The holiday season is coming to Universal Orlando earlier than ever this year, with the Christmas festivities kicking off on November 17. From the Wizarding World to Seussland, there are fun, unique celebrations to enjoy all throughout the parks.
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
At Universal Studios, the streets of London are completely adorned with bright lights and festive décor and just outside of King’s Cross Station, you’ll find buskers belting out holiday classics to entertain passersby. The celebration continues inside Diagon Alley with special holiday drinks and treats at various vendors and exclusive performances of festive tunes courtesy of Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.
Over at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the holiday spirit is also everywhere in Hogsmeade, with garland and lights draped across every store front. Seasonal drinks and treats can be found at shops around the marketplace, and The Frog Choir makes several appearances throughout the day to entertain the crowds with holiday tunes. In the evenings the Hogwarts Castle comes to life with The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts, a one-of-a-kind nighttime spectacular that illuminates the Wizarding World’s landmark castle with brilliant lights and high definition projections.
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
Each evening, the infamous Macy’s Day Parade makes its mark on Universal Studios with Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a combination of Macy’s holiday balloons and Universal originals that results in an exciting procession through the park with more than a dozen giant balloons and 15 different floats. Expect to see some familiar faces, like the Minions, Shrek and Donkey, King Julien and the penguins from Madagascar, and more before the parade ends with Santa Claus himself!
The parade route begins just between Cafe La Bamba and Universal Orlando’s Horror Make Up Show in the park’s Hollywood area. The parade then travels through Production Central and New York, before ending back at the same starting point. Because the parade is primarily made up of giant balloons you can get a decent view of it from anywhere along the parade route, but some suggest that getting a spot by the park’s giant Christmas tree near the Revenge of the Mummy attraction in New York is the most optimal for viewing the whole procession. Annual passholders typically have access to a reserved viewing area close to Mel’s Diner in Hollywood, so if you’ve got a pass be on the lookout for a roped off section or ask an employee to point you in the right direction!
The parade begins at 5:00 PM or 8:00 PM nightly, depending on the park hours for the day. It’s always a good idea to show up a little earlier and stake out your viewing location before the crowd piles in.
Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
If you’re familiar with the Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, then you know how seriously the Who’s in Whoville take the holidays. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the streets of Seussland have been taken over by wild Christmas decorations and festive Who characters bustling around with excitement for the festive season and totally open to posing for a picture with guests visiting their little town.
At The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, you can enjoy a live retelling of the infamous holiday story starring The Grinch, Cindy Lou, and other characters. The characters from Whoville dance and sing along to music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller as they reenact the day that The Grinch almost ruined Christmas. After the show, guests have the opportunity to meet and greet with The Grinch himself for an autograph and a photo!
For an even closer encounter with the infamous green grump, consider making reservations for Breakfast with the Grinch, hosted at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous on select dates during the holiday season. From 8:00 AM til 10:00 AM guests can enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet while The Grinch walks around the restaurant to pose for pictures.
Breakfast with the Grinch Buffet Menu:
- Green Eggs and Ham Platter
- Continental Fruit and Yogurt Platter
- All-American Platter
- Pancake Platter
- Combo Platter: Eggs, Pancakes, Sausage, Bacon, Hash Browns, and Croissants
You must also have regular park admission for this dining experience, and reservations cost $34.99 per adult and $20.99 per child (plus tax). The cost of your reservations includes meet and greets with multiple Seuss characters, a digital photo with The Grinch, and unlimited access to the buffet. The special breakfast is available on the following dates:
- November: 17 – 18, 21 – 25 & 30
- December: 1 -2 , 6 – 9, 13 – 16, 20 & 23 – 25
Mannheim Steamroller Live
The best-selling holiday artist of all time, Mannheim Steamroller, returns to the Music Plaza Stage at Universal Studios for stunning live performances on select nights throughout the holiday season. Concerts are included with regular park admission and begin at 7:00 PM on show dates. However, spots on the grass will fill up quickly so it’s recommended to head over to the plaza early to get a good seat!
The Blues Brothers Holiday Show
In the New York section of Universal Studios, The Blue Brothers put on a daily show live on the outdoor stage on Delancy Street. During the holiday season, Jake and Elwood give their show a festive twist with snow, Santa hats, and a Christmas carol set list with favorite songs like “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Blue Christmas”.
A Barney Holiday
Over at KidZone, A Day in the Park with Barney becomes A Barney Holiday during the Christmas season, which features Barney, BJ, and Baby Bop on stage leading a festive and fun sing-a-long!
Marilyn Monroe Holiday Street Show
Also in the park’s New York section, you can catch Marilyn Monroe and her four back-up dancers (the Diamond Bella Dancers) performing classics like Santa Baby in her trademark sultry style. This nostalgic street show was unveiled at Universal Studios for the first time last holiday season.
This year’s holiday festivities will last longer than ever at Universal Orlando, happening every day until January 6 and the best part of the celebration is that you can experience it all with just regular park admission! Get into the spirit of the season with awesome discounts on Universal Orlando tickets from Tickets2You.com!