From Diwali to Hanukkah: How theme parks have fun holidays all over the world

From Diwali to Hanukkah: How theme parks have fun holidays all over the world

On the earth of theme parks, the vacation season kicks off as quickly because the gates open on Nov. 1. Parks like Disney World bear a full transformation in a single day, whereas others roll out the trimmings extra regularly.

One factor most theme parks have in frequent is that their “vacation” celebrations are predominantly centered round Christmas. That is actually no shock, contemplating upwards of 90% Individuals observe Christmas, in keeping with a 2019 Gallup ballot — however Christmas is much from the one main vacation that’s noticed this time of yr in America and internationally.

Associated: 3 methods Disney is turning into a extra magical, inclusive place to go to and work

Lately, U.S. theme parks have strengthened their deal with range and inclusion, and that effort extends to including illustration for holidays aside from Christmas to their festive lineups. And since theme parks stretch out their vacation programming, there’s ample time to go to and have fun the next fall and winter holidays:



Diwali, India’s “pageant of lights,” is noticed by hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout many religions, together with Hindus, Kains, Sikhs and a few Buddhists. The identify is derived from the Sanskrit phrase “deepavali,” which interprets to “row of lights.” In brief, Diwali symbolizes the victory of sunshine over darkness, good over evil and information over ignorance. Diwali sometimes falls in October or November, although the precise date adjustments annually based mostly on the Hindu lunar calendar. This yr, Diwali was celebrated on Oct. 24, although theme park guests can expertise the festivities via the top of the yr.

Walt Disney World

Within the Asia part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may discover yellow and purple marigold garlands and greater than 50 colourful glowing lanterns hung from teak poles that have been hand-carved in Indonesia with Balinese patterns. You’ll be able to view the decorations close to the Anandapur Theater via the top of the yr.


The Disney Pageant of Holidays at Disney California Journey runs from Nov. 11, 2022 via Jan. 8, 2023. Meals, decorations and stay leisure characterize numerous cultural traditions from all over the world, together with Diwali. A number of occasions each day throughout the pageant, company can watch (and dance together with) the Blue13 Dance Firm. Performances are held at Paradise Gardens Park and embrace conventional Indian dances and a Bollywood-style dance celebration that company are invited to affix.

On the “Favourite Issues” sales space within the Festive Meals Market, you possibly can pattern a rooster tikka masala dish and a guava-mango lassi, each impressed by Diwali. At Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District simply outdoors the theme parks, you possibly can dine on a Tikka Masala Pizza and wash it down with a Tuk Tuk (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) at Naples Ristorante e Bar.


Hanukkah, the Jewish Pageant of Lights, is an eight-day celebration that marks the restoration of Jerusalem from the Syrian Greeks and the following rededication of the town’s holy temple. Some of the recognizable symbols of Hanukkah is the nightly lighting of a menorah, however you possibly can anticipate finding many different traditions and culinary specialities related to the vacation. This yr, Hanukkah begins on Dec. 18 and ends on Dec. 26.

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Common Orlando Resort

Common Orlando has eight on-site inns and each has a menorah lighting ceremony in its foyer every night time of Hanukkah. The ceremonies start at sunset every night.

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens parks in Tampa Bay, Florida, and Williamsburg, Virginia, will every mark Hanukkah in its personal means. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay could have a commemorative photo-op billboard and an electrical menorah that may illuminate every night throughout Hanukkah.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is introducing an all-new scavenger hunt that celebrates winter traditions all over the world, together with Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. The scavenger hunt is included with paid admission and company can choose up a clue sheet within the England space of the park. After you discover the vacation symbols all through the park, you possibly can flip in your clue sheet and redeem it for a candy deal with on the Emporium.


From Dec. 18 via Dec. 26, guests to SeaWorld Orlando can take part in a nightly lighting of a menorah in Sesame Avenue Land

SeaWorld San Antonio will maintain a one-night Hannukah celebration on Dec. 19, 2022. The occasion will embrace a menorah lighting ceremony within the Bay of Play space at 5:30 p.m. and discounted admission to SeaWorld for the day.

Walt Disney World

Disney World honors many winter holidays and traditions throughout the Epcot Worldwide Pageant of the Holidays. This yr the occasion runs from Nov. 25 via Dec. 30, 2022. For Hanukkah, a costumed storyteller will maintain courtroom within the space between the Morocco and France pavilions of Epcot’s World Showcase a number of occasions each day, recounting tales of the music and traditions of Hanukkah from all over the world. On this similar space, you may discover the L’Chaim! Vacation Kitchen which serves up basic dishes like pastrami on rye sandwiches, black and white cookies and potato latkes.

