The Light Up UCF! holiday celebration at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is one of Orlando’s more affordable seasonal traditions. Going back more than a decade, Light Up UCF! has free parking, free holiday light show and a free outdoor Holiday Film Festival. It also boasts Orlando’s largest outdoor skating rink, which has a modest charge.
Held outside the university’s CFE Arena, Light Up UCF! begins in mid-November and goes through the end of December. One of its most popular features is the Holiday Light Show held nightly at 7 when lights pulse and strobe in synchronization to holiday music. The light show continues hourly until closing.
Free holiday-themed movies are shown Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Fridays/Saturdays at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. See the show schedule. Past films include “Elf,” “Home Alone” 1 and 2, “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Santa Claus.”
The Ultimate Package (under $20) is the best way to enjoy most of Light Up UCF’s main attractions at a bargain price. The package includes ice skating, ice slide, Ferris Wheel, Light Up Express, and Winter Whirl. It does not include carriage rides or photos with Santa but does cover skate rental. There are no age restrictions for ice skating, but anyone under 6 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
Light Up UCF! does have ride restrictions for three attractions. Light Up Express riders must be at least 36″ tall or accompanied by a paid adult. Ferris Wheel riders must be at least 42″ tall. And Winter Whirl riders must be at least 48″ tall.
Open and closing times at the Light Up UCF! holiday celebration vary by week and day. Carriage rides for two or up to 10 riders usually start at 6:30 p.m. See each day’s schedule under Upcoming Events.
Free parking is available for Light Up UCF! in Event Garage F. Tell the attendant you are there for Light Up UCF! The event typically starts each year near mid-November.
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