a truly pampered excursion. A private jet will whisk you away in style to the Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando. Then after a short journey by chauffeured-limo, it’s off for a day-long spree at The Mall at Millenia, where personalized make-overs, extravagant shopping and VIP dining await. For booking information, please call 407-363-3555.

Orlando Premium Outlets

Exclusive offers and coupon book vouchers worth hundreds of dollars in additional savings are available online throughout the holiday season for impressive savings.

Festival Bay Mall

Come out to Celebrate Orlando at Festival Bay Mall on International Drive this holiday season for live entertainment, themed activities, visits (and photos) with Santa and of course, shopping. On Saturday, Dec. 1, the mall opens up the holiday celebration with musical performances, a free screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Santa’s Indoor Holiday Parade. The festival continues each Saturday through Dec. 16 with a variety of free concerts. Santa is also scheduled for periodic appearances through Dec. 24.

Prime Outlets – International

Prime Outlets – International is huge holiday sales throughout the end of November and the entire month of December. The outlet’s more than 110 stores, including the Neiman Marcus LAST CALL Clearance Center, COACH Factory, Jones New York Outlet and HUGO BOSS factory Store, will be ready and waiting to serve customers. For more information, call 407-352-9600.

Old Town Shopping, Dining & Entertainment Attraction

Holiday-goers can take a stroll on Old Town’s brick-lined streets in Kissimmee and browse through a diverse selection of merchandise at more than 75 specialty stores. A variety of rides and attractions are also offered. Every evening from Dec. 3-21, the complex turns into a flurry of fun with nightly snow showers on the hour from 6-9 p.m. and offers free pictures with Santa.

Information courtesy of Orlando CVB, Inc.

The 2007 “Grinchmas” holiday show at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure returns this year after a one-year absence and will feature a new musical, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Dr. Seuss book, resort officials announced Monday. Grinchmas began as a festival in 2000 and grew into a featured show, but the resort canceled it before the 2006 holiday season. Though the resort has featured the green Dr. Seuss character in holiday season advertising for weeks, Universal withheld details until November 12, when it declared the show was returning “by popular demand.” The new Grinch musical will feature seven new songs on a new stage in Seuss Landing.
Information courtesy of Orlando Sentinel
© Universal Resort. All Rights Reserved.

Walt Disney World is giving its Cinderella Castle a new nighttime, ice-palace look for the holiday season, completely aglow since the November 12 lighting ceremony.
Disney has created the new look for the Magic Kingdom’s centerpiece structure by attaching 200,000 LED lights to 32,000 square feet of fish net, then draping it over the castle.The ice-palace look will be the big special effect of a new evening show running through the holiday season, featuring the characters of Cinderella, including her fairy godmother. Similar effects were employed at the castle in Disneyland Paris in 2005, and have been added to Disney castles in California, Hong Kong and Toyko.
Information courtesy of Orlando Sentinel
© Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Say a farewell to the old and welcome in the new with a number of festivities throughout Orlando on Dec. 31.

Here are just some of this year’s highlights:

New Year’s Eve Extravaganzas in Orlando – Orlando has festivities galore including the Pleasure Island Pirates Party at Downtown Disney on Dec. 31. The bash features live music, a street dance and a countdown to midnight. Event hours are from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Revelers will dine on skewered shrimp, smoked salmon, seared beef medallions and other delicacies. A champagne toast and fireworks display at midnight are included in the $99 admission charge.

At the Disney World Theme Parks, Epcot celebrates the New Year “around the world” with DJs and evening dance parties throughout World Showcase and a special presentation of the park’s lasers and fireworks show, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.”

Disney-MGM Studios offers multiple presentations of “Fantasmic!” a Disney movies and music spectacular, and a special “Light! Camera! Happy New Year!” fireworks display plus a DJ dance party around the Sorcerer’s Hat Stage.

The Magic Kingdom features special presentations of its “SpectroMagic” light parade, multiple nighttime fireworks displays, including the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at midnight, one of the biggest displays of the year, according to a Disney spokesman. The theme park events are included in regular park admission.

SeaWorld Orlando throws a big New Year’s Eve party with live music, a DJ dance party and fireworks on Dec. 31. The countdown to 2008 begins at The Waterfront section of the park, where visitors find entertainment, shopping and dining venues. At the stroke of midnight, the skies are lit up with fireworks. The festivities are included in regular park admission.

At Universal Orlando, the big bash is at Universal CityWalk, a 30-acre entertainment complex with nightclubs, restaurants and shops. On Dec. 31, the evening will feature live performances by such national acts as B52’s and Foreigner, a gourmet buffet, champagne toast and live entertainment at CityWalk’s nightclubs. Admission is $119.

