Central Florida’s best, brightest home holiday displays – Orlando Sentinel | will it snow in florida


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, even in the Sunshine State, with temperatures dipping down into the 30s for the holiday weekend in Central Florida. But that colder weather brings with it the perfect time to bundle up with a hat and scarf, hot cocoa in hand, and head out seeking blindingly bright displays of Christmas cheer.

The holiday heroes of Orlando, Kissimmee, Winter Garden, Lake Nona, Winter Park and beyond have risen from their summer slumber, hauling out box after box of twinkle lights. Some homeowners are content to put up a few strands and call it a holiday, but the aspiring Clark Griswolds of Central Florida go all out with their displays, doing their best to spread joy.

For our fifth annual Twinkly Awards, we’re naming our favorite displays that represent a wide range of styles and ideas. Some lights dazzle as they dance to music while other homes have interesting themes or refreshing new twists on traditional lights.

In no particular order, here are Central Florida’s best home holiday displays.

Johannessen Lights shines brightly with tens of thousands of Christmas Lights and backyard access for a small donation at 7849 Georgeann St. in Winter Park.

Just when it seems like the Johannessen Family can’t fit any more lights or props on their expansive Winter Park property, they always seem to one-up themselves. Tens of thousands of lights adorn towering oaks in the front yard resembling a North Pole village. Step into the backyard for a $5 donation and see pirates, aliens, a sleigh photo op, a life-size Grinch and themed Christmas trees. The home previously appeared on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and is worth seeing year after year. Visitors are encouraged to park at the end of the street and leave pets at home.

Address: 7849 Georgeann St. in Winter Park

Hours: 6-9 p.m. nightly (closed Dec. 24) through Dec. 31

More info: facebook.com/JohanessenLights

For 13 years, The Lights on Jeater Bend have been a holiday tradition for many families. But after a long and successful run, this Celebration display of nine homes will go dark at the end of the season. Calvin Slater, the main mind behind these dancing lights, is retiring from his hobby at the end of December. But for a little while longer, guests can still enjoy this shimmering spectacle of the holidays.

Address: Jeater Bend Drive in Celebration

Hours: 6-9:30 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31

More info: facebook.com/lightsonjeaterbend

The home of Vernon and Victoria Lindo is lit up and decorated from top to bottom at 618 Golfpark Drive in Celebration.

Celebration knows how to get in the Christmas spirit, especially as evidenced by the extravagant display at the home of Vernon and Victoria Lindo. Their stately estate has columns wrapped in garland and merriment scattered all across the lawn. See a Nativity scene, several Santas, nutcrackers, carolers, snowmen, elves and more. The home also makes a cameo in the credits of “A Christmas Karen,” which had scenes filmed in Celebration last year.

Address: 618 Golfpark Drive in Celebration

The home of David Nubar and Frank Boyce at 2811 Clemwood St. in Orlando is lit up with nearly a million lights in 2022 in memory of COVID-19 victims. The couple were honored with a recent segment on ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight."

While this holiday season feels relatively normal compared with previous years, many Americans know someone who passed away from COVID-19. The home of David Nubar and Frank Boyce still serves as a touching tribute to the lives lost to the pandemic. With nearly a million lights adorning the home, driveway and lawn, this Lake Como display is an emotional sight to behold and a labor of love. The Orlando couple recently appeared on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight.”

Address: 2811 Clemwood St. in Orlando

More info: honorbylight.com

The McBride Family Christmas Lights are lit up in Baldwin Park with Santa’s sleigh, characters and an archway of lights over the sidewalk at 4564 New Broad St. in Orlando.

Baldwin Park always stands out among Orlando communities for its admirable holiday homes and shimmering, stately displays. One family, in particular, always delivers a top-notch Christmas light experience. The McBride Family Christmas Lights features 80,000 individual bulbs, a suspended sleigh and archways of light over the sidewalk. The family accepts donations (and matches them 300 percent) to benefit schools and nonprofits including Baldwin Park Elementary, Winter Park High School and Impower, a telehealth provider for mental health.

Address: 4564 New Broad St. in Baldwin Park

Laprada Lights in Winter Garden presents lights that dance to Disney music, The Weeknd and even a Star Wars medley. Using the side of his two-story home, Adam LaPrade showcases light bulbs, snowflakes and trees that illuminate with 10,000 RGB “pixels” and pulse to several songs. Visitors can even control the playlist by visiting controlthelights.net.

Address: 2121 White Feather Loop in Winter Garden

Hours: 6-10:30 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1

Tune to: 93.9 FM

More info: lapradalights.com

The home of George Case features lovingly handmade decorations that were painted by his late wife, Beatrice, seen at 1901 Mosher Drive in Orlando.