Sesame Place Philadelphia

Sesame Avenue resident Child Bear celebrates Hanukkah together with his household and excitedly shares traditions like lighting the menorah and enjoying a recreation of dreidel with Sesame Place guests throughout the park’s Hanukkah celebration. The occasion takes place every day of Hanukkah at 4:30 p.m. between Dec. 18 and Dec. 24, 2022.


As a part of the Disney Pageant of the Holidays, the band “Largely Kosher” will carry out its Twenty first-century twist on klezmer, jazz, Latin and rock music all through the day from Nov. 11, 2022, via Jan. 8, 2023. You could find the band on the stage at Pacific Wharf at Disney California Journey. Gas up for its efficiency on the Festive Meals Market, with Lox & Every part Bagel Nachos, Loaded Latkes or a Brisket Slider.


Kwanzaa is a celebration of African-American tradition and neighborhood. This yr, the weeklong vacation kicks off on Dec. 26 and runs via New 12 months’s Day. Every of the seven nights represents a unique community-building precept of African tradition.

Walt Disney World

In the course of the Epcot Worldwide Pageant of the Holidays (Nov. 25 via Dec. 30, 2022), Epcot guests can expertise the surprise of each Christmas and Kwanzaa with the inspiring gospel, R&B and vacation songs of the Joyful! Ensemble. Performances are held at 1:15 p.m., 2:20 p.m., 3:25 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day on the World Showcase Plaza.

Sesame Place Philadelphia

Every afternoon throughout Kwanzaa at 4:30 p.m., favourite Sesame Avenue characters will share a particular Kwanzaa storytime and Kinara lighting to commemorate and educate households about Kwanzaa ideas and traditions.

SeaWorld Orlando

Like Sesame Place, SeaWorld Orlando will maintain each day Kwanzaa festivities between Dec. 26, 2022, and Jan. 1, 2023. Head to Sesame Avenue Land for a time of reflection and celebration of African heritage and a nightly lighting of the Kinara.


Just like Disney World, Disneyland acknowledges Kwanzaa with festive musical performances. Every day between Nov. 11, 2022, and Jan. 8, 2023, head to Disney California Journey’s Pacific Wharf Stage the place a cappella vocal ensemble The Mistletoes will have fun the spirit of Christmas and Kwanzaa with its cheerful vacation choruses. You will additionally come throughout a Kwanzaa-inspired candy potato loaf on the close by Grand Californian Lodge’s vacation meals cart.

Latin American vacation traditions


Like different nations the place Christianity is the predominant faith, Christmas is extensively celebrated in Latin American nations, however there are a selection of Christmas traditions distinctive to this continent. Las Posadas, which interprets to “the inns,” is a nine-day celebration between Dec. 16 and Dec. 24 that commemorates the journey Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem. Three Kings Day, which takes place on Jan. 6 yearly, marks the day the three smart males discovered their method to the newborn Jesus.

Walt Disney World

Sundays via Thursdays throughout the Epcot Worldwide Pageant of the Holidays (Nov. 25 via Dec. 30, 2022), you possibly can participate in a Las Posadas celebration on the Mexico pavilion with dancers, pinatas and fiery performances by widespread Epcot band Mariachi Cobre. On the close by Las Posadas Vacation Kitchen within the Mexico Pavilion, you possibly can dine on festive vacation delicacies like barbacoa, tostadas and dulce de leche churros. And remember a Cranberry Cinnamon Margarita or Horchata Margarita to clean it down with.


Over on the West Coast at Disney California Journey’s Pageant of the Holidays, you possibly can immerse your self in Latin American Christmas traditions all season lengthy, starting with the ¡Viva Navidad! Avenue Celebration Nov. 11, 2022 via Jan. 8, 2022. Hosted by the Three Caballeros (Donald, Duck, José Oliveira and Panchito Pistoles), this energetic road celebration options music, dancing and larger-than-life puppets of Santa and Mrs. Claus. After all, Mickey and Minnie make appearances as effectively. All through the season, you can too see the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas at Paradise Gardens Park.

On Three Kings Day (Jan. 6, 2023), Disney wraps up its festive vacation season with an occasion at Paradise Gardens Park that pays tribute to the three smart males. You will expertise conventional decor and a particular picture alternative.