Information courtesy of Orlando Sentinel

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Orlando, Florida theme parks with towering trees, poinsettias, millions of lights, even snow flurries filling every available nook and cranny.This is the “magical” Florida kind for which you don’t need to pack a coat, gloves and boots.

Each year, the theme parks are transformed into three-dimensional holiday cards and the Christmas ornaments are supplemented by more parades, carolers, themed shows and other spectacles than would fit in Santa’s big red, bottomless gift bag.

This is what’s on tap for this holiday season:

Walt Disney World, Orlando — A 70-foot-high Christmas tree adorned with Victorian-style ornaments is the focal point on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom, along with miles and miles of garland, profusions of poinsettias and twinkling lights galore. New this year is the Castle Light Show, with countless white lights illuminating Cinderella Castle.

A Castle light-up ceremony with Cinderella, Mickey, Minnie and the gang is presented each evening. A must-see event at the Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, presented on select nights from Nov. 12 to Dec. 21. The party features holiday-themed entertainment with Disney characters; the Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade with floats, dancing reindeer and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, among others, plus the Holiday Wishes –Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks display, and yes, Florida “snow flurries.”

“We come every year,” said Vickie Paynor, a visitor from Chicago who came to the party with her family last year. “It’s become a tradition –the kids love the parade and we feel like we’re in another world.”

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are $47.95 for adults and $40.95 for children 3-9 years old (under 3 years old are admitted free). The party is generally sold-out by the evening of the event, so advance purchase is a good idea.

Disney-MGM (this park will be called Disney Hollywood Studios beginning Jan. 1) offers the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights from Nov. 12 to January 6.

The light show, in the Studios’ Backlot section, boasts millions of lights, animated light displays and “snow flurries.” The Hollywood Holly-Day Parade is presented every day. It, and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights, is included in park admission.

For a bit of international flavor, Epcot presents “Holidays Around the World” from Nov. 23 to Dec. 30. This event presents Christmas legends of various countries including Los Tres Reyes Magos (The Three Magi) in the Mexico pavilion and Pere Noel in the French pavilion.

The park is decorated to the nines with towering trees, poinsettias and lights including a synchronized light show, “The Lights of Winter,” illuminates a canopy adjoining the World Showcase breezeway and every evening there is a Christmas tree lighting ceremony with Mickey and friends featuring music and storytelling.

A special event in Epcot is the nightly Candlelight Processional –featuring celebrity narrators, a massed choir and orchestra. It is featured nightly at the America Gardens Theatre and it’s included in admission to Epcot.

At the Animal Kingdom Park, Mickey and his gang celebrate the season with Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade presented from Nov. 12 to Jan. 6. At Camp Minnie-Mickey visitors can meet and greet the Disney characters dressed in their holiday finery and enjoy caroling at Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village, which is decorated with Christmas trees and features live entertainment.

Sea World Orlando — “Seasons greetings” always begins with “Sea” they might say at Sea World. The park presents “Christmas at Sea World” each year, celebrating the holiday season with decorations, carolers, and shows –Sea World’s trained sea lions, seals and other marine creatures perform–and the forecast calls for “snow flurries.” Presented from Nov. 24 to Dec. 25, the festivities are included in the admission price: $64.95 for adults; $53.95 for children.

Universal Orlando Resort — Arguably, the nation’s most famous holiday parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, comes to Universal Studios in December packing its giant balloons, floats, marching bands and Santa Claus too, of course. Each evening Santa himself presides over a ceremony to light up the park’s towering tree. Festivities are included in park admission.

At Universal’sIslands of Adventure, the mean Grinch is the star of the “Grinchmas” celebration, inspired in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. During December, the park’s Seuss Landing section is transformed for the holidays and visitors can visit the Grinch in his lair and enjoy themed shows. “Grinchmas” is included in park admission.

Cypress Gardens, Winter Haven — This park offers the nostalgic “Old Fashioned Christmas” from Nov. 16 to Dec. 30. The centerpiece of the celebration is an 80-foot-high Christmas tree that will be lit up for the first time during a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 16. Other holiday adornments include millions of lights, poinsettias and garlands.

The “Jingle Street Parade” is a procession of holiday characters, Christmas music and lights “The Miracle of Christmas,” re-tells the Christmas legend with music. Another spectacle, “A Holiday Homecoming” is a wartime romance that tugs at the heartstrings of anyone who has had to be separated from loved ones during the holidays.

