The Christmas season at Universal Orlando Resort™ is always a big hit. Starting in November and running through January, all ages are sure to find something to capture their imagination — from the new details of Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ to the classic fanfare of the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.
At Universal Studios Florida™, both Diagon Alley™ and London will be set aglow with holiday lights as they offer edible seasonal treats alongside live musical performances. Elsewhere, the beloved parade has been completely revamped, and will make its debut as Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s while starring plenty of massive balloons with Minions, Madagascar characters and Shrek favorites in leading roles. And of course, it wouldn’t be the holidays without the return of Mannheim Steamroller live performances on select nights.
Over in Universal’s Island’s of Adventure™, Hogsmeade™ will be trimmed with festive decor and hosts an exclusive holiday show by the Frog Choir. At night, a spectacular new light projection mapping experience will transform Hogwarts™ castle into a holiday spectacle you need to see to believe! Finally, the Seuss Landing™ Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular will delight audiences as always with live storytelling by Cindy Lou Who and plenty of opportunities to meet The Grinch™ himself.
Are you ready to visit Universal Orlando? Here are our best holiday tips:
Expect holiday decor to appear the week of Thanksgiving. For those interested in seeing Harry Potter World or Seuss Landing™ trimmed in full red-and-green, we recommend waiting until Thanksgiving, when every element is sure to be in place.
If you’re interested in The Grinch™ & Friends Character Breakfast, book it far in advance. The closer we get to the Christmas holiday, the more this event tends to fill up fast! Plan to reserve your seats even as far ahead as Halloween — and if you wait, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Arrive early for the Macy’s parade. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but remember that the best spots (in front of the Macy’s building or the Revenge of the Mummy coaster) for this popular parade get crowded quickly. Stake out curbside seats at least 45 minutes early — 60 would be even better.
Stay until after dark. The castle at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is specially illuminated after dusk, and the rest of the lighted Christmas decor really adds to the atmosphere at night. (Bonus: Lines for some rides, like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in Hogsmeade™, may slow as other guests leave.)
Bring a jacket for evening activities. If you will be sticking around until the parks close (times vary based on the day), make sure everyone in your group dresses in layers. You can always stash extra items in one of the for-rent lockers during the day, but if you find yourselves without added layers after the sun goes down, it may dampen the holiday spirit.
Budget for souvenirs. From interactive wizard wands to wacky Seuss-themed apparel, there are many fun items and gifts available for purchase within the respective parks. While they are always more expensive than the generic souvenirs you’ll find along I-Drive, they are also much nicer in terms of authenticity and quality. It can be hard to say no to excited little ones (especially at Christmastime), so plan accordingly!
Download the app! If we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again — the Universal Orlando Resort™ app is worth exploring. It even features helpful maps, the most up-to-date show times and live ride queue information. Performance start times can vary based on the day, so that alone makes it a valuable tool for maximizing your time this season!
As Universal Orlando Resort™ likes to say — “You’ve never had a holiday like this!” This year, we expect fans to flock to the park for the brand-new experiences and familiar favorites. But whether you live 10 minutes or 10 hours away, Encore Resort at Reunion has just what you need to make the season even brighter. Rent an Orlando vacation home with a fully equipped kitchen for your family this season. You may just find that the best present you can give them is quality time spent together in Orlando!