The holidays are here and they’re in full effect at Universal Orlando. All of your favorite things at the park are still here, but there might be a few holiday twists. There isn’t a bad time to visit Univeral Orlando but we think it’s safe to say we think December is the best time.
It’s hard to pick a favorite thing about the holidays at Universal Orlando so we put together a list of top 7 things you cannot miss while visiting this holiday season.
Universal Orlando Holiday Events
“The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts”
One of the best new things this year for the holidays is “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts.” Plan to be in Islands of Adventure at least one of the evenings and head over to Hogsmeade. Every night from dusk until the park closes, every 20 minutes, catch the 8-minute long light show. Make sure to stay around until the end to catch the fireworks over Hogwarts Castle. Since the show continuously plays, it’s quite easy to find a good spot to watch it.
A trip to The WizarMagicWorld of Harry Potter wouldn’t be complete without butterbeer. We’ve had regular butterbeer and frozen butterbeer, but during the holidays at Universal Orlando, you can get a cup of hot butterbeer.
If you’ve had butterbeer before and you didn’t like it, you should give hot butterbeer a try. It’s seriously amazing! Don’t tell Harry, but we think hot butterbeer is the best way. Skip the cup of coffee on the way into the park and instead head to one of the five places in the park to get a hot butterbeer.
You can ONLY get hot butterbeer during the official holiday events dates. So, sadly if you come in the summer, you won’t be able to find hot butterbeer anywhere in the park.
Where to get hot butterbeer at Universal Orlando: Leaky Cauldron, Three Broomsticks, Hog’s Head Pub, the Hopping Pot, and the Fountain of Fair Fortune.
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
You can’t miss the Minions and Santa Clause in the all-new Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. If you’re strolling around Universal Studios at 5:30 pm you literally won’t miss it. The floats and balloons are massive! All of your favorite Universal characters make an appearance: Shrek, Dora The Explorer, Minions, Madagascar, and many more.
Univeral Orlando Holiday Parade Schedule
- 5:30 pm on Nov. 18 – 28, Nov. 30 – Dec. 5, Dec. 8 – 17
- 5:00 pm on Nov. 29, Dec. 6 – 7
- 8:00 pm on Dec. 18 – Jan. 6
The best place to watch the parade: Get as close to the entrance to The Mummy or Macy’s. Part of the area may be blocked off for “VIP.” This is right across from the big Christmas tree. In order to get a good spot, you’ll want to secure one at least an hour before the parade. As soon as they start roping off the streets you’ll want to start looking for a spot.
Mannheim Steamroller Concert at Universal Studios Florida
If you happen to visit Universal Studios during one of the select nights Mannheim Steamroller make sure to take advantage of this free concert that is included in all park admissions. Head over to the Universal Music Plaza stage for an hour-long concert with the biggest-selling Christmas artist of all time.
Mannheim Steamroller Concert At Universal Studios Florida Dates
- November 18, 19, 25, 26
- December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17
Right after the holiday parade head on over to get a spot. We were there on opening night and had no problem getting great seats on the lawn 15 minutes before the concert started.
**If you are a season ticket holder concert days may possibly be a blackout day depending on what ticket type you purchased.
Seuss Landing & Grinchmas
During the holidays at Universal Orlando, Seuss Landing is full of holiday decorations during the Who-liday Spectacular. Make sure to check The Grinchmas showtime schedule, with the Grinch of course!
- Dec 1 – Dec 15: 11:30 am (ASL), 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:45 pm, 4:45 pm, 5:45 pm (ASL)
- Dec 16 – Dec 17: 10:45 am, 11:45 am (ASL), 12:45 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm (ASL), 6:30 pm
The Frog Choir in Hogsmeade
When in Hogsmeade catch the Frog Choir singing three new Christmas tunes. The Hogwarts students perform year-round with their croaking frogs singing wizarding songs.
Frog Choir in Hogsmeade Schedule:
- December 1–17: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm
The holiday decorations don’t end in the park. All the Universal Orlando Resorts are decorated to the nines. We recently stayed at Loews Sapphire Falls, the Christmas tree in the lobby was massive. Great for a group picture or a family picture. If you are traveling to Universal over the holidays you can ship your packages/gifts to the hotel. That way you can still surprise the kids on Christmas morning.
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Make sure to check out other events at Universal Orlando. We’ve been lucky to visit during Halloween Horror Nights and Universal Mardi Gras.