One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to cozy up on the couch to watch a Christmas movie. Why not take it a step further and jump into your favorite Christmas movies? If your family travels during the holiday season, then you may be searching for your next Christmas vacation destination. Visiting the filming locations of your favorite films could make your Christmas getaway even more magical.
Watching Christmas Movies Is A Holiday Must-Do
According to Statista, 60 percent of people watch at least one Christmas film with their family at some point during the holiday season. Christmas movies are essential to many families’ traditions and have become synonymous with the holiday season. Many of the most popular Christmas movies were filmed in locations that can be visited or recreated for families to enjoy. 47% of respondents to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey indicated they plan to travel over the holiday break. Planning a vacation based on your favorite holiday film will make you feel like you stepped straight into the movies.
Can Christmas Films Increase Tourism?
According to the Amex Trendex, 39% of customers travel during the holidays because of a movie they have seen. “Film tourism” is when a “tourist visits a destination or attraction as a result of the destination’s being featured on television, video, or the cinema screen.” Many films have increased the number of tourists visiting the location where they were filmed. For example, Antony House in Cornwall, England is one of the settings in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. The film’s release helped the property increase its visitor numbers from 25,000 to 100,000 – a 400% increase – in 2010.
Christmas films have a similar effect, and many settings within those movies have become popular destinations during the holidays. In addition, many holiday films take place in already popular vacation spots, so it may add to the appeal of visiting during the Christmas season. Here are some favorite holiday movie filming locations you can visit this year!
The main character of 2003’s “Elf” finds himself on a trek from the North Pole to New York City. Upon arrival, Buddy is dazzled by the sights and sounds of some of New York’s most well-known spots. While there, he visits the Empire State Building and explores Central Park. In one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, Buddy has his first kiss while on an ice skating date in Rockefeller Center under the towering Christmas tree. All of these locations can be added to the itinerary of your trip to NYC this Christmas. If you’re a timeshare owner at one of the Hilton Grand Vacations resorts in Manhattan, you can make this a yearly holiday tradition.
“Home Alone 2”
Another Christmas movie in which the main character explores Manhattan for the first time is “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” Kevin McCallister lives out the Christmas vacation of his dreams during the film. Just like Kevin, visitors can take a yellow taxi from the airport into the city. Then, visit Radio City Music Hall, Empire Diner, Chinatown, Battery Park, and the Statue of Liberty. Then, head to The Plaza Hotel when you’re ready for some rest. The Plaza even offers a Home Alone 2: Fun In New York package that includes a limo ride around the city, a large cheese pizza, and a 16-scoop ice cream sundae delivered to your room.
If traveling to the U.K. is on your wishlist this Christmas, then be sure to add a trip to Surrey to your agenda. Surrey is where you can transport yourself into the charming village featured in the 2006 film “The Holiday.” Just like Amanda in the movie, played by Cameron Diaz, you can spend the holidays in England’s quaint countryside. In one scene, Amanda meets with a friend for a drink at The White Horse pub in Shere. Other recognizable locations from the film include the Cornwall Manor in Chipping Norton, Church Street in Godalming, and London’s South Bank.
Another Christmas film set in the U.K. is “Love Actually.” This movie follows different families in the weeks leading up to Christmas. One scene occurs at the jewelry counter of Selfridges, one of London’s luxury department stores. If you’re in town and doing some holiday shopping, you may want to visit this spot for some high-end presents. London’s River Thames features in a few of the film’s scenes and is one of the city’s most picturesque areas. Visitors will want to see the twinkling lights along the river during the holidays.
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas”
The 2000 film “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is about how the Grinch plots his holiday-related revenge on the town of Whoville. While you can’t actually visit Whoville, you can take a trip to Universal Studios to experience Grinchmas. At both Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood, guests can enjoy some festive fun during the holiday season. From seasonal decorations and treats to a live show starring the Grinch, fans will be transported to the Christmas-loving town of Whoville. There are also photo opportunities with the Grinch himself and other town residents spreading Who-liday cheer. If visiting Orlando’s theme parks for the holidays is a yearly tradition for your family, then a timeshare in Orlando may alleviate some vacation planning stress.
“A Christmas Story”
“A Christmas Story” is played on a 24-hour loop each Christmas, so chances are you are familiar with it. If you’re a fan of the movie, you can visit Cleveland, Ohio to see the actual home featured in many scenes. Superfans even have the chance to spend the night in the house! The home is decorated just like Ralphie’s house in the movie, complete with the iconic leg lamp in the front window. There is also a museum across the street that is home to many props from the film. The “A Christmas Story” house will be sold after this season, so now could be your last time to spend the holidays in this classic film.
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