Merry Christmas to all! As we get ever closer to the holiday, we wanted to give a very special gift. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been holding our annual Thrill Weekly Polls. The polls are your way to choose the best of the year in the theme park industry. This week we wrapped up our polls with the “Best Christmas Event” or as we like to call it, Santa’s Pride. The goal is for you to pick the event that best represents what Christmas is in the theme parks. We normally like to wait for the rest of the awards to unveil the winners, however, like a kid getting ready to open presents, we couldn’t wait for you to see who won! So, as a belated Christmas gift, we’re going to reveal the top Christmas events, as voted by YOU!
Christmas in the theme parks are truly a magical time. They bring some of the most amazing decorations, shows and celebrations. What makes it the best? Is it the shows? The music? Or is it something more? We had several nominated, but here are the top three, in the order you voted!
3. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate ticket event that runs from the early part of November, until right before Christmas. This year the event was a Frozen Celebration as the iconic Cinderella Castle was given a Frozen makeover, Frozen was featured in the nightly “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade” and the princesses were part of a huge meet and greet.
Video-Check out the Frozen Fun at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
If Frozen wasn’t enough (or too much) then there were other things for everyone. Nightmare Before Christmas had a huge year with Jack making an appearance as Sandy Claws! The jolly old elf got a break from Christmas as Jack took over.
Video-Sandy Claws at Magic Kingdom!
The Christmas Party itself has ended, but the fun still happens daily at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The Christmas Fun will happen until January 3rd, with Frozen, Mickey and all his friends.
2. An Old Time Christmas-Silver Dollar City, Branson Missouri
Silver Dollar City is fast becoming a huge family destination with a little something for everyone. Their Christmas celebration, however, has been a huge part of the holidays for quite a few years and is one of the biggest, brightest and most traditional that you can find anywhere on the planet.
This year Silver Dollar City brings the classic Christmas tale of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer to life, as larger than life characters are featured in the nightly, Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade. Guests can see Rudolph and the Bumble dance through the streets and see more than 200,000 lights on display.
The park also brings the holidays to life with tons of Christmas shows, such as their take on the classic Charles Dickens tale-A Christmas Carol. The park brings tons of shows to life, with Frosty the Snowman, light shows, and the Christmas Classic It’s a Wonderful Life. The event also highlights the true reason for the season with a living nativity. If you’re feeling very spiritual, the park also offers Church services in it’s “Wilderness Church” that was built in 1849.
The celebration continues until December 30th, so there is still time.
1.SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration-SeaWorld Orlando
What did you decide as the best Christmas event of 2014? SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration! The park merges the season’s biggest traditions with huge light shows, stage shows, and of course animals to bring together one of the biggest Christmas celebrations this side of the sea!
Video-SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
The event takes just about every great thing about Christmas and wraps it into one huge celebration. There’s tons of holiday lights, amazing songs, and it wouldn’t be a Christmas event without trains!
From small displays at the Christmas Village marketplace, to the wonder of the Polar Express, trains are a huge feature at SeaWorld Orlando. Guests can ride the Polar Express to the North Pole, and see Santa, as well as tons of animals that you could really see at the North Pole, like Belugas, Walruses and seals!
Then, SeaWorld takes a fun look at the spiritual side of the holidays with O’ Wondrous Night. The show is filled with puppets, animals and the songs of the season.
Video-Share the spirit of Christmas with O’ Wondrous Night!
The show is a funny take on the Christmas story, as told by the animals. It’s a good change of pace for the story, and will keep guests enthralled with the meaning of Christmas.
It also wouldn’t be SeaWorld without Shamu. The huge whale takes front and center with Shamu’s Christmas Miracles. The show features interactions with the animals, as well as a huge musical production.
There are also other shows, such as Winter Wonderland on Ice, and of course Elmo’s Christmas Wish.
The event takes place nightly from now until December 31st, and is included with park admission!
Congratulations to our top three Christmas events! Remember that these were voted on by readers of Behind The Thrills in our annual polls.
Be sure to check back on January 5th, 2015 for the complete list of winners in our annual “Thrill Weekly Awards” where we will showcase the best of 2014, as voted by you!