Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!
For those of you who love Christmas as much as you love theme parks (like me!), this is the best time of year for a vacation. But I have to confess, a few years ago when I was a young tadpole I got a little worried when my mom told me we'd be spending our holidays in Orlando, because I had no idea how I would meet Santa. After all, I had already made my list ... my first camera for theme park YouTube videos :)
I would hate to see any of your little ones worry the least bit about when they will get to meet Santa at the theme parks, so I've put the list together for you! Check your times guides for the exact times of for where you will meet Santa at Disney World, and expect lines to be long -- Santa is a very popular man after all! We recommend getting in line ahead of time for shortest waits. For those of you who will be visiting the Disney World resorts on Christmas Eve, you just might find the big man at your hotel!
Walt Disney World Resort
Magic Kingdom Park
Santa is meeting guests daily at the Town Square Courtyard on Main Street U.S.A. during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Parade-goers can also catch him atop his sleigh in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, which runs during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and then nightly Dec. 20-Dec. 31
Through Dec. 30, guests can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus in the America Pavilion during Holidays Around the World. If that's not enough, guests can travel around the world and learn about Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa traditions both near and afar. Your little ones just might run into Father Christmas in the U.K., Père Noël in France and Los Tres Reyes Magos in Mexico, just to name a few.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
You won't find Santa, but you will find his almost-as-famous stand-in Santa Goofy, who appears on the Streets of America through Jan. 4. Santa Goofy gets quite popular at night during the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, so try to catch him during the day if you can.
You'll find Santa at his chalet in the Marketplace through Dec. 29. In years past, Santa Goofy has taken over official Santa duties starting Dec. 24, but it's not clear if he or the Big Man himself will be holding court the whole time at this year's Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney.
Take note, that lines to meet Santa can get very, very long, particularly as you get closer to Christmas, on nights and weekends. For the shortest waits, get in line to meet Santa BEFORE he starts greeting guests.
Islands of Adventure
Well, it's not Santa, but it is the Grinch! You'll find him in the Seuss Landing bookstore greeting guests, signing autographs and taking pictures at select times daily through Jan. 3. Additionally, if you want more time with the Grinch, you can make a reservation at The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast in Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous on select dates through Dec. 31.
You won't be able to give Santa your Christmas list at Universal Studios, but you can catch him atop a float during the Macy's Holiday Parade on through Jan. 3!
At SeaWorld Orlando, guests can find Santa in TWO locations on select days in December during the Christmas Celebration. The first is at the Polar Express Experience (in front of the train). Additionally, guests who make reservations for Santa's Fireside Feast at the Seafire Inn will enjoy a delicious buffet and get to meet Santa AND Mrs. Claus. A free family portrait — always my mom's top priority — is included with the meal.
Guests can have their pictures made with Santa on select days in December. Additionally, guests can make reservations for a traditional holiday buffet at Mrs. Claus' Family Feast, which will include the missus along with some comedic elves.
A very special LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier will greet guests during Christmas Bricktacular weekends in December. What's more, guests can get their photos taken with a life-sized Santa built out of LEGOS.
Now that you know where to find Santa, tell us you favorite place to meet the Big Man. Share in comments below!
Stay cool this holiday season!