While many displays feature store-bought inflatables and decorations, the home of George Case has characters and cutouts that were lovingly handmade. These were painted by Case’s late wife, Beatrice. Now, the display seeks to honor her life and show off their shared labor of love. See wooden carolers, singing mice, gingerbread creations and a sleigh with reindeer.

Address: 1901 Mosher Drive in Orlando

The Banbor Lights Spectacular stands out among Central Florida dancing displays with a clean, well-programmed show that lights up the night in Davenport. Enjoy Christmas hits from “The Polar Express,” “Frozen” and other holiday classics. Watch the screen on the garage to see a dubstep dancing Santa, song lyrics and more.

Address: 7237 Mystic Brook Way in Davenport

Hours: 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5:30-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday through Jan. 1

Tune to: 91.5 FM

More info: facebook.com/BanborLights

From Lizzo to Ryan Reynolds to Beethoven, Christmas 2022 has a diverse playlist at Laureate Park Lights. This Lake Nona-area display features modern-day pop hits and Christmas classics alike. Wheels of lights and trees dance to music while small avatars sing along to songs like a digital choir. Catch the 26-minute show nightly by tuning in on your car radio.

Address: 8195 Upper Perse Circle in Orlando

Tune to: 89.5 FM

Lake Nona Lights, the meticulous work of Todd O’Neal and Randy Tennison, is back presenting a holiday tradition of more than a decade. The clean display is well-programmed to match up with individual instruments, plus it features an extensive playlist with jazzy Christmas tunes and comedic interjections.

Address: 9800 Old Patina Way in Orlando

Hours: 6-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday through Dec. 31

Tune to: 87.9 FM

More info: lakenonalights.com

If it’s true that “teamwork makes the dream work,” this Kissimmee display is the embodiment of that phrase. “Our Light Display” pulls together 100,000 lights on multiple houses for a dancing display that moves to the groove of Disney and Trans-Siberian Orchestra tunes.

Address: 922 Dartmouth Court in Kissimmee

Hours: 6-10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31

Tune to: 99.7 FM

More info: ourlightdisplay.weebly.com

This Avalon Park home features a merry and bright Christmas show with a cappella songs and holiday favorites. See lights dance to music and experience animated light bulbs, plus a new Frosty made of lights.

Address: 2606 Topsail Hill St. in Orlando

Hours: 5:30-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5:30 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday through Jan. 2

Tune to: 89.7 FM

More info: facebook.com/LightsOnTopsail

The home at 624 Canna Drive in Davenport chooses a different theme each holiday season. Previously, visitors would find "Santa's tree lot" and one year, it was a wilderness theme. This year helps ring in the new year, 2023.

While many holiday displays are Christmas-themed, this home changes its theme yearly. Previously, visitors have seen “Santa’s tree lot” or a “wilderness” motif, but this year it’s New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Happy New Year!

Address: 624 Canna Drive in Davenport

Cross Christmas features “snow” machines, tens of thousands of lights and myriad characters on the lawn, plus a dancing show at 4241 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

The home of the Cross Family has become a seasonal favorite for Central Floridians looking for holiday lights. Visit this festive display in between Winter Park and UCF to witness more than 200,000 lights, including 80,000 lights on the large oak tree alone. Experience a variety of characters in the front yard, drop off a letter to Santa, witness dancing lights, grab a candy cane and enjoy “snow” falling nightly.

Address: 4241 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando

Hours: 6-10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1

Tune to: 99.9 FM

More info: facebook.com/crosschristmas

The persistence and creativity of Patrick Anthony are admirable. This dancing display has appeared on three different homes in as many years as the lights hobbyist has moved to different Central Florida houses. From College Park to Conway to Winter Park in 2022, the latest iteration features 30,000 lights synchronized to 30 songs of different genres.

Address: 7510 Waunaqua Drive in Winter Park

Hours: 5:45-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5:45-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Tune to: 87.9 FM

More info: facebook.com/WPLightsonWaunaqua

The Winter Springs home of the Bivona Family carries on a holiday tradition that began decades ago. This decidedly 21st-century display now features singing Christmas trees, Pikachu and a tall tree of lights that all pulse to EDM remixes of classic carols. All is merry and bright, that’s for sure.

Address: 1601 N. Wind Court in Winter Springs

Hours: 6-11 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31

Tune to: 91.3 FM

More info: facebook.com/BivonaChristmas

A Florida Gators-inspired light display can be seen at 1626 Hoffner Ave. in Belle Isle.

