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Dawn Henthorn

Here Comes Santa Claus... Florida-Style

By November 20, 2012

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It isn't hard to believe that after Santa spends much of the year at the North Pole that he wouldn't enjoy the warmer climate of Florida. It seems he gets away to the Sunshine State about this time every year for a little R&R before his all-night Christmas Eve sleigh ride because he is sighted in the most unlikely places.

  • You might see Santa riding the rails...
    ... Florida Gulf Coast Railroad's annual North Pole Express departs Parrish Station Thursdays through Sundays — November 29 - December 16 and December 21 & 22. Departure times vary (2:00 & 6:00 p.m.) depending on the day. Purchase tickets online or call 941-776-0906. Purchase tickets early, as many dates sell out within hours of going on sale.

  • Water floats Santa's boat...
    ... You can see Santa Saturday, December 1, in the Venice Christmas Boat Parade amid the glittering of holiday lights.
    ... You are sure to see Santa at the Winterfest Boat Parade on December 15, that sets sail from downtown Fort Lauderdale each year.

  • Santa's sMall Appearances...
    ... He can't always be found ready for pictures, but he makes small appearances at every mall in Florida. Check with each one for Santa's appearance schedule.

  • Santa's a little Goofy...
    ... At Camp Minnie-Mickey in Disney's Animal Kingdom, guests may meet Disney characters dressed in their holiday best at Goofy's Wild Wonderland (formerly Santa Goofy's Holiday Village) beginning November 10, 2012 and continuing through January 2, 2013. The village is decorated festively for the holidays and features live entertainers and photo opportunities.

  • And finally, where does Santa stay in shape while he's in Florida?
    ... You won't find him at the gym. Remember round is his shape. You're more likely to find him at SeaWorld Orlando for Santa's Fireside Feast where you'll enjoy an all-you-care-to-eat feast of holiday favorites and a picture with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. The feast is $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for children. Park admission is also required and not included in price.
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