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Theme parks that are open in December in USA [2023] - Holiday Edition

Christmas carousel ride in Delray Beach Florida USA


As the festive season approaches, the quest for the perfect holiday experience begins. For many, this means a visit to one of America's beloved theme parks, which transform into enchanting winter wonderlands in December. From the sparkling lights of Disney's castles to the thrill of roller coasters amidst snowflakes, these parks offer a unique blend of excitement and holiday cheer. Whether you're seeking magical parades, dazzling light shows, or just a merry atmosphere to soak in with family and friends, there's a theme park waiting to fulfill your holiday wishes. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most popular theme parks in the USA that remain open in Decema merry atmosphere to soak in with family and friends, a theme park isber, each offering its own festive twist to the holiday season.

Walt Disney World Resort (Florida)

Website: Walt Disney World Resort

In December, Walt Disney World Resort transforms into a winter wonderland, brimming with festive decorations and a cheerful ambiance. The Magic Kingdom hosts "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party," a ticketed event featuring unique parades, fireworks, and character meet-and-greets. Epcot celebrates with the "International Festival of the Holidays," showcasing holiday traditions from around the world. Hollywood Studios dazzles with "Sunset Seasons Greetings" and the “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” nighttime show. Animal Kingdom offers holiday-themed entertainment and decor, adding a unique twist to its wildlife-focused experience.

Universal Studios (Florida and California)

Website: Universal Studios Florida | Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios in both Florida and California offer festive holiday events. In Florida, Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's presents spectacular floats and balloons, while the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is adorned with holiday decorations and offers special performances. In California, similar celebrations take place, with Grinchmas events adding to the excitement. Both parks maintain a jubilant atmosphere throughout December, embracing the holiday spirit in their unique cinematic style.

Check out all the theme parks in California & Florida.

Disneyland Resort (California)

Website: Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort celebrates the holiday season with Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park both decked out in festive decor. Disneyland Park features the "Christmas Fantasy Parade" and the “Believe... In Holiday Magic” fireworks show. Disney California Adventure hosts “Festival of Holidays,” celebrating diverse cultural festivities, and Cars Land receives a holiday makeover. The entire resort sparkles with lights and decorations, creating a magical December experience.

Busch Gardens (Virginia and Florida)

Website: Busch Gardens Williamsburg | Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens in both Williamsburg and Tampa Bay host "Christmas Town" events, turning the parks into dazzling holiday landscapes. Millions of Christmas lights illuminate the parks, and special holiday shows are performed. Visitors can enjoy unique holiday-themed dining and shopping experiences. These parks offer a mix of thrilling rides and festive holiday attractions throughout December.

Dollywood (Tennessee)

Website: Dollywood

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival features over 5 million lights, spectacular holiday performances, and seasonal food offerings. The park presents a range of Christmas shows and the "Parade of Many Colors." Dollywood maintains a warm, festive atmosphere in December, celebrating the holiday spirit in the heart of the Smoky Mountains.

Knott's Berry Farm (California)

Website: Knott's Berry Farm

Transformed into Knott's Merry Farm for the holiday season, the park offers festive shows, thousands of lights, and holiday decor throughout. Special attractions include the Christmas Crafts Village, Santa's Christmas Cabin, and seasonal performances. The holiday ambience is enhanced with unique food and shopping experiences, making it a special place to visit in December.

Six Flags Theme Parks (Various Locations)

Website: Six Flags

Six Flags parks across the country celebrate "Holiday in the Park," featuring millions of lights, holiday entertainment, and seasonal attractions. Each park offers its unique twist on holiday celebrations, with themed areas, festive shows, and holiday treats. The parks' roller coasters and rides operate alongside special holiday-themed attractions.

Hersheypark (Pennsylvania)

Website: Hersheypark

During Christmas Candylane, Hersheypark sparkles with over four million lights. The park offers rides, including a select number of roller coasters, and unique holiday entertainment. Hershey's Chocolate World adjacent to the park also partakes in the festivities, making it a sweet destination in December.

SeaWorld (Florida, Texas, and California)

Website: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld's parks in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego host special holiday events. These include festive shows, spectacular Christmas light displays, and themed attractions. SeaWorld combines its unique marine life experiences with a joyful holiday atmosphere, offering a memorable December visit.

Also check out the best theme parks in Texas.

Silver Dollar City (Missouri)

Website: Silver Dollar City

An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City features over 6.5 million lights, 1,000 Christmas trees, and holiday shows like "A Dickens' Christmas Carol." The park’s 1880s theme is accentuated with a festive holiday flair, including a dramatic light parade each evening. This theme park offers a blend of thrill rides and traditional holiday charm.

Each of these parks provides a unique holiday experience in December, combining their standard attractions with special seasonal offerings. It's advisable to check their official websites for the most up-to-date information on events, hours, and any potential changes due to weather or other factors.


The allure of theme parks during the holiday season is undeniable. Each park, with its array of festive decorations, special shows, and unique holiday attractions, offers a memorable experience that resonates with the spirit of December. Whether it's the magical world of Disney, the cinematic splendor of Universal Studios, the traditional charm of Silver Dollar City, or the festive lights of Busch Gardens, these parks provide a perfect backdrop for creating holiday memories. As we've journeyed through some of the best theme parks open in December across the USA, it's clear that each offers more than just rides—they offer a festive escape into a world of joy, laughter, and holiday magic. So, pack your bags, don your festive hats, and prepare to embrace the holiday spirit in a way only these spectacular theme parks can offer!

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