Other festivities include visits from Santa Claus and an exhibit, “Santa Through History” that shows how Santa Claus has changed through the years. A must-see is “Frosty Follies,” an ice skating show with holiday music. “Old Fashioned Christmas” is included in admission to Cypress Gardens.

Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay — This park, themed to the Continent of Africa, is decorated for the holidays with poinsettias, Christmas trees and other ornaments and presents holiday-themed shows. The festivities are included in park admission.

Information courtesy of Orlando Sentinel

The coldest spot in the United States this holiday season will likely be Central Florida, where temperatures are predicted to be 9 degrees Farenheit, Nov. 19 – Jan. 3. This “cold front” of winter weather is part of a flurry of holiday fun at Gaylord Palms® Resort, located five minutes from Walt Disney World theme parks. At this landmark resort, visitors flock to a collection of “cold-weather” holiday activities, like ICE skating, and ICE!, Orlando’s coolest holiday attraction, hand-carved from nearly TWO MILLION pounds of ice. Inside, guests explore a whimsical winter wonderland of larger-than-life, three-dimensional hand-carved ice monuments and sculptures, including fantastic frozen creations, slippery ice slides, and memorable holiday scenes. As for the chill, visitors are given oversized parkas to stay comfortable inside the attraction, which is kept at a blustery9 degrees. This year’s attraction, which reflects the theme “A Holiday Road Trip,” is presented by Coca-Cola and sponsored by Nissan and Sara Lee Food Service. In its fifth season, ICE! will feature several new or revised scenes, including a walk-through igloo and a towering gingerbread candy house, meticulously hand-carved from enormous blocks of colored ice. A guest favorite, the ICE! castle and slides, has been re-designed to reflect a South Pole locale with a colony of penguins surrounding the longest ice slide in the attraction’s history. The signature scene, a breathtaking life-size Nativity carved completely of crystal-clear ice, has been described as one of the most breathtaking depictions of the birth of Christ. Dramatic new lighting and a stirring narrative track will ensure guests will continue to pause and reflect on the story behind the season. The enormous structure used to house ICE! is cooled to a chilly 9 degrees. To stay comfortable inside the attraction, visitors are loaned oversized winter coats to wear. “Not only is the artistry amazing to enjoy, but the brisk environment inside the attraction creates a winter holiday experience like no other in the Sunshine State – rosy cheeks and all!” said Kemp Gallineau, general manager of Gaylord Palms. The attraction is carved by a team of 40 artisans from Harbin, China. The talented artisans spend nearly an entire month in Kissimmee creating this one-of-a-kind attraction. Harbin is best known for its annual International Ice and Snow Festival. Each year more than 2,000 sculptors carve a 100-acre walk-through Ice Park from blocks of ice taken from the Songhua River. In addition to ICE!, this year’s Best of Florida Christmas program will include 46 days of holiday revelry, including several new or revised activities: ICE! Skating: A larger outdoor skating rink offering a holiday tradition common only in northern climates. Skate rentals are included. “A Winter’s Night” Christmas Show: A heartwarming tale with inspired music that is as edgy as it is classic. Part rock and roll show, part holiday tale, part aerial exhibition, “A Winter’s Night” will bring a sense of joy, awe and wonderment to the holiday season. Hidden Holiday Gnome Hunt, featuring The Roaming Gnome: Families can hunt throughout the Gaylord Palms atriums to spot cleverly hidden gnomes (presented by Travelocity). Christmas in Florida: The County Wreath Collection: An exhibition of wreaths decorated to reflect Florida’s diverse destinations, from coast to coast. Visit Santa: Kids can take an opportunity to share their special Christmas wishes with Santa Claus…in person, or via email. Brunch with Mrs. Claus: Santa’s “better half” is the star of the show at Villa de Flora restaurant (weekends). Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: At Canyon Ranch SpaClub, guests can rejuvenate the body and restore the mind with an aromatic pumpkin, orange & spice holiday facial, pedicure, or body wrap. ICE! tickets range from $9.99 – $24.99, depending on the type of ticket, and day of the week. ICE! will be open daily during the holiday season and is accessible on the Exhibit Hall level at Gaylord Palms, which is located at 6000 W. Osceola Parkway in Kissimmee. Gaylord PalmsGaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center has gained the attention of the meeting and convention industry by providing world-class convention and leisure-focused amenities – all in one place. The award-winning Gaylord Palms is a Gaylord Hotels-branded property owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a leading hospitality and entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn. Information courtesy of Gaylord Palms

From festive events to a variety of themed holiday shows and unique shopping experiences, Orlando offers one of the most elaborate and diverse holiday celebrations of any destination in the world. In addition to the well-known theme park activities, visitors can enjoy breathtaking light displays; choral concerts; specialty shopping and shows; guaranteed nightly snow showers; seasonal hotel packages and more throughout November and December.