Driving along Hoffner Avenue near the Conway Chain of Lakes, spot this Florida Gators-themed light display. There are gators made of lights and inflatables, a large helmet and strands that change from blue to orange and back again. It’s an admirable show of sports team loyalty, but where’s the UCF display?

Address: 1626 Hoffner Ave. in Belle Isle

The home at 2372 Hoffner Ave. in Belle Isle features a vintage Corvette wrapped in Christmas lights.

Some holiday displays manage to be quite effective without overcrowding their exterior real estate. Such is the case with this Belle Isle display, which incorporates a vintage Corvette wrapped in lights. While passing by, it’s also possible to see snowmen in lights and a tall tree that illuminates an otherwise dark street.

Address: 2372 Hoffner Ave. in Belle Isle

The Goelz Dancing Christmas Lights show the magic that’s possible with precision programming and a relatively simple but effective dancing display. More than 40,000 “pixels” and traditional LEDs are synchronized to 15 different Christmas songs. See a 25-foot “mega tree” (that sometimes appears as Frosty the Snowman), pinwheel arches, spiral trees, singing light bulbs and more.

Address: 3501 Rhapsody St. in St. Cloud

Hours: 6-10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31

Tune to: 90.1 FM

More info: facebook.com/GoelzDancingChristmasLights

The Fye’s Crazy Christmas House at 407 Eagle Circle in Casselberry is lit up with thousands of lights and decorated with a life-size sleigh.

The Fye Family has become a staple of the community when it comes to Christmas lights. Visit the “Fye’s Crazy Christmas House” to witness more than 60,000 lights and a life-size sleigh that presents a perfect photo op. There’s also a North Pole village and characters from “The Peanuts,” “Scooby Doo” and, of course, the Grinch. On Christmas Eve morning, the neighborhood hosts a pancake breakfast, ushering in the spirit of the season and a sense of community.

Address: 407 Eagle Circle in Casselberry

Hours: 5:30-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday

More info: facebook.com/407fyechristmashouse

This Winter Garden dancing display is experiencing a “TSO Takeover” this year with lights dancing to several Christmas songs from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Color-changing bulbs outline the windows, front porch and garage while trees in the front yard illuminate to the beat. Faces made of lights sing along to certain songs.

Address: 8819 Eden Cove Drive in Winter Garden

Hours: 6-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 6-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday nightly through Jan. 1

Tune to: 89.1 FM

More info: facebook.com/edencovelights

The “HoLedet Show,” a play on the last name of Marcus and Mallory Ledet, is once again illuminating the night in Lake County. Visit this display to hear Christmas carols and cinematic references to movies like Star Wars and Harry Potter. The water cannons return from previous years, but new for this year is a 20-foot “mega tree” with more than 13,000 lights and 1,500 pixels.

Address: 15635 Turkey Farm Road in Minneola

Hours: 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday through mid-January

Tune to: FM 88.1

More info: facebook.com/TheHoLedetShow

The home at 4320 Meadowood St. in Orlando features lights wrapped around trees, a sleigh and characters from Christmas movies.

Tucked away on a quiet street in Orlando’s Conway neighborhood, this display features colorful lights adorning tall oak trees, a sleigh and reindeer suspended in the air and several characters from classic Christmas movies, such as Ralphie in his pink bunny suit. It’s the kind of spectacle that takes your breath away for a moment when you round the corner and see it in all of its shimmering glory.

Address: 4320 Meadowood St. in Orlando

The home at 3727 Sarasota Court in Orlando features Santa baking gingerbread treats, plus some goodie bags to-go.

It’s not clear when Santa has time for baking amid his busy holiday season, but he’s sure trying. With a bag of Giardelli chocolate chips in his arms, this animatronic Kris Kringle looks ready to go to work in the kitchen with a reindeer and other festive characters by his side. He might want to call Mrs. Claus for help, as the oven is showing signs that something might be burning. In a delightful twist, there are sweet treats set out for visitors to take.

Address: 3727 Sarasota Court in Orlando

The Hoglund-Glucksman Family home at 3145 W. Orange Country Club Drive in Winter Garden features a large gingerbread house with a smoking chimney.

Not all displays are marked by over-the-top holiday extravagance but by simple, homemade ingenuity. This delightfully handmade display in Winter Garden features a gingerbread house with a smoking chimney and a wooden Santa. It’s a sweet sign of the holiday season.

Address: 3145 W. Orange Country Club Drive in Winter Garden

Thank you to all of the homeowners who participated. To be considered for the 2023 awards, send an email with display information, photos and address next year. Find me on Twitter @PConnPie, Instagram @PConnPie or send me an email: pconnolly@orlandosentinel.com.





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