The holiday spirit is in the air, even at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures in Kissimmee, which has transformed into the Jolly Creek Holiday Festival! We took a tour of this special seasonal offering and all the magic it contains.
As we arrived, we saw that one of the buildings was strung up in lights, while an inflatable Santa stood outside.
The bright lights added a heartwarming glow to the evening’s festivities.
Tables were set up for local businesses to sell their wares. We were both impressed and disturbed by one table’s decoration of The Grinch in an… unfortunate situation.
Cheerful elves assisted guests around the festival, helping to keep the event working great! The staff was extremely nice and enthusiastic, which really lifted the whole event.
Rows of chairs were set up for the main stage, which was home to several musical acts, including one Disney Parks fans might recognize. But while we wait for them, there’s plenty of colorful lights to hold our attention.
A fun, kitschy-looking sign directs guests to one of the biggest stars of the event: Santa Claus!
The way the lights play off the low-hanging tree branches is just one of those nice touches that Florida can provide.
But soon, it’s showtime! And taking the stage is the Jolly Creek Society Orchestra, made up of members of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra.
The ensemble was recently laid off from Walt Disney World after 32 years of performances, but some of them have reunited to play a jazzy spin on some holiday favorites.
As fans of the group, which had performed at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa since its opening in 1988, it was a Christmas miracle just to see them play again. They’re worth the price of admission just on their own, but there’s even more to enjoy!
We loved them so much, we even caught a later show just to hear them again!
As we mentioned before, Santa meets and greets guests (appropriately socially distanced, of course). But instead of his standard sleigh, he sits atop a Boggy Creek airboat!
Still, St. Nick was as enthusiastic as ever to see folks this season.
For those looking for some interactive fun, there were crafts available for purchase, with plenty of elves to offer assistance.
Who says you can’t find snowflakes in Florida?
The two other acts that perform as part of the festival are an a capella group called The Mistletones, and a retro-inspired trio, The Vocalitas, which you can see in the above and below pictures. While we were mostly there for the orchestra, we were wowed by the musical talent assembled for the festival.
Specialty food and drinks are also available for purchase. Above, you can see the Florida Frosty, made with winter-spiced cranberry Sprite and Svetlana wine-based vodka, available for $5.00.
For those looking for something savory, we also tried these turkey tater tots.
And you can’t forget the Christmas cookies!
Members of the orchestra were kind enough to pose for us before we left the event. We hope we’ll be seeing them continue to spread musical magic soon.
And with one last farewell from the energetic elves, our tour is at its end. But if you’d like to see a full performance from the Jolly Creek Society Orchestra, you can check out our video below!
The Jolly Creek Holiday Festival and Marketplace runs select nights through January 2nd. Tickets are on sale now. Date-specific admission starts at $14 for children and $22 for adults with free parking included. Ticket pricing varies according to date. The event is located at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures (2001 E. Southport Road, Kissimmee, FL 34746), about 45 minutes south of Disney Springs.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.Jolly-Creek.com.
Keep reading WDWNT for more coverage of the holiday season around Walt Disney World!