Fireworks, cookouts, parades and special shows — you’ll find all of these things and more when you visit Orlando on the 4th of July this year. The list of things to do on Independence Day in Orlando can be overwhelming, particularly if you are not familiar with the area. To help you choose where here are a few of our favorite places to celebrate, with up to date information for 2012:

Visit the Magic Kingdom for one of the area’s best 4th of July celebrations. Photo courtesy the Walt Disney Company.

Disney World: If you want to head to the area’s most popular celebration, look no further than the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. The Magic Kingdom will be open until 11pm both July 3 and 4th, 2012, and offers special showings of the Electrical Parade and “Celebrate America”, an Independence day themed fireworks spectacular at 9pm each night. Get to the park early if you want to attend, it may close when the maximum attendance level is reached. The other Disney parks are offering special fireworks and events on the 3rd and 4th as well, so pick your favorite and spend Independence Day with Mickey Mouse.

Universal Orlando: Look for a special showing of the Cinematic Spectacular and fireworks at Universal this year. While fireworks have not been officially confirmed, the Universal parks have put on fantastic shows in previous years, and are likely to continue this tradition.

Sea World: Enjoy a Red, White and Blue rockin celebration at Sea World this year, with high energy shows and seasonal fireworks. Expect to see a 4th of July fireworks show at 9:45 — grab your seat in Ski Stadium early if you plan on viewing this event. The stadium opens at 7:45.