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Light Up UCF

Illuminated Palm Trees

For the four years Light Up UCF has been running, locals have enjoyed this little known event. But past events have proven it too much fun to keep it out of the lime light. Plus it’s hard to stay low-key when you’re one of two places in Orlando where you can go ice skating outdoors during the holidays. Florida is perpetually hot, warm, or some degree in between. Snow is almost non-existent here. Well, since the secret is out, I have to admit that Light Up UCF also has snow.

Light Up UCF takes place on the University of Central Florida campus by the arena. Some readers may know the UCF Knights football team for their impressive and flawless seasons. Instead of welcoming thousands of football fans, the arena welcomes those looking for an equally impressive holiday cheer. Where we lack in cold weather and legitimate snow (more on that in a moment), we make up for in lights – a lot of lights. Like, millions of lights. Everything with a surface is lit, and the best part is the lights twinkle and pulse to holiday music pumped through speakers around this Floridian winter wonderland.

Speaking of lights, one of the biggest things you’ll see is the Ferris wheel, also decorated with lights. A peaceful ride offers panoramic and unobstructed views of the event below. It’s a perfect chance for that awesome Instagram shot. Once you’ve got the Ferris wheel selfie, head over to the ice skating rink for more fun. Secure your phones; you don’t want them falling on the ice. If you’re a good ice skater, that’s amazing. As a native Floridian, I assure you locals will not be doing any number of axles on the ice. We’ll be doing our best to stay upright and on our feet (or we’ll be hugging the walls the entire way around the rink).

There’s more fun with ice on the ice slide, a 100 ft. ice luge. Guests of all ages are welcome to slide down on a plastic snow saucer. Speaking of snow, some years Light Up UCF will have snow. It hasn’t been decided yet for this year, but we hope they’ll opt for it.

Snow or no snow, there’s so much more to enjoy, including carnival rides like Winter Whirl, free outdoor showings of holiday movies (It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, Elf, Home Alone, and more), live entertainment on the community performance stage, and the Market Under the Stars showcasing local artisans’ creative goods.

As you’d expect at any proper Christmas event, Santa will be there for photo ops with the kids. Pictures with the jolly man of the night do cost extra. In years past, Coca Cola has sponsored the photo op, and they’ve brought statues of the lovable polar bears onsite to add to the festive backdrop.

This is a ticketed event, which can be purchased through Ticketmaster. When purchasing your tickets, consider staying at Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista. Double up your vacation fun with this event with locals and then head over to Walt Disney World for more holiday themed fun. Our guestrooms come with everything you need to have a comfortable stay. Click the Check Availability link above to book your stay today.

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Toll Free: 1-800-999-7300

Local: 407-996-7300

8442 Palm Parkway,
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32836

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