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5 Reasons to Celebrate the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

From hot Butterbeer to cool New Year's Eve tunes, experience the magic of the season at Universal Orlando Resort.

holidays at universal orlando

Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's

The holiday season is a time to connect with friends and family, and what better way to spend time with the ones you love than in a winter “fun”-derland at Universal Orlando Resort?

Take your holiday tradition to the next level and make your kids’ wishes come true with a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to experience “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle or to meet the infamous Grinch in person during Grinchmas.

There are incredible experiences for everyone, from exhilarating theme park rides and an over-the-top holiday parade to fabulous New Year’s Eve parties.

Holiday celebrations at Universal Orlando run from Nov. 16, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020, so use those vacation days you’ve been saving up and start planning your getaway!

Here’s some merriment to look forward to. 

Ho-Ho-Hotel Festivities

Season’s greetings abound, even at the Universal hotels! Each hotel features unique decorations and holiday activities, including special holiday meals and more.

Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The Grinch is such a classic holiday figure and he comes to life every season during Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Why not see the mischief-maker for yourself and share this exciting experience with your family? 

Head to Seuss Landing where you can enjoy the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” a heartwarming live performance of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic starring the one and only Grinch. You’ll also see appearances by the merry Whos from Who-ville and a cast full of vibrant Who-ville citizens as they prepare for their favorite holiday, Christmas!

Tip: While the show is included in the price of park admission, seating is first-come, first-served. So you’ll want to get in line 15 to 30 minutes before the showYou can also enjoy a separately ticketed breakfast on special dates that include meet and greets and photo opportunities with the mean, green one at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous.

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Universal’s Holiday Parade

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s happens every day during the holiday season and features more than 30 massive balloons, floats, tons of entertainers and more. All of your favorite characters will be there, including the Shrek family, the Minions from “Despicable Me,” the friends from “Madagascar” and many more character favorites. 

Tip: If you have small children get to the parade early, so you can find a bench or a good viewing spot in the front to see the hundreds of performers up close. Get ready for dancing, live music and maybe a little bit of mayhem in the best possible way. This is one activity you and your family will never forget! 

holidays at universal orlando

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Calling all Harry Potter fans! Experience the wonder of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as it transforms into a wonderland this holiday season. As you step into the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley you’ll feel like you’re in the movie with Harry Potter and all of his friends. No detail goes unnoticed in Harry’s world as everything is adorned in decoration with garlands and lights in abundance. 

There are ongoing performances like the Muggle Christmas carols from the Frog Choir, which features Hogwarts students and their giant croaking frogs! You can also catch Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees as she serenades guests with hits from her chart-topping Christmas album. Guests can also enjoy seasonal food and beverages, including everyone’s favorite, hot Butterbeer! This is the famous beverage that’s mentioned throughout the Harry Potter book series. It tastes like cream soda with whipped butterscotch on top. 

In the evening, be stunned by the exquisite projection-mapping nighttime show. This is when Christmas moments inspired by J.K. Rowling’s stories come to life on Hogwarts castle for “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.”

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

It’s never too early to start making your plans for New Year’s Eve! Ring in 2020 in style at a variety of lively celebrations across the destination. Again, the resort has thought of everyone, offering family-friendly festivities at Universal Studios Florida with some of the most popular characters starting the party throughout the park on Dec. 31. This shindig is a celebration for all ages and is included with regular admission. Also, Universal CityWalk’s Hard Rock Cafe Orlando & Hard Rock Live hosts an event for the whole family with live music, food and drinks and festivities.

Guests 21 and older can get the party started at Universal CityWalk’s EVE. Depending on which tickets you purchase, you’ll have access to up to five clubs, live bands and epic DJs. There’s an outdoor dance floor with a live performance by DJ M-Squared, unlimited cuisine to please any foodie and signature cocktails. Did I mention there’s a spectacular fireworks display and Champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight? That just adds to all of the reasons why ringing in the New Year at EVE at Universal CityWalk will have you starting off 2020 with a bang! 

Have you ever visited Universal Orlando during the holidays? Tell us about it in the comments. 

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