Here are just a few of the trimmings that make the holidays in Orlando merry and bright:

Holiday Dinner Theater Offerings

Arabian Nights – In this stunning holiday fairytale, 60 magnificent Arabian Nights horses and a cast of more than 40 holiday characters are joined by spectacular pyrotechnics, snow, special sets and breathtaking holiday costumes to create a winter wonderland fit for a prince and princess. The Arabian Nights Holiday Show includes a wide range of seasonal music from Andy Williams, Hilary Duff, Rebecca St. James and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Appearances by toy soldiers, horse-riding elves, gingerbread men and sugarplum fairies add to the holiday cheer.

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. All 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.

Holiday Music and Theatre

The Plaza Theatre Internationally acclaimed crooner Michael Andrew and the Atomic Big Band present some of the hippest renditions of holiday favorites in Michael Andrew’s Swinging Christmas Show Friday Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at The Plaza Theatre. The evening will kick off with pre-show entertainment in The Plaza’s very own Swingerhead Lounge followed by a night of swingin’ music, including the Michael Andrew original song, “Mistletoe Mambo,” and nutty comedy hijinx for all ages. Tickets are $43 for both adults and children.

Winter Park Playhouse – Ring in the holidays with music from Broadway, film, television and radio, plus the return of crowd favorites, the wacky duo, Eb and Flo. Performances take place Nov. 30 – Dec. 15 on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Winter Park Playhouse.Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students.

Holiday Shopping

Old Town – Holiday-goers can stroll Old Town’s brick-lined streets and browse through a diverse selection of merchandise at more than 75 specialty stores. A variety of rides and attractions are also offered. Every evening from Dec. 3-21, Old Town turns into a flurry of fun with nightly snow showers on the hour from 6-9 p.m. and offers free pictures with Santa Monday – Friday to anyone who brings an unwrapped toy or offers a cash donation.

Orlando Premium Outlets – Savvy shoppers can 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 Black Friday (Nov. 23). Exclusive offers and coupon book vouchers worth hundreds of dollars in additional savings are also available at Orlando Premium Outlets 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.

Special Events

Historic Bok Sanctuary – Stunning holiday décor is showcased at the 1930’s 20-room classic Mediterranean Revival Pinewood Estate, a National Historic Landmark mansion. The 8-acre estate also features a spectacular winter garden and a 60-bell carillon housed in a 205-foot-tall Gothic bell tower, which rings daily throughout the sanctuary. Historic Bok Sanctuary is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. General admission is $18 for adults, $9 for children ages 5-12 and free for children ages 4 and younger.

ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort – Guests will experiences thrills and chills during this walk-through winter wonderland hand-carved by Chinese artists from two million pounds of ice. The interactive, larger-than-life display includes ice monuments, sculptures, ice slides, memorable holiday scenes, a walk-through igloo and a towering gingerbread candy house made from colored ice. The enormous structure that houses ICE! is cooled to 9 degrees and over-sized parkas are loaned to guests to stay warm. An outdoor skating rink, special Christmas show and display of country wreaths add to the resort’s holiday activities. ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort runs Nov. 19 – Jan. 3 and tickets range from $9.99 to $24.99, depending on the type of ticket and day of week.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art – For the 29th year, the Morse Museum, which is renowned for its comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany jewelry, pottery, and leaded-glass windows; lights up century-old Tiffany windows in downtown Winter Park, just north of downtown Orlando, on Dec. 6 from 6-8 p.m. The spectacular lighting ceremony is complemented by a free outdoor concert featuring the 150-voice Bach Festival Society choir.

SeaWorld Orlando – Guests can create yuletide memories and celebrate the season during “Christmas at SeaWorld.” The holiday event features festive decorations, snowfalls and live holiday music from classical musicians and carolers. 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.

Universal Orlando Resort – The world’s most famous parade 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 in New York City. The excitement and pageantry of the parade, complete with a festive tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus himself, is exhibited each day of the holiday season.

Walt Disney World Resort – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World includes a series of fun nighttime events for the little ones including holiday shows, fireworks and magic treats with Minnie and Mickey. Holidays Around the World at Epcot features international holiday storytellers, a daily character tree-lighting ceremony and a stunning display of snow-white lights. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights electrifies Disney Hollywood Studios with millions of sparkling lights.

