Tis the season for tons of holiday fun all across Universal Orlando Resort! Starting November 15, you can celebrate the Christmas season with unique entertainment everywhere from the Wizarding World to Seussland and beyond.
Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
London + Diagon Alley
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.
Hogsmeade + Hogwarts Castle
Over at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the holiday spirit is also everywhere in Hogsmeade, with garland and lights draped across every storefront. 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.
Grinchmas at Seuss Landing
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.
The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular
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!
The Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast
For an even closer encounter with the infamous green grump, consider making reservations for the Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast 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. The breakfast buffet menu includes:
- 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 a meet and greet 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: 16, 17, 23, 24, and 27-30
- December: 1, 5-8, 12-15, 19-25
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.
Holiday Treats & Seasonal Cocktails
In addition to all the fun festive entertainment, you can also enjoy special seasonal treats available at Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk. Some of the delicious offerings include:
- Hot Butterbeer (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter): A warm seasonal version of the iconic non-alcoholic beverage
- Grinchmas Cupcakes (Seuss Landing): Chocolate cupcakes decorated with green icing to look like The Grinch
- Santa Suit Doughnut Set (VooDoo Doughnuts): Two yeast doughnuts dipped in vanilla icing; one filled with Bavarian and white chocolate cream, and one filled with peppermint chocolate cream
- Traditional Holiday Meal (Classic Monsters Cafe): Mixed green salad, herb-roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, and apple pie
- Festive Holiday Pastries (San Francisco Bakery, TODAY Cafe, and Croissant Moon Bakery): Apple strudel on a stick, Christmas tree eclairs, and holiday “wreaths”
- Frozen Beverages (Production Central and Grammercy Pizza): Non-alcoholic frozen eggnog and frozen candy cane beverage
- Specialty Cocktails (Available at various locations in both parks): Apple Pie on the Rocks, Apple Cider Irish Mule, Cranberry Margarita, and more
- “Gingerbread Mon” (Bob Marley’s)
- “Snow Globe” (Pat O’Brien’s)
Festive Flavors Holiday Buffet at Cafe La Bamba
For a limited time during the holiday season at Universal Orlando, you can attend the Festive Flavors Holiday Buffet at Cafe La Bamba. The special experience includes all you can eat dining at Cafe La Bamba, exclusive viewing for Universal’s Holiday Parade, and reserved seating for Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration. Access to Festive Flavors Holiday Buffet is $64.99 per person. You can make reservations on any evening from December 22-30. The schedule includes:
- 5:00 PM – Dinner at Cafe La Bamba
- 7:45 PM – Parade viewing opens
- 8:00 PM – Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s begins
- 8:45 PM – Viewing for Universal’s Cinematic Celebration opens
Mannheim Steamroller Live at Universal Studios
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! You can sit back and enjoy the brilliant sounds of Mannheim Steamroller on the following weekends dates:
- November 16 & 17
- November 23 & 24
- November 30 & December 1
- December 7 & 8
- December 14 & 15
Sweets & Sounds Dessert Party
Enhance your concert experience by purchasing tickets for the Sweets & Sounds Dessert Party! The additional event includes all-you-can-eat desserts and snacks as well as reserved viewing for Universal’s Holiday Parade and Mannheim Steamroller. Tickets for the party are $49.99 per person.
Most of these holiday festivities will run daily at Universal Orlando through January 5. 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.