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The Holidays at Universal Orlando

by Nick McLamb

The holiday season is here! While there are a lot of different celebrations going on at different resorts, one of the more interesting and accessible ones is the Holidays at Universal Orlando! Universal’s offerings this year are pretty great if I do say so myself. It’s time we dig into what’s happening for the holidays at this wonderful resort!

Universal Holiday Parade

In years past, my favorite thing they’ve offered has been the Universal Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s! This festive parade features huge balloons such as characters from the Minions, Shrek and Madagascar films. As a child it was my dream to get up to New York to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but quite honestly, it was always pretty tough to do so with the people. Universal makes this pretty easy to access here with this parade, as it is included with your park admission.

Grinchmas

Grinchmas is back in Suess Landing this season within Islands of Adventure. Suess Landing is easily one of the most eye catching places for holiday decorations, as it’s decorated like the village Who-ville. There’s also a show, The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, that is full of so much entertainment and it does include an appearance by the Grinch himself! You may also spot resident Who’s roaming through the land! I’m a huge Grinchmas fan. I think the addition of the Grinch within the holiday season is perfect, and no matter how young or old you are, you can’t not love these decorations and characters. It’s perfect for absolutely everyone in your family and I highly recommend it for you.

Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Most people when you talk about going on a trip to Universal Orlando, they want to know about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While it’s pretty incredible year round, you need to see it during the holiday season. Both Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and Dragon Alley at Universal Studios decorate from top to bottom and it’s incredible to look at and honestly just be in the moment and look around. These lands are special places by themselves with the immersion, story, creativity. But when you really just enjoy them in the moment, especially during the holidays, it’s so incredible and you need to experience them. There’s hot Butter Beer, special entertainment, and at Hogsmeade, they even do a show at night called “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” which features projections and pyro on and over Hogwarts Castle! Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a bucket list item for people across the world, and you need to check this item off of your list.

Other Holiday Offerings

As far as other offerings go, there are festive food and drink offerings scattered across the resort, a Holiday Tree Hunt that is a scavenger hunt where you purchase the map, but once you complete the hunt, you get a special ornament! There is also a lot of special merchandise at the resort as well, especially at the Holiday Tribute Store at Universal Studios. Also at Universal Studios on December 4, 5, 11 and 12, Mannheim Steamroller, yes THE Mannheim Steamroller will be performing their stellar holiday music.



Universal Holiday VIP Tour

This season, Universal is offering a special Holiday VIP Tour that guarantees you access to a lot of these activities that are mentioned above. This tour is special for this year, and I personally hope it’s continued into the future because it includes so much that will really get you into the spirit!

The tour costs between $69.99 and $79.99 per person (depending on the date) and includes:


  • Meet and Greet with the Grinch and hot cocoa bar at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous
  • Reserved viewing area for Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
  • Reserved seating area for The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular
  • Exclusive On-Stage Holidays Q&A with the Whos.
  • Meet and greet with Santa with one (1) My Universal Photos digital download
  • Universal’s Holiday Tree Hunt
  • After-hours showing of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle


The meet and greet with the Grinch and hot cocoa bar has me sold alone, friends. I’m a sucker for good hot chocolate. But a hot cocoa bar? Come on how cool is that? The reserved areas for the parade and Grinchmas show are really incredible especially how popular these things are. To know you have a reserved area where you don’t have to wait for them, is pretty helpful if you ask me. I’m also a fan of the Q&A with the Whos, as I’m sure they are ready to answer any question about the holidays that you throw at them! How tall is that tree in Whoville anyway? If you go and ask, please let me know what the answer was, because it’s always bugged me. Meet and greet with Santa with the photo is amazing, especially considering the cost of those photo packages at your city malls compared to this cost of this package. The tree hunt that we covered sounds fun considering you get to take an ornament home too! And of course, the after hours showing of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle is absolutely special. The tour lasts approximately 5 hours, and upon viewing the calendar for availability, it’s filling up pretty quickly. This tour does require a valid park-to-park admission for the day you have the tour on as well. I reccomend this tour to absolutely anyone wanting to do absolutely everything Holidays at Universal, because it feels like Universal is putting forth an amazing effort to give their guests an amazing experience all around their resorts. This tour is nothing short of amazing, and I encourage you to take a look at everything they have to offer. Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to you!

Nick McLamb

Travel is everything to me. I love packing up a suitcase and heading somewhere new. I am passionate about creating experiences for others to enjoy their vacations without stress, hassle, or headaches. I’ve been visiting the Disney Parks for as long as I can remember and know it like the back of my hand. I am a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge. If you’re looking for someone to create an experience for you that is one of a kind, I’m your guy! I live by the mantra, “Let’s go on an advent...

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