The best place to celebrate the holidays in Orlando isn’t in a theme park
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and there are many places to celebrate, especially in the theme park capital of the world: Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney World has the Very Merriest After Hours event on select nights this holiday season and you can definitely get in the Christmas spirit at Universal Orlando Resort. But what if I told you that Orlando’s best place to celebrate the holidays isn’t in a theme park at all? Hard to believe, right?!
I recently visited Orlando and was able to experience the Christmas cheer at Night of a Million Lights at the Give Kids the World Village. This magical event is lighting up Orlando with more than a million Christmas lights until Jan. 2, 2022.
I am a Christmas fanatic and thought I had already seen the best displays possible after a few days of park-hopping, but nothing compares to Night of a Million Lights.
It is undoubtedly the best Christmas-themed attraction in Orlando… and possibly the entire country. Here are a few reasons why you should experience Night of a Million Lights at Give Kids the World Village this holiday season.
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It’s for a good cause
Aside from the feeling you get from seeing all the beautiful lights, the best reason to visit is that proceeds go to help Give Kids the World Village. With the funding, they provide critically ill children and their families with magical weeklong vacations at absolutely no cost. That is simply fantastic.
Give Kids the World hosts whole families in an all-inclusive environment, free from expense, with all meals included, daily gifts and the most remarkable trip to Disney World and Universal that you can imagine with the perfect house to stay in to get plenty of rest for the week.
Spending money at Night of a Million Lights will not only let you feel good for the night but for years to come just knowing that you helped children to have the most memorable experiences of their lives.
You’ll be in awe at all the lights
To be surrounded by literally millions of lights is such a surreal feeling that you will undoubtedly be in awe. You can take a tram ride through the village and sit back and relax as you ride through the lighted neighborhood comprising 89 sparkling acres. A wheelchair-accessible tram is available if needed. You can also walk, or roll your strollers and wheelchairs, through the area and feel emerged in the sights and sounds of Christmas.
In addition to seeing beautifully lit houses, there is also a dancing lights show, where all of the lights flicker to a Christmas song. Just seeing the 360-degree dancing lights show can give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and make you want to sip hot cocoa and sing along with the music.
You can see dozens of decorated Christmas trees
Once you’ve seen the Christmas lights, don’t think that the fun is over. There is still plenty more to enjoy, including Stellar’s Tree Trail. The trail is a pathway lined on each side with fully decorated Christmas trees with the most sparkle and shine that you can imagine.
The many Christmas trees are each sponsored by gracious businesses in the Orlando area that have carefully decorated their tree with gorgeous ornaments and sparkling lights. Some of them get very creative with their tree, which is fun to see. For example, the Gatorland tree has toy alligators all over it.
Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus
Santa and Mrs. Claus are inside one of the village homes, ready to welcome you with a jolly “ho ho ho” and friendly photo opportunity. Santa will listen to all your Christmas wishes and definitely add you to his ever-growing “good” list.
While waiting to visit with Santa, you can even enjoy getting to see the inside of one of the homes that are enjoyed by many families that are hosted by Give Kids the World. This is a unique opportunity and no matter your age, any visit with Santa is a fun one!
See what true inclusion looks like
In the Give Kids the World Village every person is made to feel included. Most of the sidewalks are smooth without curbs so that wheelchairs can easily roll. The playground is all-inclusive with ramps throughout and no barriers on the ground, which allows everyone to enjoy their time here.
There are also rides in the village that can be enjoyed by the children staying at Give Kids the World. Unfortunately, guests of Night of a Million Lights cannot ride the rides, but it’s still cool to see them. What’s great about the rides is that if a child is in a wheelchair, they can remain seated in it and roll right on to the ride. There are no transfers needed!
Being in the Give Kids the World Village helps you to realize what a world of inclusiveness could look like, and it is truly a wonderful sight. If you are looking for an inclusive and fun-filled environment to experience Christmas cheer, look no further than Night of a Million Lights!
Featured photo by Cory Lee for The Points Guy
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