The 7 Best US Theme Parks For The Holidays

Visiting the United States around Christmastime? You’ll definitely want to plan on heading to one of the best US theme parks for the holidays, of which they are many. While these theme parks are frequented by guests both domestically and internationally all year long, you’ll find that they’re particularly magical around the holidays.

Break out the hot cocoa and prepare to indulge in a variety of Christmas holiday treats. Hot peppermint mochas, holiday funnel cakes, and rich fudge are just a few of the theme park treats you can expect to unwrap at these places. 

Christmas spectacles, Grinch-filled fantastical shows, shows, and millions of lights await you. Book your tickets now in order to get into the Christmas spirit at the seven best US theme parks for the holidays.

Best US Theme Parks For The HolidaysHow do these rankings work?

1. Holidays at Universal Studios Orlando – Orlando, Florida

Let’s be real, Universal Studios is one of the best US theme parks any time of the year. But, during Christmas, this cinema-themed park takes things to a whole new level. Transport yourself to a magical winter wonderland by experiencing Christmas at the delightful Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Or, settle in for a spectacular show as The Grinch’s Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular dazzles guests.

Holiday Dates: November 16th through January 5th.

Image: Universal Studios Orlando Resorts

2. Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Texas – Arlington, Texas

You’ll find Holiday at the Park at any of the Six Flags locations around the United States. And, while they’re all spectacular and brimming with holiday cheer, the decorations at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington are simply magical. From festive treats to a marvellous Christmas tree, this theme park turns into a breathtaking winter wonderland during the holidays. The Merry Marketplace features campfire holiday s’mores, a Texas-sized mistletoe, and much more.

Holiday Dates: November 23rd through January 5th.

Image: Six Flags Over Texas

3. Christmas Candylane at Hershey Park – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Over four million lights make the famous Hershey Park light up like a Christmas tree during the holiday season. Expect to enjoy an array of holiday festivities, ranging from spectacular light shows and reindeer meet-and-greets to the chance to ride all of your favourite attractions in holiday fashion. After enjoying the park, head over to the Hershey Sweet Lights display for two miles of wooded wonderland filled with animated light displays.

Holiday Dates: November 15th through January 1st.

Image: Hershey Park

4. Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Smoky Mountain Christmas is perhaps one of the most awaited seasons at Dollywood in Tennessee. This is by far one of the best US theme parks for the holidays due to the sheer amount of decorations and festivities they hold. Experience the wonder of Christmas as you explore Glacier Ridge, a wonderland filled with a sparkling 50-foot video motion Christmas tree. Then, grab a mug of hot chocolate and settle in for the Parade of Many Colors.

Holiday Dates: November 9th through January 4th.

Image: Dollywood

5. Winterfest at King’s Island – Mason, Ohio

A whopping total of five million lights set the cheerful stage that is Winterfest at King’s Island. Visitors can explore a real winter wonderland which features an ice skating rink, a Christmas tree inspired by the lights of the Eiffel Tower, and delicious holiday treats. Step into a world of holiday fun by attending one of the many shows, including Cool Yule Christmas and everybody’s favourite Charlie Brown Christmas Spectacular. It’s all simply magical.

Holiday Dates: November 22nd through December 31st.

Image: King’s Island/Facebook

6. Branson Christmas at Silver Dollar City – Branson, Missouri

Head to Branson, Missouri to experience and old-time Christmas. Silver Dollar City is home to one of the tallest Christmas trees in the States. Their eight-story, state-of-the-art Christmas Tree is the centerpiece of holiday festivities here. 6.5 million lights make the entire theme park sparkle as you make your way from holiday shops to attractions. Let holiday cheer waft over you as you delight in live shows such as A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Or, stick with the rides and relax on a Christmas-themed train ride.

Holiday Dates: November 2nd through December 30th.

Image: Silver Dollar City

7. Christmas at Disneyland – Anaheim, California

It wouldn’t be a list about the best US theme parks for the holidays if we didn’t mention at least one Disney park. And, it’s no secret that Disney goes all out for various holidays, but it’s their Christmas at Disneyland celebration that really evokes a sense of holiday cheer out of numerous visitors each year. To begin with, the “It’s a Small World” ride transforms into a light-covered spectacle. Then, their nightly parade gets a festive makeover. Simply put, Disneyland is one of the most magical places to spend Christmas.

Holiday Dates: November 8th through January 6th.

Image: Disneyland Resorts
Elizabeth Thorn

Elizabeth has lived and worked in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, all of which have contributed to her passion for travel writing. When she's not writing, you can find her exploring little hideouts in Colombia or watching photography tutorials on YouTube.

Contact: [email protected]

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