Visiting Florida over the festive period and wondering how to make the most of it?
We chatted to three Florida residents (and local experts!) about how they celebrate the big day!….
A Brit in Florida: Tori (Orlando Tour Operator)
Universal Citywalk / Source: flickr
As a foreigner living in Florida, the food at Christmas is actually quite different to what Im used to!
Christmas Dinner is traditionally a roast; Lamb, Beef and Pork are popular, and many people have Turkey but with Thanksgiving so close to Christmas a lot of people are already Turkeyd out!
Central Florida is a Southern State at heart, so the food has a Southern influence. The Southern cuisine sides you might get at Christmas include green bean casserole, corn souffle and sweet potato with marshmallow topping. Im still getting used to the concept of putting sweet items with your main meal!
Compared to the UK, Christmas Eve isnt as much of a big celebration – no parties or nightclubs or pub visits. If you did want to get out and enjoy yourself in the evening, Id recommend CityWalk at Universal!
The Gator-tastic Christmas! – Sam at Wild Florida
BBQ Steak / Source: flickr
Being one of the top beef producing states in the US, us Floridians are proud of our steak, so at Christmas our family likes to slow smoke prime rib on the grill and invite everyone over for a feast!
Its great having most of the family close by in Orlando, as lots of American families have to travel huge distances to be together. With over 50 grandkids running around it always gets a bit wild when we get together for the holidays!
Of course, an Everglades Christmas dinner wouldnt be complete without the other white meat – gator tail! We always try to serve a little fried gator with our holiday meals.
The Mediterranean Twist – Danny (Florida Tour Operator)
Planet Hollywood / Source: flickr
Christmas day in Orlando is always a long one with work, family and friends!
I normally take some guests out for the Planet Hollywood Christmas Meal. Weve been going there for the last 8 years and its always great to meet the families and see the smiles on everyones faces on Christmas day.
Later, we all pile round to a family members house for more food and drinks! Turkey is always involved as well as a ham, and being Portuguese theres always a dish from the homeland (usually seafood and more wine!)
Then its Boxing day. Now dont tell my mother, but I always tell her that I have to work so I can escape and meet up with friends!
Will you be celebrating Christmas in Florida? These are the top things to do recommended by our experts:
Breakfast with the Disney Characters
Having breakfast on Christmas morning surrounded by the Disney characters is a dream come true for little kids (and big kids!). The characters wander round the room and visit your table to get photos, autographs and cuddles!
Planet Hollywood Christmas Lunch
The Christmas lunch is just the start of the celebrations at Planet Hollywood! You get chauffeured around Downtown Disney by limousine (with a glass of champers for the grown-ups!), watch a movie at the giant AMC movie theatre, and kids even get a special gift from Santa!
Chef Mickeys Christmas Dinner and Celebration Snow Fall
This is a great way to meet the Disney characters away from the crowds of the parks. While youre eating, the characters will wander round the room and visit the tables – its a really magical experience for kids, especially around Christmas!
After dinner youre chauffeured to Disneys City of Celebration – the ultimate Christmas Town where youll get to see the Florida Snow Fall on the Streets!