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12 of the most unusual Christmas family holiday destinations

From white-sand beaches to monochrome hotels and the real deal in Finland, these amazing holidays all evoke a snowy spirit

Posted: 21 November 2013
by Catherine O'Dolan

 6 of 12 

Orlando, Florida

Typically a popular destination for escaping the chill of a UK winter, Florida guarantees snowfall – it falls four times a night at the Now Snowing extravaganza in the town of Celebration. There’s also an ice rink, Charles Dickens’ Carollers, horse-drawn carriage rides, and the Celebration Express train. As you’d expect, Orlando’s theme parks also go to town with festive spectaculars and regular ‘snow’ flurries – this is the land of make-believe, after all. At Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom, enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas with parades and fireworks and a wintry glisten to Cinderella’s castle. It’s Grinchmas at Universal Island Of Adventure with a musical performance of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. And at SeaWorld try The Polar Express Experience trip to the North Pole and there’s also a Hawaiian-style welcome at the Seafire Inn with the Makahiki Christmas Luau. 

For old-style glamour, stay at the Peabody Orlando, where your child can watch the parade of Peabody Ducks waddle through the foyer. A Superior or Deluxe guestroom, with VIP Participation in the March of the Peabody Ducks, $100 food and beverage credit and valet parking costs from £190 per night. Visit

For a funkier vibe, the Mona Lisa Suites Hotel in Celebration is minutes from Walt Disney World, and has luxurious suites with living areas, kitchens and balconies overlooking the infinity pool or lush Florida landscape.

A two-bedroom suite in December costs from £127. Visit Flights to Orlando from £619 with Virgin Atlantic. For details of events, visit

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