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The Best Theme Park Christmas Events for 2013

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It’s time to deck the halls! All around the country major theme parks are celebrating the holidays with their own twist. Whether you’re heading to a park in Florida, California, or somewhere in between, travelers this holiday season will be greeted with decorations, treats, lights and more. Keep reading for the best theme park Christmas events going on in 2013. 


Adding to their normal holiday magic of parades, treats, light shows and more, both Disneyland and Disney World will be turning the Jungle Cruise into the Jingle Cruise. Starting November 15, Disney’s California Adventure will transform the World of Color into a holiday-themed extravaganza.

Although you’re in for some seasonal fun, you might want to schedule your holiday trip when you won’t spend most of your time waiting in line. Historic attendance trends for Disneyland and Disney World say that Christmas week through New Year’s Day is one of the busiest times for both parks during the year. In contrast, the weeks following Thanksgiving weekend and prior to Christmas have some of the lowest park attendance for the year. Christmas themed events at Disneyland run November 12 and run through January 6. Post New Year’s Day at both parks is also on the lighter side of attendance. Instead of being a first comer to the holiday magic, catch the tail end of the celebration. You’ll get all of the same excitement with less wait time.


Beginning November 28, Knott’s Berry Farm in southern California turns into Knott’s Merry Farm. Just a few minutes from Disneyland, this park also lets you share Christmas time with some of your favorite holiday characters. Snoopy and his friend don their holiday garb to bring cheer to children and adults. The park offers additional holiday-themed treats, shows, and lighting events.


For less a expensive place to visit with plenty of thrills, try Six Flags Fiesta Texas. It’s one of the three Six Flags amusement parks that stays open through the holiday season. If you purchase in advance, you’ll save up to $20 per ticket. Some of their holiday festivities include sledding, choreographed light shows, and carolers.


Universal Studios Hollywood is scaling back its Grinchmas festivities this year, focusing mainly on the tram tour through the set of Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But Universal Studios Orlando geared up for a major celebration.

Held December 7, 2013 through January 4, 2014, the Florida park hosts a Macy’s Holiday Parade, their own version of the world famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There are also character breakfasts, meet and greets with the Grinch and his dog Max, and a “Wholiday Spectacular” live show.

By Darra Stone for