Information courtesy of Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is celebrating the season with an all-new holiday version of its popular nighttime theatrical experience, renowned as the “World’s Most Interactive Dinner Show.” After 10 years of pillaging, pirating, and plundering, this infamous band of buccaneers, cast, and crew will set sail on the merriest Christmas adventure ever seen on the high seas. For a limited time only, November 25 – January 6th, Pirate’s Christmas Dinner Adventure will feature an exciting new holiday story line, spectacular sets, seasonal music, and a shipload of yuletide surprises throughout the show.

The entire Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Theatre in Orlando, FL will be decked out in true pirate fashion with a frosty twist for this swashbuckling holiday celebration. This family-friendly holiday experience kicks off in the pre-show area decked out with snowmen, brightly colored garlands, and holiday trimmings. Turkey and roasted chestnuts add a festive dash to the holiday appetizer buffet. Fresh from the North Pole, St. Nick is on hand for photos. In the museum, a nativity will feature live cuddly barnyard animals available for gentle touching by young lubbers. The Christmas story begins during the pre-show as the evil Magistrate tries to halt the holiday festivities, the princess is captured, and Magee the Elf — a pirate wannabe — is called on to save the day.

Jack Frost has come to town as a spectacular wintry scene of a galleon on the high seas greets guests entering the theatre in the round. Anchored in a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon, and appearing frozen in time, sits an authentic replica of an 18th century Spanish galleon with a 40-foot mast. Giant icebergs surround the ship, icicles hang from her bow to stern, and snow blankets huge sections of the deck. The audience is swept up in a snowy, cold winter’s eve as dramatic lighting bathes the entire scene in a chilling white light.

Led by their own pirate mascot, guests go back in time to the 1800’s as pirates dazzle, thrill, and entertain with spectacularly choreographed swordplay, aerial artistry, and dynamic duals. Magee the elf transforms into a pirate in a thrilling, heroic effort to save both Christmas and the Princess.

Pirate team leaders enlist guests to join the fun in thrilling head-to-head competitions pitting one audience group against another. Over 150 guests each night will find themselves in the middle of the show as they don costumes and join the pirate action. New for the holidays, youngsters will be able to join the March of the Toy Soldiers and help Magee save Christmas. The show ends will a spectacular, pyrotechnics-filled, audience-involving celebration guaranteed to raise the roof.

The merriment continues in the post-show area, where guests can mingle with the swashbuckling stars of this holiday celebration. And after the last performance of the evening, guests can party like a pirate at the Buccaneer Bash Dance party, included with each paid admission. The high-energy DJ disco party features a state-of-the-art sound and special effects system and dancing to a wide variety of music.

Pirate’s Christmas Dinner Adventure serves up a hearty, satisfying four-course feast that includes appetizers, salads, and a dinner with a choice of chicken and pork or shrimp, along with steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and Caribbean rice. Dessert is warm apple cobbler a la mode. Complimentary beer, wine, coffee or soft drinks are included during dinner, and vegetarian “Captain Kid’s” meals are available upon request.

The 2007 edition of the fantastic Arabian Nights Holiday Show finds Princess Scheherazade in need of a distraction while her husband, Prince Khalid, is off searching the globe for the perfect holiday gift for his wife. The always-faithful genie Hocus Pocus invites a new friend, Santa Claus, to come distract Scheherazade from missing her husband with gifts and good cheer.

“We’ve taken the idea of a holiday show one step further by adding the kind of magic only Arabian Nights can do,” explains Arabian Nights Owner/CEO Mark Miller. “The result is even more of the holiday fun that everyone enjoys.”

Hocus Pocus does even more to lighten the Princess’ mood, bringing each of Santa’s gifts to life in the magical Palace of Horses located at the intersection of U.S. 192 & I-4, minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

In this dazzling show, the 60 Arabian Nights horses and 40 talented performers are joined by spectacular pyrotechnics, snow, and special sets, including four incredible 25 foot Christmas trees, and breathtaking costimes.

“Arabian Nights truly becomes a Winter Wonderland,” says Miller. “Add to that music by artists including Andy Williams, Little Texas, Hilary Duff, Rebecca St. James and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and you have an amazing show that leaves everyone happy!”

Santa and Hocus put on quite a show for the Princess, bringing to life a variety of gifts including Toy Soldiers, a Mystical Unicorn and a Winter Wonderland Snow Globe. Santa’s Reindeer, Horse-riding Elves, Gingerbread men and Sugarplum Fairies are just a few of the astounding guests who stop by to bring the Princess some holiday cheer.

Guests can also join Princess Scheherazade, Prince Khalid and Hocus Pocus on New Year’s Eve, where they can enjoy the dazzling holiday show and stay to ring in th New Year as part of a special New Year’s Eve package available.